How To Achieve Open Throat Singing
Open Throat can be a confusing term for many singers. If you’ve ever trawled through YouTube videos looking for “the answer” to your singing issues, you’ve probably come across this term many times, or even tried it yourself and found that the whole idea of ‘opening your throat to sing better’ really falls flat, or worse, creates strain and tension in your voice – and there’s a very real reason why, and I’ll share the solution with you after answering these simple but important questions first.
Open Throat Singing – What is it? How do you get it? Does your favourite singer REALLY use it? And most importantly, how do you apply it in your own singing? Let’s find out.
What does Open Throat really mean?
The term Open Throat comes from the classical “La Gola Aperta” concept – literally translating as “The Open Throat”. The thing with classical terms like this however, is that they are often intended in a figurative manner. That’s right, “Open Throat” is really a figure of speech used to describe the result of coordination between many moving parts in the vocal mechanism, creating strain free singing and a feeling of openness in the voice.
The true secret to developing Open Throat singing is actually to develop an element of closure in each aspect of the vocal mechanism;
- Vocal Fold Closure
- Partial closure of the Supraglottis and Epiglottis
- Narrowing of the vowel and vocal tract
- Resisting recoil of the diaphragm
- Closing the soft palate up against the nasal passage to allow resonant space
How To Sing With an Open Throat
By developing controlled closure and resistance in each aspect of the voice from breathing, to vowels, to compression, onsets and so forth, you will create the perfect environment for effective Open Throat singing.
Each technique required for Open Throat singing can be considered an intrinsic part of your vocal foundation, and are really just the building blocks of a great singing voice. Ergo, a singer that has achieved a resonant, powerful, controlled and strain free singing voice is achieving the true essence of Open Throat singing; Resonance, Power, an Extensive Range, an Impressive Tone and most importantly, freedom from strain and tension.
One of the key ingredients for Open Throat singing is learning to blend resonance through the middle voice into a “mixed” resonance that is equal parts chest voice, and equal parts head voice rather than flipping and breaking between your two main registers. A great place to start with developing your mixed voice is this free Mixed Voice singing lesson which will show you the approach I’ve developed over 20 years of experience as a singer and a decade of voice coaching expertise helping singers just like you all around the world find their true voice by developing Open Throat singing.
If you have any questions about learning how to sing with an Open Throat, feel free to leave any feedback or questions below!
Kegan DeBoheme is Bohemian Vocal Studio’s resident vocal coach and voice expert. He teaches professional singing and voice technique to students all around the world and enjoys providing tutorials like this one on how to improve your voice.