Singing with an open throat is a famous technique that intends to increase the resonating space within the vocal tract. In essence, it is a tension-free approach meant to avoid constricting and hurting the voice.
Here are a few aspects worth considering when trying to open the throat and achieve better tone quality.
Allow your head to be free on your neck. Tension spreads easily in our bodies, so look out for improper neck postures, which can affect the optimal functioning of the larynx.
Lift the soft palate
Keep your facial muscles active and inhale softly on a ‘k’ sound. This allows you to feel that soft palate raising. Try maintaining this position in your singing. Don’t overemphasize the space in your throat (as when yawning). This creates too much space in the pharynx and an unbalanced sound – the larynx assumes a too lowered position.
Achieve a neutral larynx position
Breathe in a relaxed manner and feel a slight lowering of your larynx. This can be used as a starting point for sound production. During singing, don’t try keeping your larynx still and don’t interfere with its natural movements meant to adjust muscle work with pitch and intensity.
Retract the false vocal folds and release the constrictor muscles
Avoid squeezing your vocal folds when singing. It can damage your voice, and it may lead to vocal hoarseness and other problems. Try retracting the ventricular (false) vocal folds by employing a silent laugh or silent cry throat posture; I learned this technique from Estill Vocal Training when attending the Level One Course. This puts your larynx in a more neutral position and favours a free vocal onset.
Avoid protruding the jaw and tightening the lips
Try keeping your jaw slightly down and wrapped back. During singing, allow it to move freely and drop, without pushing it forward or back too much.
Optimal tongue postures
Allow the tip of the tongue to rest freely behind the bottom teeth with a slight arch in the middle (‘ng’ position). It shouldn’t feel blocked there, but it’s an effective way to prevent tongue-root tension.
Keep in mind the other principles of healthy sound production
Don’t expect that achieving an open throat to fix all singing problems. Keep an eye on your support, resonance strategies (necessary twang for example) and vocal tract configurations to meet specific sounds. Remember that healthy singing is tension-free, even when producing extreme vocal sounds.
Feel free to share your thoughts on this matter or ask any questions you may have in the comments section below.
Singing with an open throat is a famous technique that intends to increase the resonating space within the vocal tract. In essence, it is a tension-free approach meant to avoid constricting and hurting the voice. Here are a few aspects worth considering when trying to open the throat and achieve better tone quality. Balanced neck…
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