Posts Tagged ‘singing’

Overall posture

July 28, 2009

People’s original, and usually not-properly-aligned, postures are different, and there is no single corrective treatment method.   The following is my posture changes needed, which may apply to many others.

Feet to be properly balancing spine–orthotics if necessary.

Knees somewhat straight.  Excessive bent knees is a clue that the posture is leaning too much.

Hips pushed forward.

Abdomen tighten

Chest expanded and upper chest protruded.

Throat somewhat relaxed.

Upper chest protruded such that the throat and head balance.

Jaw ready to be dropped and not protruded forward.

Face and nostrils relaxed.


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.

Stretch principle and throat

July 13, 2009

The principle of stretching to straighten the posture also applies to the throat and mouth, except here now, it is not necessarily to straighten. It is to additionally expand and sometimes to lengthen.

In practicing singing here, constantly strive to open your back of the throat muscles wider and lengthen the back of the throat. Overtime, these muscles will regain their tone and the more capable sounds created will be available when you are singing.

These efforts also enable for new types of sounds.

Remember that the support structure for the throat and neck will affect these muscles, which will then facilitate for the inner throat muscles to lengthen and expand.

Many people have trouble with the support structure for the throat and neck, and these top of chest, shoulders, and upper back muscles and spinal alignment issues can be difficult to get rid of.

Additionally, these are locked in placed by the excessive tension in the throat.

advanced posture-effect concepts

July 11, 2009

Nose–less strain on nasal muscles (e.g. effort, strain, disgust).    In addition to singing better, this will make breathing easier.

Eyes–less intense around eye muscles. Result will be better 3D perception and more color intensity. Audience perceive singer as less strained and more relaxed. Also ties into nasal muscles

Principles here are the same–more relaxed the muscles, better physiological results and better singing.

The strained efforts seen frequently on singers can have emotional stage impact, but for better range still, more relaxed face and nose can create higher range sounds.

What is freedom in singing?

June 16, 2009

Freedom and singing.

What is freedom in singing? To me, this means, being able to express any desired sound that one is capable of, at will.

How can one attain this? Zen explains much of this.

Please now refer to the section on Zen and bondag–May 19, 2009.

Excess saliva and singing

June 13, 2009

A question was asked that a singing student has excessive saliva that interrupts her singing. How can this be solved?

Are you using a lot of flourides?    Anticavity mouthwash, flouride gelcams?   These can cause excessive saliva.

Excess saliva is frequently a symptom of acid reflux– saliva is basic and it’s the body’s mechanism to neutralize the upward acidic reflux– to coat the esophagus from acid damage.

To test whether it is acid reflux, try taking a off-the-counter proton inhibitor, such as Prilosec, for two weeks, and see what happens. During this time, also test for other acid reflux symptoms (search web–many of these). If such symptoms and excessive saliva stop, chances are excellent the problem is acid reflux.

If it is acid reflux, proton inhibitors are a relatively safe drug– patients have taken it daily for over 10 years. Also, it is documented that for patients with acid reflux, proton inhibitors can help them sing significantly better (because of reduced effects of acid reflux).   I am not a physician, obviously, so you should see a physician to confirm any self-tests.

Another question was raised are there other remedies than proton inhibitors. Yes there are; I will describe these one day much later.

There is still another solution to excessive saliva. The excessive saliva problem, as it relates to singing, is generally not one of production, but one of drainage. As long as the saliva drains out quickly, the mouth can move freely, without having to swallow to rid of saliva. Recognizing the singing issue as a fast drainage challenge, the answer is simple (yet difficult to continously implement)– straighten the head so that the saliva naturally flows down the esophagus faster. One doesn’t have to swallow if one’s head is properly allowing drainage such that the saliva doesn’t accumulte.

This drainage solution has its challenges. How does one align one’s head straight such that it doesn’t cause strains on throat and mouth muscles, the strain of which will impact singing?

This is what attempts to answer–how to create a relaxed posture that enhances singing–and at the same time solve the excess saliva issue.

10-15-12  I’ve straightened my head posture significantly, and saliva drainage definitely is much better (faster).

Chen Sun

Zen and singing

May 22, 2009

Does Zen apply toward singing? has not found any evidence of historical Zen Buddhism applied toward singing. Does anyone know?  Please inform us.

Is it reasonable to assume then that Zen can be applied toward singing? Recall, Zen Buddhism is really a derivative of Chan Buddhism (Chinese), and Buddhism started in India, which was and still is Hindu. One would expect these Eastern cultural techniques to have been applied toward singing; and perhaps we just don’t know anything about it.

So, is it reasonable to assume that Zen is applicable to singing?

Well, consider all the other influences Buddhism has in Japan– Zen in tea ceremonies, Zen in archery, Zen in sumo wrestling, Zen in samurai, etc. It would be surprising that Zen wasn’t applied toward singing.

Buddha was known be love singing.

Timing is based on mental music

May 20, 2009

In’s opinion, accurate timing is more appreciated by the audience than precise pitch, but perhaps less than tonal quality.   In the case of the lead singer, he or she actually leads the music as well; in which case, accurate timing is more challenging. 

In general, the music follows the singer, by a slight fraction of a second.

So, when singing, one can’t listen to the music and sing, because one’s slightly behind.   If using good karaoke music, the words are frequently slightly off cue, but even if on-cue, it’ll sound like you’re reading the words.  The singing has to be interpreted with and lead the music.   So, how is this done?’s opinion is to create a mental picture of the song and sing into that song.   The mental picture is created by knowing the song in advance, listening to the music as it is occurring, create the mental picture of what’s to come, and sing in harmony with the mental picture.

Chen Sun

Vocal cords or lower nasal-pharynx

May 20, 2009

There’s a lot of discussion about singers tiring their vocal cords.  I’m unable to determine whether I tire mine, but do believe I tire my lower nasal pharynx (lower than the soft pallet) when I sing highs.   I don’t even know what tired vocal cords feel like.

What does tired vocal cords feel like and what does tiring of lower nasal-pharynx feel like?