Number Five of the TEN VOCAL COMMANDMENTS BY Wurgler, P.S.
INCREASE THROAT SPACE
If student singers are learning to sing by listening to the radio, they may have tight throats as a result of imitating high-larynxed pop singers. Or perhpas some singers try to articulate each tone with their throats. Most likely, they try to sing as they speak, and the hallow mouth space used for conversational speech is wrongly transferred to singing. The open, relaxed throat is a very different feeling. The familiar directive "drop the jaw" is a valid place to start, but it is not enough. The mouth space must increase by relaxing the back of the throat too. A yawn sensation helps achieve the down-and-back throat opening, as does the "dumb jaw" analogy. Remember that the jaw is a hinge which swings down and back naturally. The directive "feel as if you could swallow a grapefruit" helps some singers, while the image of keeping a big tube open assists others. The tongue should lie comfortably low and out of the way of the throat. It should not pull back from the front of the mouth nor hump up in the back of the mouth. If there is tongue tension, the tongue humps up and pulls back, the singer must work consciously to flatten the tongue by putting the tip of the tongue at the base of the lower front teeth and leaving it there while vocalizing on all vowels.