Archive for April, 2011

tilt and larynx

April 10, 2011

Whether a tilt affects the internal vocal cords, I don’t know.   But, it definitely affects the placement, its resulting resonance, and the jaw and its supporting muscles.

Why are these important?   A slight tilt may facilitate the sound travelling to more the forward part of the head, without such sound being muffled by the backpart of the nasal-pharynx; thus enabling greater nasal-pharynx resonance and to some degree the sinuses resonance as well.

For louder, far better controlled, and better toned highs, it is far easier to control the resonance first; which means controlling the head tilt, the neck lift and its angle, even the minor degree of the neck length and the degree of protrusion of the head from neck.

As for the comments:

thyroid tilted for a cry….

Emotions are expressed usually as external and internal muscle changes, simultaneously.   The externals are more “visible” and hence easier to affect.   They are also stronger and larger, thus these are the predominant affects of such vocal tone and expressions.  After the external muscles are affected, you might want to try to control the internal–e.g. shaping the internal muscles somehow.    However, I believe 80% of the work will be on the external.

So, the answer to your question– tilt itself doesn’t affect the pitch or tone until one determines what the pre-existing tension is already on the vocal cords.   Tilt automatically affects the resonacne characteristics, which can affect the volume of various pitches.

The thyroid is very well protected in the larynx, and it’s unclear to me how a gland is affected by a tilt.

The larynx is mostly cartiledge, andthe vocal cords are affixed to some kind of cartiledge with tissues and muscles.  If one tilts the larynx, the initial question should be, where was the larynx before the tilt?   If the larynx is not optimal positioned, it will exert some minor tension on the vocal cords to begin with.   Tilt it to the optimal position, less tension; away, more tension.

So, to reply to the tilt begins with the question, how is the posture in relationship to the larynx?

Acid reflux and phelgm

April 9, 2011

Acid reflux, Mucinex, breathing air, and posture.

The entire vocal apparatus protects itself from acid reflux by using phelgm.  So, if acid reflux, first, make it difficult for the liquid acid reflux to creep upwards.   Sleep inclined and avoid bending over.   Then neutralize the liquid acid by using antiacids before singing.

Mucinex thins phelgm, but if you have acid reflux, recall that the phelgm is trying to protect your vocal apparatus.

Acid reflux is in two forms– mostly liquid and some gas.  If you’re exhaling slighly acidic fumes into your nasal pharynx, it will naturally produce phelgm to protec itself.

Your singing technique or even eating and drinking technique may be causing you to “swallow” too much air.  If so, too much acidic gas will be going up through your vocal tract, and cause phelgm.

All these problems usually have a posture cause.   Exhaling air from the stomach is aggrevated by the degradation of the slight valve control of the esophageal tract bend–which is a posture problem.

Acid reflux is caused by weakening of the esophageal valve,which many attribute to posture problems.

Hence, though this is difficult, fix your posture as well.

Speaking and singing

April 9, 2011

Speaking and singing are usually different methods, though they can intersect.

Speaking is generally learned in one’s upbringing; hence, people in certain parts of the world use their vocal apparatus completely differently.  One good example seen frequently in the United States is to see Vietnamese and other Southeast Asian women.   They talk in an extremely high pitch– this is not their “innate” pitch range, but instead is their “natural” pitch range, developed through many years of practice.

This “natural” way of talking is usually very efficient for talking purposes, as its skills to express meaning has been developed for a lifetime.

Singing can use all kinds of methods, but one is usually resonance to create greater volume and more expression with less effort.   My belief is that this is actually “innate”– that is, good singing vocal methods are actually innate.   A concept similar to Zen Buddhism’s and Hinduism’s restoring of one’s innate natural self.   Similar to Plato’s idea that all knowledge are already within.

So, the question is, does speaking help or hinder singing.   There are lots of books I’ve read that says speaking requires more power than good singing and is more tiring.   I agree.    So, how is it that speaking can be more tiring than louder singing?  Its the effects of resonance and that “natural” speaking sets up a lot of muscles that interfere with “innate” resonance vocal shapes, and that over-tension (high tonicity) can decrease resonance shape as well vibrations of the internal resonance muscles and tissues.

So, now to give a response to your question.

If your singing and speaking mechanisms are similar, then speaking will usually strengthen your singing, because all you’re really doing is exercising your singing simultaneously.

If your singing and speaking mechanisms are different, then speaking may enhance or degrade your singing, depending on what you’re doing.

If your speaking is harsh, then you might develop a very strong singing voice or you might ruin your voice.

Extended breath and diaphragm

April 9, 2011

One perspective at extending length of breath is to exercise its expansion, as you’ve done.

Another perspective is asking why the length of breath is naturally extended?   Usually, the answer, I believe, comes in that the diaphragm is too tense, and thus, not only doesn’t fill fully, but moreso, wants to return to a taut state.   Hence, you are unable to control its release, because it was too tense to begin with.

So, the question next comes, why is it so tense?   If we look at the diaphragm, the apparent answers will be that the lower back isn’t extended straight and that the chest may be concaved in.   This leaves the diaphragm easy to retain its tense state.  

Hence, the objective here is to first release this tension.

Releasing tension can be accomplished, in part, through exercise, which is what you’re presently doing.   But usually, this approach is partial in its effects.   One has to do all kinds of methods to relieve the excess or insufficient muscle tone throughout the diaphragm, usually beginning with ergonomic posture changes.