Tilt the thyroid?

March 18, 2013


Well, I don’t know much about the thyroid, but my understanding is that it is a very well protected part of the throat.  I wasn’t even aware it could be tilted or felt.    Do they mean, tilt the larynx so that it feels like tilting the thyroid?

Here’s a video of a healthy neck-throat. Notice that it is convex in alignment!

So, in order to “tilt the thyroid”, it helps to get the neck-throat in convex alignment to start out with. Most people tilt head forward, and, as can be seen, there’s less larynx to “tilt” if one’s head (and chest) are already tilted forward (kyphosis).

This is actually a fairly difficult process, involving much with posture.

http://www.youtube.com/feed/UCzKDD95_A5rLsYbw6O9sEuw    Tennelli also has some videos on larynx use in appoggio.   Tennelli somewhere says that if the diaphragm isn’t used properly, manipulations with the thyroid won’t work properly.

Well, I don’t know if this helps, but good luck!

>>>  I’ve heard of “tilting the thyroid” many, mnay times. I just… have no idea how to do it. Can somebody help me, or at least give me some advice? I have quite literally no idea what I’m doing- and my new vocal teacher, a baritone, isn’t much help either. I’ve tried crying, sobbing and whimpering my way past a G4- but it never works- I just slip right into falsetto.


March 18, 2013


Occlusion effect is a more bassy hearing of one’s own voice when something is in the ear. You can experiment with this yourself but simply pushing the ears shut with fingers and humming.

Most earplugs are not linear in frequency reception, so, yes with foam earplugs, you might sound flat. There are several products that will can solve this. The best I’ve seen are Etymotic’s–preferably custom Musician’s earplugs or the less costly Musicians earplugs.

With the standard Musicians earplugs ($15 US), these will not get rid of occlusion, but music will sound great.

If getting custom made ones, request deeply inserted custom made earplugs ($225). These come with different filter strengths (5, 15, 25 db). The deep insertions will significantly reduce occlusion (I believe by over 85%). When shopping for deeply inserted custom earplugs, find audiologist who really knows what he or she is doing. These go deep into the ear canal.

Hearing is mental as well as physical. So, for example, if one puts in earplugs for some time, surprisingly, the ears will actually want to hear better, so mentally amplifies sounds. The earplugs will protect much of the physical frequencies coming in from the direction of the ear canal (but not the bassy sounds coming in from the bones). But, the ears mentally wants to hear better still.  So, I guess it’s possible that you will hear tinnitus (mental) even after wearing earplugs.

Anyhow, the answer is custom made, deeply inserted earplugs.   You can also reduce tinnitus by using nature sound machines.

>>>>Basically, the occlusion effect as I understand it is the resonance that builds in the ear canal when plugs or in-ears are worn, as sound is plugged like a tub inside. This can cause flat pitch perception, but more frighteningly, hearing damage. As you can imagine, the very reason I would wear/do wear ear plugs is to protect my hearing, so thinking I may do the opposite is really scary.

My last band practice I started without plugs (we don’t play that loud, but I am pretty close to the drums) and then I switched to plugs (some ones I found in my house, silicon, with the spiral cones, no attenuation add on far as I could tell) which gave me a a significant DB reduction. On the outside anyway. The thing is, I don’t know how accurately I was singing. It felt a lot better, I wasn’t straining at all because I could hear exactly (or I thought exactly) what was coming out. I know there is no way besides asking my band members (who were also mostly plugged) and recording to hear if my pitch was compromised. I suppose I could crank the vocals so I can hear them better from the outside.

But even if I am singing as well as I thought, it does not ease my concerns of the other component of the occlusion effect, hearing damage. I felt like my ears might have been ringing later that night, which is something that never happens when I play unplugged. If I am damaging my hearing from the inside from the resonance of my own voice, that is no good. Though, I guess it means my technique is fairly good, haha!

I noticed a couple threads on this topic, but it related more to the pitch perception side of things than the hearing damage (which as a musician and music enjoyer) is higher priority.

What are the experiences and opinions of our very own Modern Vocalist Forum members? Maybe you have this figured out. Maybe have some plugs you could… plug. Or maybe you have further worries you could impart onto me about this seemingly unavoidable hearing damage.

Exercising, Yin and Yang

February 24, 2013

Think of exercising and stretching and yin and yang.  What one wants to achieve is harmony, like the ancient yin-yang symbol.


In yoga, this is expressed as stretch and counter stretch.

The reason your exercise affects singing negatively is because of excessive of one (yin or stretch).  What you need to do is to find the counterbalance– (yang or counter stretch), so that your voice attains harmony.


February 24, 2013



“Are there certain physical exercises that singers should not do?
One exercise in particular is the pushup. They help me get toned quickly but they affect my breathing. After doing 20 pushups I start doing chest breathing and it becomes very difficult to go back to deep breths. Once my chest and abs get any kind of exercise eg pushup, sit ups it also cuts the endurance of my voice re: shallow breathing.
Have you guys ever had this happen to you? What did you do to remedy it?
I want to audition for a show (kinda like Trinidadian XFactor) and everything matters, looks, voice ect.



A woman fan saw some baseball players in the 60s, walked up to them, and saw they were out of shape. She remarked, you baseball players are overweight. They replied, “but mam, we’re pitchers.” Nowadays, we have muscular pitchers. In the 60s, pitchers were actually discouraged from weight-lifting because it was thought this would shorten their pitch’s “stretch”.

I don’t know golf well, but my recollection is Lee Trevino, a champion, started lifting weights and never regained his “touch”. So, for some time, weight lifting was thought to be detrimental to golf because one’s touch is affected. Modern day golf pro golfers have muscular power.

So, IMO, yes it’s true that exercises can, in the short term, affect singing negatively. But continuous exercising along with stretching and good posture will do wonders for your singing.


Extending lows

February 24, 2013



“So my question is, how much and how quickly can the low range be extended? And does doing so compromise the high range? It certainly seems like working on the high range has compromised my low range – Eb2 used to be a pretty reliable note for me and now it’s always a stretch…but could it just be cause I’ve neglected the low range?

As far as I know, expanding the low range is mostly a matter of lowering the larynx and maintaining fold closure, any other tricks you’d suggest to increase the low range?”


IMO, extending lows and highs can be similar and simultaneous. (e.g., think of Tom Jones).

Bass can be increased by extending the vocal tract for greater resonance of low frequncies and reducing amount of sound trapped inside the mouth-throat (enabling more such bass sounds to be released).

Highs volume is increased by sending sounds up through the back of the throat and into the nasal and sinus areas.

Increasing both is by first creating a longer, more spacious vocal tract in uplifting the back of throat (this slightly enlongates the vocal tract, enabling for better low frequency resonance), lowering the larynx (this increases vocal resonance space) and opening the mouth larger (to emit more sounds).   Placing the high notes more in the back of the throat in this shape vocal tract shape enables for more high sounds to get to sinus and nasal areas and resonante more.

So, my opinion is to create a singular vocal tract shape that’s right for both highs and lows and work on developing the full effects of this singular shape.    This is supported by Alan Greene’s book, the New Voice.

throat massage and myofascia

February 24, 2013


Anyone know more about these myofascia massage on throat methods?

Single register singing

February 23, 2013


10:52 seconds   Johanna Batiste Mancini– notes that there are single register singers.   Is this like Tom Jones?    The question is also why this is rare.  Julie Andrews also?   Appreciate your thoughts.

Movement and Walking

February 4, 2013

Legs, to be stretched continually, needs.   Some leg stretches are helpful, but walking needs to be changed such that it continually stretches.   This can be difficult.

My issues:

Left leg longer–doesn’t have a natural leg motion.   When moving with full leg, then stretches constantly.

Right leg shorter and not oriented properly– knee problem.


Shoes.  Shoes restrict foot bend while walking, due to the shoe sole’s tension against foot bending.

January 15, 2013



Hi Michael,

That’s one way of looking at it.   A reverse way is perhaps sleeping (and also as described in my above post, daytime standing, walking, and sitting) positions can reduce stressors.

Certainly, when one is physically exhausted, falling asleep is rapid.   Why not, then, also mental exhaustion or agitation?  Eastern mystics have always emphasized the role of meditation in relaxing the mind.   How does sleep affect this?

The first and most critical step of meditation is to straighten the spine.  When one sleeps, one can become bent in numerous ways, such that some muscles are overstretched and some understretched.   A natural straightening of the spine will help these muscles to attain correct tone.

Stressors are usually compounded by out-of-tone muscles and glands.   The reasons why takes some time to explain and will be skipped here.  The general idea is to allows the stressors’ muscular and glandular compounding to be reduced by counteracting muscles, to achieve good muscular tonicity.   With this, the degree of stress felt reduces rapidly.

Hence, proper sleeping position, in my opinion, is optimal on the back, such that the spine’s S shape is properly stretched, and then stretching other muscle groups during sleeping movements. Unfortunately, to get to this point, one may need to do lots of extra stretching work.  Once one has sleeping illnesses, it takes some time and effort to recover.

Sleeping position

January 15, 2013


Nature’s millions years’ of evolutionary design has already predisposed mankind to proper sleeping position and posture.

Sleeping posture should be seen as part of overall posture.  This article speaks about treating pains with adjusting sleeping positions (and some parts are even inaccurate–for example, with acid reflux, do raise the bed, but don’t prop the head with pillows as article describes, because this bent head-chest position pushes the esophagus closer to acid).   But, the question remains of how is it people have differing sleeping pains to begin with?   How is it that different sleeping positions relieve, or should we really examine using reverse logic, what position-posture caused the pains?

Artificial comfort devices always has some kind of negative affect on evolutionary design, and the bed and pillow are artificial devices.  State-of-nature  sleeping surfaces are usually relatively firm and without pillow.  On such surface, the optimal evolutionary position is most frequently sleeping on the back.

So, how is it that sleeping backside is less common?   The bed and pillow enable these other positions, and over long time, contribute to the mentioned pains.   To properly solve these pains, the view needs to be taken of  incorporating posture-positions and ergonomic furniture during daytime, including sitting and head angles, (chairs, desks, shoes, and even eyeglasses are all artificial devices!) as well as degree of physical activity.

This is not to say changing sleeping positions won’t alleviate pains.  It does say that to prevent such pains involve changing the ergonomic environment daytime and nighttime, so that the efficient-Nature-designed body doesn’t have the pains to begin with.