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Raising soft palate issues

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I'll try to keep this nice and short.


Okay so I've been trying to raise the soft palate which seems to be the biggest thing that my teachers focused on right now. The hardest thing is I can barely feel what I'm doing but I can look at it and analyze from there. Try to memorize any feelings. So I tried looking in a mirror with a flashlight and going "ah" on different pitches and what I noticed is the back part of my throat which has the uvula (and a little bit of the roof in front of the uvula) lifts up and kind of turns towards you, leaving more room at the top of the throat. So if I'm not mistaken this is the soft palate and it's already lifting pretty much every time I sing. It raises up, and the uvula does its vibrating thing, and the tongue stays at the bottom of the mouth relaxed (only because this is Ah)


There seems to be a nice space back there until around G4 and higher. Then, with each semitone, the two walls of my throat start to move and get closer and closer to each other. They never touch though.


Just yesterday I discovered a technique that involves acting like you're biting into an apple, really tensing and locking the jaw and nose wide, to divert tension from the throat, and that seems to be helping, but is there more I could be doing?


My teacher says that to smile while singing, works on most people to find the soft palate control, but for me it seems to happen more when I pucker and make an O shape, so she recommends that. I think this "bite apple" wide lock jaw is a happy medium.




Also, am I supposed to ever hit the point where the larynx does not move no matter how high you go? Right now I think this bite apple thing provides the least movement, but that MIGHT also be because my jaw is so close to it that the height of my throat shrinks and it's already high.



Also here's the video I picked it up from '>

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The throat naturally narrows as you higher, you can watch plenty of ENT videos on Youtube and you'll see the throat narrow. The frequencies are narrower up there therefore it's needed. 


So don't worry about it, just make sure you keep it night, open and relaxed. You have to mentally feels its open and relaxed and you're not restricting the sound. You may need to shift the vowel as you go higher as well.

AH - OH - UH

AY - OH - UH

EE - EH - EAY - EE

OH - OO - OH - OO

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D star is spot on. Focus on reducing constriction, if the larynx moves a little its just fine as long as it doesnt move to the point of activating the swallowing muscles. High frequencies respond well to a smaller acoustic enviroment. Also dont focus so much on your soft palate. Teachers tend to get so blind sided by one thing, making it the end all be all, they forget the body needs balance.

Usually the soft pallet will move up on its own with proper fold closure, support, and tongue out of the way. If you can sing with your fingers closing your nose and it doesnt effect your tone you are fine. I heard no nasal quality in your boston sample, so i would focus more on balance of folds and compression. You are sounding good man, dont fall into the trap of over simplifying the voice to just one aspect. It will make you go crazy lol, trust me been there before.

Your body really knows what to do, just gotta get out of the way and let it.

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Well if you are not nasal, you do not need to lift the soft palate.

Gotta differ with you there, Felipe, on one small point...Raising the soft palate sufficiently to close the velopharyngeal port may not be what the teacher has in mind. The soft palate can be arched further, so that it creates a 'taller' pharynx, and that has an audible effect on vocal tone.

That said, the only vowels where that is absolutely critical are ee and oo, and when shooting for a classical quality. Imo, What works much better with all the vowels is to shade them to a slightly darker version.

The comments offered by others about the pharynx narrowing assume a particular tone quality is desired. So, I will ask the question..what kind of singing do you like to do? What music/style/genre?

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  • 3 weeks later...

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