How to Sing Better and Improve Your Vocals

How to sing better and improve your vocalsWhen you learn to sing, it’s important to stay relaxed, as any tension will show in the sound you make. Your larynx (or ‘voice box’) can hold a lot of tension and affect your voice. So it’s good to learn more about how to sing better by keeping tension out of the larynx.

 

What is the Larynx?

When people talk about the voice box, they actually mean the larynx which is a small box-like, cartilaginous structure in the throat covering the vocal cords, which are like little flaps or folds.

The larynx is one of the most important parts of your singing apparatus, so you need to learn how to handle it. Especially if you want to learn how to sing better and more clearly.

Where is it?

If you put one finger on the lower part of your throat, you’ll feel your larynx moving up and down as you swallow and yawn respectively. Lowering your larynx means your throat is open, giving a clear flow of air up from your lungs to support your voice and produce the best tone. That’s why many singers include yawning in their vocal warmups.

Why is it Important for Singing?

Diagram of the larynxAs you start to sing a note:

  • Your brain actions your wish to sing by starting to fold your vocal cords shut
  • Air is forced upwards towards the vocal cords in your larynx
  • The vocal cords begin to vibrate because of the pressure of air against them (this is called subglottic pressure)
  • You produce a vocal tone – this process is known as ‘the attack’

But, if you don’t control this pressure properly, the sound you make won’t have a full, rich tone. You need to control that subglottic air pressure and keep your larynx in a relaxed – lower or central – position if you want to learn how to become a singer.

Keeping tension out of the larynx is very important for learning how to sing better. If your larynx is too tense, the subglottic pressure could make your vocal cords close up. Continual upward air pressure from your lungs means that they will eventually burst open but you might find you’re producing some pretty strange sounds in what is known as a ‘glottal attack.’

Problems Caused by Tension in the Larynx

These can include:

  • Damaged vocal cords resulting from frequent glottal attacks
  • If your larynx is being pushed up, your voice will take on a nasal tone
  • If you have more air flowing over your vocal cords than you need to support the notes you’re singing, you’ll sound breathy
  • If the muscles around your larynx get tense, your vocal cords won’t work as they should and the tone of your voice will suffer

Simple Things to Help You Learn How to Sing Better Instantly

Young woman with tablet pc singing karaokeTension, wherever you feel it in your body, is often caused by poor posture. Tension in your larynx can be reduced by something as simple as repositioning the way you normally hold your head.

To help your larynx stay in that vital ‘down’ position in your throat, so that the vocal cords can be correctly opened and closed, make sure that you keep your neck in alignment with your spine – not jutting forwards – and that your head is held straight.

Try to learn to relax your jaw and keep it relaxed. Many people carry excess tension in their jaw. If you’re holding your jaw too tightly, you’re also tightening the throat muscles near your larynx and the result will be tightened vocal cords and a poor vocal tone. Don’t move your jaw as you relax it; just imagine it softening.

As with all musical activities, regular practice pays dividends and now you know more about how to sing better by keeping tension out of the larynx. Your voice will flow more freely and confidently whenever you sing.

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