How To Lower Your Larynx When Singing?
Do you feel a pressure when singing or even talking? Do you have the feeling your voice gets tired and raspy rather quick and you can’t figure out why?
A high larynx position might be the problem but with a few relaxing exercises we can lower our larynx when singing! Today I want to tell you about the larynx, its general purpose and how it effects our singing.
Disclaimer: If these exercises won’t help you and your throat might even hurt, go and search for a vocal coach in the real who can take a closer look.
What Is The Purpose Of The Larynx?
The larynx contains our vocal folds and muscles that move the vocal folds.
For men, the larynx is much more visible and you might already heard about it with the term “Adam’s Apple”
When breathing, the vocal folds open to let as much are in as possible. While speaking, these folds come together and vibrate, to create sound.
Closed vocal folds, also protect our lounges from dust and other particles.
When swallowing the larynx moves up to let food in.
How Does The Larynx Alter Vocal Sound?
The muscles inside the larynx that are responsible for moving the vocal folds can stretch the vocal folds in order to alter pitch.
The vocal folds become thinner and get stretched, that’s when your voice can feel pressured. That’s when the larynx rises. The vocal folds can also be shortened and thicken in order create a louder, fuller sound.
Thick and short vocal folds can decrease pressure when singing in a lower register.
When singing you shouldn’t actively try to move your larynx up or down, it should be a natural movement. Just like a baby won’t think about their highest pitch because it comes natural. In the next section, I can tell you how larynx movement can still help you when singing.
How to decrease pressure and lower the larynx?
Personally, my larynx starts moving upwards throughout the day because I have a job where I have to speak loud and clearly all the time. I tend to speak a little to high and not relaxed, that’s when my larynx lifts automatically.
When singing, I want my larynx to be neutral and relaxed. What can I do to achieve this state ? I do the opposite of lifting my larynx, I try to lower it… but how?
First, you need to try to relax. I know very well, that I can be tricky to forcefully relax but there are some exercises that will help you! Second, you need to understand that you don’t purposely try to move your larynx up and down through a song. We use exercises before, in order to get the larynx to a neutral ( in this cased lowered) position. So when you sing afterwards, you will have less trouble with it.
A few exercises to accomplish this relaxed, neutral state:
- Yawning lowers the larynx.
Try a very deep yawn and speak or make sound during the yawn. Can you hear how you sound very dull and a little stupid? That’s the sound we need. Contrary to a high larynx, the sound comes from the lower back of your head. A high larynx sounds very nasal, so it’s quite the opposite.
Yawn a few times in a row and feel how your larynx and your whole throat start to relax. The motion of yawning opens the throat and stretches the muscles in your face and larynx. That causes relaxation.
I do yawns even in between songs that I want to practice on to keep the muscles relaxed and it’s really working for me.
Reminder: There’s no need to sound “good” right now… you want to achieve that dull sound to lower the larynx. Be really gentle and lazy, so that all the muscles can relax!
- Imagine you are a lazy teenager!
Just imagine you are really lazy and comfortable on the couch and you have ZERO intention to stand up and get some food.
Now embody that situation and call “Mom/mother” (you can say anything actually but in this very heavy and lazy voice)
Imagine your twice the size and you won’t move a bit. Like a big fat garbage can.
That’s another way to lower the larynx in a natural and gentle way. That lazy person wouldn’t even waste energy shouting for mom. That’s the sound we want.
I know it’s weird but it certainly works for me! Even though I have to get used to that too! My vocal coach certainly helps me to make a fool out of myself but it does work!
- Do you warm ups now!
Do some vocal warm ups but very lightly but with your normal voice. You might already feel that the lower pitches are much easier and clearer than before. Always think about being lazy when going to those lower notes, it will release some of the tension. You won’t get lower with power or when squeezing, the opposite is the case. Relaxed vocal muscles will allow you to reach lower and higher pitches. Too much tension and you will cut the sound off!
As you can see relaxation and releasing pressure is very important to keep your voice sounding good. It’s something, I have to constantly remind myself. Too much force will get me nowhere. Think more open and relaxed. Loudness doesn’t necessary come from shouting and exhaling an extreme amount of air at once.
Find a way that is more comfortable and relaxing. Also, always check your posture. Thats another trick that helped me strengthen my voice, just by standing secure and grounded.
Taking care of your voice is extremely important for us singers. We cannot see our instrument, that’s why it’s sometimes hard to feel, if everything is alright. In order to achieve a healthy and nice sounding voice, I collected some tips that will help you. Check out my post about Vocal Health.
I will soon write another article on how emotions will improve your singing. In fact, that’s something I’m working on myself right now. I will educate you on that very soon but I need to figure it out for myself first, before I can tell you anything useful.
I hope you enjoyed todays post and maybe I could educate you a little bit.
As always, share your thought and tips!
Take care of yourself and I will talk to you soon.
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