Singing Tips and Techniques — Drop Your Adam’s Apple and Extend Your High Singing Range
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.