Learn to sing with LESS Vocal Tract CONSTRICTION | #DrDan 🎤

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Today, we are going to discuss and workshop that pesky pest known as singer’s tension, or what some vocal pedagogues refer to as constriction. I think most of us can relate to those notes, often found at the top of our range, that feel like they’re almost strangling us as we sing.

We have three pharyngeal constrictor muscles: the superior or upper pharyngeal constrictor, the middle constrictor and the inferior or lower pharyngeal constrictor muscle. These constrictor muscles are the very same muscles that, for many of us, will want to tighten and constrict when we sing higher notes. Actually, there are a few others as well, including some immediately above the vocal folds, but for now, let’s just focus on the pharyngeal constrictors.


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And a small side note (because I’m asked a lot): It is important to note that while I hold a doctorate (thus I am Dr Dan), I am not a medical doctor, and the advice provided in this video is generalised information only; and therefore you should always consult with your health care professional for personalised advice about your vocal health and well-being.

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32 thoughts on “Learn to sing with LESS Vocal Tract CONSTRICTION | #DrDan 🎤

  1. Arunava Sadhukhan says:

    I definitely need to do this exercise, there are high notes both in my belting range and in Falsetto that I Can do, but my throat feels so constricted that I avoid them. Thanks for another great tip Dr Dan. The scientific approach you take is the most effective.

  2. Tadéus says:

    I can’t sing while looking at the ceiling
    Its seems impossible🙆

  3. very helpful…been frustrated with this…thank you for sharing

  4. I am Fire says:

    Thanks for your advice Doctor Dan:3
    I have a sore throat from being sick, but as soon as I can, I will try some of these techniques!👌

  5. Michaela Alcordo says:

    I’m going to try these techniques! I also bought your vocal exercise album and was wondering if I’m going to sing, do I have to do all the exercises before performing? Thank you!

  6. Patricia Podolyak says:

    ¡Excellent video! Super helpful indeed!

  7. Linda Dalton says:

    Hey Dr Dan, thanks for this informative vid and great advice!
    I can understand looking up at the ceiling stretches the constrictor muscles, and you can gradually learn to relax them in the normal head position..but what is the mechanism behind the covered mouth technique?
    what should we be feeling and what range should one do this eg. over an octave? esp as higher notes will cause constrictors to kick in.
    Hope that question made sense!

  8. MetalRaze says:

    Super Dr. Dan!! Thank you so much:)

  9. winneryeahmate says:

    We swallow 600 times a day?! Really now.

  10. Manuel V. says:

    Great information thank you. I purchased that program you have with the music. Haven’t had a chance to really look over it yet but can’t wait!

  11. EyedWeevil says:

    How is it possible that on some songs I can get the high notes and some notes not

  12. Jaffer Ridaa says:

    What an amazing tip!
    Thanks Doc!😊❤️

  13. There’s some good info in this video.

  14. This is exactly the channel I was looking for!! Came from Schmovies!!

  15. Gaven Bugia says:

    so..is this about ease?..cause i need one of those lol

  16. Imsu Cfc Metsu says:

    hi sir…… please check my song too k Search like Imsuakum ‘cool’ k…. Imsuakum is my name and Cool is the title of the song k please have a look and give me some honest feedback k… plizz.

  17. Ried Rants says:

    Is is possible to use your lessons to improve your podcasting voice?

  18. Ms. CC ETTE says:

    Very good info I am going to start using the head back technique today

  19. Ravindra Banchhod says:

    The “soundcheck” scene is used way too excessively, and is quite annoying.

  20. Rebekah rathe says:

    I always tilted my head back when I sang when I was younger and they said I was straining my voice☹️

  21. Why do I have swallowing (dysphagia) problems when drinking liquids after singing with a lot of twang? I can’t drink anything without choking on it. It’s awful.

  22. Dr Dan! Should it be able to go from low notes to the highest ones with tilted head? because for me it seems like there’s a blockage at the certain note when I try to go higher if I don’t want to change anything. Maybe I’m used to use head voice in a wrong way?

  23. Hey Dan I noticed when I sing below g3 in my chest voice I strain and it feels uncomfortable but when I sing a3-f4 it feels much more better. Why is this ? Isn’t because my chest voice isn’t developed properly? Because everytime I sing below g3 I strain unless I sing soft, if I sing with volume I strain. For example on the song Chris Brown – With You. I strain on the song apart from the bridge where he sings between d4-f4 it feels a lot more comfortable. Am I doing something wrong or is tho just how my voice is?

  24. shirsha chakraborty says:

    you’re the best dr. dan… thank god we are in the youtube generation… thank god sir i found you… you are a phenomenal teacher.

  25. Ajay Karki says:

    Thanks for ur great advice ,im from nepal ,ur videos r being really blessings to me ,,god bless u & ur classes

  26. Hi Dr Dan how do you scream the correct way or yell for metal/rock genre? without damaging your vocals

  27. zoot kaung Lay says:

    Hi Dan I can do this exercise in my lower range or middle range while my head up. But when i do some high note eg.C5 and above that even with a falsetto larynx and nek so tight and pitch is unstable or flat.Is it normal or it mean straining?Is it possible to do when we sing high?

  28. Alex Addams says:

    Hi Dan, wow, I’ve never seen this exercise before. This really helped get rid of the pinching vibration that I constantly speak with at the back of my throat. I’ve commented before about my Muscle Tension Dysphonia and thanks to your videos I have gotten rid of it 90% but I sometimes, on rare occasions, get some jaw tension but it’s not as serious as this constriction in my pharynx. My speech therapist says that I talk and sing from the throat and yes, it hurts and I can tell that I’m doing it wrong because I feel vibration in the back of my neck. I’m just a little confused about the tongue position influencing the constriction in the pharynx because my tongue position is relaxed behind the bottom teeth and I am getting that nice breath. Is there anything else that might impact this?

    Thanks for your help with always posting these videos.

  29. Alana O'Donnell says:

    Hey Dr. Dan! I’ve been subscribed to this channel for awhile now and found that your exercises and explanation really help in addition to my voice lessons with a voice teacher! I’ve seen a lot of improvement in producing a natural sound. Sometimes, I practice on a “mmmmmm” on do-re-mi-fa-so-fa-mi-re-do. When I’m in the middle or lower registers, my lips tickle and vibrate a lot. But, as I get higher, the tickling disappears. I feel like I’m losing the aim of the sound as I get higher. Furthermore, as I do octave exercises for vocal warmups, I think I feel my larynx pop up sometimes. I don’t know how to keep it from doing that! Thanks again!

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