The cricothyroid muscle in comparision to a tuning peg of a guitar

Vocalization is similar in the sense that, playing musical instruments is like a sport. Breathing and physical strengths as well dedication and practice are needed for both. When singing your voice is your own unique instrument and needs a sense of understanding and control of its mechanics.
Let me compare the cricothyroid muscle mechanics to that of a tuning peg of a guitar.
The cricothyroid muscle begins by contracting, to bring closeness between the top of the cricoid cartilage and the bottom of the cricoid cartilage in order to then move the cricothyroid articulation. Next, the anterior commissure of the thyroid cartilage becomes longer to strain the vocal fold which finally produces the high-register.
Compared to a guitar’s tuning process, the cricothyroid muscle can be seen as the tuning pegs of the guitar. The tuning pegs of a guitar stretch and strain strings for a higher tuning pitch. Less stretching and tension for lower sounding strings. The tuning pegs hold the strings down steady to keep consistent and smooth sound pitch production from the strings.
If you wind the peg more and more tight, the strings undergo an increase in tension and have the ability to make a high-register sound.

Gitarre im Detail


Note1:The above figure mentions a total four cricothyroid articulation movements contracting to pull up the cricoid cartilage and extend/stretch the vocal cord to make the high-register.
The two arrows show you the severity of the force. The degree of force is displayed by its size. For example, the larger arrow has more force.
The cricothyroid muscle contracts, and the cricoid cartilage moves ↑ which is the bigger arrow.
The larynx is suspended by the stylopharyngeus muscle and the stylohyoid muscle, that moves ↓ just a little bit.


How to relax when you let out a high-pitched voice

You can let out a high-pitched voice easily when practicing, if you do rock-paper-scissors at the same time. The sequence of the hand motions don’t have to be exact or in sequence, mix it up. Multitasking with your hands while singing will ease being tense by keeping the mind and body busy.
Many people are afraid and say that, “singing in a high-pitched voice is really difficult.” These negative feelings toward that aspect of singing can psychologically influence your sound production by hardening your larynx and body, which will in turn disrupt your performance in letting out the high-pitched voice. Both physical and mental strengths are necessary for good vocalization.
If you already have the skill to be able to let out a high-pitched voice, just stop extremely concentrating/focusing in letting out the high-pitch voice, and you would be able to let it out easier.

Note1: However, if you on focus playing rock-paper-scissors more than vocalizing, your singing will be messed up. So, please don’t be extreme, think too much, or overdo it.

How to acquire a high-pitched clear voice

I have two recommended methods on how to make a clear voice in terms of the physical movements of the larynx.

(1)Letting out voice slowly: By decreasing speed of the voice you can keep a steady balance of the lateral cricoarytenoid muscle, the transverse arytenoid muscle, the oblique arytenoid muscle, the posterior cricoarytenoid muscle, and the cricothyroid muscle. Moderate flexibility is necessary with these muscles, because they are difficult to control consciously.

(2)Put a whisper voice soon before (the beginning) letting out the voice: You can change the hardness of the vocal cords mucosa and the surrounding muscles, which will improve the blood circulation of the superior laryngeal artery in the larynx. Start vocalizing soft and smooth, focus and build up – then increase in volume and strength.
You can acquire a clearer high-pitched voice with a conscious awareness of the above methods.

The voice is inborn or not?

The term inborn means, existing from the time someone is born. Characteristics and traits naturally passed/inherited from parents to their children through the genes is referred to as hereditary. The approximately 40% children have the same characteristics of the voice as their parents.
I’ve heard that people inherit 50% of their personality traits from their parents, 40% from their environment, and 10% are from other general varying factors.
In my opinion, I think more than half of people posses and display similar voices to that of their parents.
This form of similar traits is also the same with musical instrument families. This is because the sounds will be distinctly similar, if the structure is similar.

3d rendered illustration - larynx
Note1:Even if the figure of the larynx is similar, the voice is changed by the background or how a person uses it. For example, with accents, and intonation as well as environmental factors. Although it is sometimes difficult to change the voice consciously by means of environment.

Note2:Even if not a blood relative, the voice becomes similar to those people in your environment. That is because of a mirroring effect, which can be noticeable when people live together for a long time.

Obesity in relation to the voice

It is not true that heavier/fat people have a great voice because they have large resonance.
The resonance size does not increase – even if you gain weight!
Sound produced vibrates in the air and it is required to have enough space to put/store the air, which is the resonance chamber.
The resonance chamber is composed of1:laryngeal ventricle 2: piriform recess 3:pharyngeal cavity 4:oral cavity 5:nasal cavity.
You have to make the above space big enough to resonate the voice.
I think that many obese people have a small resonance chamber. This is because the amount of tissue also increases, with the larger statute of the body, to cause a loss of space in the throat. However, lung capacity will be increased and is generally in proprtion to the body per hereditary traits.


If the body’s outside was big but the inside (similar to an instrument) was hollow, then the voice would sound good … but it’s not scientifically possible for a human. Obesity does not necessarily mean a greater sound or sound capacity, people of any size can have a good voice.

The countermeasure of strain

Many people get nervous and strain before singing. Even
professional singers are nervous before singing.
Here are two resolutions to prevent these issues.
First, is that you have to be used to singing to the point where you can recognize pushing too hard and straining. Having experience will help this awareness and ease your physical reaction to avoid the strain.
Secondly, is that you have to have flexible muscles around the throat. If you have confidence that your throat condition and awareness are good, then that balance between mental and physical state combined will relax some if not all of the nervousness before and during singing.
You can let out your voice easily as long as you have flexible muscles for vocalizing.
The recommended requirement regarding the hardness of muscles is approximately 10-20 tones for vocalizing.

Beautiful young woman singer with microphone

Note1:Stretching is effective to acquire flexibility of the muscles relevant to vocalizing.

Note2:If the muscles are flexible around the larynx, you can have space between the hyoid bone and the thyroid cartilage. This will increase blood circulation of the superior laryngeal artery, which will extend through to the thyroid foramen, and bring a lot of oxygen and nutrition to the instrinsic muscle as well as the vocal cords.
Furthermore, the vocal fold is moisturized to vibrate the vocal cords well. This assists in letting out the falsetto and extended vibration production.