Thinning the vocal cords

The vocal cords are at their thickest and shortest when you are speaking.

Good singing requires the vocal cords to stretch and thin for higher pitches. The larynx (which is simply the house that the vocal cords sit in) will tilt forward to allow this to happen.

There is one exercise in particular that will set a singer up nicely for the above coordination. I’ve mentioned it before….and here it is again. Don’t under-estimate the value of this exercise.

First, an idea to help you down the correct path. Be very aware of this sensation and stick to it every time you are exercising (all exercises)!

1. Make the sound of a puppy dog whimpering or a small child whining. For some of you, this sensation will be totally foreign and you may not know how to make this noise. Try this instead. Moan softly. The sound must be relatively high in pitch, but don’t try to sing it. Just make the noise. Keep working on this sensation. You may notice your eyes and cheeks raise with your effort of this sound. You are on the right track. Relax and allow this gentle sound to engage your vocal cords.

2. Engage into this sensation without any sound. Be aware of what it feels like at the back of your throat and on your soft palate. These are important areas of sensation.

3. When ready, say the word ‘sing’ and hold out the ‘ng’ longer. Notice that your tongue is touching the upper back of your mouth (the soft palate area) to make this sound.

4. Now, just make the ‘ng’ sound. It is a hum. Your tongue is stopping any sound from leaving your mouth. Make sure your jaw and mouth are relaxed. Remember to keep the moan or puppy dog whimper sensation mentioned above.

5. Now you can try humming the ‘ng’ from your lowest notes to your highest notes. If you are in a good coordination, you will not flip. It may feel light and breathy. That’s OK. This exercise will bring superb awareness to key factors in good singing.

Questions? Please drop me a line.

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