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)
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!!