The human vocal cords, which is also called the voice reeds or vocal folds consist of various folds or tissues or muscles located in the throat. These folds of tissues has the responsibility of creating sounds and rhythms through vocalization. The pitch of voice is affected by the size of the vocal folds. The pitch of voice is also affected by the health of the vocal folds or cords.
However, our vocal cords are always on constant pressure and strain. When speaking, you will cause your vocal cords to vibrate by applying air pressure which will then produce your speaking voice. The vocal cord is very important and is located in a special area of your throat will puts under constant pressure.
When singing, and you aim to take on a high note, you should try to do it with less control and allow your vocal folds of tissue take on those high notes on their won. When you apply too much pressure therefore straining and tighten your vocal folds, you will squeeze these tissues together tightly and it will be almost impossible for the vocal cords to create those high notes you so desire because they can’t vibrate properly.
When singing, we need to be in a ventilated room because we need air and air pressure for put throat muscles. Inadequate breath or air support will cause tightening of the throat muscles. When there is little air support and we keep signing, our body will result in using related muscles around the vocal folds to support our voice. This will cause tightening and straining of the throat muscles.
Causes Of The Constriction Of Throat Muscle When Singing
Performance Anxiety ; All singers even the most experienced and talented ones do have performance anxiety when they are about to get on the stage. Some singers may become scared and uncertain about themselves. This will cause the throat muscle called the constrictors to constrict and tighten.
When this happens, it will become very difficult for you to take on the high notes. Your muscle will be under a lot of pressure and strain and you can either go on to sing or cancel, and nobody wants to do that.
Poor speech habits/ lack of vocal skills ; lack of vocal skill will prove to be an issue for singers especially vocalist of a rock band. Some vocalist in a rock band do not always have a great voice. And it will always be somewhere in their minds that their voice may fail during a song.
Their will be a lot of intensity on the throat when singing a rock song and sometimes when the song becomes too intense, your throat to constrict and your voice to break during a song. For some singers, they become okay when they start singing, and some singers have a hard time trying to convince themselves that they’ve done this before and it will probably go well.
Talk to yourself and fight your fears because feeling anxious is normal and you will soon get over being anxious mid song.
Singing mainly from the throat; singing from only the throat may cause throat tightness, and it may cause injury to the throat. You need to know that there are other organs in the body that determines the production of voices and sounds not only the throat organs like the lungs, diaphragm, the lips, the tongue, the teeth’s. You can sing with your diaphragm or learn some actions to prepare your vocal cords for the tension to come.
When you learn how and practice enough, you can make use of the diaphragm to produce the desired note while singing.
How To Relax Your Throat Muscles When Singing
Ways on how to relax your throat muscle when singing and avoid constricting and as follows:
Avoid singing from your throat; in the above paragraph, it is stated that there are different organs in the body that contribute to the production of sounds when singing. To keep your throat always relaxed when singing you will need to know the process of voice production and the right way to position your vocal source. Positioning of your vocal source is Important for singing properly.
Keeping your throat muscle relaxed; When eating, and we try to swallow, our throat constricts to guide passage of the food. And this is what happened when our throat constricts while singing but this will not be a good thing because we want our voice to come out not go in, and this will not make your throat muscles relax.
When your want your throat muscles to relax, you can try imagine yawning because when yawning the throat opens up and allow the passage of plenty of air, so this is the feeling you need to have when singing. When you do this and keep doing it, your throat will be less constricted and it will be more relaxed and you will sing properly.
Leather to breath properly when singing; breathing properly is very important when singing. Hence, at every singing lesson, breathing properly when singing is also thought. When singing, it is essential you breath from your diaphragm, it will relax the vocal cords and relief the vocal cords from tension when singing. By breathing in with your stomach, your vocal cords will open correctly.
When practicing a breathing exercise, you should do so in front of a mirror to do it properly. You can practice by placing your hand on your stomach and breath in deeply by filling your diaphragm with air and breath out. You hand will rise when you inhale and fall when you exhale. This will help you avoid (trying to sing and breath at the same time )throat constriction when singing.
Warming up of your vocal before singing; To keep your throat always relaxed, you should always practice vocal warming up exercises. During vocal warm ups, you need to be in front of a mirror so you can see the movement of your throat muscles.
Before attempting to hit the higher notes, you should keep your vocal cords relaxed, warming your throat muscles will help prepare your vocal cords for singing. Warming up your throat muscles is just like athletes warming up their leg muscle before running, so it is good for you to warm up your throat muscles before singing.
Dropping of your larynx; to relax your throat muscle you should learn how to drop your larynx by using full plus open singing voice. The muscle at the neck are present to make the larynx aloft, which can prevent your throat from opening fully. So to keep your throat muscles relaxed, you will need to learn to keep your larynx low and you should find out the natural position of your larynx when singing.
However, learning to drop your larynx is a difficult task, and to learn, you will need a lot of practice. You can practice by yawning, and when yawning, you do not push your tongue down because your larynx will also be pushed down, and the muscle under your chin will get tightened.
Always be hydrated; when your throat is not hydrated/ lubricated, it may lead to throat constriction, so your vocal cords and throat must always be hydrated. Water is the best choice of liquid to take before singing or when you feel thirsty/dehydrated.
Another option you can take is herbal tea, but you must take them warm or at room temperature, because when the tea is hot, it may burn your throat or irritate your vocal cords and make matters worst. To keep your throat always relaxed and hydrated, you should drink water a lot every day. As a singer, you should always have a water bottle with you at all times, and also remember to drink from it because your vocal cords will function properly when they are well lubricated.
You should always remember to keep not only your throat but your whole body hydrated at all times. Singing in a well ventilated room with good humidity; To keep your throat muscles relaxed while singing, you do not focus only on your throat, buy your lungs as well because it is a very essential part of production of voices. So you need to also pay attention to the type of air you breath in while singing.
Relying on only hydrating your vocal cords by drinking water will not be effective because your vocal cords are not in the same part the water you drink passes. So your vocal cords are not lubricated directly, but they can be hydrated by the humidity in the air you breath. So you will be able to boost your voice when you breath humidified air. Singing in a hot place will make the air you breath dry and dry air is not good for your throat and lungs.
You should always sing in a humidified room or use a humidifier to improve the air you breath and assist your lungs. To be able to relax your throat muscle and vocal cords while singing you will need to identify your wrong doings and the causes and then learn how to control your body while singing by doing the necessary things.
Also bringing all the organs responsible for voice production and singing into consideration not just only your throat but also your lungs, lips, diaphragm, larynx, tongue all work in unity to produce all the voices and sounds.
My name is Johnson Lewis and I am a music coach, producer and Blogger. I enjoy writing about music, instruments, music equipments and I love helping people become better singers.