As singers we regularly approach our vocal coaches/teachers with specific requests regarding extending range. When it comes to learning songs, more often than not we all describe our main challenges along the lines of 'struggling to hit the high notes' or 'my voice is too breathy up there and cracks when I sing' etc.
Maybe you're an experienced vocalist who is extremely good at utilising head voice mainly and generally doesn't want to have the overall richness of chest voice in your singing. That's ok! Keep your unique style and don't change the way you like to express yourself in singing!
It is important to be aware though, that chest voice is the foundation and the building block for power & strength in our voices. It's inevitable for every individual to work, develop & maintain your foundation, the 'root of your strength' for the overall health and longevity of your voice.
Whether you can resonate with either of those examples written above, or you're fully satisfied with what you're vocally capable of doing - this one's definitely for you!
Here are some exercises to help developing the chest voice:
Practice these exercise below your first bridge. Put one hand on chest while singing to ensure that you can feel resonance throughout, therefore constantly making sure you're engaging your chest voice!
1. The Straw exercise
Vocalise on a 5 note scale going up by semitones. (Using an app / piano can come in handy to keep you in tune). The purpose of singing in a straw is to help you warm up comfortably while naturally engaging your TA (ThyroArytenoid) muscle that is responsible for the low notes/chest voice.
2. Descending Go
Descend on a 5 note scale using the word Go! You're going to engage your TA muscle just like with the previous exercise. Make sure you keep at it, and vocalise with this one regularly to maintain vocal strength in your lower register. Focus on utilising your speaking voice rather than making it sound pretty. You're going to build some serious skills by consciously engaging your chest voice and developing muscle memory in your larynx!
Happy PractiSING :)