Training of pressure breathing

The first rule of thumb is to remember that the breath is the driving force for the voice. Especially,exhalation.
If you take a deep breath when someone presses your costovertebral joints from your back, you can control exhalation and improve exhaling ideally,this is supposed to be good training for the voice.
Press the costovertebral joints safely and carefully, otherwise the effect is decreased by half.
You can train breathing techniques ideally, if the pressing completely matches in sync with the breathing.
For the goal of hitting high registers, the target is to press lower Cervical spine to upper Thoracic Spine. For the goal of a mixed tonal voice,the target is the thoracic vertebrae from Th3 to Th12.
If you want to improve hitting low registers,the target is from the lower Throacic spine to upper lumbar spine.
Again, remember … breathing is the driving force and strength of the voice!

Work assistance:Kenichi Sato
Producer:Shigeki Aida
EDIT1:The diaphragm also helps you exercise your voice by using the
internal intercostal muscles and external intercostal muscles.

Using these tips & techniques to achieve brilliant breathing exercises will help you greatly in creating a good performance using the art of voice.


Good news for people having small thyroid cartilage!

Röntgenaufnahme - menschliche Kopf mit markiertem Kehlkopf
Recently, I ran into a man who has very small thyroid cartilage.
He had been made fun of for having a strange singing voice since he was a student. Every doctor said ”nothing was wrong.” He went to many otological hospitals for the phenomenon so far. Consequently, he was referred for a psyche evaluation at a local medical department,for suffering from depression because of his voice.
After countless dead ends he reached out to me and made an appointment, with high expectations!

He showed up and said, ”Please help!” as soon as he arrived to see me … and admitted we were his last hope. When I heard his voice and saw his throat, I immediately recognized the issue. His strange voice is caused by a failure of sound because his thyroid cartilage is uncommonly small. No doubt about it, he had a thin, boxy and weak voice.

First, I briefly taught him the mechanics of the voice and throat, and we started investigating.
When I palpated his throat, I was convinced “this is surely a tiny larynx!” As far as I could see there were no physical problems with his talking,singing,breathing,swallowing or eating – his voice was just bad, I mean… not appealing to the ears.
I do not mean that he has a disease or deformity, it is merely an individual variability, and you can even say “it’s just in his character.” Confirming what every doctor had told him before.
I deeply reflected, and decided to focus on how to compliment him, and small explain that defects could be covered or hidden by maneuverability.
It’s possible to fix the hypertonic phonation, the effort-phonation and LDP(Larynx Deep Position).
If thyroid cartilage is already small, it’s just like a small instrument.
For example: the ukulele and acoustic guitar, they both look similar in structure, but the sound is pretty different between a ukulele and acoustic guitar because a guitar is bigger. By the way, I never say ukulele is bad instrument, just small.
Just like a ukulele cannot recreate the same sounds as a guitar.  It is the same concept with the throat.
Do you think it is completely true the change in the strength and volume of a voice depends on the size of thyroid cartilage?
Many doctors debate this.
I do not think it’s big deal, because this is truly not a disease, but I would like to focus on why the sound is slightly different.
There is the thyroplasty type II which is a surgery that’s designed to address weakened vocal chords.
Surgeons aim to cut the median thyroid cartilage and implant a titanium bridge to prevent from glottic closure, and treat the spastic dysphonia.
But now I’m talking about size of the thyroid cartilage, not ”spastic dysphonia”.
In the thyroplasty type II, the width of the thyroid cartilage increases about a 1/2 to 2 inches because of the two titanium bridges.
I’ve investigated the differences of voice quality (tone) between before and after surgery.
Of course, the surgery originally aims to fix the voice catch.
I just heard their voice and I’ve never imposed on patients for the investigation.
I record the voice before and after surgical procedures, and I can judge from comparison.
Although doctors usually check for hoarseness or a cracked voice, I mainly check the quality of the voice.
That is the difference between a medical perspective and an aesthetic perspective.
Many patients showed an improved quality of voice after such surgical operations,because the thyroid cartilage has been expanded and also increased in size.
In conclusion, the size of thyroid cartilage obviously affects the sound of voice. If the thyroid cartilage is large,the voice is more richer sounding than the sound of having small thyroid cartilage would make.
However, if the thyroid cartilage is big, it’s harder to control because it’s also increased in size and weight and might lose sound.
Therefore, I cannot say that big is always good.
I do not recommend the people who have a small thyroid cartilage to take my treatment.
Because the size of thyroid is proportional to the size of  hyoid bone.
The size of pharyngeal cavity is an important factor in whether a voice’s tone can be fixed.
That is why it is difficult to fix the people who have small thyroid cartilage. Until now.
Although at first, it is hard to see a dramatic improvement … I believe I can make a voice better by focusing on training the oral cavity, ultimately improving the kinematic performance.
The point is temporomandibular joint(TMJ).
TMJ is a joint, which the mandibular condyle rolls(hinge movement) by sliding forward.
If you slide the mandibular condyle correctly, you can have a better voice.
I discovered this fun fact, after I thoroughly investigated Joseph Carreras, who is one of The Three Tenors and Diana Damrau who is a popular soprano singer.
I’ll share more details about how to approach TMJ later.
But this is good news, people who have a small thyroid cartilage do not need to give up on improving their voice!

Practicing singing while driving

‘’I always practice singing in the car because cannot be loud in my house.’’
Believe it or not, a lot of people share this issue!
In the car, you are not bothering anybody else even if you shout and yell loudly. That’s why the car is a perfect place to practice.
I am going to explain and share my expert advice about training the voice while driving. And also compare the sound from a soundproof room to a car when singing.

Soundproof:(YAHAMA  AVITECS Dr-35)
We prepared two cars which are Prius G and Porshe Cayman S

1:Paying attention,is going to cause shallow breathing when driving.
2:The breath associated muscle cannot move proper due to the tightness of the seat belt.
3: It is easy to get the wrong pitch when cutting the wheel because it makes you off balance.
4: If it is noisey in the car,vocalizing is going be coarse and reduce the quality of voice.
5: Easy to forget the lyrics.
6: You get a long tempo due to keeping up up with the car’s speed.
7: Practice safe driving,by not letting singing distract you from the road and your responsibilities operating a vehicle.

It is sometimes dangerous to focus on singing too much while driving, so remember this tips or preferably have vocal training in the appropriate area.
Smooth drive

Note 1:
Which do you think is better for singing in the car, driving with your right-hand or left?
The answer is left-hand, because the seat-belt covers your right shoulder,clavicle,right lung, and left pelvis.
The left is opposite, those obstructions.
Generally, left lung is smaller than right lung because the heart is located in the left side.
Therefore,the seat belt limits movement in the car, so you should be free with your right lung instead of the left-lung. Mainly because the right-lung has more volume.
Some newer models of cars have advanced seat-belts and safety features, so some of you might not have this issue.
car chair

Note 2:
You”re probably wondering, did I actually use a Porshe for this test?
Yes. Taking safety into consideration, we went to Ooarai-beach in Ibaragi-pre and performed the test along the beach.
A special thanks to a friend, for letting me use their car in this compare and contrast experiment.

Note 3:
I recently described about how mechanical noises really have an influence on singing and hearing. The performance cars make engine sounds which are comparable to music. It can be especially helpful to listen engine sounds such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, or Maserati to vocalize better.
It’s hard to judge whether this is true or not, however, I remember my acquaintance said that I got better at
pitch shift and vibrato after I copied an engine sound.
I would suggest investing in a luxury sports car, because you can feel the vibration of the engine at the back of your body while listening clearly to the car. Which in turn will help control and variate your pitch and vocals.