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Singing Voice Techniques - What Do Your Vocal Cords and Your Stomach Have in Common?

by Al Koehn

We all know that the vocal cords and the stomach are both parts of our body... True, but what other similarities do they have?

1. "They're both muscles." Not true. The stomach is an organ and the vocal cords are strips of membrane run by muscles.

2. "The stomach is necessary to our staying alive. Our vocal cords just make sound. We could do without them if we had to." Not true. The vocal cords' primary purpose is to shut off the passage way to the lungs so that when we swallow food or water it doesn't go there, causing us to choke and die.

Let me ask you this... when do we really notice that we have a stomach? Maybe when we're full, but mostly when we have a stomach ache. We go about our lives basically unaware of our stomachs, and the same is true of our vocal cords. The only time we are truly aware of them is when something goes wrong. Our stomach hurts....our vocal chord get irritated and we get hoarse. Or when they fail to close on time and we choke on food or water.

That little bump in the middle of our throat is actually an enclosure made of cartilage which protects the tiny and delicate vocal cords. When we yawn it moves down. When we swallow it moves up and covers the opening to the lungs. It's called the "Adams' Apple" because the guy who named them was a chauvinist. Whoops, not true. It's called the "Adams' Apple because it's usually much bigger on guys. It's more easily seen.

And why is that? Because female vocal chords are smaller than male. Think about this: a flute goes much higher in pitch than a tuba. The flute has to be smaller to do this. Girls' voices are generally much higher in pitch than guys, and that's because their vocal cords are smaller, and their throat container is harder to see. That's why we don't call it the "Eve's Apple."

Going back to the first of this article, its' very important to realize that the only way your vocal cords can tell you something is wrong is by producing hoarseness. They don't broadcast pain like the stomach does. When you have a stomach ache you do something about it. When you are hoarse, stop singing, drink warm liquids, see a specialist if the hoarseness continues for a week or more.

For much more information on this, THE SINGER'S BIBLE and many other powerful singing and performance techniques visit Al's website at:

Al Koehn has spent over 30 years working with top professionals in all aspects of their careers; voice development, performance, recording, producing and managing. His powerful new FREE ebook called "SINGING IS SERIOUSLY SIMPLE: Important Tips, Tools and Techniques for All Singers" is now available.

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