Archive for the ‘the vocal posture shape’ Category

Raise soft palate or widen pillars of fauces?

March 28, 2013

Individuals are different, and in particular, vocal tension patterns can be very different.

I had read so often here to raise the soft palate. Yet, in Alan Greene’s book, the New Voice, he says– to billow out the pillars of fauces and RELAX the soft palate.

I’ve experimented with both and believe Alan Greene is right. Here’s why.

The pathways to the cavities that resonante high frequencies (nasal cavities and sinuses)–is through the nasal-pharynx pathway or through the bony part of the upper mouth (hard palate). The soft palate, together with the position of the throat-neck and larynx, control the “mix” of the sounds going out to the mouth, the hard palate, and nasal-pharynx.

Deliberately lifting my soft palate has consistently produced too bright of a sound.      When I tried to billow out the pillars of fauces (sides of soft palate) and relax the soft palate, this enabled the soft palate to freely move, providing a great deal subtly because the mix is now fast in emotional adjustments.   The widening of the pillars of fauces enables adequate air-sound to reach the nasal cavities.

I just don’t think this idea of raising the soft palate is right.  Even if someone has lots of downward tension in soft palate, the idea should be to get rid of  this tension to enable for a free soft palate, as its significant voice mix capabilities determine much of the vocal quality.


Soft palate

February 10, 2012


“i.e. to improve tone, do you need to split the resonance between the mouth and nasal cavities? (I know there are other resonators, but just for the ease of the question). If so, how do you achieve this? Is it though manipulation of the soft palette?”

The Relaxed soft palate is affected by posture, head positioning, outer throat tension, inner throat tension, jaw positioning, volitional effort, and more.   The sound travel path is also affected by head positioning, relative to the throat and its angling.

Without getting these many factors right, it is challenging to hit the right vocal spot that enables for head resonance (which is primarily the mask area– the sinus cavities and some of the nasal cavity).  And without the Relaxed soft palate, it is very difficult to keep this vocal spot ringing.

To get the soft palate right, begin with fixing what affect it– the throat underneath and the head angling above.   This is done by posture changes, and is a difficult process, as I will later describe in

Regarding nasality, killerku’s videos explained well that nasality works for many kinds of songs.   In general though, until one has developed a commercial style, aim as a goal for a full sound.   This means, using both mask and bass resonance together.

The difference between nasality and mask singing is that one actually sends a bit too much air through the nose and uses less of the sinus cavities for resonance.    This is less than optimal, because:   1. it is not the goal of the full sound   2. if send too much air through the nose, too much warmed, moist, slightly acidic air go through the nose and this isn’t healthy   3. the sinus resonance developed is too sharp of a sound   4. mask singing is a crisper higher that accompanies a mouth sound far better.

So, to begin with, aim for full sound with sinuses resonance, by first straightening out your posture, in a relaxed way.

jaw and Alan Greene

November 1, 2010

Alan Greene is correct, the jaw should be pulled back.   This relaxes the vocal apparatus for much more capable highs.

The jaw needs to be loose though, to produce the right emotional tone, and so, it’s difficult to just pull the jaw back regularly.   It should be natural.   This is accomplished be detensing the throat and balancing the head, such that the jaw hangs freely, without tension.

hyperacusis, tinnitus, posture, resonance, vocal shape

October 20, 2010

It is not necessarily the vocal shape that directs all the sound, and obviously, the posture initially affects the direction of the sound.   If posture is not straight, it is possible that the sound starts going toward the ears, from starting at the vocal tract and then resonating within the skull.

The straight alignment can better assure that the sounds emit through the mouth.

Result is lesser volume of sound to ears and reduced tinnitus and hyperacusis.

This returns to the concept of Maya and also Alexander Technique.   Hearing is never right or accurately established, until the vocal apparatus is sitting in a regular vocal sound pathway–which in our case, is a detensed throat and inner mouth pathway.  This begins the cause of Maya in hearing.

<a href=””></a&gt;, Houston Strategic Web Marketing

<a href=””></a&gt; ,a web invention prototype

Hyperacusis-tinnitus and body-head posture

October 13, 2010

When singing, if the sound-resonance is sent a bit far back in the mouth, it can resonante in the head-skull, and if the jaws-mouth are wider than more longer-oval, the sound can easily reach the ears.  This causes major problems for those with hyperacusis and tinnitus.

Solution– a better posture such that the sound is sent automatically more forward (more toward the teeth).   Longer-oval shaped mouth also helps solve, but the better solution is through posture.

<a href=””></a&gt;, Houston Strategic Web Marketing

<a href=””></a&gt; ,a web invention prototype

Hyperacusis, tinnitus, and singing resonance

September 25, 2010

Hyperacusis or tinnitus can be aggrevated when one is increasing head resonance.

My solution as of 9-25-10 is to uplift the chest more, such that the throat is uplifted (straight, lengthened) and the chest uplifted.   This sends the sound path more properly through the parts of the back mouth, such that the sound doesn’t resonante to the ears.

This won’t won’t work if the throat muscles remain taut–because these tensions diminsh the vocal tracts’ flexibility.

Gravity and the jaw

July 28, 2009

The jaw is a muscle that actually wants to drop automatically. And if one is relaxed, it would do so. This relaxation of the jaw should be used in singing. Let the jaw drop and pull it up. Most of the time, the jaw should not be pulled down strongly using the side of the throat muscles.

In singing, there are no pull-down muscles of the jaw.   When opening the jaw, it is a pull backward.  Gravity pulls down.

So, to sing well, must use gravity together with pulling backward, so as to maximize relaxation.   This is the same as Alan Greene’s concept of a backward jaw.

Nasal and mask

July 20, 2009

The nose muscles must be relaxed and sound sent forward.  This improves head resonance.

singing highs

July 17, 2009

Pull jaws backwards. Decreases tension on throat.   Also send sounds to a more open throat and preferably up through the top of the head (back of the throat)–to increase resonance and thereby cause less stress.

My personal experience though is that deliberately tightening the throat and presumably the vocal cords can create a higher shrill high, but this is more tiring on the throat.   The above mentioned type of highs is more relaxing, but doesn’t sound as “tough”, although close.

anger, sorrow and side of throat muscles

June 18, 2009

These side of throat muscles frequently express anger and sorrow; subjects that pop songs frequently deal with. When overly taut, these muscles can be sublimated to sing anger and sorrow well, however, these are the opposite muscles (constrictor muscles in Alan Greene’s terms) when singing happy and many smooth sounds.

When detensing, losing the excessive tension of these side of throat muscles can throw off prior acquired singing skills built up around these. In this way, Alan Greene’s assessment of silence while learning how to sing–otherwise, reinforcing the constrictor muscles, is correct. However, the length of time it takes to detense these constrictor muscles can be months to years; so believes it is better to utilize their sublimation while tensed.

In detensing these side of throat muscles, one imagery technique is to think of the chin pulling down, instead of the side throat muscles near the chin pulling down. 

The side of throat muscles tension are particularly difficult to rid.   A trigger point therapy bood mentions that throat trigger points are particularly difficult to rid, if impossible. suggests using yoga cobra with also another (don’t know name), which looks like a cobra in reverse, with the front toward the ceiling and upper arm with elbow base supporting the upper chest.

Chen Sun