Tuesday, February 27, 2007


I've been producing a CD which has taken a lot of time, so blogging went on the back burner for a LONG time. I'm back and I got an email from a guy having problems with LOW NOTES. Most people worry about their crack (if they have one) in their voices or about how to get higher notes easily and without straining but this guy had a low note issue. I wrote him the following letter which is in its entirety and is NOT edited, although I did remove his name, to protect the innocent:


Where are you located?

I am going to give you free advice now. Ready? This doesn't mean that my advice is worthless or ineffective or no good.

First of all I have not HEARD what your voice is doing and I haven't SEEN you sing, so this is going to be my best guess.

My best guess is that you somehow got into the habit of lowering your larynx on your low notes. That will make them sound throaty or muddy or swallowed. The habit isn't hard to break if you do two things: 1) use your fingers and/or a mirror to monitor where your larynx is. Find out if it is dropping when you do the low notes. If it is, there is your problem.

By the way, I am a tenor and I can sing down to the lowest A on the piano in a fry tone but that sucker is vibrating at 27.5 times a second. The A above isn't too bad, so I know a little about low notes. I also have a great bass singer that I taught who is in an a capella group.

Now back to you...2) you need to talk-sing or speak-sing some descending scales (major and chromatic) and keep them at that talking-like tone production until the larynx learns again not to drop. So, do short and choppy ah-ah-ah-ah as you go down and keep it at the talking sound and the larynx should not drop. Seems like you just picked up a bad habit somewhere along the way.

You ready for this? You CANNOT "place" your sound; so that is not the real problem. It is coming out at 750 miles per hour and you don't have secret valves to direct it this way or that way, so forget about that being the cause.

Do me a favor and write me back about whether this is helpful or specific enough, ok? If you live in US, UK, or a few European countries, I could call you or we could use Skype and I could help more. If you live near Orlando, FL or even not, you could refer singers to me and if I have any openings, I could maybe get a student referral from you if this advice helped. Sound fair? Ok. Do well and get better!!!!!

Chuck Stewart