‘Just anchor more. Head anchoring, neck anchoring, torso anchoring, full body anchoring. Pretend like you’re going to the toilet’
– Oh yes, I’ve heard it all before. This is actually what I used to get taught.
Let’s discuss why anchoring in singing is generally a bad idea.
Firstly, any holding of muscles is going to cause tension. And it’s unnecessary tension that we don’t need for singing. Especially if there is any locking of the abdominal muscles. (this is always a bad idea)
Anchoring is going to encourage something called the Valsalva Manoeuvre.
When we have to perform big manoeuvres in the body, whether it be lifting weights or (going to the toilet) the body will shut down the vocal folds in order to keep the air in the body. This is to spike your blood pressure to perform that big manoeuvre. Basically completely shutting down the vocal folds in an extreme way. However, this complete lock down of the voice is WAY too strong a coordination for singing. It will lead to very tight voices, limited airflow, loss of voice and many more issues.
You need vocal fold closure, but please singers, don’t get it from anchoring.
Valsalva is there for you to perform extreme manoeuvres, but singing isn’t one of them
27th March 2019
Christopher David Mitchell