Home GENERAL SINGING - Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy Forum

Vocal Technique (Swallowing Muscles)

I have this problem where I engage my swallowing muscles under my chin when I sing and even talk. I don't know what to do, it has become a habit and I can't really control it. Is there anything I can do to break this habit?


  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,335
    You can massage the digastric muscle. That's the tight area behind the chin that stretches toward the throat. Just relax it and massage that area gently as you try to relax it.

    Tensing up any of the swallowing muscles won't help you to sing. Relaxing them can help you to sing with less tension.
  • dan2324dan2324 Member Posts: 14
    edited October 2017
  • tightendlbtightendlb 2.0 ENROLLED Posts: 24
    Dan I have the same problem... the digastric muscle tenses/comes down involuntarily as I go higher in my scales -- even the tongue exercise and humming -- and only if I sing ridiculously lightly can I avoid this happening. I'll try massaging it and see if that makes a difference.

    On a separate (though probably related) note, my larynx also immediately raises when I begin an exercise, and continues to lift as I go higher. It doesn't necessarily seem to impede my sound production but I'd love to find out how to keep it neutral or lowered.
  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Moderator, 2.0 PRO Posts: 2,287
    @tightendlb by listening for the bright AH sound, you can figure out if your larynx is lowered enough. keep the AH bright and you know you positioned it right. by avoiding a sound that isn't bright, you know indirectly how to keep it lowered
  • tightendlbtightendlb 2.0 ENROLLED Posts: 24
    Perfect. I think I know exactly what that means.

    Now as I get higher and begin to lose the bright “ping”, how do I get or ideally KEEP the larynx down? Ken speaks a lot about initially training a low laryngeal position, but I haven’t picked up on him explaining how precisely to do that?
  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Moderator, 2.0 PRO Posts: 2,287
    edited December 2019
    i am not very far myself but I understand the LAH ping to be sufficient to tell if it's correct. so as you go up, you keep the ping (i know, easier said than done). maybe pause the scale when you reach the point you describe, and try to re-introduce the ping on that note by "trial and error". try to find the tone and then continue. i imagine that the vowel mods might also have something to do with being able to keep it bright
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