How to Sing with a Neutral Larynx

Neutral Larynx

What is a neutral larynx? The position of the larynx when singing is hotly debated among singing teachers. The long-standing classical ideal instructs the singer to lower the larynx. The contemporary methodology of Speech Level Singing, otherwise known as SLS, encourages a laryngeal position that resembles speech patterns; that is a middle of the road position. While other contemporary singing teachers believe the larynx should be held high. Low, middle, high. Confused? Who’s, right? Come on, let’s look at this contentious subject and clear the muddy waters a little.

The topic of laryngeal position sounds like a subject best left to the academics and voice scientists, but it’s an important issue for us to discuss because the position of your larynx will significantly affect your pitch accuracy, your voices stamina and your vocal resonance.

I think many of us fall into the trap of only thinking about the sound that we’re making when we sing. But have you ever stopped to think about the passage, the vocal tract, that the sound must travel along before it enters the big bad world? The vocal tract is measured from the glottis, the space between your vocal folds, and extends to your outer edge of your nostrils and lips. The length of the vocal tract is never fixed. Not only can your lips produce different shapes, protruding for some vowels and receding for others; your neutral larynx also has the capacity for movement, both up and down and side to side.

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