How to properly hold a microphone when singing

Holding a microphone properly is vital, when singing. Use the following tips to to improve your holding stance and produce the best vocals. If you want to resonate your natural voice, you have to hold the microphone even (upright) with the ground, and get your mouth either close to or far from the microphone. The distance you hold it will correspond to the voice’s volume or pitch.
Be mindful to hold the microphone diagonally when letting out a high-pitched voice or falsetto.
If you hold the microphone horizontally when exhaling a lot of air to produce a high-pitched voice, you won’t be able to let out a good voice easily. This is because the air flow is obstructed by the microphone.
Whether you are showcasing your speaking voice or vocalizing to sing a song, both rely on and are directly associated with the direction the microphone is held as well as the specifications of the microphone. Please try to follow the above mentioned rules of thumb to produce the best voice and get the most out of your microphone.

Note:Always keep in mind where the diaphragm of the microphone is located when holding it. The proper way is to position the diaphragm to be lined up between the center of the mouth’s hard palate and the front edge of the tongue. In doing this, when the mouth is opened for singing, the microphone can pick up the voice to its best ability.


Voice harassment, There is Such a Thing!

I want those of you who are or Music Teachers and Vocal Coaches, or if you employ one to be aware of their techniques and training curriculums, focusing on not supporting methods of teaching students forcefully how to sing a song.

I think that Music Teachers and Vocal Coaches really have to, themselves have vocal talent, a strong physical ability as well a good techniques to train others in ‘how to sing a song.’
However, these techniques do not necessarily fit everyone!
Everybody has different ways of moving their muscles relating to vocalization, which make up the the voice’s tone and pitch.
In the case regarding some genre specific targeting Vocal Coaches, it is almost torture for the student to ignore natural abilities and force a student to sing by only the Coach’s techniques.
Specifically, the student cannot go against their training and the Teacher or Coach’s way.

This is Voice Harassment.

Please watch out for these signs and also be careful if you see a Vocal Coach or Music Teacher tell you the following:
1.Make sure you remember you should only practice singing by my method!
2.Why can’t you sing like I taught you?
3.You shouldn’t take these classes or training sessions if you can’t learn to sing my technique.
4.You squeeze your throat tight when letting out the high register, because you are not brave!
5.(Fire you up when singing!) Cursing, yelling or calling you names.
6.You are incompetent if you can’t sing this song!
It is important to know the difference between strict training techniques and voice harassment.

The way to win an argument by using your voice

Everybody thinks in order to win an argument, the way to do it is by describing the justifiable claim in a coherent manner to argue the other side down.
Although the content of the conversations is surely important… there are other important factors as well relating to the voice. Such as the following:
(1) Figure out their feelings by listening to their the voice and tone.
If you know how they are feeling to begin with you will have an advantage in the argument.

(2)Make other people think your opinion is credible by the voice you present regardless of the content of the conversation.
Even if people look really confident, sometimes their mind feels differently, as they are really not. You can feel and identify this through a person’s voice.
Listen to the other person’s voice who is arguing carefully. When people get really nervous, their voice tends to turn to the high register and/or they tend to talk faster than usual. Due to tension, the muscles relating to vocalization including vocal cord muscles become stiff which makes the voice higher.
Speaking speed also becomes faster due to heightened tension, and unconsciously the speaker tries to finish speaking as quickly as possible. When someone raises their voice, please try to handle them calmly, and figure out what they are feeling at that moment. If you show them your calmness and stand your ground with a confident attitude, the other person is more likely to trust your opinion.

(3)You can display a calm and confident attitude by focusing on speaking with a good, low and slow voice.
Please do not concern yourself with twists and turns, such as them trying to change the subject or about the content of the conversation so much, and just focus on keeping a calm voice when speaking.
If you speak lower and slower than usual, the other side more often will start thinking that your opinion/argument/decision might be right.
If the other person is feeling rushed and/or emotional, you actually have more advantage in the overall argument.
In the end, the most important thing is to try not to meet them with the same feelings.
If you get angry like the other side, you will lose.

Success is in the outcome of having talked down the other person by using your voice!

Note:For another technique of talking, some individuals start talking slow at first and then intonate their voice by changing the strength and/or pitch later on in the argument/disagreement. In this case it would be appropriate for you to copy their voice or speech slightly in your response, to be able to propitiate them.

A rare case of LDP only when inhaling

I treated a Man who had the issue of a firm larynx that goes into a deep position when he inhaled.
The Man expressed to me how he was bothered by this issue with every breath he took.
He went to see a Doctor of respiratory medicine because he thought he had an apnea syndrome. That doctor told him that there was no problem with his throat. He then sought a second opinion, and came to my Voice Care Clinic.
I measured the stiffness of the musculus extrinsic laryngis using a hardness tester.
I got the following results:
Without voice:29tone
With voice:38tone
When exhaling:33tone
When inhaling:61tone!

I was so surprised at the numbers this Man displayed. The level of stiffness was so high, and strangely only when he inhaled.
When I listened carefully when he inhaled, I could hear an inward air sound in the form of a ‘Hyu’ from him.
He seemed to be inhaling with the utmost strength!
He stated that it has been hard for him to breath for as long as he could remember. In other words a really long time, this was not a new issue.
Digging deeper into his history was not easy, but after going through a lengthy checklist of probable causes, we discovered that the root of the problem started when he was kid. He avidly attended swim class and his personal swim coach always told him to, ‘Inhale air as strong and deep as you can when taking a breath before going under the water.’
Taking his swim training very seriously and to prove dedication, the Man began inhaling air in this extreme nature with all the strength he had, every breath … even when he was not swimming.
Due to his intense swim training, this Man unknowingly created a habit of inhaling air too strong in his daily life. He could exhale properly at a normal rate, in which air would still exit his lungs automatically without any strain.

It was a long road of over several months of recovery training, but I eventually was able to rehabilitate this Man.
After I cured him, the final result of the level of stiffness of his musculus extrinsic laryngis went to down to 30tone.
He used to feel a sensation of choking when he was sleeping, which would wake him up suddenly. Now, not only can he can sleep well after fixing his stiff muscles, but most importantly he can take a breath normally when inhaling without making a ‘Hyu’ air sound anymore.

Note:This rare case of Inhalation LDP was an learned/acquired habit of the musculus extrinsic laryngis, not a disease.

Flexion reflex of the muscles relating to vocalization

A handful of my patients at the clinic over time have said to me, “I feel like my throat is more stiff than normal and have a feeling of choking/coughing. This problem started soon after an ultrasonic treatment was applied to my throat at another clinic/medical office.”
In most of the cases I have encountered, the irradiation intensity of the ultrasonic treatment previously used did not fit the individual’s muscle needs. Such as being too strong. When the degree is not accurate, I believe ‘flexion reflex’ of the muscles relating to the vocalization occurred, causing those issues.

‘Flexion reflex’ is triggered by stretching and massaging the larynx intensely, and must be taken into consideration during massage and ultrasonic treatments. The flexion reflex is a sudden automatic withdrawal movement occurring in response to a stimuli, and effected by the contraction of the flexor muscles of all the joints on the same side.

The muscles relating to vocalization are really small. If those muscles take too much of a powerful force suddenly, they tend to shrink reflexively.

Our experienced clinic uses special ultrasonic methods for treating the throat. These treatments are for available for vocalists looking to improve their voice or individuals who wish to target an area of a pre-existing condition or issue of the throat. The results sought as well as what we have seen are positive, showing increased flexibility of the muscles (impacting vocal range and muscle strength) and improved blood circulation.
The process of massaging the larynx is very detailed and precise! This is because you have to stretch each muscle fiber one by one gently and carefully. A process, both myself and colleagues at my Tokyo based Voice Care Clinic take pride in.

Of course, to have successful results from such treatments the Clinic and Professionals must have the vast knowledge of the neck and throat muscles as well as a subtle sense of touch. If you move the vocal muscles too forcibly, the larynx will shrink toward the cervical spine and cause (Larynx Deep Position) LDP.

Note:The flexion reflex is often caused by those who massage their larynx by themselves, making the muscles stiff and obstructing letting their voice out.
Amateur self massage of the muscles relating to vocalization almost always causes some muscle damage, more often to the myofascitis and the subluxation of the arytenoid cartilage. So, please be careful, and aware of the muscle mechanics involved as well as the risks.

Laryngeal stress, what would cause a choking feeling?

If you feel a choking in your throat, please go to the otological hospital or to a certified respiratory medicine specialist. If either of those Doctor says that there is no problem, I believe you have the condition, LDP.
LDP stands for “Larynx” “Deep” “Position.” It is a habit of rigid muscles. It is ‘not’ a disease.
The larynx, hyoid bone, thyroid cartilage and the cricoid cartilage get into a deeper or lower than normal position. That action causes an uncontrollable choking reaction, because the musculus of the extrinsic laryngis shrink towards the cervical spine.
Muscles will also become immobile, shrinking and stiff often in the wrong position.

LDP is caused by muscle hypertonia, stress, wrong vocalization, self massage, laryngeal trauma, and asthma or respiratory disease.
Stress is an especially serious problem. In recent studies, LDP has been found in individuals who suffered stress from bullying or harassment at school or an office. In these studies’ followups, after the individual’s throat has healed from whatever injury or stress it has been exposed to, they mostly always still have LDP.
If an individual has had LDP for a long time, the stiff muscles cannot go back into their normal position quickly.
At our clinic, Aida Voice Care Clinic, I have cured a lot of people who have LDP, using my proven treatment solutions for individuals with LDP.
Our treatment methods find the muscle fibers of stiffened throat muscles, and stretch and massage those muscle fibers one by one to acquire flexibility.
After the muscles seem flexible from manual massage or our massage equipment, we adjust the larynx by slightly pulling to put it back into its normal position.

There are of course variations to every individual’s treatment of LDP. Some are becoming better and recovering after only 2 or 3 treatments, whereas some never get better even after taking treatment for 2 to 3 years.
These cases outcomes are so different because the musculus extrinsic laryngis cannot be repaired easily and has a known habit of going back to being stiff.

Note1: When eating or drinking with LDP, the pharyngeal constrictors (the middle constrictor and inferior constrictor only) muscles stiffen, obstructing the throat, which affects swallowing.

Note2:LDP puts an individual’s hyoid bone into a deepened position, obstructing the epiglottis making it stand up. This specific condition has been known to affect many Opera Singers, making them unable to sing the bel canto.
A famous case comes to mind of the late influential Opera Singer, Maria Callas. When she was at her peak, after examination her whole larynx looked forward. In contrast to when she had a slump in singing, her larynx showed having a stuck tension in a deeper than normal position. Please see ”Maria Callas:Investigating changing her voice” for more details of this renowned Opera singer.

Stretching the vocal cord muscles

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.