Vocal chords- What you need to know

Recently, the great Adele had to cancel the last two shows of her U.K. Tour due to vocal issues. This has not been the first time Adele has had to leave the limelight and recover from vocal distress.

This is starting to become a regular occurrence in the music industry singers, within the last decade. The trend, vocally, is for singers to constantly belt higher than the next singer. People also seem to think that talented singers must have been born with such an ability and I am here to say such is not the case.

I have not been singing since I was a young child, but I did decide around age 16 that I wanted to spend my time and efforts studying the art of singing. It took one year of proper vocal lessons for me to decide that I wanted to learn to properly use my instrument.

I knew that I wanted to sing popular music- my dream was to be the next big thing, just as many of my students who come through my door. This is a great dream to have, but one that needs a bit of clarity in how to achieve that.

The thing that we LOVE about the great vocalists are their original quality. The thing that makes them the unique instrument that they are. They have put precious time into finding what makes their particular instrument shine bright. 

What people do not think about is that, the voice is unlike any other instrument. We carry it with us, everywhere we go. It needs to be tended to, as any other instrument would. One cannot change the strings on vocal cords though. One cannot simply buy new skins for new vocal cords, so when singing, it is vital to start with proper technique so that damage is not done to such a delicate and irreplaceable part of you.

So, let’s check out what the vocal cords look like, and how small and delicate they really are!

Click this link and it will show you a video of a female making vocal noises in various parts of her voice - WARNING if you're squeamish BEWARE!

https://youtu.be/0u7n-OTqZlU

These vocal cords are very clear and are a great model of undamaged chords. You can see how the edges that touch together seem healthy and happy, moving quite freely (I’ve always thought of them like beautiful sea slugs- effortly floating through the ocean! )

 

The following link is a video of what vocal nodules look like on the vocal cords.

https://youtu.be/4YvmiVXIPRs - WARNING BEWARE again - Even worse! - It goes down the nose!

You can clearly see the small bumps on the side of the vocal cords in this video. These small bumps stop the vocal cords from floating as effortlessly as they do in the first video, causing gaps in the sound, and can also cause pain.

Vocal nodules happen when repeated stress upon the cords happens. Inflammation can happen from simply coughing and clearing your throat, as you may notice when you’re ill and have a cough, your voice may start to become slightly raspy. This is the inflammation of the vocal cords.

When these inflamed cords are pushed harder to come together (to make sound) this is when permanent damage can start to develop.

Now, in applying this to the industry standards of singers these days: our pop stars are all belting at the top of the range, repeatedly. We are also looking at younger and younger singers to fill the media. The issue with this is that, no matter what the television says, or Simon Cowell thinks….is that the singing voice takes time to develop. If we look at a singing style who has lasted the ages (classical singing) and we look at the average age of performers, you would never see a teenager trying to sing a full role on stage. When attempting to get into the classical singing industry, one must have a mature and well working voice, which the professionals know only comes through TIME. Like a good wine, the voice must age.

Young singers like Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber and Meghan Trainor have had to cancel shows, much like Adele, due to vocal distress. It is becoming a proper trend to push, Push, PUSH to the limit.

Now, our young aspiring singers are trying to sing the music of their favourite artists and, in turn, developing habits that not even the professionals can sustain.

When we try to imitate the sounds of the singers we hear, versus singing through our own sound, this is the time that damage can happen. When you hear a singer “pushing”- it usually sounds strained. This is never a good sign, as it means that the vocal cords are no longer freely vibrating, but rather, being pushed through muscle to connect.

I myself, am guilty of not using the best vocal technique while performing, but I do spend a lot of time in practice, trying to perfect the art, so that less of “bad technique” comes out in my everyday singing. That is the key- Proper Practicing to develop a technique for longevity.

Music teachers and coaches should be teaching techniques used to help open the voice through 1-Proper Breath support, and 2- Proper vocal space. “Pushing” is never a safe word to hear. If you feel like you are pushing against the walls of your voice, or feel any strain when trying to sing a phrase, rethink how you are approaching the note, to help ease this. When you are at the point that you can physically feel your voice straining- try and imagine what your small, precious vocal cords are feeling.

In all of my years of singing, I place the highest regard on my vocal education. In taking the time to learn what the voice does and how it works properly, I am able to help students learn the same. I was taught healthy ways of opening up the voice through a great understanding of what my voice can do. All of this was done through open vulnerability to find my sound. I knew and still know that not all sounds will be perfect, and not all of the songs I sing will be amazing, but if I practice and know my voice- in and out- I can be the best singer humanly possible for me! 

Love 

Emma Doupé  xxxxx

Singing teacher @ TMB 


0 Comments



Post a Comment


Please sign in or create an account to post a comment

Vocal chords- What you need to know

Recently, the great Adele had to cancel the last two shows of her U.K. Tour due to vocal issues. This has not been the first time Adele has had to leave the limelight and recover from vocal distress.

This is starting to become a regular occurrence in the music industry singers, within the last decade. The trend, vocally, is for singers to constantly belt higher than the next singer. People also seem to think that talented singers must have been born with such an ability and I am here to say such is not the case.

I have not been singing since I was a young child, but I did decide around age 16 that I wanted to spend my time and efforts studying the art of singing. It took one year of proper vocal lessons for me to decide that I wanted to learn to properly use my instrument.

I knew that I wanted to sing popular music- my dream was to be the next big thing, just as many of my students who come through my door. This is a great dream to have, but one that needs a bit of clarity in how to achieve that.

The thing that we LOVE about the great vocalists are their original quality. The thing that makes them the unique instrument that they are. They have put precious time into finding what makes their particular instrument shine bright. 

What people do not think about is that, the voice is unlike any other instrument. We carry it with us, everywhere we go. It needs to be tended to, as any other instrument would. One cannot change the strings on vocal cords though. One cannot simply buy new skins for new vocal cords, so when singing, it is vital to start with proper technique so that damage is not done to such a delicate and irreplaceable part of you.

So, let’s check out what the vocal cords look like, and how small and delicate they really are!

Click this link and it will show you a video of a female making vocal noises in various parts of her voice - WARNING if you're squeamish BEWARE!

https://youtu.be/0u7n-OTqZlU

These vocal cords are very clear and are a great model of undamaged chords. You can see how the edges that touch together seem healthy and happy, moving quite freely (I’ve always thought of them like beautiful sea slugs- effortly floating through the ocean! )

 

The following link is a video of what vocal nodules look like on the vocal cords.

https://youtu.be/4YvmiVXIPRs - WARNING BEWARE again - Even worse! - It goes down the nose!

You can clearly see the small bumps on the side of the vocal cords in this video. These small bumps stop the vocal cords from floating as effortlessly as they do in the first video, causing gaps in the sound, and can also cause pain.

Vocal nodules happen when repeated stress upon the cords happens. Inflammation can happen from simply coughing and clearing your throat, as you may notice when you’re ill and have a cough, your voice may start to become slightly raspy. This is the inflammation of the vocal cords.

When these inflamed cords are pushed harder to come together (to make sound) this is when permanent damage can start to develop.

Now, in applying this to the industry standards of singers these days: our pop stars are all belting at the top of the range, repeatedly. We are also looking at younger and younger singers to fill the media. The issue with this is that, no matter what the television says, or Simon Cowell thinks….is that the singing voice takes time to develop. If we look at a singing style who has lasted the ages (classical singing) and we look at the average age of performers, you would never see a teenager trying to sing a full role on stage. When attempting to get into the classical singing industry, one must have a mature and well working voice, which the professionals know only comes through TIME. Like a good wine, the voice must age.

Young singers like Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber and Meghan Trainor have had to cancel shows, much like Adele, due to vocal distress. It is becoming a proper trend to push, Push, PUSH to the limit.

Now, our young aspiring singers are trying to sing the music of their favourite artists and, in turn, developing habits that not even the professionals can sustain.

When we try to imitate the sounds of the singers we hear, versus singing through our own sound, this is the time that damage can happen. When you hear a singer “pushing”- it usually sounds strained. This is never a good sign, as it means that the vocal cords are no longer freely vibrating, but rather, being pushed through muscle to connect.

I myself, am guilty of not using the best vocal technique while performing, but I do spend a lot of time in practice, trying to perfect the art, so that less of “bad technique” comes out in my everyday singing. That is the key- Proper Practicing to develop a technique for longevity.

Music teachers and coaches should be teaching techniques used to help open the voice through 1-Proper Breath support, and 2- Proper vocal space. “Pushing” is never a safe word to hear. If you feel like you are pushing against the walls of your voice, or feel any strain when trying to sing a phrase, rethink how you are approaching the note, to help ease this. When you are at the point that you can physically feel your voice straining- try and imagine what your small, precious vocal cords are feeling.

In all of my years of singing, I place the highest regard on my vocal education. In taking the time to learn what the voice does and how it works properly, I am able to help students learn the same. I was taught healthy ways of opening up the voice through a great understanding of what my voice can do. All of this was done through open vulnerability to find my sound. I knew and still know that not all sounds will be perfect, and not all of the songs I sing will be amazing, but if I practice and know my voice- in and out- I can be the best singer humanly possible for me! 

Love 

Emma Doupé  xxxxx

Singing teacher @ TMB 


0 Comments



Post a Comment


Please sign in or create an account to post a comment