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Thyroid tilt?

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Paramour
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Hi, so this is my first real post, and I just wanted to say thank you to Robert and you guys for making this forum happen, as it really is great. So, here's the deal, I started seriously singing about a week ago, I know, total newb, and I have run across a problem. I am not sure how to tilt my Thyroid Cartilage. The book I bought, Singing and the Actor by Gillyanne Kayes, says to whimper like a dog, cry, etc, but my larynx doesn't seem to tilt downward, more rises, or moves forward, while tensing my digastric muscle. So, I was wondering if anyone has any tips as to how to achieve this/what it should feel like or do, and I know alot of the posts on this forum are alot less basic than this, but I couldn't find one that specifically addressed how to tilt the Thyroid, so yeah:D

Any help would be great, thanks guys!

Paramour

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The sounds you mentioned are ment to encourage thyroid tilt but they won't necessarily work for you.

I suggest you take a skype lesson with Tony O'hora as he works with this exact method, what has worked for me in starting to learn proper tilting is using a NG siren (say sing and hold the ng). The thing is you have to do it right and it's quite specific so there is a big chance you'll do it wrong if it's not shown to you. Anyway this exercise definitely works for this but it may take a ton of practise.

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'Singing and the Actor' is based on the Estill voice training system. You can find a good Estill teacher here: http://www.estillvoice.com/instructors/search

I haven't heard you sing, but if you've only been singing for one week, the thyroid tilt may not be what you need right now. I would say you are better off working your lower range (below your first bridge). I believe that when your lower range is good, your higher range becomes much easier.

Get the basics down. The 'silent laugh' / 'open throat' as described in the book is very important.

Nick

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Hey guys, wanted to clear some stuff up, I guess I haven't just started singing. I just got the Singing and the Actor book, but have had 2 voice lessons, and worked with seth rigg's Singing for the Stars about a month before that. So, not a total beginner, been singing for about 6 months, but someone who was looking for a change. I bought the Singing and the Actor book to help me get more oomph in my voice, get some bigger coordinations and better balance in my voice. I desperately need work on breathing, but I'm not gonna lie, my biggest goal is growing usable range, because, I didn't get that in SLS, my highest note that sounds good to my ears is middle C, but in head voice I go to G5. I know what head voice feels like, and I don't pull chest voice unless I do it stylistically. Knowing that, would you guys say that I'm ready to move forward in my vocal training? I am going to continue working on FVF retraction and support because, those are things that are still very new to me, but other than that, what should I work on?

Thanks for any help!

Paramour

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Paramour, the first thing that I'd say to you is that patience is key.

Singing And the Actor is a phenomenally well written book. But it's not something you can just sit down try and do the exercises for a few minutes and then know how to sing. You have to play around with the exercises for a while to really get a feel for what she's talking about.

A good vocal coach who is knowledgeable in the Estill method (Tony O'Hora is a top notch example) will help speed the process along. But even a great coach can't make you feel the sensations you want to feel in your larynx. They can tell you if you're doing something wrong or right and they can give you exercises to help you do it right, but they can't make you do it right. It involves a good deal of trial and error.

If you are crying or whimpering like a dog, you are almost certainly tilting the thyroid cartilage whether you realize it or not. The thing is that these are what Gillyanne Kayes refers to as awareness exercises. They're designed to make you aware of what thyroid tilt feels like, not so much to train your range.

And if you find that you're constricting when you whimper like a dog, go back to the "silent laugh" exercise and work on retraction. This is also something that most people don't get right away. It takes time and practice.

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Other than that, I think what you just need to do now is start practicing a louder volume. Sing each sustained note from C#4 to G5 on an open vowel and go for a balance of power without strain. One thing that will help add power is training twang and lowering the larynx.

Let me add a note about lowering the larynx that relates to the book that Paramour is reading. Gillyanne Kayes often talks about using a high larynx and tends to recommend this over using a low larynx. The way she uses the term "high larynx" refers to a different height relative to what people on this forum generally talk about.

Kayes often dealt with trying "un-train" people who wanted to do musical theater and had some watered down classical training previously. These people were taught to ALWAYS keep their larynx as low as opera singers keep it. Musical theater will sometimes require a low larynx operatic sound (Les Mis for example) but more often it requires a more contemporary higher larynx sound.

But you should GENERALLY not let your larynx get too high, especially in the upper register. The chapter on vowels shows you a way to form vowels more openly so that you can sing with a higher larynx but the larynx doesn't rise too much.

I say GENERALLY because people speak of closed vowels (especially the "ee" vowel) like they're a cardinal sin. They're not, but you have to understand how and when to use them.

For example, Andrew Rannells uses a fairly closed "ee" vowel in I Believe to great effect. It's not the most "beautiful" sound and actually it's a little bit annoying. But that's what it's supposed to be. He's playing a character that's obnoxiously passionate about his faith and wants to share it with everyone. You're supposed to be just a tad annoyed by it.

But before trying to incorporate super high larynx closed vowel sounds, learn how to do your vowels openly first. You will do the bulk of your singing with more open vowels. Even Rannells doesn't use obnoxiously high vowels on everything for that Elder Price character. When he belts during "You and Me But Mostly Me" he switches to much more open vowels. You have to because it's impossible to belt without doing that.

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