Ever wondered what is the x factor that makes your favorite singers sound so passionate when they sing?? How when they hit those high notes it almost sounds like they might not make it through the phrase… Yet somehow they manage to sing those notes every single time? Well, the secret is quite simple and easy to apply since all you need to do is get acquainted with cry vocal mode.
WHAT IS CRY VOCAL MODE?
Cry vocal mode is part of the 8 different physical vocal modes available to us as singers. In short, physical vocal modes are the various unique configurations in which the larynx can position itself to create a particular result or a particular sound color.
Officially, cry mode is produced on a raised larynx and thinned vocal folds. Cry quality releases glottal hyper-adduction and medial compression, because of the raised larynx, it also has the benefits of releasing pharyngeal constriction.
Crying vocal mode is based in the way our voices sound when we’re about to cry. Though initially it might not seem relevant to music, this vocal mode is particularly useful in singing for a number of reasons. To start, the cry mode elongates and “thins out” our vocal folds which creates more stability in our singing. As a result, we are able to move through our vocal break and connect to our head voice much more smoothly than otherwise. By using cry, you can help release tension from your singing which will free you up in the higher registers of your voice.
On top of this physiological benefits, practicing in this vocal mode has another unexpected use that’s equally important in making you a better singer. You see, we naturally jump into cry mode in emotional situations so the body instinctively associates this reflex with intense feeling. We all use cry mode when we cry (out of sadness or joy) or even when we’re angry. As such, mastering this vocal mode can help you project emotion through your singing due to its natural association with extreme feelings. Crying vocal mode will not only help you get in touch with the emotion of the lyrics you sing, but it will also queue your audience into getting emotionally invested into the song you’re singing.
Cry vocal mode works so well because it is a very primitive mode. No matter what culture you’re from, the vocal color that cry adds is associated by every human as some type of intense emotion. On the surface, it adds a velvet-like, silky sound to your voice that makes your singing less shouty and more intimate. Underneath however, It makes your singing more emotive at a subconscious level.
SO… HOW DO YOU GET INTO CRY MODE?
As primitive as this vocal mode is, it might be difficult to add it to your singing if you’re used to singing without it. For this, we give you a couple of tricks you can use to find cry in your voice and start ripping the benefits of this incredible vocal mode!
Tips and Tricks:
- A good way to start getting used to the cry vocal mode or the crying reflex is to start by talking in that crying position as opposed to jumping straight into singing.
- If you’re trying to in your head voice, try to forget about singing for a minute and simply imitate a crying puppy.
- Once you get the idea of what cry mode feels like, isolate a note and “cry like a puppy” there for a bit.
- Then simply work on amplifying that note to work on your control and practice using different notes to improve all your vocal registers.
Another trick is to use the “pulse and release” onset found in The Four Pillars of Singing. This is a light-mass vocal onset that begins with a little vocal fry. This is good because even though vocal fry and cry aren’t the same thing, they are similar to the point where vocal fry can help introduce you to cry and vice versa. In short, vocal fry could be described as an extreme version of the cry vocal mode.
Tips when using “pulse and release” to learn the cry vocal mode:
We recommend you play around with tracking and not tracking on the onset (meaning how long you extend the vocal fry right before you start singing). Some people might find it more useful to track the onset for a bit while others might find it more comfortable to jump straight to the singing. For this, the best thing you can do is to simply play around and find what works for you and your voice.