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That darn muscle under the chin

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D.Starr
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How do I check? And what is the sensation?

well, for me personally, i'm a big fan of open throat technique, so i like to set that up for myself by configuring my mouth and jaw as if to yawn. i know it sounds strange, as if you stuck a "c" clamp inside my mouth. this positions me better to get the air coming through the folds to reach their respective resonance pockets.

it may not work for everybody.

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Looked at a few diagrams and it could quite possibly the digastric muscle?

Just seems to tense up on some notes.

D.Starr: Ok. To facilitate the discussion, here is a nice diagram we can all use for reference.

The Digastric Anterior Belly connects the underside of the chin to the hyoid bone. It overlays another muscle, the Mylohyoid, which has parts which are off to the side of the Diagastric.

This part of the Digastric (and the mylohyoid) is part of the complex of muscles from which the hyoid is suspended, which coordinate to raise it during swallowing, and which form the floor of the mouth and the adjoining neck.

To feel that motion of swallowing, action, press gently right under&behind the tip of the chin,while drinking a glass of water. You will veryl likely feel them contract and release with each cycle as the hyoid (and larynx) get hauled up and then let down.

Undesired tension in this area while singing can occur when any of the constrictors elsewhere are engaged. Its partly because of the protective mechanism for the larynx, but also a way we are built so that psychological or physical stress during communication will affect the tone quality and appearance of the person in a manner that other people will readily interpret as stress. In another way of expressing it, when we are tense, or upset, these muscles engage in a manner that configures the throat so we can easily see and hear that the person is upset/afraid/hurt or whatever.

All that said, if you are experiencing tension here, there are a few things to check:

1) that you are not unconsciously raising your chin for certain notes, colloquially called 'reaching' for the notes.

2) that you are not trying to 'hold' or forcefully lower your larynx for those notes, and causing a downward pull on the hyoid that is stretching the upper muscles. You can tell if this is happening by lightly pressing the fingers over all the muscles involved in the laryngeal suspension, from the front base of the neck (right above the clavicles) up to the larynx, past that to the hyoid and then forward to the chin. While these muscles will be active, you should not feel a strain or fight between them going on.

3) The position of the hump of the tongue. Sometimes, tension in this area is communicated to it from the root of the tongue which is tense for certain vowels. See if the Digastric tension varies by vowel.

I hope this helps.

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Yeah think it was the digastric belly muscle?

I've just found a few videos of people placing a thumb under their chin whilst lip bubbling, that kinda works fine, but as for singing and doing it, it really restricts when I sing. I have to really relax everything and it takes away the tone in my voice, I sound really dopey and horrible.

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Yeah think it was the digastric belly muscle?

I've just found a few videos of people placing a thumb under their chin whilst lip bubbling, that kinda works fine, but as for singing and doing it, it really restricts when I sing. I have to really relax everything and it takes away the tone in my voice, I sound really dopey and horrible.

D.Starr: If relaxing these muscles causes your voice to sound dopey, that is because you have not yet learned the compensatory motions of the tongue, and the laryngeal muscular adjustment that will get you back to the sound you want.

It seems that you know what to do to disengage these muscles during phonation. That is exactly what you asked to know how to do, and it seems that you have found some resources and ideas that have worked so far.

Now, comes the more challenging part: re-tooling your technique to produce the tone quality you desire without also engaging these muscles.

BTW, the perjorative 'dopey' is absolutely what this will sound and feel like the first times you phonate this way. Its a step in the direction of your goal. It is not the destination.

You have made great strides in a short time. Sirens on all the vowels are now in order. Make them 'dopey' first. When you can do that, then brighten them up.

I hope this helps.

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