Getting the larynx down

I love this video. All singers, regardless of the genre they sing, should vocalize at times with a low larynx. Watch the video and copy the instructions given by Cecilia Bartoli`s mother. The ability to maintain the larynx in this position while vocalizing will dramatically improve your overall singing ability.

I know what you might be saying; you don’t like opera, or you don’t like this sound. That doesn’t matter. That isn’t the point. The point is you need to experience and practise singing with a low larynx. Opera belting and rock belting are much closer in coordination that you might ever realize.

However, don`t deliberately depress the tongue. That isn`t necessary. Your throat will be very open and the larynx will be low with the yawn sensation coupled with the correct vowel sound and jaw position. Allow the tongue to just be.

If you are having trouble with this coordination, and you feel yourself fighting to maintain the position when singing, then start by simply making noises in this position. Allow yourself time to feel and learn from this coordination. If you have never done this before, it will feel totally foreign. However, embrace it…..practise it…….learn from it.

Check out Dave Brooks

I highly recommend Dave Brooks from Nashville for singing tips. Check him out here

Notice his emphasis on the “sob” and the “whine” to get cord closure. This can’t be stressed enough for commercial “contemporary” style music like country, rock, gospel, pop, and even opera…….yes opera. This coordination will get the cords closed on the attack and keep the larynx “neutral”.

I love his sound at 2:0e minutes. Because he has started with a mid to low larynx, he is achieving a beautiful mix with reasonably thick folds at his 2nd break (A above middle C). This is a coordination used by great country singers as well as opera singers! Note: If he started with a slightly higher larynx, he could still bridge into his 2nd break with a more pop-like or rock sound….. a little thinner with some bite…..again, another fabulous coordination used by singers.

The great vocal debate….technique or style?

Well, I have my opinion and I’m sure it doesn’t jive with all the university vocal teachers out there. Let’s remember this is the year 2010! Universities have been teaching opera and classical voice for centuries. Technique has it’s place and without it, singers can be in big trouble. However, without a sense of style, well, you are really just another nice singer, aren’t you?

I’ve had singers come to me with style that can sell records. Do they have vocal troubles, sure they do. I’ve had classically trained singers come to me who sing beautifully. Do they have trouble? No, not really. They can vocalize easily with wonderful diction and great breath control.  But……the big but…..can they sell a record?……….well, that’s unlikely in today’s pop music business because unfortunately they are “too perfect”. Too perfect you say? Yes, their voice is too perfect. Unfortunately, classically trained singers do not usually make the break into the pop-recording business unless, however, we are talking about the likes of Pavarotti, Andre Bocelli, or Groban.

Singers, my advice if you truly want a career with singing, is to not take university training. Musical theatre voices now-a-days need a good chest mix. The days of Phantom of the Opera are few and far between. Musical theatre is changing. Voices need more bottom end to appeal to the young listener. You will not get this in university……….