Open Throat Technique Singing
Open Throat Technique Singing – What is it? How do you get it? And what does Open Throat Really mean? Let’s find out!
Open Throat singing is derived from the classical vocal term La Gola Aperta which translates literally as “The Open Throat”. The truth about many classical singing terms such as this is that they are often intended as a figure of speech, not a literal instruction to either “open” your throat, or even in the case of Appoggio not literally to “lean” sideways when you sing. So why is the term used in such a general way that becomes confusing for singers just getting started? Terms like Open Throat are really intended as a broad concept that involves many different parts in the same way that a car is really made up of hundreds of different moving parts that all come together with the one intention of moving forward – or in the case of singing, to sustain resonance and sing without strain.
Open Throat refers to each element of your vocal foundation and developing coordination between each moving part of your voice.
How To Sing With An Open Throat
Singing with an open throat starts with the foundation elements of singing such as diaphragmatic breathing, vocal fold closure and managing resonance. By first setting up a strong diaphragmatic support in your voice by engaging the diaphragm and managing air flow and air pressure, you will then be able to maintain and manage sustained resonance in your voice by altering resonant space and achieving an ‘open’ vocal tract – which is the true essence of Open Throat Technique Singing.
A balanced onset occurs when you balance airflow with fold closure to create ‘instant’ resonance that is free of strain, but also occurs without being preceded by aspiration of air or unnecessary closure. So, a balanced onset occurs when you achieve good closure at the same time you create vibration with the passage of pressurised air.
Now, compression is actually a three stage process that involves three separate ‘valves’ in the voice – the glottis, the sub glottis and the supraglottis. The glottis is simply the pipe that the vocal folds ‘close’ over, the area below the vocal folds is known as the supraglottis and results in supraglottic pressure when you achieve breath support, and the area above the vocal folds is known as the supraglottis and is a key element to achieving compression without strain. If we were to simply build up subglottic pressure, then the result would be a barrage of air pushing up against our delicate vocal folds – which obviously isn’t healthy for your voice. Now, if we use the final valve above the vocal folds by engaging the supraglottic area of the voice to manage the flow of pressure you will achieve healthy and strain-free vibration and sustained resonance when you sing. Now, learning to achieve compression actually starts with the base elements of your vocal foundation – vowels, support, closure, resonance, managing the vocal tract etc.
A great place to start learning to sing with open throat technique is our Foundation 101 singing course which will show you how to;
- Connect chest and head voice
- Create mixed resonance
- Achieve a balanced onset
- Sustain and manage resonance
- Manage resonant space
- Increase your range
- Improve your tone
- Support your voice
- SO much more!
Remember, open throat singing starts with a healthy voice, and healthy voice starts with a rock solid vocal foundation.
If you have any questions about open throat singing, 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.