Pharyngeal “throat” sounds

What I like about both SLS and Estille voice technique is that it takes the emphasis off of breathing as the front line for good singing technique, and it lets the singer focus on other co-ordinations first, that are just as important as breath control. There are other coaches that also do this: Ken Tamplin, Robert Lunte  (The IV Pillars), Roger Love, Singing Success (Brett Manning), Eric Arseneaux and Kevin Richards (Rock the Stage).

Focusing on cord closure, pharyngeal resonance, keeping the larynx stable, and yes, breath control, can instinctively get the singer to coordinate and sing better.

Let’s talk about the back of the throat. This spot above the vocal cords is a mysterious area of the vocal tract. We know that the ability to make certain sounds gets the larynx to tilt, (which in turn stretches and thins the cords), which then can help with efficient breath control, and allow for pharyngeal resonance (twang). Twang is an important coordination for genres like rock, pop, country, and any extreme kind of singing you may want to do.

Twang is a word originating from Estill Voice Technique. I think it is a term all singers should be familiar with. Robert Lunte uses this term it in his program The Four Pillars.

The ability to twang (make pharyngeal sounds) is important because the fundamental frequency creates harmonics (overtones) that are perceived as volume and brightness to the listener. Now, I am not going to even pretend to explain the science behind this coordination. It is your job as a singer to “feel” for these harmonics.  Yes, you CAN feel these harmonics as they resonate, echo and buzz through your head.

One of the best sounds for twanging is a duck quack. But remember, as you get higher you must quack with thinner cords (your head voice). This can be challenging but that is the point! Can you quack like a duck in your head voice?

p.s. without getting louder than you quack in your chest voice?

And so my journey continues…..

So, why do I write a blog? I write a blog to help singers everywhere learn as much as possible about their own voice. As most of you know, I have studied SLS for the last few years, and prior to that had many years of training with Bel Canto technique. I have recently attended an Estill Voice Technique Workshop and have had a fabulous time exploring my voice and understanding the many coordinations I was able to do! I look forward to sharing with you loads of useful tips that can be added to your “toolbox”.

What do SLS and EVT have in common? A few things, but the lingo is certainly different.  How do they differ? Well, the easiest way for me to describe the difference is that SLS is one of the many, many “recipes” that Estill can teach a student to do. Another difference is in the way the “recipe” is taught.

I will dive into more of these differences with some upcoming posts so stay tuned!