The three actions necessary to successfully reach the high register


There are three actions necessary to successfully reach the high register.
The vocal chord decides the pitch and sound of your voice.
The vocal chord’s status is…

Yes, all of the above.
You already know that a vocal cord is composed of muscle and mucosa. Although people think that its shape and density is similar to a string or line, it is really the thickness which makes the voice high-pitched.
(1)…The cricothyroid articulation extends the vocal chord which creates a hinge and slide movement.
(2)…Thinning the vocal chord, there is a difference between the muscle and mucosa. The thickness of vocal cord muscles can be changed by changing the angle of rotation on the arytenoid cartilage. It cannot control the muscle by itself, so the vocal chord must be thought of as a planar, which is two dimensional but clearly not a string or line. The thickness of mucosa is controlled by the moisture content, if it’s too much moisture, the vocal chord is swollen and makes a low vocal pitch. Meanwhile, if there is too little moisture, it will dry up and obstruct the vocal chord vibrations. It’s the same with skin, lively and well moistened is the best condition.
The tone of a high-pitched sound is supposed to sound thin.
(3)…Harding the vocal chord only relates to the muscles of vocal chord.
If the muscle hardens like a stone, the vocal chord vibrates less and can make a high-pitched sound, but the tone may sound metallic/thin. Therefore, it might be considered ‘not artistic.’
Choose one of three or combine these three, which will make a high-pitched sound, but the attractive high-pitched sound is mainly made in (1).
I would like you to move the cricothyroid articulation. This flexibly will help in reaching the higher pitches, by means of extending the vocal chord.


A key point to breathing

It’s impossible to perform abdominal breathing while wearing a tight or restrained corset. Why, you ask?
Movement of the rib cage is required to produce the (increase in volume) correct breathing patterns for any vocalization.


The sound (voice) is made by vibrating the vocal chords which is composed of muscle and mucosa. The breath is what vibrates the vocal chords.
The process of inhalation and exhalation, which is referred to as breathing on the whole, is managed by the diaphragm.
If you would like to reference an earlier discussion, explaining the diaphragm in more detail – Click here: here.
This experiment proved that the movement of the rib cage is important for maximum movement of the diaphragm.
Many people still believe that “abdominal breathing means that you are putting air into the abdominal area.”

Abdominal breathing is the process of expanding your abdominal area and make the diaphragm lower. Abdominal breathing, diaphragmatic breathing, belly breathing or deep breathing is breathing that is done by contracting the diaphragm. Drawing air into the lungs in a way which will expand the stomach and not the chest. Breathe deep into your lungs, flexing your diaphragm rather than breathing shallowly by flexing your rib cage. The lung expansion being lower (inferior) on the body as opposed to higher up (superior), is referred to as “deep breathing” and the higher lung expansion of rib cage breathing is referred to as “shallow.” Deep breathing allows one to take normal breaths while maximizing the amount of oxygen that goes into the bloodstream, which triggers the body’s normal relaxation response. It is considered by many, to be a healthier way to breathe and a fuller way to ingest oxygen. It is often used as a therapy for hyperventilation. Practiced regularly, it can lead to the relief or prevention of symptoms commonly associated with stress, which may include high blood pressure, headaches, stomach conditions, depression and anxiety. Most importantly, proper breathing from the diaphragm, has proven to be essential to great singing.

When compared to someone who has the ability to move the costovertebral joint smoothly (which is relevant to increasing the chest in volume) I observed a clear difference in the term and frequency of breathing.
A good quality voice can improve significantly, in producing high-pitched sounds and long tones, if the expiratory pressure increases as well as increased breathing quantity.
I would like you to practice and show that you have a great speaking or singing voice, by expanding your chest.

Dynamic motion makes it possible to create super high-pitched sounds

Dynamic motion makes it possible to create a super high-pitched sound.
A Vocal Coach once asked me, “Is it true that people who have a wide range of motion with cricothyroid articulation, can sing super high-pitched vocals?”
The answer is yes!!
I’ve listed the following requirements necessary to be able to make these super high-pitched sounds.
Describing how to make the super high-pitched sounds purposely, not in a general speaking voice.
1:Normal movement with the cricothyroid articulation (the figure of inferior horn or the glenoid cavity, the hinged movement and the slide movement)
2:The muscles around the larynx must be soft and relaxed.
3:The cricoid cartilage should be big.
1 and 3 are of great importance, though 3 is the most important requirement.
Do you know why the cricoid cartilage must be big to make these super high-pitched sounds?
Because if the cricoid cartilag is bigger, the space of the glenoid cavity will also become bigger.
As a result, the angle of hinge movements and the length of the slide movement increases, and the cricothyroid articulation can move dynamically. Thus, the extension range increases dramatically.
Furthermore, the cricothyroid muscle (oblique and pendant part) is toned because the range of movement is wide.
This is referred to as dynamic motion, which makes it possible to make super high-pitched sounds.
Be advised, heavy cricoid cartilage may obstruct movement. In some cases the big size is not necessarily a positive advantage.

Don’t get the wrong idea! Part2: Breathing


Above the red line is the diaphragm. The right side is slightly higher than the left side due to the location of the heart. I’m wondering how many people know that fact.
The following figure is a sketch, which shows you the diaphragm, viewed from the front.


A lot of people think that the diaphragm looks bowl shaped.
This is not true, actually it has legs.
We call the legs the crus of the diaphragm, which connects to the front of L3, (3rd Lumbar Vertebra) to support the diaphragm.
Therefore, the functions and movements of breathing are deeply relevant to the lower back and body.
I often hear that, “you should breathe with your abdomen more or put more air in your belly.” Even if you could breath with your abdomen properly, air never flows into your belly/stomach. Though the stomach does move during breathing, air does not flow to or through there.
Abdominal breathing uses the trunk muscles of the stomach/belly area, then depresses the diaphragm. These muscles support the movement of breathing.
Air only comes into the lungs as shown in the above figure.
I’ve met one vocal coach who did not teach abdominal breathing techniques properly.
He instructed ”Move only the belly”, “Don’t move the chest!” This way is not correct and is not the proper breathing reference or technique.
This is question:
Please classify which one is used for breathing in or out regarding the muscles related to breathing:
1:Internal intercostal
2:External intercostal
4:Scalene muscle
5:Transverse thoracic muscle
6:Intercartilaginous muscle
7:Serratus posterior superior muscle
8:Serratus posterior inferior muscle
9:Subcostales muscle

You got it?
You do not need to know all the names of the muscles, though understanding the process of breathing will be easier to grasp if you know the placement and movement of theĀ  muscles involved.

Note1:I have overseen vocal coaches and music teachers, and have noticedĀ  many coaches are dedicated to teaching singing but some of them use an eccentric method instead of theory. I feel that the former is humble, making only an effort to acquire the skill of singing. The latter is inherited or learned by a good singer who teaches using experiences as well as supported educational materials.
Judging which method of teaching is the best cannot be decided, because a license is not required to sing a song and or teach singing. Professional teaching coaches who are strong advocators, will present their students with a course overview or syllabus. In which, will describe all the future goals and criteria that will be learned throughout the course..
I strongly recommend you to learn singing from a vocal coach who will focus on the mechanics of vocalization. This knowledge is often overlooked. Learning mechanics is a necessary fundamental if you wish to achieve growth.

Note2:This article was intended to inform those who wish to learn about vocal training and the mechanics involved. Know that it does come along with hard training. Be careful not to suffer a vocal impairment or strain your voice from intense training, or driven instructors.
Please take care!

Is there a difference between the right and left vocal chord?

I met a singer who claimed, “My left vocal chord vibrates when singing low-pitched tones and my right vocal chord vibrates when singing high-pitched tones.”
Is it possible to be able to feel a difference in vibration between the right and left vocal chord?

I’ve touched a lot of fresh vocal chords, some damaged/some in excellent condition, and I’ve never seen the right and left be the exact same in length, thickness and hardness. That is why, I can confidently confirm that the right and left vocal cord are not same in humans.
This is the same with other body parts, our body is not perfectly symmetric. For example, both your arms are not same length.
There is no doubt, eyes differ in size between the left and right, also the thighs and feet.
I strongly believe it would be very difficult to be able to “feel” a difference between the right and left sides of the vocal cord. This can be perhaps confused with the vibrational movements felt on both sides, one just being mildly stronger than the other. The voluntary muscle is a muscle used for vocalization, but there is no way to verify the process of centrally focusing solely to one side, until after the voice is expelled. At that point the muscles can be checked for tenderness.
That’s why, even if you said “Ooh, I feel the right vocal chord vibrating now,” that’s just sense or a hypothesis, which unfortunately has no credibility. A hypothesis is an educated guess about the process of how things work, or a proposed explanation for a phenomenon.
However, if they are extremely well-trained professional vocalists, it is quite possible to use one vocal chord strength more than the other.
I tested, and here are my findings:
I asked a singer who boasts to be able to control his vocal chords as much as he wants, to be the subject in this test.
I asked him to make the sound of an “A” using first the left and secondly the right vocal chord.
Of course, it’s impossible to stop only one side from vibrating. He indeed had vibrated more of the right vocal chord.
When vocalizing,
(1) I palpated the musculus extrinsic laryngis and checked the hardness whether there is difference or not between right and left.
(2) I made the rendering of anatomical drawing from the video inspection,
then determined and checked the laterality of the subject. The term laterality refers to the preference most humans show for one side of their body over the other.
(3) I inspected the upper vocal chord along side of a medical doctor who also examined the subject using a fiber-optic endoscope.
As a result, I could not find any differences between the vocal cords in (2) and (3) but obviously I could see differences between right and left in (1).
I then, tested again. Only this time, I palpated precisely when he did not vocalize.
The vocal chords displayed movement around the muscles such as extension, opening and closing but not just the one vocal cord itself.
The subject used both muscles, though he meant to make a difference between left and right.
Which muscle did I feel through palpation, differed from side to side?
From the integument, the sternohyoid muscle, the thyrohyoid muscle and the omohyoid muscle, turned over the thyroid cartilage, part of the posterior cricoarytenoid muscle and part of the lateral cricoarytenoid muscle.
The throat always amazes me a lot.

What causes a breathy voice when singing, if there is no apparent problem with the vocal cords?

What causes a breathy voice when singing, if there is no apparent problem with the vocal cords?
More than likely this is happening because the arytenoid cartilage is rotated/shifted by pressure in the front cervical spine and the glottis is easily opened due to deep positioning.
The following figure supports this theory:


The black arrow is press to the depth of space,the red arrow is press from the cervical spine and the blue arrow is opening force of vocal cord.
In reference to the above picture,


You can stop and/or prevent having a breathy voice, if you fix this deep position.
If you go to an otological hospital but they cannot find any problems with your vocal cords, and you still have a breathy voice, then I advise you to seek second opinion through a medical professional who can check the position of your larynx.

Note: Many people who have breathy voices are usually only recognized by people who have a good ear. Most commonly it is also observed when recording a voice, playback, or simply while singing using a microphone.
Please consult with professional who is educated in all aspects of the larynx, both medically and through professional singing.

Don’t get the wrong idea! Part1: The movement of the cricothyroid articulation.

Don’t get the wrong idea about how to move the cricothyroid articulation…
We have already discussed and know that a high-pitched or loud voice is achieved by moving the cricothyroid articulation.
Many books I have seen imply that vocalization of the cricoid cartilage bows when vocalizing.
However, this is wrong. The cricoid cartilage is actually moved up. This occurs by the moving of the pendant moiety on the cricothyroid muscle.
The cricoid cartilage and the thyroid cartilage are suspended by [A]the stylopharyngeus muscle and[B] the stylohyoid muscle. (Please see the bottom figure)
Therefore, you would expect the thyroid cartilage to slightly move back, because the soft issue extends.
Please be aware when reading any book that states that, “the thyroid cartilage goes down when vocalizing high-pitched registers.” – Because that statement is incorrect.
The vocal chord is composed of twin infoldings of mucous membranes stretched horizontally, from back to front, across the larynx. They vibrate, modulating the flow of air being expelled from the lungs during phonation. Sound is not made by metal or wood like a machine, or instrument.

Wrong movement

Right movement theoretically

Real movement

**I sketched the above figures without the glenoid cavity of cricoid cartilage because it is easier to see how to move the cricothyroid articulation**
Note: Validating proper palpation:
The thyroid cartilage and the cricoid cartilage are located in the front. Hold the edge of the thyroid cartilage by the left finger and put the right finger under the cricoid cartilage, then open maximally. Figure 1 : Opened minimally Figure 2: Shows the status of the joint position, movement, and the vocal cord of expansion as well as contraction.



The blue circle is the movement range of cricothyroid articulation.
The green arrow is the orbit of movement.
The red point is the laryngeal prominence (Known as the Adam’s Apple)