Pros and Cons Part 1: Gargling

Many people have opposing opinions about gargling and vocalization.
I’ll scientifically and unilaterally explain this.
I have 22 categories that influence breathing and vocalization. Let’s try to figure out who is right.(1)
Part20:roller coaster

Part 1 is “Gargle”
Gargle is defined as washing or rinsing the throat or mouth with a liquid held in the throat, that is then kept in motion by a stream of air from the lungs. Gargling is generally for preventing infection and cleansing the throat. But, I would like to focus on how gargling can help improve the quality of the throat and voice.
(1) Why do you gargle?
(2) Does the voice get better or worse from gargling?
(3) Is gargling necessary?
Regarding (1)
I asked several vocal coaches, “Why do you gargle?” The top three reasons are:
1. Cold prevention 2. Preventing the throat from becoming dry 3. For improving the voice
Regarding “Cold prevention”, many doctors have diverse opinions about the efficacy of gargling.
Some doctors recommend to gargle to prevent infection, but some doctors say it is not necessary and that you cannot expect to see immediate results.
Some doctors say you should not use mouthwash regularly. Mainly because it weakens immunity, by cleansing away good bacteria, which you naturally have in your throat to fight infection.
Some people even say that you should use sports drinks to gargle, because using only water can cause problems with the osmotic pressure of the mucosa in the throat.
There are even diverse opinions about cold prevention. This is also both in favor and against.
Let’s discuss (2)
(2) is, how is gargling relevant to having a good or bad voice.
First, I’ll explain the mechanics and parts of the throat that produce the action of gargling.
The oral cavity and pharynx make and control the gargling motion. If the gargle is any deeper in the throat, it will choke you and never reach the vocal chords.
Some vocal coaches believe and instruct to, “gargle as much as you want, because gargling will cleanse your vocal chords as well as your throat.”
I do not agree. I think that statement is too excessive and even a little risky.
I have studied how the oral cavity and pharynx move during gargling.
It is possible to change the size or figure of the oral cavity while having water in your mouth. I’ve explained before, how to do “air rinsing” and “gargling,” using both air and liquid methods.
Therefore, gargling in the far depths of the throat does not make your voice better … but rinsing will be able to positively effect your voice health and quality, if you swish in every corner of your mouth.
However, I do believe air rinsing is better for the voice, because air has the ability to flow more freely. Water can sometimes drip and expel from your mouth, or create an abundance of aspiration.
Lastly, (3) Importance and necessity.
If you do gargle daily, when flu or cold season is in effect, are you immune and never get sick?
The answer is “No.”
There is no fail proof preventative. Even seasonal vaccines cannot guarantee being 100% effective.
Bacteria or viruses enter the body through the nose/mouth. Then, they attach to your airway mucosa infecting you from within.
Gargling does have beneficial qualities, used to help prevent sickness and infection. Please know, they are minimal.
Now that you know the pros and cons of gargling, you can judge for yourself how beneficial it could be, and if you plan to apply these daily routines to your lifestyle.


Note: People also have different opinions regarding gargle through the nose. Pros and cons: Good, to to prevent infection. Not good, because it can negatively effect intranasal mucosa.


Air rinsing improves the voice

The method of air rinsing can be used to improve the voice or singing.
The original/natural voice is made by the vibrating vocal chord in the thyroid cartilage, which is really quiet.
The original voice is echoed by the laryngeal ventricle, the piriform recess, the pharynx, the oral cavity, and the nasal cavity. All which, make individual sounds.
This is logically a physical phenomenon. If you add articulation techniques and emotion to this sound, it’s possible to create an attractive voice.
Furthermore, the air (breath) goes through the glottis and comes out from the mouth, and then finally the nose. But, the mouth is especially important.
This is equivalent to the ringing sound of a trumpet or clarinet, that is the part of final articulation.
Air rinsing trains the soft tissues to acquire flexibility and activity.
Let try!
You put the same amount of air in your mouth, when you use the water to brush your teeth, and rinse, circulating the air rhythmically.
The point is ↓

(1)Puffing the space between lip and teeth.
(2)Puffing cheeks largely.

Practice the above steps. Sometimes, increasing and decreasing the amount of air, by puffing only on the right and left side, slow or fast, and moving the muscles widely. (Please refer to the following photo)
Generally, it is enough to do this for 3 minutes per day.
With doing this exercise, you can stretch the depressor septi nasi muscle, the levator labii superioris, the levator anguli oris, the zygomatic muscles, the risorius, the depressor labii inferioris muscle, the depressor anguli oris muscle, the orbicularis oris muscle and the buccinator muscle.
Wind instruments are known for changing sounds, depending on the figure or size of air outlet. Humans possess those same mechanisms.
I’ve discovered that the use of lips was more important than I had thought, after investigating the larynx, chin and mouths of many great singers.






Note: This is not only for people who want to have a good voice, but for people who are also slightly affected by hypertonic phonation and mild spasmodic dysphonia.
Please try it!

The physical attributes of a tenor and soprano

Very important (Quiz!)
I’ve figured out the physical attributes of a tenor and soprano, in terms of movement and structure.
The physical aspects are the moving structural components of the larynx, and breathing.
Listed below is a description of the attributed movements and functions of the larynx.

larynx anatomy

◆A tenor is classified as having, 0 to 10% (Q1) mixed with a (Q2). The soprano’s (Q2) changes to 90% from 10%, to mix with a (Q1).
Fill in the blanks, and figure out what (Q1) and (Q2) stand for, The answer is the bottom of this page.

The performances mentioned are measured and defined by the following multiplications.
(1)The operating capacity of the cricothyroid muscle.
(2)The free hardness variation of the vocal cord muscles.
(3)The phase of vibrational patterns in the vocal cord muscles and the mucosa of the vocal cords.
(4)The kinematic performance of the arytenoid cartilage.
I mean, (1) x (2) x (3) x (4)
Especially, (1)&(2) are of great importance for a tenor, whereas (3)&(4) are important for a soprano.
When I had spoken with the producer of an opera, he explained that he was disappointed and stated that, “Many singers who have the natural ability to display a good performance ‘physically’, overlook the importance of singing techniques, and are able to use only their physical abilities to impress the targeted audience. Unfortunately, a lot of Japanese singers just don’t possess that quality. That is why they are not as good, when compared to international singers.
Mostly all Japanese singers rely solely only on their singing techniques and the vocal sounds they produce, making it nearly impossible to hold, captivate and impress the listening audience with their singing.
It’s really a shame…”

The opera singer

If you do not have good physical abilities you cannot get better or change your voice, which makes it difficult to impress your audience and show major improvement.

oʇʇǝslɐɟ:ᄅΌ ǝɔıoʌ lɐɹnʇɐu:⇂Ό

Pros and Cons Part 16: The new fact of Humming!

Recently I spoke with two people, who had totally opposing opinions about humming vocalization.
I’ll scientifically and unilaterally explain this.
I have 22 categories that influence breathing & vocalization. Let’s try to figure out who is right.(16)
Part20:roller coaster

Part 16 is “humming”
Humming is when air is exhaled from the nasal cavity while vocalizing with a closed mouth. Have you ever heard the following statement?
Humming does not weigh down the throat because it doesn’t move or relate to the vocal chords.
Actually, I do know a vocal coach who believes this statement and has stated this before.
Meanwhile, other vocal coaches often say: please stop humming because it will strain the throat.
So, I’ve investigated the mechanics of humming. Even words, when produced, are not clear with a nasally voice. I then checked if the vocal chord was vibrating.
I can confirm, feeling the vocal chord vibrating with my finger, when I gently touch the thyroid cartilage while humming.
It is surely wrong to say that, “humming doesn’t move the vocal chords.”
So, is it true that, “humming weighs down the throat?”
I’ve also investigated this.
First, I measured the hardness of the larynx when humming with a “M” sound, and then singing with a “MU” sound. Some important factors when performing this test, are the following conditions: That the same people sing the exact same song and tones, and also use the same muscle which surrounds the thyroid cartilage and the suprahyoid muscles. I tested several people, and discovered two startling facts. The first one, is that the muscle (especially the suprahyoid muscle) increased in hardness when producing high-pitched, but not low-pitched tones. The second one, is that the muscle did increase (weighing down the throat), but only when singing, not when humming.
This means that humming is easier than singing, especially in a continuous pitch.
In conclusion, both are correct. “Humming does move the vocal chords” and “Humming does not weight down the throat.” It’s up to you, if you decide to use humming for vocal training or not.


Note1: I’ve figured out the muscle actions and reactions surrounding the production of singing and humming in these experiments.
As a result, I’ve discovered that, it is harder to hum high-pitched tones. I hope that these findings will be recognized and published someday.
Hint, stay posted for, “The status of the superior constrictor muscle” and “Is it possible to sing a Bel Canto, when humming?”
Testing and explaining this next theory will also be difficult!!

Larynx Deep Position = High Larynx

I will now describe useful information regarding, larynx deep positioning, in the following picture. If I do not elaborate enough, just imagine and refer to the picture. Though you should definitely be able to understand and see what the status is, when feeling choking or strangulation.
Please see the differences, to compare and contrast, between the following two pictures.
Get a good voice!



Note1:The above picture mentions the status of a “High Larynx.” Please examine and compare to your own larynx. Since I’ve seen a lot of larynges, I’ve figured out when “Deep position” exists, combined with a High Larynx.

Note2: Observe the three muscles which are the, “Digastric muscle”, “Stylohyoid muscle” and “Stylopharyngeus muscle.” These combined, are the supportive proof that “Larynx Deep Position = High Larynx.” I believe that swallowing and eating are also relevant to Larynx Deep Positioning. When you are singing, if a vocal coach points out that, “your larynx is in a high position,” you should care about eating habits as well. Actually, there are some eating habits that can improve your vocalization significantly. Breathing, swallowing, and eating are equally contributing factors.

Expiratory pressure is associated with choking

I’ve improved people who often experience choking, discomfort while drinking, hyperfunctional/functional dysphonia, shortness or difficulty taking a breath, and those who feel squeezing or tightness of the throat.
Two main causes always stand out, after I examine them thoroughly.
The first, is the depth of the larynx. This diagnosis is referring to when the muscle hardens, and stops moving the larynx only when vocalizing. Or, also visible in the diagnosis, the muscle hardness is constant and the larynx increases in depth, while vocalizing and not while vocalizing.
That’s the case primarily for the increased depth, as far as I know.
However, even when not vocalizing, the muscle hardness is one and half to three times more than people who have no problems with their voice.
These results come forth by measuring the muscle with a muscle hardness tester, which is always the first test I perform during an examination.
Results and accurateness does vary, due to the fact I have to carefully measure the sternohyoid muscle specifically with the contours used to move the larynx whilst avoiding causing choking. This information is a very important point of reference I factor into my final diagnosis.
I perform this test, and check by measuring several times.
When measuring the sternohyoid muscle with the hardness tester, people who have no problem with their voice, display results 20 tones or less. (Tone is referred to as the given units measured for hardness)
While, results are displayed in the range of 30 – 60 tones with people who have problems with their voice.
Those who have Spasmodic Dysphonia will show tone results ranging from 5 – 80, depending on individual variations. Although the measurement of 5 tones sounds normal, it is not. Because, when the voice is let out the muscle binds with first sound, producing a spasm. This is a phenomenon which is associated with the symptoms of “choking, difficulty letting out the voice, and/or cracking of the voice.”
In cases of Aphonia, where there is no voice production at all, the muscles also harden. This issue can also be related to extreme stress. The measurement was 50 tones when voiceless, and has never been under 50; this is because of the position of the deep larynx.
Another reasonable factor is that the expiratory pressure is decreased. This means that the breathing is shallow. People who said they suffered choking, discomfort while drinking, hyperfunctional/functional dysphonia, shortness or difficulty taking a breath, and those who feel squeezing or tightness of the throat, all also had shallow breathing.
I can guess two reasons that could cause this issue:
One of two is that the exhalation flow rate is being decreased due to a physical phenomenon (stenosis, abnormal narrowing), in turn reducing the expiratory pressure, resulting in choking. This means that the air is having difficulty coming out, due to a narrow exit path.
If this goes on so long, the person loses the sensory to increase and control their expiratory pressure, constantly producing a smaller voice and becoming a vicious cycle.
The second reason is that, people who originally have decreased expiratory pressure for some reason, feel the need to strain the muscule when letting out their voice. Mainly because their breathing is small and short, they just can’t vibrate their vocal chords with the correct amount of strength.
As a result, they feel choking and/or suffer from hypertonic phonation.
A long time ago, I had the same problem. I said, “it was hard for me to let out my voice due to choking,” to a doctor … he said, “it’s just my imagination or chronic bronchitis,” and kicked me out!
I had been experiencing this for a long time.
I did not mean that I was not able to speak, only that I could not let out my voice as much as I wanted to and was becoming very frustrated because of this.
Please understand and be aware if you or someone around you has the same issue.

Sore throat

Note1: A large lung capacity does not necessary equal to large/increased expiratory pressure. Lung capacity mostly accounts for intra-thoracic size. Expiratory pressure is controlled solely by breathing.
As I mentioned before, even if you have an ordinary breathing capacity, you can increase the expiratory pressure and sing a song with a great strong voice.
Contrary to the above, sometimes those who have a large body and rib cage still struggle with a small/soft voice. Even if you have increased expiratory pressure, you cannot produce a good voice unless you can control the expiratory pressure well enough to utilize your vocalization.