As a singer, learning not to sing from your throat is an invaluable skill which is why we are sharing how to stop singing from your throat. Besides, it’s not as difficult as it seems. With a few exercises and practice, you can master this skill in no time.
But, why should I stop singing from my throat? Singing from the throat increases your chance of developing vocal fatigue. Also, you may have a dry and scratchy throat that could mar your performance.
Therefore, if you’re a singer, you must sing in the right way. Do you want to stop singing from your throat? Keep reading this article to find out how you can!
Is Singing from your Throat Bad?
Yes, singing from your throat is not good! When you sing from your throat, you’re at risk of developing vocal fatigue, or a dry and scratchy throat.
Over time, singing from your throat can lead to a hoarse and raspy sound from where the throat has grown tired of being tight. All of these could generally hamper your voice.
Essentially, you should learn to sing from your diaphragm. This is healthy and helps to preserve your voice. Moreover, focusing on this will provide a clear and stronger sound to your vocals.
What Is Singing from the Diaphragm?
Singing from the diaphragm is the same as singing from the stomach. The diaphragm is a muscle in the center of your chest that spans the lower rib cage. When you breathe in and out, it expands and contracts. It also has an impact on your ability to project your voice.
Generally, singing from your stomach helps to strengthen your diaphragm. It creates proper airflow and allows you to project effectively. Meanwhile, when the stomach is not being used to sing, the throat is usually used instead.
This is extremely harmful to the voice. When you are not singing from your stomach, you’ll most likely suffer throat tension and strain.
How to Know If You Are Singing from Your Throat
When you sing, do you feel a squeeze or pressure on your throat? Perhaps you’ve noticed that after a period of practice, your voice has become hoarse. Worse, you’re losing your voice entirely. Don’t be discouraged; with a little practice, you can simply release that throat and stop singing from it.
Follow the steps below to learn how to stop singing from your throat (and make sure you stick to them long-term).
How to Stop Singing from Your Throat
It’s time to stop singing from your throat! Now, let’s take you through how you can achieve this:
Step 1. Open it Up
This is the first and simplest step. It may be all you need. When singing, try opening your throat more. It should feel like the beginning of a yawn. Remember, never strain to reach notes or create volume.
Step 2. Get Rid of Vocal Fry
Being aware of your vocal type will allow you to recognize when you are and are not doing it. And if you want to learn how to sing without using your throat, you should skip it.
Step 3. Relax Your Throat
Placing your finger on your Adam’s apple, which contains your vocal cords, is an interesting way to help your throat relax.
Alternatively, you can try this exercise:
- Repeat a few small yawns to relax the throat muscles. Allow the muscles at the back of your throat to relax while you do this.
- With each repeating yawn, try to let out a big sigh and say “ah” on a note that feels natural to you.
- Do this five times and your throat should feel much more relaxed, allowing for those projecting vocals.
Step 4. Sing from Your Diaphragm
It’s a quick and easy way to relieve throat discomfort. Simply warming up before singing practice, lessons, and performances regularly is a great way to keep the throat at ease.
Instead of snatching high chest breaths, put your hand on your lower abdomen and breathe down into it. Including breathing exercises and a diaphragmatic breathing workout in your warm-up will make it even more effective.
Step 5. Always Sing within Your Vocal Range
It’s important to know your vocal range. You can do this intuitively or with help from an expert. If you can no longer reach a certain level of higher notes, you can tell that a note is out of your vocal range. Your throat would tighten and you would feel a gripping sensation.
It will help if you stop reaching for notes that are outside of your vocal range, as you may strain your throat if you continue. However, if you know your vocal range, you can only choose songs with notes that fall within that range. Do not try to push your voice beyond its vocal range.
Step 6. Learn to Place Your Tongue Correctly
Tongue placement is another important factor that may cause you to sing from your throat. When you sing a note, the placement of your tongue can also contribute to the buildup of tension in the throat. Ideally, your tongue should be resting behind the bottom of your front teeth.
Step 7. Learn to Drop Your Larynx
When you sing, you can use your neck muscles to lower or raise your larynx. When you yawn, for example, you drop your larynx. However, most beginners raise their larynx when belting high notes. The raised larynx prevents them from opening their vocal folds and producing a full, open sound. As a result, if you want to make a full sound, you must learn how to lower your larynx when singing. Practice will undoubtedly aid you in perfecting the dropping of your larynx.
Step 8. Understand Vocal Placement
Voice placement is another skill that you must master. It has everything to do with resonance. The act of focusing a sound on a specific body part is referred to as voice placement. Besides, it also relates to where and how your voice resonates within your body.
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How to Keep Your Voice Healthy and Strong
The benefits of having a healthy and strong voice cannot be overstated. Here are a few things you can do to keep your voice healthy and strong:
1. Listen to Yourself
Hoarseness can be caused by something as simple as allergies or as serious as laryngeal cancer. Make an appointment with a voice specialist if your hoarseness lasts more than a few weeks, especially if you smoke or have no other cold-like symptoms. Keep an ear out for your voice. If your voice becomes hoarse or your throat becomes scratchy as a result of overuse, rest your voice as much as possible – and drink water to help lubricate your vocal folds.
2. Reduce Your Caffeine and Alcohol Intake
Caffeine and alcohol should be consumed in moderation because their dehydrating effects can strain your vocal folds. To avoid dehydration, drink one glass of water for every cup of coffee or alcoholic beverage consumed.
3. Turn Down the Volume
When yelling at a game, be cautious. Avoid screaming, cheering loudly, and talking over extremely loud noises because they put undue strain on the vocal folds and can sometimes damage the voice. If you must yell, keep it short. Use a little bit of volume, then return to a conversational tone.
4. Warm-up Your Vocal Pipes
Do neck and shoulder stretches, hum for a while, or glide from low to high tones using different vowel sounds before you teach, give a speech, or sing.
5. Don’t Force it
Take it easy if you have laryngitis, a cold, or the flu. Avoid speaking loudly or for long periods, and refrain from straining your voice or even singing until you feel better.
6. Resist the Urge to Clear Your Throat
When you have a postnasal drip or a cold, avoid frequent throat clearing and harsh coughing. Instead, sip some water or take a cough drop.
7. Give it a Rest
Allow someone else to speak for a while if you’ve been talking too much or too loudly. Your voice will thank you!
Singing from Throat Vs Diaphragm
The first step in stopping throat singing is to recognize when you are singing from the diaphragm, a vocalist’s ultimate utensil. To put it simply, the diaphragm is a dome-shaped muscle that sits just below the heart and lungs.
With a flexing and contracting motion, the diaphragm transports air into and out of the lungs. This movement is analogous to what a balloon would do if you repeatedly blew into it and let some air out. It’s a good idea to breathe deeper than usual when singing to keep the diaphragm super flat.
How to Keep Your Throat Healthy for Singing
As we sing, our throats are extremely busy. As a result, keeping it happy and healthy is critical. Even if you don’t want to sing from your throat, the notes still pass through, and it also serves as a home for the soft palate.
To nourish the throat in the best way possible, drink a hot cup of honey and ginger regularly, as the combination protects your throat from irritation. You can also gargle with salt every night. It’s not the best tasting, but it keeps the throat clean.
Why Should I Relax My Throat when Singing?
Singing through your throat can be avoided by relaxing your throat. When singing, the more at ease your throat is, the more open it will feel, allowing vocal release and steering away from singing from your throat.
When we are nervous for a singing exam, for example, we have muscles that travel down the back of the throat that stiffens and tightens. These powerful muscles, known as constrictors, help us to swallow. But we don’t want them to be constricting when we’re singing; they should be relaxed.
The flatter your diaphragm sits, the more control you’ll have over your breath while singing your favorite ballads. You’ll also be able to incorporate new dynamics and expressions into your vocal practice.
This means that you can control how fast and how much air you lose while singing. Aim for it should travel across the vocal cords and glide across the soft palate, blossoming into a powerful vocal riff.
How Do I Know if I am Singing from the Diaphragm?
Take a deep breath, and don’t let it stop and swirl around in your throat and chest. If you can get it low in your stomach, you’ll be singing from your diaphragm rather than your throat. It all comes down to learning to relax while singing.
The more open your throat is, the easier it is to sing from the diaphragm. High notes or stage nerves, in particular, may be the cause of throat tightness. It’s a common problem that singers face.
When Should I Seek Help about My Voice?
Short periods of hoarseness are not uncommon after a respiratory infection or after a long or loud period of voice use. These should be resolved in a short time with some voice rest.
Consult your doctor if your hoarseness lasts more than two or three weeks and does not improve gradually, especially if you smoke or do not have cold-like symptoms.
How Do I Know if I am Singing Correctly?
It can be difficult to identify this. Check your technique by recording yourself (ideally on video so you can see and hear what you’re doing). Requesting a lesson from a singing teacher or vocal coach that includes feedback is a better way to determine if you have limited vocal experience.
Singing from your throat is not a difficult thing to do. It’s either you’re singing high notes and forgetting to breathe or not using the diaphragm. The throat requires some help warming up, just as we need some time to awaken on cold and early mornings.
Relax your throat by using techniques such as repetitive yawning before you start singing or talking. Finally, before you start singing, spend some time doing breathing exercises to shift your focus to singing from your stomach.