‘The Larynx should be low at all times’
‘The Larynx should stay in a stable position’
‘The Larynx should raise with the pitch’
You may have heard one of the above phrases before from a teacher.
But they’re not true.
(however one of these statements I agree with more than the others, I will explain in a bit)
The truth is that the larynx can do anything. It can be high, mid, low and everything in between. Depending on the sound you want to make.
High Larynx will be great for most ‘Pop’ styles, and bring out a lighter, brighter sounding voice.
Mid Larynx will be great for various styles of music, and could be considered the sound which is most like ‘You’ (most people usually talk in a relatively mid larynx position)
Low Larynx will be great for Legit Musical Theatre or opera as it creates more warmth, depth to your tonal quality.
The statement from the beginning I agree with the most is ‘The larynx should stay stable’ Again, I don’t fully agree with this, and it definitely doesn’t need to stay stable at all times. But there is value in finding all the notes in your range with stability in your larynx position. This is because it then requires complete muscle isolation for the vocal folds to do their work on their own. If the larynx isn’t helping the process, you have to learn to be really coordinated with your vocal folds to do the work. It demands that you are coordinated and strong enough to make the pitches without the help of the larynx. Which can be a great starting base for singers.
The mistake I see coaches and singers making is that there’s only the one way of doing things. This just isn’t true on a big picture thinking macro scale.
Just listen to singers from all genres from opera to pop, are they really do the same thing with their larynx position?
But it’s understandable why people would have and stick to their belief systems on this. If you go to an opera coach they will say ‘the larynx should be low at all times’ that is because that is appropriate and necessary for the sound they are going for in that genre. But that doesn’t mean it’s the only actual way.
Alternatively if you go to someone who teaches a lot of Pop, they may say, ‘raise that larynx with the pitch’ again not necessary, but usually right for the sound they are going for.
The truth is the larynx will just change the tone of your voice according to what you want to sound like. It’s totally up to you. Anything can be done.
As long as it’s a choice, not a must!
If you get in the habit that you absolutely must raise the larynx to get the note, you’re going to start getting into trouble. It’s no longer a choice, but a habit that will only likely accentuate with time.
Don’t believe me or take my word for it, instead just listen to all the different sounds singers have made over the years in a sustainable way across all genres of music.
It’s truly amazing what the larynx can do.
But if you get in the studio with me, I can show you as I go through all larynx positions throughout my range, so you know it can be done. Better still and more importantly, I will show you to have complete control of your larynx so in the end you can choose any sound you want depending on your individual style.
From now on, I hope that we have no more limiting beliefs about the larynx position.
Your larynx can do anything it wants, if you know how to use it properly.
11th July 2019
Christopher David Mitchell