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muffinhead

Ideal larynx position? (+ lowering the larynx)

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One of the problems I've come across is an elevated larynx position when singing in head voice. Now, I've somewhat managed to get it to a near-neutral configuration as of late, but want to know if the ultimate goal is to have it lowered. If so, how does one accomplish this?

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43 minutes ago, muffinhead said:

One of the problems I've come across is an elevated larynx position when singing in head voice. Now, I've somewhat managed to get it to a near-neutral configuration as of late, but want to know if the ultimate goal is to have it lowered. If so, how does one accomplish this?

 I have the same problem, The solution is not in lowering the larynx, it is relaxing into the sound and "The four Pillars" Dampening the larynx. There is a difference. With the dampening you are adjusting formants. In this case allowing the lower harmonics to increase. I also have to refer back to Felipes Post again on Ultimate secret to high notes. Larynx dampening did not work for me until the pathway to the higher resonance was found. Once that pathway opens up it is easier to relax the larynx. You are not fighting for the pitch anymore.

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Don't focus on larynx position instead look for a free, clear and reasonant sound. If your low range is good up to about C4 then just make sure you are not spreading the vowel as you go higher.

 

Quote

The solution is not in lowering the larynx, it is relaxing into the sound and "The four Pillars" Dampening the larynx.

What's dampening the larynx?

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6 hours ago, Sexy Beast said:

Don't focus on larynx position instead look for a free, clear and reasonant sound. If your low range is good up to about C4 then just make sure you are not spreading the vowel as you go higher.

 

What's dampening the larynx?

Giving the voice a deeper sound. Tuning formants. yes, the larynx will drop but the throat space will open also. You are adjusting by sound not by forcing the larynx down.

Edit: It is a term used in "The Four Pillars" .    Muffinhead has that program and should understand what I mean.

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If you are having trouble............ instead of singing an octave slide to train this. Use a 5th instead(instead of C3 to C4....C3 to G3). A smaller interval can help you keep track of the sound without loosing coordination.

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The ideal larynx position is any way you want it as long as you have control. Focus on having a relaxed free voice and the larynx control will follow. 

 

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It took me a while to understand why even bother thinking of the larynx. For example, the dampening effect is actually the fold tissue, not the muscles and cartilage of the larynx, With the right breath management, good resonance to bring volume and tone, the larynx works free and easy. On high notes, only a small amount of tissue is vibrating because that is how a high note is created. It is a matter of basic physics. the rest of the tissue will be largely "dampened" because it is not in use as a vibrating thing.

That only changes if you are doing something that tries to engage all of the tissue, which can happen if the larynx is rising high. Therefore, "dampening the larynx" is like a cautionary statement to examine what you are doing and go back to the basics so that the larynx is not the center of your concentration.

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I agree, best position of the larynx is relaxed and free. Thinking about "sound color", "dampening" or whatever may rise or lower the larynx. However, never focus on it actively or try to set it in a certain position.

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We should all be aware of the importance of keeping our larynx neutral but there shouldn't be too much emphasis on it because it will only distract us from full projection on the voice. To keep your larynx neutral in head voice, try lip trills like in here: 

 

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For a short time in my progression I did actively think about larynx position,  I don't think it'll hurt you to give it a little bit of attention.  You have to balance conscious changes with subconscious changes so whatever gets you from point a to point b is good just don't obsess over it.

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I don't really think in terms of laryngeal height in isolation. I've found isolating the larynx motion for me specifically tends to create tension. I am guessing it is because the lowering and raising of the larynx involves a very complex antagonistic relationship of like dozens of muscles. These are some of the elevators:

Suprahyoid_muscles.png

 

These are some of the depressors:

Infrahyoid_muscles.png

There are also a few in the tongue. Basically if you're consciously trying to exert force on the larynx either way there's a high likelihood of imbalance of musculature.

What I've found more useful is exploring vowels, resonance, and sound colors at various pitches/intensities and finding the most free phonation for a given pitch. The muscles tend to find unison with the pharynx and vocal tract when not forced in any direction. For me I prefer to train intuitively through exploration.  But there are lots of documented vowel positions which you can explore and discover with result in different coordination, which may not be in your native accent.

serveimage?url=http:%2F%2Fwww.translatio

This here has a sound you can listen to.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPA_vowel_chart_with_audio

When exploring various sounds, I find my larynx naturally will move as part of a larger integrated movement involving the pharynx/tongue etc, without force which can be antagonistic.

Many years ago, I had encountered speech level singing material that was obsessed with larynx height, encouraging constant monitoring, and it increased tension and anxiety for me. It may work for some. But there is a psychosomatic response of 'stress' and larynx rising. The more I worried about it, the more antagonistic the relationship would get. The less I worried, and the more I explored discovering sounds in a relaxed casual with no concern for my larynx, the more the muscles were allowed to explore and find coordination that would ultimately be higher or lower, depending on overall sound of vowel.

The end result is simply the position that works or the timbre/volume/intensity you want. At one extreme there is a choking kind of effect that can happen and block of some of my bridge. At the other extreme things get so dark and woofy I'd be shouting increasingly louder and probably hit a wall. What generally works is something in between those extremes but it's usually a consequence of having dialed in resonance/vowels which involves a subtle sometimes subconscious shift, rather than a conscious manipulation.

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5 hours ago, KillerKu said:

I don't really think in terms of laryngeal height in isolation. I've found isolating the larynx motion for me specifically tends to create tension. I am guessing it is because the lowering and raising of the larynx involves a very complex antagonistic relationship of like dozens of muscles. These are some of the elevators:

Suprahyoid_muscles.png

 

These are some of the depressors:

Infrahyoid_muscles.png

There are also a few in the tongue. Basically if you're consciously trying to exert force on the larynx either way there's a high likelihood of imbalance of musculature.

What I've found more useful is exploring vowels, resonance, and sound colors at various pitches/intensities and finding the most free phonation for a given pitch. The muscles tend to find unison with the pharynx and vocal tract when not forced in any direction. For me I prefer to train intuitively through exploration.  But there are lots of documented vowel positions which you can explore and discover with result in different coordination, which may not be in your native accent.

serveimage?url=http:%2F%2Fwww.translatio

This here has a sound you can listen to.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPA_vowel_chart_with_audio

When exploring various sounds, I find my larynx naturally will move as part of a larger integrated movement involving the pharynx/tongue etc, without force which can be antagonistic.

Many years ago, I had encountered speech level singing material that was obsessed with larynx height, encouraging constant monitoring, and it increased tension and anxiety for me. It may work for some. But there is a psychosomatic response of 'stress' and larynx rising. The more I worried about it, the more antagonistic the relationship would get. The less I worried, and the more I explored discovering sounds in a relaxed casual with no concern for my larynx, the more the muscles were allowed to explore and find coordination that would ultimately be higher or lower, depending on overall sound of vowel.

The end result is simply the position that works or the timbre/volume/intensity you want. At one extreme there is a choking kind of effect that can happen and block of some of my bridge. At the other extreme things get so dark and woofy I'd be shouting increasingly louder and probably hit a wall. What generally works is something in between those extremes but it's usually a consequence of having dialed in resonance/vowels which involves a subtle sometimes subconscious shift, rather than a conscious manipulation.

wow well said.  At one extreme there is a choking kind of effect that can happen and block of some of my bridge. At the other extreme things get so dark and woofy I'd be shouting increasingly louder and probably hit a wall.  I think I know what you mean.  It reminds me of the up vs the down, sustaining and rising vs sustaining and dropping.

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Wait!  But that's singing.  

Yes, like Benny said, you ideally want a free larynx, but there may be times where you may want the capability to lower the larynx for certain tones, colors and effects.

Also, you may have a teacher that might have you do specific low larynx vocal exercises that work to train your larynx to sit lower than what it may be doing now.

And there's degrees of lower.  It's not a bad thing to use a lower larynx when it's called for, like a carpenter chooses a certain tool to do a certain job.  When I do my Motown set, I employ a lower larynx to get more warmth and depth to the sound.

 

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The larynx can be relatively lower or higher while still maintaining a relatively free range of motion. The key is for the muscles that raise and the depress the larynx to be in harmony and not creating a tug of war effect.

Before I had a bit more proprioception developed in my tract, the only ways I could tell for sure where my larynx was involved touching the area while it moved, listening to the timbre for dopey sounds, using force to pull it down with my depressor muscles or push it down with my tongue. The proprioception was developed more so with vowels and resonance while using the depressors and tongue could create a tug of war effect with the muscles and structures involved. 

The trick is, even if the position sounds or is relatively low, the actual sensation doesn't have to feel stuffed, pulled, or at odds with the vowel or musculature. It can feel harmonious with tract. By the time opposition is actually felt, it's often excessive for what is needed. I can get darker timbres through harmonious use of the tract than using opposing forces push or pull the larynx lower in a way that is felt.

The free sensation is basically when each part of the tract is harmoniously working together to form the sound. So the muscles raising, depressing, the tongue, pharynx, larynx will be working together in a concerted motion to balance each other out, rather than any one component trying to override the others.

There are a few timbres I can't create without a bit of opposition tension. Jackie Wilson (Kermit kind of sound) is one of them and involves a bit of contrary tongue motion. I don't know if there is another more efficient way of producing that kind of sound, but majority of sounds tend to be found without much contrary. There tends to be a cartoonish element, the more contrary the motion.

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I think worrying about larynx position has limited value. Some people, not all, need to worry about for a time, and then, no more. Like the other technical discussions we have going on.

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3 hours ago, ronws said:

I think worrying about larynx position has limited value. Some people, not all, need to worry about for a time, and then, no more. Like the other technical discussions we have going on.

Ron is right you guys, now respect his authoritay.

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Ah, but it's nice to know you can drop it down and sing that way for certain cool effects, just like you can hike it up, flip your velum all over the place and get that Dirty Loops sound. 

 

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