4 Ways to Open up your Voice

Posted by Pratibha Sarathy on 21 Feb 2017

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Many of us undergo music training in various forms. The voice is the most important component of the singing process. I have come across many people who are technically sound, but their voice does sound open and clear. Remember, open throat = Clear, smooth sound; Closed throat = harsh, strained sound. In this article, I shall list a few safe techniques that would help you open up your voice and improve your sound clarity.

1. Jaw dropped aa sound - Drop your lower jaw vertically and sing 'aaa' repeatedly (around 10 times). While singing, you have to drop your jaw much more than you do in regular conversation. This opens up your voice significantly and brings in more clarity in your tone. The jaw dropped position is important as it gives the vibrations more space to resonate, hence your voice gets a better throw and tone. But remember not to keep the jaw stiff. It should be dropped in a relaxed position. Do not try to expand your mouth horizontally as that is the wrong technique to vocalize and the sound gets trapped inside with hardly any reach and also causes strain.

2. Akaram training - Akaram is one of the best techniques for voice culturing as it strengthens the voice and smoothens the tone. Practising any vocal exercise or the tune of a song using the 'aaa' syllable really helps in opening up the voice and creates more grip and power as you navigate through various notes without the help of consonants. Once you are comfortable with akaram, go ahead and try the same with other vowels ee, ey, oo, oh. In each of these, your lower jaw should be in the relaxed position and not stiffen up. Akaram training may require a teacher's guidance.

3. Yawn! - You would be surprised to know how beneficial yawning can be to a singer. When you breathe in while yawning, it widens your ribcage and your abdomen muscles which is of great help since singing is all about breathing right. Secondly yawning relaxes your throat and jaw and also creates more space for resonation, again leading to an open sound. Do 4-5 artificial yawns and it will put you in a good place with respect to your voice.

4. Avoid sounding nasal - A nasal tone not only sounds unpleasant but often interferes with the clarity of your voice. While singing, we usually exhale through the mouth. But sometimes some air tends to escape through your nose and leads to a nasal sound. Place one finger gently on your nose while singing and see if you feel any vibrations there. If you do feel vibrations, it means that you are sounding nasal. Try to avoid the passage of air through the nose so that your voice sounds open and pleasant.