Learn with Legacy
Welcome to our September Blog
What do we mean by Conditioning?
In our last blog we discussed coordinating. We said that if you still struggle to control vocal balance even though you have discovered chest, head and how to connect them it could be a simple case of bad coordination caused by too much external muscular involvement or modification to the vowels interfering with the pitch making process. This is often caused by tongue tension and the manipulation of the larynx by raising or lowering. Therefore coordinating and conditioning can go hand in hand because the modification could be causing the external muscular involvement or vice versa.
How is this achieved?
To condition we must reduce extrinsic muscular involvement to allow for a resting laryngeal posture. But first we need to identify the root cause, is it a simple case of coordination or is something else going on? This can be physical or psychological. Often, when we correct the inside of the larynx first as mentioned in previous blogs, the outside will correct itself. However it can be in some circumstances that extrinsic muscular involvement is what is preventing a mix or that even with a good mix voice some extrinsic muscular involvement is still present. As with coordination we need to first be aware of what we are doing when and why and counterbalance this with an equal and opposite reaction.
How do we do it?
Usually, in these circumstances, only a professional can advise. A trained Voice Coach can give you the correct tools to release whatever it is you are doing and retrain the voice to find the correct resting posture. Often the issue is psychological and it can take some clever trickery to get the brain to react the opposite way and so tell the body to do the opposite to what it thinks is correct, a little like we did with coordinating. For example we can bend over for the high notes to prevent us reaching and raising the larynx or clapping our hands together to encourage cord closure to prevent us from squeezing the airway closed with the muscles outside of the larynx. Another issue may be a high breath raising the larynx before we sing so we can practise saying AH or UH and then breathing in on this posture.
Look out for our video with examples on our Youtube Channel “Legacy Vocal Coaching”.
Welcome to our August Blog
What do we mean by Coordinating?
In our last blog we discussed dynamics and explained that they were a combination of airflow vs muscle and the correct balance of each. Without learning how to balance the voice control over dynamics is going to be difficult. Once you have learnt the skills set out in previous blogs we can begin to explore an awareness of dynamics and try to control them. However if you still struggle to control vocal balance even though you have discovered chest, head and how to connect them it could be a simple case of bad coordination caused by too much external muscular involvement or modification to the vowels interfering with the pitch making process.
When we coordinate the voice we should have even vowels and adduction (cord closure) but sometimes we modify these vowels in ways that can manipulate the voice and the larynx. It is useful for style but not if it hinders our vocal balance.
How is this achieved?
Often we are using our tongue or widening the vowel or keeping the mouth too closed and so the airflow and muscle is not balanced. For example, if there is not enough cord closure in the bottom of the voice we may lift the tongue thinking it is closing the airway and helping us keep a pitch. As we go higher, the result is tension outside the larynx which is bullying the muscles inside the larynx and forcing them to give way. So we need to first be aware of what we are doing when and why and counterbalance this with an equal and opposite reaction. It could be a slight tendency or a really ingrained bad habit.
How do we do it?
We are not always aware we are making these modifications and it can often take a second opinion and a trained ear to point out what is happening mechanically in the voice. A trained Voice Coach can give you the correct tools to release whatever it is you are doing and retrain the voice in the best way to coordinate. In the meantime it is good practise to record a video of yourself and watch what you are doing in the places where you feel a struggle. Is your mouth widening through the first bridge? Are you lifting your head up for the high notes? Are you reaching down for the low notes? Is your mouth too closed or do you lock your jaw? Are you singing through gritted teeth?
If we have a tendency to widen then the solution can be as simple as thinking or voicing a narrow vowel as we go higher which in fact evens out the vowel and keeps you on the correct vowel.
We have given some examples on our YouTube Channel “Legacy Vocal Coaching” on how to practise but the best way to discover your habits is always to ask a professional coach.
Legacy is located just outside Bolton Town Centre
with free parking
Suite 2, 22 Chorley New Road
Bolton, BL1 4AP