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Dropping Digastric Muscle help/question

Hello I hope someone can help with this - and I hope this is the correct forum for the question.

The Vol one pdf. says 'please make sure your digastric muscle does not come down during exercises'. And there is also a bit more info in the 'Tension' section but is the digastric muscle dropping a sign of not enough diaphragmatic support or is it more relative to trying to move into a vocal range that is too high, too soon?

Apologies if this is elsewhere on the forum...

Thanks in advance! 


  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,346

    The digastric muscle tensing up is a sign of general tension in the chest, neck, and throat.

    Proper support is one of the best ways to take a load off of your throat.

    Recognizing that you are in fact experiencing tension is an indication that you just need to find ways to relax your tensed muscles.  You are tensing as if to brace for something that requires no bracing.

    Instead, singing requires relaxation and a general freedom from tension.

    You will always experience some tension, but the management of that tension is important.  We monitor for tension, and when we become aware of it, we find the cause and relieve the tension.

    The higher we want to sing, the more management of tension we need, and the more relaxation of unneeded tension is required.

    Support is a major player in managing tension. You will also find that vowel modifications will help in the management of tension.




  • Hello.

    Very useful explanation about always having some tension and that we need to learn to manage it.
    I was about to post a similar question. 

    Is the digastric muscle the one we should feel with our thumbs behind our chin to make sure our voice box doesn't come down, as explained in the volume 1 pdf?
    I ask because I looked up a picture of it to learn which muscle it was and it has two parts, one going flat from the neck to the chin.
    If so, I read in a singing book before learning about KTVA that this is one of the lifter muscles of the larynx (the muscle is shown but not named in this book. It is just put in the category of lifter muscles) and it works together with the constrictor muscles and the tongue. All muscles work in groups, the book says. Taking that this information is correct, could relaxing the tongue also be a way to managing the tension in this muscle behind the chin?
    I ask cause mine always has some tension, even when I do the lip rolls. I do them without any problem all the way up and down the scales in the work outs with very little air. When I sing, I feel more tension if I put my finger behind the chin.
    Apparently all these years I've been singing with some tension. If relaxing the tongue could help me, then it's just a matter of training along the course. If not, releasing this tension could be more complicated.

    I'd really appreciate your opinion on this, Bob.

    Thanks so much!
  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,346

    Yes. Jaw and tongue tension, as well as laryngeal positioning contribute to tension in the digastric muscle.  Massaging under the chin helps us to feel where the tension is, and like any massage, can help to relieve tension by simply becoming aware of it, and relaxing that tension a bit.

    The digastric muscle is part of the suspension system that holds and moves the position of the larynx within the throat.  It is kind of held in a harness by the hyoid bone, and general relaxation in that entire area is desirable when singing.

    Because some students struggle with tongue tension, it can be a big step to learn to make friends and sign a truce in the battle of the tongue.  The tongue can be a bit contrary, but it can also learn to relax more, and stop interfering with your voice by overtensioning.

    I do think that you can find ways to loosen up your tongue and to be more at ease with it while doing your exercises.  It is our friend when we need to articulate.  It is a bit of a party pooper when it gets too tense.  As a general statement, we can benefit by relaxing most tensions.  We have to tension our vocal cords to get the proper pitch.  Beyond that, we balance by transferring most throat tension to our abdominal support and resisting application of excessive air to our cords.



  • JZBJZB Pro Posts: 4
    I am struggling with the basics, and I think that digastric tension is both a symptom (chest tension) and cause (external laryngeal tension) of many of my problems. I have finally begun to relax it after focusing on my support. One exercise that feels right to me is to lightly sing while I push my chin down (pushing it down and in). When I do this I find it very hard to engage my chest to sing and to use pull my larynx up to increase pitch. So try this: push your jaw down and in and try to take a chest breath - I cant do it (well maybe a little). Any thoughts on this?
  • kylevox1987kylevox1987 2.0 PRO Posts: 39
    It's normal for this area to move 'slightly' though yeah? Like the skin naturally moves down a bit as you're going up the scale it doesn't stay stone stiff surely?
  • WigsWigs Moderator, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 5,039
    Yes it won't be "completely" static, the same as the larynx, it will move a bit as you go up. Just don't bring it all the way up with you. Leave the larynx in at least a neutral position going high, and the digastric muscle should behave as well.
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