My thoughts...Wisdom from over the years

How can I increase my vocal Range: Part 2

Posted in: Blog, tip of the week ♦ Monday, March 5th, 2012, 11:12 am ♦ No Comments on How can I increase my vocal Range: Part 2

2. The development of proper technique is the key to range expansion. Learning to relax is so important. Using a mirror can be a vital component to learning to relax. Many times people have no idea how much or where they are tensing. Keeping ALL muscles relaxed enables the vocal mechanism to function at peak capacity. Learn to use the diaphragm to power your sound, NOT the muscles in your throat. So as you look in the mirror make any necessary changes to be sure that you do not strain and tighten the muscles in your throat, neck and face. Stay in front of the mirror for all of your vocalizing and practicing.

Also while you’re looking in the mirror, locate your voice-box in your throat. This may be simpler for the men whose “Adam’s Apple” is larger than most women’s. As you’re facing the mirror, put a finger on your voice-box.  You can be confident you have placed your finger correctly by “yawning”. As you “yawn” you will feel and see the voice box move downward.  As you are able to become more aware of your voice-box placement you will begin to be able to lengthen your range as you are able to keep your voice-box as low as possible. As you lower your voice-box to the maximum (your yawn) you’ll notice a completely different sound coming out (the sound you make when you yawn). This is your throat in it’s most open position. Although this is NOT the sound you’re looking for, it will give you an idea as to how to control the placement. The lower you’re able to keep it, the more relaxed position your throat will stay in.

Try the opposite just for comparison. Try (while keeping that finger in place on the voice-box) to make a sound equivalent to “Minnie Mouse”. You’ll see the voice box practically disappear up into your throat. I try to use the illustration of a garden hose when I teach this concept. Think of your windpipe as a garden hose that carries air from the lungs to the mouth. IF the hose is left unrestricted you’ll get the best flow. When you keep the muscles relaxed and the voice-box out of the way the flow is the least restricted. However, when your muscles tense and the voice-box is forced upward, it “kinks” the hose much as if you were bending a hose as the water flows out. What happens then? The airflow is impeded. Sound gets distorted and you don’t have the same control over the flow—it doesn’t go where you want it to.


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