Jump to content

Creating and maintaining an open throat

Rate this topic


Teodur
 Share

Recommended Posts

If you guys listened to my two recordings, you can hear it's not happening. I know the concept, I know how it sounds when you get it right, but I can just seldomly (spell check does not approve of this word?) get that free, easy, relaxed feeling with those piercing overtones, like the throat doesn't even exist.

So the other day I warmed-up, did some hums, lip rolls, the usual, finding proper support, getting through the bridge connected. But I struggled to get that rich sound. Frustrated with myself, I laid down on my bed thinking what the heck I'm doing wrong, the next thing you know, I opened my mouth, let out a chesty "ahh" AND OMG SWEET BABY JESUS there it was. Got up, sang with an open throat through the rest of my practice session. When I lost it, did the same thing, same result.

The flippin' hell is going on here? o O

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is something like a psychological effect. If you're standing upright, you always have a tendency to support "against the soles of your feet", because that is where your "stability" lies if your standing upright.

However, if you're lying on your bed, your stability comes from your back, so you thing about your support more in terms of backwards, which is the better way of thinking about support. Thinking about singing more in terms of forward/backward is usually better than thinking up/down.

What really helps is to take what Rob calls an "anchored position". If you're standing upright, just move your dominant leg half a step backwards, then bend your knees slightly. This way you can lean beack a little with your torso and feel stability from your back. Think about supporting backwards against your lower back.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

support/posture probably...

But it could be a lot of things. Including just thinking less about technique

If its working, use it and try to assimilate the feeling. Try to map both right and wrong, understand what changes and write it down.

A sample would be nice before consolodating it man, send it so that we can take a look for you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's a good observation benny, I do feel like I'm pushing to the floor with my back when lying down, not so much while standing upright. K I'm gonna try this anchoring thing and will report results. If anyone is having problems with finding an open throat you can do what I did, it helped tremendously for sure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

finding an open throat is one thing....maintaining one is another..

to open it, simply configure to the beginning position of a yawn, (not a full blown yawn) or like you were going to bite into a medium sized apple at the same time expand down below. don't draw in air...just expand standing nice and straight, neck nice and long in the back.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have found the most success and consistency finding the open throat sensation practicing the biting an apple and silent laugh methods after learning to anchor a little bit. (Of course I'm still really new to this singing decently business...)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A good thing to practice open throat is what Rob suggests to get into "appaggio"-mode.

The exercise is based on resting the tip of your tongue on your lower front teeth (just gently let it rest there, don't press it onto the teeth and don't let it stick too much out of your mouth, just a comortable, relaxed position with the tip resting onto your teeth).

Then breathe in low and do some short "uh"'s (the "u" as in "hunt"), actually pretty similar to the "ahh" you did on your bed.

You can then try to move your tongue a little bit back or forward to check out the ideal position for this exercise. If you move your tongue too much out of the mouth, you will feel a lot of tension around your diaphragm area, which is not ideal. If you move the tongue too far inside your mouth, you will feel that is starts blocking your throat.

If the tongue is in ideal position you will feel the "pushing" of the "uh" very low in your waist-area, this is the type of support Rob calls "appaggio" (and classical singers do it as well). Also remember to think of the pushing in terms of "forward" and "backward". If you think too much "down", you will end up doing what some teachers call the "toilet support" because it is very similar to what you do there.

If you get a feeling for the position where this type of support "sits" around your waist you can try too keep appaggio going without the need to rest the tongue on your front teeth, which frees you up to use more resonance shaping and create the sound you desire.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To be a little more concrete on what "a relaxed throat" actually is, I think about it this way:

The term "relaxed throat" has a lot to do with the sensation of tension around the larynx. The feeling of "no tension at the larynx" is imo actually an illusion, because without tension on the larynx (through CT and TA), there is no phonation.

However, I think that the larynx "feels" relaxed if CT and TA are balanced well. Think about it like this: If your larynx is really relaxed (which also means your not phonating), your vocal folds have a certain thickness (which depends on your voice type).

If your CT is dominant over your TA, your vocal folds are thinner than in the relaxed state. If your TA is dominant, then your vocal folds are thicker than in the relaxed state. If your vocal folds have quite exactly the thickness of the relaxed state, then you have the sensation of your throat being relaxed.

The role of twang in the context of perfect TA/CT-balance is basically to remove the need for high air pressure. If both, your TA and CT are high, the vocal folds are actually under high tension (even though they feel relaxed). This means you need a lot of air pressure to induce the bernoulli-effect, which closes your vocal folds during oscillation. If you use twang, your vocal folds come closer together. This narrows the glottis and enstrengthens the bernoulli effect, which means you don't have to use as much breath pressure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To be a little more concrete on what "a relaxed throat" actually is, I think about it this way:

The term "relaxed throat" has a lot to do with the sensation of tension around the larynx. The feeling of "no tension at the larynx" is imo actually an illusion, because without tension on the larynx (through CT and TA), there is no phonation.

However, I think that the larynx "feels" relaxed if CT and TA are balanced well. Think about it like this: If your larynx is really relaxed (which also means your not phonating), your vocal folds have a certain thickness (which depends on your voice type).

If your CT is dominant over your TA, your vocal folds are thinner than in the relaxed state. If your TA is dominant, then your vocal folds are thicker than in the relaxed state. If your vocal folds have quite exactly the thickness of the relaxed state, then you have the sensation of your throat being relaxed.

The role of twang in the context of perfect TA/CT-balance is basically to remove the need for high air pressure. If both, your TA and CT are high, the vocal folds are actually under high tension (even though they feel relaxed). This means you need a lot of air pressure to induce the bernoulli-effect, which closes your vocal folds during oscillation. If you use twang, your vocal folds come closer together. This narrows the glottis and enstrengthens the bernoulli effect, which means you don't have to use as much breath pressure.

Amen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought that AT/CT balance generally happend progressively from just before the 1st passaggio to around the 2nd passaggio, taking you from AT dominant phonation ('chest voice') to CT dominant phonation ('head voice')? I generally feel a relaxed throat during AT dominant phonation, then the challenge begins on approaching the 1st passaggio, if I'm not prepared for it, it causes a 'break'. I'm no expert though! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually, the muscles responsible for initiating phonation are the: Interarytenoids(IA) and lateral cricoarytenoids(LCA). The primary adductor muscles. The CT and TA are the primary lengthener and shortener muscles.

Yes. There are of course other important muscles for phonation. But as far as I know TA activity is coupled with the act of "pushing air through your larynx", so TA is always active to some degree when phonating. Anyways, it should just state the fact that there is always tension somewhere around your larynx if your phonating.

The more you narrow the glottis (increasing laryngeal resistance) the higher air pressure you need to sustain vibration.

Yes that's true, thats why it is incredibly hard to get a good vibrato going if you try to sing a very high note "sweet and soft". However, narrowing the glottis makes it easier to get the vibration going because the bernoulli-effect enstrengthens and the folds are pulled together stronger.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...