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The Raising Larynx

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I recently read an article about high larynx singing and a great tenor who's teacher first made him walk around all day lowering the larynx (keep in mind this singer's larynx had the tendency to raise). Many years later he said that this control over the larynx, to maintain a neutral position, really helped his success.

How do I resist the raising larynx without hurting myself and hurting the sound? I see many singers today struggle with the raising larynx, what has worked for you in controlling this part of your singing?

I am aware that "dopeyness" does help but often times being too dopey totally ruins the sound that I want!

Hope someone can shed some light on this :lol:

- JayMC

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you have to develop the ability to control it. do exercises that call for lowering it. for example, anytime when you're sitting in a chair watching tv or something configure to the beginning of a yawn, get your soft palate up and just try to willfully lower it and hold it comfortably down. in time it will learn to behave. do it in front of a mirror to be sure it lowers, then just stay in that setup and do exercises with goo, or gee, mum, or hung.

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Alan Green's book, The New Voice, has several pages on lowering the larynx. I tried his exercises, involving observing the larynx in the mirror, and one can learn how to better control the larynx. Opening the larynx more creates a greater resonance cavity.

Several more interesting questions arise from this larynx question.

1. Why does the larynx rise up to begin with?

2. If the larynx is rising up, what's pulling it and how?

3. What's the counterpart of the larynx rising up muscles?

The vocal tract around the throat and pharynx are a vastly complicated set of skeleton, muscles and connecting tissues. That the larynx rises up indicates several other muscles are doing undesirable effects as well. The question is--how does all this occur and what is the founding cause of all this.

VocalPosture.com suggests it is the posture, and will explain this all, one day, hopefully.

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it all depends on the sound you're after.

singing with a lower larynx position (not saying a low larynx, but lower, there's a difference) can produce some seriously rich, warm beautiful tone when supported well. you can lose this richness when you allow it to raise up.

in these cases you want to maintain this lowered position throughout the song which is challenging.

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The material for Green's book was probably prepared during the 50s and 60s; which means, Green probably taught many crooner and musical type singers, which is perhaps why he preferred a lower larynx creating a rich, resonant voice. In the recently published Singing for Dummies book, Pamela Phillips, notes that a lower larynx creates a darker tone suitable for classical (does she means opera?) singing; and for pop songs, according to Pamela, the darker tones aren't appropriate, thereby, the larynx can be higher.

Both views make sense. However, Green emphasizes that the larynx should be locked down, strong as steel. Why? I'm unsure of Green's actual thoughts, but my guess is that Green is freeing up the remainder of the vocal apparatus (tongue, soft palate, more), so as to enable these to create further higher resonance as well. I believe Green is right on this, and am still testing it out further.

Like Videohere, I also find it challenging to continually lower the larynx, and also find that this continual effort disrupt many of the subtle controls needed to sing with emotional impact. So, my opinion is, if one has difficulties with a lowered larynx (and according to many singing-writers, most singers do), practice lowering, and when singing, utilize the practiced skills, but more importantly, use all one's skills simultaneously.

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I have Greens book. With the time you use to go through his exercises and sticking your fingers down your throat and manipulating the larynx with other muscles you could learn to sing a with a nice clean even tone all the way through your range by just practicing the right vowels with good support.:)

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