This is the the second post of my series on High Notes.
High notes that are breathy and "off the voice"
High notes that lack focus and resonance
Narrowing of the "moaning" muscles
High laryngeal position or shortening of the pharyngeal space
Collapsed soft palate
Widening of the "moaning" muscles
Stable laryngeal position and lengthening the pharyngeal space
Wide soft palate
Sympathetic vibration placement high behind the nose
Breath support connected to pelvic tilt, expansion of the upper rib cage and downward movement of the lower ribs.
The second most common problem with high notes is that the voice will break off into a breathy, unfocused sound. This is because the sternomastoid muscles (shown left) narrow and the larynx rises as a result. When the larynx rises, high notes are often "white" and colorless.
"MOANING" and High Notes:
The sternomastoid muscles engage during moaning, coughing, sneezing, defecating, child birth and SINGING. The pictures to the left show the anterior (front) and posterior (back) view of these muscles. High notes require both to be engaged but it is specifically the posterior sternomastoid muscles that make singing high notes easier!
EXERCISE: Place your fingers on the notch at the center of your collarbone and then moan like you mean it! Feel how the front sternomastoid muscles contract? Now place your hands on the back of the neck and hum a "puppy whine" on a high note and feel the the contraction of the posterior sternomastoids. Make sure that your shoulders are DOWN, you maintain the natural C curve of the neck AND you are breathing low into the pelvic floor.
This "moaning" action coupled with NOT retracting the root of the tongue is critical to laryngeal stability. It also engages the proper breath support muscles automatically. It is called the appoggio... or 'leaning" into the voice.
In my next post I will discuss how to achieve proper breath support in detail.
Questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org