Jump to content

Vocal Fry and Larynx Manipulation

Rate this topic


Khassera
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hey there, TMV! I've read through this forum numerous times but never had the need to register. Well here goes a nothing!

The title might seem kind of funny, since I believe the focus of the vocal fry is to deactivate the digastric muscles.

However..

Is larynx position manipulation suggested when doing fry scales? I'm trying to loosen my technique after a year of singing heavy/grunge/extreme styles fo music, and it's going pretty good.

I've encountered some problems:

1) I cannot, for the life of me, keep a scale going with the vocal fry. On a 5 tone scale I'll end up vocalizing maybe 2-3 different notes, even though vocal fry is consistant. I have no problems with note tracking, though, and even fast scales don't really pose a problem. Only vocal fry scales, and I feel it's because I'm relaxing too much. Is that even possible?

2) I have a naturally high larynx even though I have a low voice. If I rest my larynx, it's right under my chin. If I manipulate it without using the digastric muscles I can get it down and I can do my fry scales better, but once again: The point is to deactivate the outer muscles of the larynx, meaning what I'm doing is inherently wrong, right? It doesn't feel it's really tightening anything up, and the digastricus especially is totally relaxed, but thyro- and sternohyroid muscles (or something-a-rather along that ballpark) are activated and depress the larynx.

This conflicts with my other scales: If I'm supposed to keep my larynx down, as per classical singing / speech level singing, how do I keep relaxed? Or is it a question of RELATIVE larynx height? If I drop my larynx really low my voice is "woofy."

So all in all I guess I'm asking: Is the point of classical/SLS style singing to keep the larynx low while keeping the intrinsic muscles activated? Meaning deactivation of digastrics but the activation of intrinsics and certain extrinsics?

Jesus, what a first post. Thank you and sorry, as they say here in Finland.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

IMHO forget about pitched vocal fry. It's not a popular exercise for a good reason it isn't that helpful. Just using a vocal fry onset at the beginning of the scale will be more helpful more balanced and better applicable to real singing

Don't take low larynx and deactivation of extrinsic muscles to an extreme. Chances are you are trying to overdo it. IME you can't completely lower the larynx or complete disengage the extrinsic muscles otherwise all youre left with is a very short range at a very low volume. it HAS to move to get higher notes and reasonable power. Once i realized and accepted that and left it alone i started making way more progress with my training. So don't worry about it. Go by sound and inner feeling. don't try to analyze it in a mirror or feel it with your hand cause then you'll just overthink it and slow down your progress. and I guarantee you 95% of your favorite contemporary singers are using extrinsic muscles and high larynx frequently on every gig. Through my own experimentation I've found you cannot get all those powerful sounds we love if you confine your larynx to one position and complete relaxation. Let it move around freely and allow moderate extrinsic tensions to naturally assist it, and then your voice will really grow.

Classical singing may be different, they may actually adhere pretty strictly to the low relaxed larynx, but contemporary singing, no way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the "goal" of the SS style is to maintain a neutral larynx. It may move around a bit, once consonants come in to play, but overall it should stay "free floating". I've actually been doing a lot of pitched fry exercises lately...mainly to help with my falsetto. Owen's right, just start with the fry onset.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1) I cannot, for the life of me, keep a scale going with the vocal fry. On a 5 tone scale I'll end up vocalizing maybe 2-3 different notes, even though vocal fry is consistant. I have no problems with note tracking, though, and even fast scales don't really pose a problem. Only vocal fry scales, and I feel it's because I'm relaxing too much. Is that even possible?

Hi! Welcome to the forum.

Perhaps no-one has said this, but the vocal fry has no consistent pitch. Its an irregular set of vocal motions, with a resulting sound like a bunch of little pulses of air. If you actually get a note, then you are not producing a fry, you have a phonation with a very short open phase that is closely related in sound to the fry, but has a distinguishable pitch.

Assuming for a moment that this latter sound is what you are doing, the purpose of vocalizations of this kind is to phonate with minimal air flow, and to change pitch without lots of volume. Both of these are helpful to singers who tend to overblow their voices, i.e., push too much air.

If you cannot keep this kind of scale going, then the exercise is revealing a place where your technique changes. Rather than use a scale for now, use a fry-like siren, produced the same way, but without using a scale... just slide.

I think if you try this, you will find that there are new sensations to be experienced as you connect the voice over some range of frequencies.

I hope this is helpful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure about the vocal fry stuff. I've only experimented with it and never used it as an exercise.

On the issue of the larynx, I agree with Owen. Different styles of music utilize different larynx positions. If you keep it low, you're going to get an operatic sound with a more limited range (now you can make a big huge sound within that range, but it's probably not what you're going for).

More than anything, you should never be trying to hold the larynx low with any muscles. How low does it get when you yawn? That's about where it should be if you're aiming for a low larynx sound. But in pop/rock, the larynx is gonna start to rise after a certain point in your range. You don't want it at its highest point all the time, but don't worry about it rising as you go for the high notes. It's fine as long as you're not blowing a ton of air pressure at it.

If you're singing phrases with a high larynx, though, you should be using a healthy support. I haven't studied SLS, but have heard that it doesn't teach a true support. Maybe you can get away with this for short phrases in the mid range, but when you're singing in the upper register, this can be quite dangerous.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't studied SLS, but have heard that it doesn't teach a true support. Maybe you can get away with this for short phrases in the mid range, but when you're singing in the upper register, this can be quite dangerous.

I dabbled in SLS back when I was a "youngling". IMO, it doesn't teach you true support, but it does help with larynx control and give you a solid foundation. I'm talking about Seth Riggs bty, not Brett Mannings "Singing Success";)

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...