Originally published on March 5, 2014 on www.voicecouncil.com
Never let your larynx do all the work – says Dane Chalfin.
Most singers who seek coaching do so because there is some deficit with range, power or choice of voice quality. In other words, when they go to make the sound they want to make, something doesn’t work and it is strained. This month, as your Vocal Coach in Residence, we’re going to zero in with you on vocal safety and sustainability.
The main theme I want singers to grasp today is that reducing the sensation of tension around the larynx is a good thing.
Your Larynx’s Effort Level
In “The Ultimate Guide to Singing”, I’ve shared that the larynx is probably best viewed as a valve; it regulates how much air can pass from the lungs and out of the body.
Along this path, air is turned into vibrations that are amplified into sound and shaped into words and phrases.
How much effort should the larynx be making? Not much.
On a scale of 0 to 10 with 0 representing no effort and 10 representing all the strength you could possibly muster, you should not be feeling more than a 2 or 3 in the larynx.
So, if you are only using a 2-3 effort level in the larynx, where else is your effort coming from?Your added effort should be coming from a combination of the muscles of core stability and in the muscles of respiration. In other words, body support and breath support.
Enlist Your Emotions
That’s why the role of our body in singing is going to be our focus in the next few weeks.
But, today, I want to leave you with this thought:
I have found that the body, breath and larynx respond with far greater efficiency to emotionally motivated instructions. If a singer does not believe what is being sung neither does the larynx (or the audience for that matter!).