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Hyoid/laranygeal help..

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Zion1744
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Hey guys, i'm back and i believe i need to get through this before i can become a better singer.

Btw, i bought a singing lesson from Aaron A. Or whatever, i've been doing that regularly as a warm up right now.

As for the problems:

I remember Dante mentioned my tension and many others of you on here and i tried to fix it but it didn't help. I don't strain as much now that i'm thinking about it..

Hyoid muscle: I notice my hyoid muscle (the one that's at the bottom of my head under my tongue by my throat) is tense ALL THE TIME. When i talk etc. It's worse on ee vowels, my friend and i were trying to help me loosen up tension and we know that this is one major problem that needs to be fixed. Can somebody give me a few exercises to practice daily to help me reduce this tension in singing? I KNOW it's a major problem as well because i can sing notes looking up but when i put my head down my voice gives out into nothing but a crackling sound like vocal fry.

Larynx: I also raise my larynx a lot on higher notes, it shoots up as soon as i attempt anything high. The combination of these two must be what's preventing me from accessing a good mix voice. Like i've said before as well i can do head voice easily and chest easy but the two together never works.. My assumption is it's all the tension. After i fix this i hope i can do it.. How can i prevent my larynx from raising when singing

Use less throat, that's my goal. I definitely support myself when singing. My air flow is fine for sure, if not it may be me pushing too much air through? I've said it before but i play a wind instrument, about 6 years now so i understand breathing correctly, we always go over it in school etc.

So overall: Fix hyoid straining, maintain a neutral larynx, allow higher singing to commence! :D

Thankyou for all your help and consideration,

Just post any ideas you have for exercises for me below.

--Ronnie

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I would give you a detailed explanation, but I can't hear you and you problem is very common. You problem will be solve with time and consistent practice. Do a forum search and see what you find.

Just make sure you have been practicing and taking it slow( note by note) and report back next week. No response on this forum will help you more than consistent practice.

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This location that you describe is usually associated with tongue tensions and/or jaw tensions (forward openning instead of dropping the back).

Yawn and try to bring that feel when vocalizing, see if it helps a bit.

I also recomend a carefull and well done session of neck stretchs/rolls before trainning, most probably will have a positive effect.

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Thanks for all the help, i've been singing every day now! :D Warmups everyday as well.

DoverOS: Today when i went to sing i kind of did what you said the weak kazoo thing but i know my mix voice haha.. It's weak like my head but that will improve if i keep working at it right?? And i think i fixed the way i was singing in general, especially with tension in my laranyx or moreso adamsapple. By this i mean i was singing and the muscle connection thingy i use to go into head voice, well i kinda just engaged that in my lower singing. This resulted in much less strain and a worse sound however it allowed me to go up in pitch without straining as well as hit notes between my head and chest voice. That passaggio? or whatever its called the bridge area, i cracked and theres one note in there thats hard for me to hit in both chest and head. Once i clear through that though i should be able to start working on the full vocal training program i bought! :D But like i was saying before i was singing lower stuff in a comfortable range but using my head voice in it too? I'm not sure if that makes sense but it really helped with the strain but it sounded bad like the kazoo thing maybe.. Is it good to just try and sing completely relaxed and make a fool outta yourself? Like sometimes i don't really care so much about hitting the notes or being flat or sharp when i'm focusing more on tension. I just relax my body and sing and sound stupid, will doing this eventually help me?

As for pitch by pitch, what the heck do you mean? Do i have to take every single note in my range and learn to sing them stress free individually.. That would suck :/

I do stretch every day before i practice its part of my warmup. I also do minor breathing exercises as well to work my diaphragm to get me ready for whatever i sing, after my warmups i start with easier songs and gradually get harder.

Also i was told to to vibrato you must be very relaxed, it will then come naturally. On a few of my notes i feel a wavy feeling which is the vibrato i believe. If so would i be singing with correct vocal tension if i can do vibrato on it?

Thanks again for the support, this forum has helped me quite a bit! :D

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Sure you can do that, However, the real trick is to reduce the force of the voice as you ascend notes, while still keeping the correct support.

Zion1744: You want to try to bring your chest voice up as far as you can, by starting in a quiet voice that is not projecting anything. Instead of breaking into falsetto, let your chest voice sound like an annoying kazoo. Avoid breaking into falsetto, or pushing too much with your chest. If you do it right, you will essentially have sung in a very quiet, annoying squeaky mix.

In my case however, I couldn't do this, so I started by belting my way into mix. This is incorrect technique but it helped me get to the point where I could support my chest function and not drop into falsetto. Then once I could get into mix, then I focus on using less pressure the higher you go. If you push too much air into your high notes, your voice will constrict and crack.

So really, reducing your pressure as you go higher is the key to mix, but not breaking into falsetto while you do this is a challenge.

Try using the O vowel, because it uses the least amount of air, which will help you isolate support and not add extra push.

If you just focus on reducing the tension, all the functions above will come naturally. Sometimes over-thinking will actually cause you to constrict more. So focus on that tension first.

I agree with about half of what you said. Pitch by pitch means going as high as comfortable without breaking into falsetto. I still don't like the modern terminology of head and chest voice...Especially when most non-trained singers confuse this with falsetto.

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Thanks...

Alright Zion, Let's make these registers clear. Head voice for me does not start until around E5 and no lower. For me, all the way from G#2-D5, is chest voice. Mix describes the actual muscles being used, but your support is still originating from the chest voice. Mix does not mean, your register should drastically change, because if it does exit out of chest support, I guarantee, you will not have a full voice to the extent that you want.

My chest voice does start moving into the mix around maybe a f4, but it doesn't break into head voice, until that E5.

So, Completely relaxed voice is wrong. Having a relaxed throat, but still supporting with your body, is correct.

For your high mix notes, If you relax too much, your voice will crack, if you push too much, it will crack too because you are stopping the muscles from working correctly.

So, think of supporting with your body and diaphragm, and at the same time, lightening the phonation coming from your mouth. This goes against how our voice works naturally; as your support more people tend to put more air pressure into the voice. You want to isolate these two aspects as you go higher so that your body and trachea have enough tension to sustain the high notes, while the air pressure has to lessen in order to gain the flexibility in the upper notes and not constrict.

If you constrict by pushing too much, it will take priority over your body support.

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E5 dover? That's pretty high man. Can you post a file where you are mixing to E5? I can only mix from G4 to Bflat 4 lol. Injust wanna hear how much meat you are able to get on notes that high.

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Hey, Zion. Try my hick recipe for this. The note, especially the high note, is not in the throat. But you keep trying to create it there, creating tension. the note is in the head.

I expect to be misunderstood. I don't mean having a hooty head voice. I mean get the note out of your throat.

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Well for anybody that thinks i'm a beginner, i've had to address this a while back. I know exactly what falsetto is :P I use it all the time singing NSN. But when i'm singing metal that doesn't cut it. Also, on the note of head and chest, i believe i've found my mix. I can finally sing

All these things i hate - BFMV

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qp_NQiCWTP8

When it gets to the chorus i know theres no way i'm singing that in chest voice because i couldn't ever sing that high in chest before. The problem? I CANT DO IT IN ANY OTHER SONG! :(

I try to sing that same note outside of this song in different circumstances or transitions and i cannot do it. In this song i'm sooo much more relaxed it's great. But when i dive into another song that's in a similar range i can't do it. I think because t That word gets a bit rough but besides that i can sing these notes entirely clean now too. It's not falsetto because its not airy, i know the connection :P I also have been experimenting with the lower parts of this song with that connection as well. I try and activate whatever muscle i use when i'm singing the chorus in the versus too! What i've come to is its a bit weaker of a voice but a lot less strain, i think if i keep at this i could really help my voice's tension.

Any thoughts? Should i keep trying to do this. I consider this bringing down my mix? Is that what it is? Because i can feel it in there that i'm using the same muscle my head voice uses. It's crazy how i picture it now because when i first started singing i had nearly no hope to this :P

And now that i can sing these notes in my mix voice, does my mix end? I want to be able to sing all the notes i can to my highest to without any breaks and i already know that i have trouble going between certain notes up there.

Another example from the song. If i try to sing these notes outside of the music i cannot hit them, i'm probably thinking too much.. But when i got to hold out "me" "yeah" then "all" I can't transition between these three notes without breaking. I can control it better when i'm just focusing on hitting just that one note and there is a pause for breath between it. How can i be able to run through all the notes in my register without cracking? I want to be able to do that MEEEEEHHHHHH thing i saw on robert lunte's video, he runs from his low to his high then down to his low. When i try things like that i strain because i bring my chest too high and don't break into this same mix thingy i can only use in this song.

thanks again for reading my giant blocks of nearly useless information for you, I hope you guys don't get annoyed by me always asking for help.

P.s. i'm not belting these notes in that song and i am not rough except the all because its a little high :P I don't sing the "me" or "yeah" like him because i don't like to go that rough until i know i can sing it with enough agility so i don't end up damaging my voice. I might post a video of me singing with the music out at the garage some time :P I'm kind of embarrassed though because my mix sounds like poop for now.

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Hyoid muscle: I notice my hyoid muscle (the one that's at the bottom of my head under my tongue by my throat) is tense ALL THE TIME. When i talk etc. It's worse on ee vowels, my friend and i were trying to help me loosen up tension and we know that this is one major problem that needs to be fixed. Can somebody give me a few exercises to practice daily to help me reduce this tension in singing? I KNOW it's a major problem as well because i can sing notes looking up but when i put my head down my voice gives out into nothing but a crackling sound like vocal fry.

--Ronnie

Hi, Ronnie!

The situation you describe is very common, and I had it myself somewhat when I was a much younger singer, even after I knew it was getting in the way of things ;-)

First, a small anatomic terminology bit: The term 'Hyoid' refers to the cartilege which is immediately above the larynx. It has muscles that connect in a variety of directions, including upward into the area you mention. Generally, muscles are named by the bones or cartileges they connect together. The muscle in the position you mention (under the tongue by my throat) could be any one of the ones that connect upward from the Hyoid... and there are several. If you care about such things, there is a nice picture labeled with the muscle names at

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/12/Stylohyoid_muscle.PNG

Setting terminology aside, working with this kind of muscle tension is about decoupling phonation from this tension. In my experience, lifelong speech habits come into play, including habits of vowel formation.

When I began seriously working on my own issues in this area, there were two things that I discovered I was doing, related together, that I had to fix. First, I had to remove all the unnecessary exhalation force and abdominal rigidity I had as a young singer. In technical terms, I was not supporting correctly. Second, and almost by accident, I discovered that I was not using my tongue appropriately to form the vowels... I was letting my embouchure (lip shape and jaw opening) do most of that.

Since the time I concentrated on these things, I have learned from other teachers that the issues are quite often related. Incorrect support while attempting to sing strongly or in the high range will provoke tension throughout the neck muscles, and in the tongue.

Since there are many, many posts on correct support here on the site, I won't go into those explanations. I will, though, offer some exercises I found personally very useful as I was dealing with my own situation, and have used with students since then, with good results:

1) Soft, clear, balanced onsets in the low/mid range, in front of the mirror, with the head level

2) soft, clear sirens

3) vowels made entirely by tongue motion

The onset is the start of phonation. Exercise 1 is done with thumb and index finger of one hand lightly touching the sides of the throat, watching and feeling for the motions which occur as a note is started. Ideally, very little, or no motion should be visible or felt, as the muscle actions needed to start and sustain phonation are inside the larynx, and their movement cannot be seen from the outside. If you see motion, reduce the effort and intensity of the sound, and head toward the minimum amount of work that will result in a clear, soft onset, even if it is a vocal fry.

I recommend doing that exercise for about 15 mins every day, and be patient with yourself. It can take some exploration to find the level of thought intensity that will cause phonation without extrinsic tension.

Exercise 2 begins with exercise 1, and then slides the vocal fundamental around a bit. For this, the goal is to do the vocal slide without the larynx being raised or lowered as the pitch goes up or down. The motion of the muscles that control vocal fundamental frequency are very subtle, and for purposes of this exercise are almost invisible. What you are watching and feeling for is a loose neck, and stable laryngeal position during the siren.

Exercise 3 can be very fun. The way I do it is to smile a very wide smile with a small amount of jaw opening (1/2 to 1" between the front teeth) and then sing the vowel sequence /i/, /e/, /a/, /o/, /u/ (ee, ay, ah, oh, oo) without moving lips or jaw at all. Spend about 1 second on each vowel, and move slowly and smoothly to the next. The insistance on no jaw/lip motion means that the tongue becomes responsible for the vowel change. As you do this exercise, listen for the accuracy of the vowel, and try to sense the tongue and under-tongue muscle action.

In my own singing, this exercise exposed issues with /o/ and /u/ (oh and oo), for which I was letting the lips do most of the shaping previously. Particularly, I had hidden rigidity in the tongue root that initially prevented the /u/ from being well-formed. Once I discovered this, I added a new exercise to it, which was the transition from /i/ to /u/ (ee to oo). Linguistially, these two vowels have the highest tongue hump. For /i/, the hump is high/forward, and for /u/, its high/back.

Doing this exercise, particularly the /i/ /u/ transition, I also found that releasing the tension in the tongue also caused some larynx-raising tension to release as well.

I am sure others will have additional recommendations. Those are mine.

I hope this is helpful.

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I will begin doing those exercises today! :D As for that diagram, i believe its one (or both) the hyoideus that are right above the bone, its hard to read but maybe one of them is like mylo-hyoideus? I just know its the one that always tense when you swallow. It's directly posterior to the bottom of my chin if that helps? Anyways, i'll try those out today and see how it goes! :D I've been doing basically what these exercises do with easier songs. When i sing easier songs i can try not to tense which allows me to hopefully get used to it for upper registers as well.

Thanks again for the help!

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