A fact about the vocal cord muscles us that they contract but cannot extend by themselves. These muscles also
do not relate to opening and closing the glottis.
If your vocal cord muscles become stiff, your voice will have the following issues:
1. Difficulty controlling pitch
2. A narrow voice range
3. Difficulty letting out the falsetto (the upper register of the human voice, the opposite of a chest voice)
4. High register producing a metallic sound
5. Easy to leak breath out (common hoarse voice)
Remedy: You need to stretch the vocal cord muscles to acquire flexible movement.
I recommend this method of taking hold of the thyroid cartilage, move it up and down to contract and elongate the vocal folds.
At my voice care clinic we usually do this stretch without making any sounds or using the voice, but if you do it with letting out the voice, it’s really easy to let out the high register voice.
Note1:Please be responsibile if you stretch by yourself. Take stretching slow and gently.
Note2:A singer once told me, “I can let out my voice and only move the left vocal cord.” We checked his vocal cord by using an optical fiber scope when vocalizing, and confirmed that both of the vocal cords were completely moving! The singer’s claim had been proved wrong. After all, we cannot move the vocal cord at will.
Note3:Many vocal Coach’s often say “You can stretch your vocal cord, when you let out your voice.” But, this is not true! It is impossible to contract and elongate the vocal folds when vocalizing.
However, you can train the muscles related to move the vocal folds if you vocalize a lot. Although, this action is not stretching, it is the same action as when you are running or swimming.