On this page you’ll discover what “chest voice” is, and how you can have that powerful chest voice sound through your whole vocal range.
You may or may not have heard the three “descriptions” of your vocal registers. These being chest voice, mixed voice, and head voice.
While these are important ideas to understand, there are some even more important concepts that will help you get the most from your singing.
Let’s begin by watching this video, which goes over these concepts.
What is the definition of chest voice?
The very simple explanation is that chest voice is that low to middle part of your voice, in the same range where you speak.
It’s usually an easy part of the voice to sing in, although for women it can sometimes be more difficult.
Also, chest voice is the lowest part of your vocal range.
Technically speaking, your vocal folds are vibrating across their entire length when you’re singing with chest voice.
The term “chest voice” comes from the sensations you feel in your chest when you are using it.
Your chest voice is most useful when singing melodies that are lower in your vocal range.
Also, if you’re singing rock songs with an edge to them, chest voice is your friend!
If you'd like to learn about the different parts of your vocal range, check out this tutorial: Chest voice vs head voice vs falsetto.
Singing teachers often have different ideas about chest voice.
What's important though is that you have a simple understanding of it. Enough where you know how to use chest voice without over thinking things.
So here's some basic criteria to help you understand when you are singing in chest voice.
For many styles of music, singers really want to have that “chest” sounding quality throughout their entire vocal range.
This is because “chest voice” has a certain powerful quality to it, that head voice does not.
And it is possible to maintain this “chest” sound into your upper vocal registers, with some special techniques of singing. More about this in a second.
Ok, so here is the problem.
When you want to get that “chest” voice sound higher in your range, it’s very tempting to “push” for it.
And when you do this you immediately put strain on your voice, and your tone quality suffers badly.
So how can you overcome this problem?
The answer is developing a “mixed voice”.
Your mixed voice is a “mixture” of chest voice and also your head voice.
To watch a video on how to develop your mixed voice, click here.
Also, in the video up the top of this page, you’ll see a demonstration how to sing chest voice with a powerful sound, but with a subtle mixture of head voice in there as well.
The ultimate goal is to always be singing with a mixed voice, even if there is only a little of chest voice or a little of head voice.
The reason is, if you’re singing completely in one register, it makes it difficult to navigate to the register above or below.
For example, when a singer is struggling to get a high note, the reason is often because of what they are doing the note before.
See, if the sound is incorrectly positioned the note before the high note, your voice can not fall into position to get the high note.
Whereas, if you’re singing a lower note with some head voice mixed in, and then you sing up to a high note, it’s much easier to get there with no problems.
As we've just touched upon, you can get that "chest like" quality in the higher parts of your vocal range by developing a mix of your chest voice and head voice.
If you'd like to develop this ability, check out this tutorial dedicated to singing high notes in chest voice.
If you want to really master your voice, the answer is to practice the techniques of singing that are going to balance your voice and get it operating efficiently and correctly.
You can get a free video series that will take you through some of these exercises as well as many important singing concepts.
To get this video series, click the link below.