The "Adam's Apple" is the container of the vocal cords. When we swallow it
moves up to the top of the throat in order to help keep food or liquid from
going into the lungs. When we yawn it drops down low in the throat. These are
natural reflexes, but a high (swallowing) larynx (Adam's Apple) definitely works
against good singing. When it rises it reduces the space between the vibrating
cords and the top of the throat, greatly affecting quality and the bright
harmonics of the sound. If the larynx rises (a natural reflex) as we sing high
notes our sound becomes pinched, and the high range is severely limited. In
short, if you want to become a good singer you MUST train the larynx to stay low
in the throat.
I use the term "train" because most of us can't just think the larynx up
and down, like moving fingers or toes. We have to train it to do something it
really doesn't want to do.
The first thing you can do to get the cords to lower for singing is to
inhale, feeling like you're starting to yawn. This type of inhalation is
sometimes called "inhaling with a feeling of astonishment." (You just saw the
Grand Canyon for the first time, and you take that big open breath, amazed by
the beauty.) This lowers the Adams Apple and prepares you for good singing.
When you are singing, always inhale this way. then - once your throat is
open and your vocal cords are low in the throat, pay special attention to
keeping them that way as you continue to sing. At first you will have to stay
very aware of this, but as you do it more and more your muscle memory will
learn, and you won't have to think about it.
Training the larynx to stay low is very high on the list of "to-learns."
and must be practiced often. I've recorded some terrific exercises on my THE
SINGER'S BIBLE which are specifically designed to train the larynx to stay low.
For much more information on this topic, THE SINGER'S BIBLE and other
singing and performance techniques visit Al's website at:
Al Koehn has spent over 30 years working with top professionals in all
aspects of their careers; voice development, performance, recording, producing
and managing. His powerful new FREE ebook called "SINGING IS SERIOUSLY SIMPLE:
Important Tips, Tools and Techniques for All Singers" is now available for
downloading. Access the Ebook FREE here: