The yodel

What is a yodel? It’s simply a defined change in register from your low “voice” to your high “voice”.

Can you make your voice yodel? I actually have trouble doing it. My mixed “middle” voice is so well connected that imitating a yodel takes a certain coordination for me.

If you are a trained singer and you have a defined yodel, then your middle voice is not well established. Unfortunately, this is an all-too-familiar issue with some my students who have had classical training. The “yodel” may not be an exactly defined pitch in the voice, it may simply be the section where you have trouble controlling the quality of your sound–in other words losing that connection from your low notes to your high notes….you sense a “flip” or “disconnection” as you sing higher.

The “yodel” can be a preferred quality of sound in some voices…..Sarah McLachlin and LeAnn Rimes come to mind. There are many voices like this in pop/country music.

If you like your yodel then that’s great. But most singers have no control over this “flip”. The control happens in exercising the middle area of your voice (two registers in balance).

If you are training to sing and your teacher always exercises your high register and your low register as two separate voices, then you have a problem. If your teacher is always training your high voice and working downward, then you have a problem.  They are setting you up for this problem, and it will become very apparent when you need to sing songs requiring your chest register to “belt” out songs in theatre.

Is this blog hitting home with you? Let me know your experience. Please leave a comment.

3 thoughts on “The yodel”

  1. I am researching the laryngeal tilt for school and can’t find anything but this page. How does the laryngeal tilt work? How does it stretch the vocal chords? What do you do to perform the Laryngeal tilt? Why/how does it make the voice sound thicker? All information on this subject would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    • You are asking some great questions. If you search Estill Voice Technique with the words thyroid cartilage and/or tilt you may come up with more hits.

      The larynx is very complex, so a simple explanation on how it stretches the folds is not easy. It does not work alone. There are many other factors.

      However, according to EVT, tilting of the thyroid cartilage does indeed influence vocal fold cover. If the thyroid tilts it adds a sweetness to the sound because it helps the cords come together on the edges. If the thyroid cartilage remains vertical, this is more representative of speech mode and/or belting (unhealthy belting, by the way).

      IMHO, laryngeal tilt is a key ingredient to healthy singing.


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