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Vowel Modifications and Bridging

Okay, so I understand bridging and vowel modifications as individual topics. However, I'm a little confused as to if vowel modifications are supposed to happen during the bridge to make it smoother or if vowel modifications simply serve the purpose to stretch the chest voice higher without straining. Or maybe both? I'm sorry if this is a dumb question.


  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,346
    edited August 2016
    Both. The mods buy you a few more notes, and give you some last refuge to keep the throat open, yet partially closed (into the mod) before you bridge. I find that the Ooh mod is like the gateway into head voice, the place where it's hard to tell if I'm still in a thinned-out chest voice or already slipping into head voice. It's like the last passageway until you emerge in head voice, and can resume the pure unmodified vowel. As you keep ascending in head voice, you can buy more notes by again going through the mods.

    So mods can help you to finally bridge at a higher note than you can without using mods. Mods also help your voice to keep their integrity, because pure vowels tend to break up as they become too high for the throat to maintain; they "splat" and the sound breaks up. So the mods are like "containers" that keep the sound "bound together" in a tighter, smaller, confined-yet-still-open-as-much-as-they-can-be-at-that-pitch package. We carry the notes up higher in those packages of aw, oo, or Ooh, and let them resonate in their little pockets. These pockets help us to manage the specific pressures at those specific pitches.

    You might want to think of the mods as part of the "runway" before "takeoff" through the passaggio. You don't raise your landing gear before you're off the ground.


  • Thank you. That is very helpful.
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