Having a long tongue effects the voice

A client came to see me after she was told by someone, “the reason you cannot speak smoothly is because your tongue is too long.” Although, her tongue did not appear long upon investigation.
But, she did have two distinct characteristics.
(1)The hyoid bone is deep
(2)The stylopharyngeus muscle is tight
When the tongue was rolled it appeared to be sticking out forward, due to the above condition.
Let’s brush up.
Refer back to this information, if you need a review of the tongue the right position of the tongue root.

Skull 50

This is a transparent figure, displaying the tongue and the mandible bone.
The orange is the tongue which is located in the air and is bore by the hyoid bone. The red is actually the tongue root.
Many people think that the tongue root is located in the back of the tongue, but as we have previously discussed, that’s not true.
The purple is the muscle tendon junction. If this gets hard, it restricts movement of the tongue and makes it difficult speak smoothly.
The intrinsic and extrinsic muscles of the tongue, do not intersect with any bones. The intrinsic muscle of the tongue is considered the main “body” of the tongue.
There are four muscles that make up the “intrinsic” muscle of the tongue. They are as follows:
(1)superior longitudinal muscle of tongue (2) inferior longitudinal muscle of tongue (3)transverse muscle of tongue (4)vertical muscle of tongue
There are also four muscles the make up the “extrinsic” muscles of the tongue. Which are as follows: (1)genioglossus muscle (2)hyoglossus muscle (3)styloglossus muscle (4)palatoglossus muscle
The genioglossus muscle is thought to be the most important. Although many medical books state that the palatoglossus muscle belongs to the oral muscles, but not the muscles of tongue.*
Speaking in broad terms about functionality, “the intrinsic muscles change the figure of the tongue” and “the extrinsic muscles changes the position of the tongue.”
Speaking in more detail about the extrinsic muscles, the genioglossus muscle has three important movements which are 1:sticking of the tongue 2:pulling of the tongue 3:extending the tongue.
The genioglossus muscle and hyoglossus muscle are depressor muscles, and the styloglossus muscle is used to elevates the tongue.
You know that the tongue is very important, and I would like you to understand the mechanics and acquire a smooth tongue and vocal movements.
If you know the proper functions of the tongue, you are able to comprehend and answer the question, “How does my tongue move?” or “How can I fix/train my tongue to speak smoother”?


Note: Please improve the blood circulation of the tongue to aid in speaking smoother. I recommend you massage along the muscle fibers of the genioglossus muscle, focusing over the skin. There are 2 methods, which are “the skin reduction method” and “the skin pushing method”. If you do this properly, this will work very well and show noticeable substantial improvements of smoother speaking qualities.


The true position of the tongue root

Did you know the tongue root is probably located in different place than you think?
Most people think the tongue root is located in the back of the mouth on the rear section of the tongue, but actually, “the root” attaches in the mental spine of the mandible.
(The green circle in the following picture)


The tongue’s starting point is at the mental spine, then circling around to the upper section is the tip of the tongue.
So, the tongue’s tip is elevated in the air and not the actual root of the tongue.
Furthermore, the part of the muscle tendon junction (the highlighted white section in the green circle of the picture) when especially hard, makes it more difficult to speak smoothly.
If you do not consider training in vocalization, regarding this fact, you cannot improve in speaking words smoothly.
Now, it’s time to learn the mechanisms of vocalization for vocalizing correctly.
It is impossible to sing fluently with a hardened tongue root.
Please get flexible with your tongue root.
For improving flexibility, I recommend you receive sonic irradiation at 1MHz and gently massage the suprahyoid muscles.
Speak smoother and more freely!

The effects of Russell Watson, does he use too much echo?

Russell Watson is an English tenor who has captivated the world with his beautiful voice. He sings both operatic-style and pop songs.
When listening to him sing, you can really feel the powerful energy he is projecting and can clearly hear his advanced technique of producing a self echo with his voice.
A friend asked me, “Do you think that Russell Watson uses too much echo in his voice?” This is a talent I admire, that is becoming all too rare these days. I am a huge fan of his work, own his CDs/DVDs, and have also attended his concert in Japan.
That’s why, I am proud to say I have investigated his larynx, voice and deep singing techniques.
Let me share the results of my findings.
(1)He makes a self-echo, but not only while using the special effects of a microphone.

(2)He bends his neck (the submental region is almost touching the top of breastbone!), integrates the pharyngeal cavity and the oral cavity lengthwise, and also controls the echo by himself. (attentiveness, consideration and carefully focusing on the position of the epiglottis is necessary for bel canto!)

(3)It’s easy for him to get tired, more quickly than most, because he uses a large muscle to support his head, the sternocleidomastoid muscle.

(4)His lips are gravely concerned in displaying emotion and luminescence of his voice.
When referencing “Sound,” that includes the “Echo.” That’s why, we can confidently say that his voice has “Excellent and advanced sound quality!”.

Note1:Regarding (2),this is a very important tip, and is often hidden by professional singers.
Please thank your hyoepiglottic ligament! The hyoepiglottic ligament is a connective tissue structure located in the neck’s sagittal section, specifically in the left half of the larynx. It is an elastic-like band that connects the epiglottis and the hyoid bone.

Let’s acquire an echo, much like having a concert hall in your throat!

The larynx has two important aspects, instrumental and sport values.
Sound quality is decided by the size and figure of the thyroid cartilage, and the resonance chambers. The actual performance of vocalization is made by the flexibility and the activity of the larynx muscle. Review (1) ~ (4) These parts mainly enhance the sound source that is made in the vocal chord and the resonance chamber.
(1) laryngeal ventricle (2) piriform recess (3) pharynx (4) oral cavity
The laryngeal ventricle is the small empty space which is located directly above the vocal chord. If you can control the figure and space freely you will be able to make a great voice, because you will be changing the sound source.
Of equal importance is the epiglottis, which is the resonance chamber in the piriform recess through the pharynx.
The epiglottis’ primary function is to cover the glottis, preventing food or water from going into the glottis when swallowing.
It is a known fact, that the epiglottis does have a large impact regarding the production of sound.
In my opinion, the epiglottis resembles leaves. The cartilage and the thyroepiglottic muscle both pull up the epiglottis.
I’ve closely examined the optical fibers of the throats of many great singers.
When they let out high-pitched tones (especially the act of whistling) the epiglottis softens, curls up, or thins down the piriform recess and the pharynx which surrounds the epiglottis.
If you want to control your the throat and change the empty space freely, you should focus and imagine that this space is like a concert hall. When vocalized, the voice always sounds different in a concert hall. Sound travels, even bounces off things, and when sound is carried a far distance an echo occurs. A really good echo will return to you after several seconds. In order to get an echo, sound must follow a rule of reflection that says that it will bounce at the same angle at which it hit. Though, the strength and energy of the sound emitted, and the texture of the surface the sound is bouncing off of are conditions which determine an echo. Understanding the mechanics and conditions necessary, will make it possible to make a self-echo by utilizing the space in your throat.
Contrary to vibrations, which vary through different tones made, you can change the tempo of sound or note determining its strength or weakness.
Self-echo…The echo is indeed considered a phenomenon of the human body.

Graph button

Note1: I’m even still learning and understanding the role and connection of the epiglottis and the bel canto.
“(1)The position of thyroid cartilage and epiglottis (2)The current of exhalation (3)The feature of soft palate” are all important.
Stay posted, for more detailed information will be shared in the upcoming weeks.

Caution needed!…if your voice changes when you move from left to right

If your voice changes and sounds different when you move your face from left to right, and sounds different from side to side, this is thought to be caused by the following reasons:
(1)The stylopharyngeus muscle has a different balance between the left side and right side.
(2)The connective woven fibers of the middle constrictor has a different sized mass between the left and right.
(3) The spatial configuration of the pharyngeal cavity is not symmetrical.

A singer recently asked me,” why does my audience say that my singing sounds different, from the right to left side? My doctor assured me that there is no problem with my vocal chord at the otological hospital. What is your opinion?”
I inspected, and observed that the right stylopharyngeus muscle is more strained than left. If he faces to the right, the thyroid cartilage is pushed in and makes the resonance chamber deeper and narrow.
Actually, I only noticed that his voice sounded different when compared, while facing to the right and left in a soundproof room. I will use neuromuscular electrical stimulation to treat this. First, I altered the electrical traction, targeted specific currents, and changed the angle to precisely 10 degrees in order to focus on stretching only the right stylopharyngeus muscle. Then, I exerted traction with 13lbs of pressure for 15 minutes.
I then administered to the right stylopharyngeus muscle “ultrasonic therapy,” using 3MHz, at 50% and 2W for 10 minutes. The final step to this procedure is carefully stretching the styloid process, to the edge of the thyroid cartilage.
After giving him a few treatments and several follow up visits, he showed major (permanent) improvement to the continuity of sounds produced by the right and left side.
From my experience, I believe that the most common cause of such vocal issues is (1).
Be careful … if your voice changes from left to right, and please seek professional vocal therapies
– There is hope!

Say What
Hearing and proper observation techniques are also very important.

The above figure refers to: the stylopharyngeus muscle, the thyroid cartilage, the cricoid cartilage and the tracheal cartilages, which can be observed from the left to the rear.

The mystery of the superior laryngeal artery…

The vocal cord is composed of muscle and mucosa, which needs energy and oxygen to create movement. Blood flow circulates, and delivers this oxygen and energy.
The superior laryngeal artery distributes the blood to these muscles, as well as the mucous membranes, and the glands of the larynx.
The blood flow process is as follows:(※)The blood is first sent from the superior laryngeal artery, moving through the larynx, then passing through a small hole in the thyrohyoid membrane(interosseous membrane), which is located between the hyoid bone and the thyroid cartilage.
Though being proficient in anatomy, it was difficult identifying and grasping this process. So I created a diagram, displaying the hyoid bone and the thyroid cartilage, tracking the blood through the vessels.
①:Carotid artery
②:External carotid artery branching from ①
③:Superior laryngeal artery
④:Superior thyroid artery
⑤:Inferior thyroid artery


Blood circulation is important because hormones are secreted from the thyroid gland and sent through the blood to be distributed throughout the body. The thyroid gland is an important endocrine gland, regulating metabolism in every cell in our body.
It’s undeniable not to neglect the blood flow in the larynx, through having good blood circulation.
Arteries only carry blood, and the windpipe and bronchial tubes only carry air.
Which is the best rate of blood flow from the superior laryngeal artery?
A:5~7.5㎜/S  B:1~2㎝/S  C:5~7.5㎝/S  D:1~2m/S

The answer is at the bottom of the page.

Note1:Three vessels come and go in the thyroid foramen: The superior laryngeal artery, the superior laryngeal vein and the superior laryngeal nerve.

Note2:(※)There is also the inferior laryngeal artery, which branches from the inferior thyroid artery in the larynx. Even if the supplied blood flow is weak coming from the superior laryngeal artery, the blood flow is balanced by the inferior laryngeal artery. But if you want to have a great voice or good singing, you need the both blood vessels to work well, because good blood flow is necessary to produce and improve your voice.

Ɔ sı ɹǝʍsu∀

Training on the correct way to pull down a tongue, to produce a louder voice

The goal is to produce a louder voice, without any deep positioning or straining of the tongue and throat.
This is an important warning: If you pull back your tongue forcefully, the thyroid cartilage will fall down into a deep position against the opening of the throat.
I tested 10 people, half of which are experienced singers.
This was the result:
Three people lowered the thyroid cartilage, but the other seven people moved the hyoid bone into a deep position as well as lowering the thyroid cartilage.
In a closer examination, the people who only had the thyroid cartilage down did not put their tongue in the correct position, and the people who had the hyoid bone in a deep position did put their tongue down in the correct area. This area under the tongue is referred to as the lingual frenulum. If the tongue is pulled slightly back and down in the middle position of the lingual frenulum, the tongue gets deep in the hyoid bone and epiglottis, pulling the epiglottis down.
The hyoid bone is the only bone in the human body not connected to any other bone. The hyoid bone allows human beings to speak! Its purpose is to anchor/support your tongue, aid in tongue movement, and raise your larynx whenever you talk and swallow. This bone also provides a place of attachment for many muscles associated with the mouth’s floor, as well as the larynx, pharynx, and epiglottis.
The soft palate is composed of soft tissue. When it is flattened by pressure it changes the current of exhalation, consequently obstructing the flow of breath. This does not only make the space of pharyngeal cavity smaller, but also causes the epiglottis to cover the piriform recess, which makes the voice sound bad.
If your voice coach instructs you to, “Push your tongue down tight and flush with the middle to center of the lingual frenulum” or “Sing with your mouth open wide, similar to yawning,” please inquire as to what the purpose is and also the outcome expected. Because…
There are so many cases that show that pulling down the tongue in deeply and forcibly, can cause muscle strain of the suspension mechanism (hanging the thyroid cartilage) and lead to the tearing of the hyoepiglottic ligament.
Visible symptoms of strain and tearing are pain, closeness, no vibrancy of voice, or a boxy voice when vocalizing.
If you get an injury once (even a slight injury) it is very difficult to repair, because the muscles are constantly being used for speaking. So, please be careful.
I will describe how to move the tongue, (depending on the status) using the cross-section view of a head below.


Close up view of the tongue, the hyoid bone and the epiglottis(Normal position)

Pulling down the tongue forcibly(yellow arrow)

Status : The tongue is pushed down/depressed
Please observe the figure and position of the epiglottis.
(2)Slightly flat


●The current flow of exhalation changes or becomes slower(blue arrow)
●The space of the pharyngeal cavity, (which is relating to the chamber) becomes smaller(orange arrow).
●The hyoid bone is pulled by the hyoepiglottic ligament and lowers itself


Note1:The larynx and everything directly connected it, (the hyoid bone,the thyroid cartilage and the cricoid cartilage .e.g) relies on the tension of several thin and tiny muscles. Therefore, this is not a lot of power creating this changes and movements. If you are supposed to train by pulling down your tongue forcibly, I would like you to understand you are taking a risk and advise you to prepare and educate yourself on these mechanics to prevent any future injuries.

Note2:I have been asked, “Is pulling down the tongue good for treating Spasmodic Dysphonia?”
I do not believe so, because firstly, this causes excessive muscle tension/hardening, and can cause choking, shaking or cracking of the voice. Secondly, this action also makes the voice sound very quiet, due to a narrowed path of breathing in the throat, resulting in shallow breaths. For treating the Spasmodic Dysphonia, I would like to recommend you train yourself to put your hyoid bone forward. Please visit my center for more details.