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Dampened Larynx - The Solution to Singing Stability

acoustics dampen head voice larynx stability Jul 05, 2017

Because many of the desired notes for a contemporary singer are done with head voice, having stability throughout this higher range is imperative for a great performance. That being said, achieving head voice stability is similar to learning how to tune a guitar. It takes a slight bit of practice and technique to do it, but the benefits to one’s singing are considerable once stability throughout this range is achieved.

One of the best techniques to achieve stability in the head voice is to learn how to sing through a dampened larynx. Following the examples in the video above, start your onset in a neutral/relaxed laryngeal position and then push your tongue against the back of your bottom teeth. At the same time, maintain your twang compression and subtly lower your larynx slowly until you hear a rounded overtone. Although you might feel a physical movement (mainly your larynx going down), do your best to ignore your larynx at that moment. Instead, simply focus on the production of those rounded overtones/acoustics in the room.

Contrasting the acoustics is an important aspect of this exercise

Pay attention to the video and follow how Robert tunes the onset and comes out of a neutral position. To practice this, you start the onset in a non-dampened position that you wouldn’t want to stay in. Then, you come out of that position and adjust accordingly to achieve a dampened position and the rounded harmonics you’re looking for. By doing so, you’ll be able to get a good contrast between how you begin the onset (neutral position) and how you adjust at the end (dampened larynx). This exercise helps your body learn the muscle memory and the harmonics required to remember the dampened larynx position.

After damping and tuning of the overtone, we proceed by putting this position on the move. The onset package becomes a phonation package as we maintain that dampened position while we do sirens (note: this is the way you should be practicing your sirens if you’re a beginner). Practice this with different intervals (fifths, octaves, etc.) and remember that it’s equally as important to practice these sirens going down as it is to practice them going up in pitch.

Lastly, although it is perfectly ok to explore neutral positions, you’d often find that a dampened sound tends to have more appeal among audiences. A neutral position tends to sound more “quacky” higher up so it might come in handy if you’re singing something like rock or metal. However, even in these genres a dampened sound is often favored over a neutral position due to the overall bluesy feel that a dampened position gives to the singing.


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