vocal fold thickness exercises from Z
- Here is just a very very brief overview of approaches and methods you can use to find vocal fold thinness. These are all mix-ups and variations I use when teaching it and there are a few other approaches as well like a proprioceptive or mechanical transmission of the idea.
- 7 simple exercises to explore thinness:
- 1. Start thick neutral singing then adding hot air and slightly go up in pitch, it should trigger a highly audible and feel-able cue. It's also visible on a spectrogram as a tall line.
- 2. Ultra strong exhalation with a shred of tone is a self confirmation exercise to first feel the thin configuration and refine it as to allow for ultra smooth onsets and releases. I've used approaches like this with varying success. Usually if a student can't gentle onset in thinness like 6-10 mimics, it's best to try something else.
- 3. Big success with starting at a low thick pitch and having the student mildly glissando up while thinning the sound a bit. The folds should automatically thin and the student can try to bring it back down but keep the thinness. It seems to help people who can’t find the coordination well in other ways. I believe Estill documented that 1/2 or 1/3rd up a "trained singers" vocal range, the coordination would flip from thick to thin. This happens in untrained voices too and makes for a very easy approach. This is also interesting because it creates a new connection for pitch training in feminization. It's really great to anchor the higher pitches with thinness to build the foundation behaviorally quicker.
- 4. Basic Mimicry of straight tone sounds or speech sounds.
- 5. I've observed holding a thick sound and tucking the chin into the sternum to mechanically force a thin configuration. Leaning the head back to hear the thicker configuration. Student can try to maintain the quality of sound while returning the neutral neck neck position.
- 6. Estill type sob exercises/yawn/aww cute etc (these seem to be less successful in untrained or inexperienced voices who aren’t comfortable really committing to sob quality).
- 7. New one I found today: teach the student to create gentle ingressive pitched phonation, then just have them go from inhaling to exhaling. It's super uncomfortable to create ingressive sounds (for me at least) with thick folds, so this almost like forces the hand
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