To be able to sing better, you must keep your pharynx free of tension. The pharynx or most commonly known as the voice box, houses our vocal chords. It is made of cartilage and is protected by the surrounding muscles. This part of our body is very crucial to the singing process. It follows a certain process which starts when with your decision to sing.
When you decide to sing, the message is transmitted to the brain which then readies the vocal chords. The vocal folds then begin to close. After which, air is pushed from the lungs and when it meets the folds, they produce certain vibrations. These vibrations are caked subglottic pressure and come out as sounds.
One part of the pharynx, the larynx, is also crucial to singing. To feel your larynx, put a finger at the base of the throat. Now, try to yawn or swallow. The part that moves up and down is the larynx. When the larynx is positioned near the base, it means that it is in an open position. The open position would mean that there is an unrestricted flow of air that is good for making solid and rich-sounding tones.
To produce the best tones, it is important that you manage the position of the larynx and the subglottic pressure. The flow of air should be controlled and the larynx should remain in a low or central position, as much as possible.
There are times, however, when the larynx becomes tense. The vocal flaps will then be forced to burst open due to the force brought about by the subglottic pressure. The result of this phenomenon would be an odd, clicking-like noise or what is also known as a “glottal attack”. This is far from the desired goal which is to let the air freely flow in your throat.
The best tones can be produced through the following means:
- Avoid glottal attacks that can affect and/or even damage the vocal chords
- Maintain a proper posture to facilitate good air flow
- Do not push the larynx upward so as not to produce a nasal tone
- Relax the muscles, especially those that are around the larynx, so that the vocal chords can function at its best and to keep them free of strain
- Control the air as you sing so that you will not produce a breathy sound
Another thing you have to remember is to maintain a certain level of control. Although the vocal chords themselves are something we cannot manipulate, there are other body parts needed in singing that we should manage carefully. This is why maintaining a good posture is very important.
We must always hold the head up straight so that the neck will be in line with the spinal column. Do not tense up the jaw because once you do, it may cause tightening of the vocal chords. Maintaining this particular position will keep the larynx at the base of the throat, ready for good sound production.
Indeed, we can see that there is more to singing that merely mastering the notes. Our bodies clearly play vital roles, especially the larynx.