An open throat technique may sound (Yes!) confusing and seem to be mysterious, but it is not. The concept itself comes from the Italian school of singing, specifically the literal translation of the phrase La Gola Operta. In short, it is a way of singing where pharyngeal space increases and the ventricular vocal folds retract to maximize the resonating space in the vocal tract.
So-called “opening the throat” approach needs to raise the soft palate, lowering the larynx, and taking perfect positions of the articulators such as the tongue, lips, and, of course, our jaw. The main goal of this technique is the sensation of loose and passivity in our throat area. And that is precisely a recipe for good singing. And also, it is a useful and practical way to avoid constrictions, tensions, and tightness. Many vocalists admit that this way of singing helps them to produce a rich, pure, and warm tone. Furthermore, it brings them freedom from any cramps or shrinks.
Hi, I’m Ron Anderson. When I was making a vocal change from baritone to tenor, my maestro, who I studied with every day, actually had me saying that the „E” is poisonous to the voice. Well, it is the spine of the voice but the dotted E when we come out with „eat”, we get caught. So, when we’re going into the top registration we’re gonna move the voice across the roof of the mouth and modify the E into an a. So, it’s gonna be an „ee-ay”. And when you hear it „eeee-aaaayyyy”, otherwise you go „eeeee” and you get caught. So, move it to the back of the head and yawn lowering the larynx. Have a good day. Practice it, it works.
Open throat or, actually, no throat at all?
Although this method remains controversial among vocal teachers, there is quite a lot of people who utilize it in their singing. As long as we are intrigued by the fresh approach to our vocals, we can at least try it out. Like everything in this industry, the most important is the proper posture and breathing. As always, the foundation is the key. Then, we have to breathe using the diaphragm and satisfying support.
The crucial thing here is to control our breath through the extension of the diaphragm. And not of the rib and chest. This kind of foundation and support of our voice will create a specific and stable air column in our vocal box. Undoubtedly, it will help to make a powerful tone without necessary constrictions or force. Straightforwardly, it allows us to achieve more using relatively less. If we practice this method regularly, it becomes effortless and natural.
Open throat singing technique is not a “covering”
Frequently, this approach is being confused with the “covering” or “protection” concept. These methods are the exact opposite of singing straight out of the mouth but adding a simple adjustment of the head position. The open throat is something in every way else. More, it has absolutely nothing to do with covering. Athwart, it has everything to do with learning the “opening.” Precisely with the opening of your cavities through vowel modification for every anatomical release of air in your resonating cavities.
This approach does not need to cover the sound. Its purpose is to express it without any constrictions. If we learn this mechanic well, we will not need to consider how to protect our singing. Instead of this, we could learn how to shape all parts of our body to make them correctly project our sound. The cover is only a kind of shortcut and facilitation. The anatomical behavior is a clue to mastering the art of singing.