Learn how VOCAL CORDS work for Speech and Singing | #DrDan 🎤

Learn how VOCAL CORDS work for Speech and Singing | #DrDan 🎤

– Hi, my name is Doctor Dan and today I’m going to be showing you live footage of a singer’s vocal folds and then we’re going to learn
how the singing voice works. I’ve got heaps of great video footage and animation to show
you, so let’s get started. [Female Performer] Sound check. Check one, check two. (mellow rock music) (crowd cheering) (mellow music) Have you ever wondered
how the human voice works? We’ve all got one, but because it’s located inside your neck it’s difficult to get to,
making it virtually impossible to directly see and feel. Laryngologist examine the larynx, what some people call the voice box, using a technique called
endoscopic examination. They do this with either a fixed scope, which is inserted into the mouth, or a flexible scope that is
passed through the nasal cavity. The scope has a small light
and camera that illuminates and videos the internal
workings of the larynx. Here we can see the vocal folds, with the bottom of the screen showing the front of the singer and the top of the screen displaying the arytenoids, which bring the vocal folds
together for speech and singing. The video we are looking at
here is of an adult sized voice. Interestingly, there is a
difference in the size of the larynx between men and women. With the male adult voice being larger than the female adult voice. And as you might suspect,
the adult voice is significantly bigger than
the pre-pubescent voice. Baby bear, mama bear, and papa bear is a good way to remember it. And this is the reason why
the superior thyroid notch, what most people call the Adam’s apple, protrudes on most adult men and why it doesn’t protrude
on most adult women. The size difference
also explains, in part, the various voice types
soprano, alto, tenor and bass, but more about that in a moment. When singing teachers and vocal coaches work with a certain student’s voice, they often approach it as one whole system that is made up of four components. The actuator, the vibrator, the resonator and the articulators. When explaining these four components, Chalmers writes, the
actuator is the breath, the power source, and energy of the voice. The vibrator is the pair of vocal folds, which is valve like structure
of muscle and tissue. The resonator is the vocal tract. A combination of the larynx, the pharynx and the oral cavity amplifying the sound. And finally, the articulators
are primarily the tongue and lips which shape the
sound into meaningful units. Every engine needs fuel and
your voice is no different. Your breath, or your
actuator, fuels your voice. Breathing is split into two phases, inhalation and exhalation. To inhale the diaphragm contracts, drawing air into the vocal
tract through the larynx and down into the lungs. For the singer, the exhalation
phase is managed primarily by the abdominals and the obliques. Learning to manage the outflow of air, as well as adjusting the
sub glottal pressures in accordance with the
song genre, is just part of the challenge facing
the developing singer. As the breath stream
passes through the larynx, it flows between two
muscular bodies, known as vocal folds, historically
referred to as vocal cords. The structures of each
fold has five layers. Number one, the outer layer,
known as the epithelium. The superficial layer
of the lamina propria, or Reinke’s space is number two. Number three, the intermediate
layer of the lamina propria, which is made up of elastic fibers. Number four, the deep layer
of the lamina propria, which contains collagenous fibers and finally, the main
body of the vocal fold, the vocalis muscle, the middle of the thyroarytenoid muscle. When you were born, your
vocal folds were approximately three millimeters in length
and as we age into adulthood, they grow to between nine
to 13 millimeters for women and 15 to 20 millimeters for men. To create sound, the vocal folds are drawn together momentarily,
closing the glottis. Glottis is the term given to the space directly between the vocal folds. The air pressure builds
beneath the closed vocal folds and the glottis starts to open
from the underside through to the top side, allowing
air to escape between the leading edges of the vocal folds. When singing in A4, the same
tuning pitches in orchestra, this single close, open,
close motion of the glottis is repeated 440 times per second. Measured in hertz, the oscillatory rate of the
vocal folds, in part, gives us an insight into the
voice type of the singer. Here we see the approximate
oscillatory rates of the different voice types. Notice the difference between
the lowest approximate note of the bass voice classification
as C2 when compared to the highest oscillatory
value of the soprano’s E6. 65 hertz through to 1318 hertz. I’m pointing out the obvious
when I say, the higher you sing the faster the vocal folds have to move. The sound formed by the
oscillating vocal folds and carried on the breath stream, is raw and requires quite a
bit of post production. The resonator, often referred
to as the vocal tract, is measured from the glottis
through to the outer edge of the lips and nostrils. As sound travels from its point of origin, the vocal folds, it resonates within and
along the flexible spaces of the larynx, pharynx, oral and nasal cavities. The sound that emanates
from the lips and nostrils, is transformed from a
rudimentary buzz to a full and resonant acoustic that
has been shaped and molded by the ever changing space
of the vocal tract. It’s the ability of the
skilled singer to consistently and accurately change the
vocal track shapes according to the song being sung, that
conveys the emotional value of the lyric via a
variety of tonal colors. But it’s not only the resonance
of the sound that is shaped. Human beings can fashion the
sound into understandable language with the use of the articulators. The tongue, the lips,
the hard and soft pallet, as well as the jaw to some
extent, combine to form the building blocks of
language, vowels and consonants. It was once thought that the voice was a simple linear system with sound only ever flowing up and out. Now, we understand that
the voice is in fact a non linear system with each of the four components interacting with one another. So, for example a high
level of breath pressure being supplied by the
actuator through the larynx, can influence the oscillatory
patterns of the vibrator, causing the vocal folds to come together with higher levels of force. This in turn releases
air through the glottis at a slower rate, which only serves to increase the air pressure even further. It is the multiplicity
of these interactions between the four components
that make the human voice one of, if not the most
complex instruments to learn to use and sing with. Every developing singer aims to coordinate the four
components of the voice, so that each plays its role
in perfect synergy with the other three components. Of course, there is much
more to singing than the mechanics of the voice,
(mellow music) but we’ll leave that
explanation for another day and another video. And if you’re looking for
more learn to sing videos then I invite you to check out my channel Dr Dan’s Voice Essentials and subscribe for weekly
learn to sing instruction. I look forward to seeing you again soon. I’m Doctor Dan, sing well

95 thoughts on “Learn how VOCAL CORDS work for Speech and Singing | #DrDan 🎤

  1. Thank you so much! Your explanation is crystal clear and the visual resources are amazing.

  2. Hey Dan! Could you sometime make a video on external massages for singers?
    For example I have some tension in my pharinx atm and I want to get rid of it. But sometimes it's the tounge, or the paladar, ect

  3. just had the scope through the nose treatment
    lost my singing voice completely
    doctor has no idea why
    redness and swelling that will not leave
    vapor therapy
    and rest have made no difference

    depressed beyond belief

    guess this is life for me now

  4. SO GOOD! This was so clear and helpful – thank you so much for putting so much time and energy and blessing us with this!

  5. Great video! I want to do Chinese subtitles for your videos, so more Chinese can enjoy your videos! is that OK?😊

  6. Hi Dr. Dan. I Need Your Help. I made this Video https://youtu.be/FCTUotooENk Singing to Ed Sheeran's Perfect. I would Like to ask a Small Favor. Can you Tell if What Type of Voice I have? I am Still Exploring my Voice and Trying New Stuff everytime. Can anyone Learn to Sing like the Tenor Singers?

  7. G’day Dan, I’m 17 and I’m getting surgery on my jaw in a few months. This is happening because my overbite causes my windpipe to become small. My voice still sounds good but I’ve always had trouble with tension. My vocal coach wasn’t too familiar with this subject. Will this extension of my trachea make it easier for me to relax and sing higher?

  8. Good evening, mister Robinson.
    Have you consider put English subtitles on your most technical videos ( as this one). Considering your international potentially…
    PS: Appreciated for your generosity.

  9. Hi Dr. Dan, can u tell us what appoggio is? I know you could explain it more than anyone else here on youtube-

  10. I've been so busy over the last couple of months so haven't been doing many singing exercises. Been listening to one artist in particular A LOT because I'm so obsessed with their voice and now feel like in a way when I sing I'm trying to sound like them . Is this bad? I feel like it's not benefiting my singing, and maybe it's just because I've stopped with regular exercises but I compared a singing video I took today with one I took in April this year and my voice sounded so much smoother and relaxed in the older video. I'm going to start doing regular practice again instead of just singing straight away but do you have any other tips ??

  11. This is an awesome video, love the detail and accompanying visuals, really easy to follow.

    You mentioned that the higher you sing the faster the vocal folds vibrate/Occilate, does it mean that breath management for the voice types is different or managed differently? since air pressure might be different due to the fast/slow rate at which the vocal folds are vibrating/occilating?


  12. Hi there, Great video very clearly laid out so thanks!
    I am a training voice actor and impressionist so I'm obviously coming vocal training from a speaking perspective, have you got any advice about the approach?

  13. I have an uncertain quality of voice. Sometime I can do my head voice freely, but sometime I can’t do it even I try to do some vocal warmups . I have been struggle practicing doing the head voice for like 3 years. I’m not sure that everyone can do head voice freely.(I’m a bass) So I want to know how to do it freely.

  14. Hi Dr. Dan. I have huge Tonsils. Could this, in your experience, be an impediment for progressing in learning how to sing? Thx for the awesome content. cheers

  15. Thank you for the visuals! This was super helpful and easy to follow. I got a real understanding of the voice and how it works! Thank you!

  16. Hi doc……I have been singing for years in bands …..few years ago i just lost my headvoice….it's just not the same like before…i use to sing full female songs and now i can't….please advise me if there is anything i can do to get back my headvoice…..thank you in advance….

  17. Hi DrDan, I have one question. How unique our voice from each other and how I write it in terms of equation. You can say in terms of physics. #DrDan

  18. Hey genius I have you a question about my tessitura, my vocal range is C1 – C6, my chest voice is C1 – E4, my mixed voice begin in E4 – G5, and my head voice is C3 – C6, What is my tessitura? By the way you are the best teacher in the world

  19. Hey Dan, glad I found your channel. Love your very thorough explanations. I have a question. There is a singer named dimash kudaibergen that is out of this world and I was wondering if you could analyze his singing and tell me how he does it?

  20. Hello! Is it possible you can make a video on how to make your voice deeper? I would love to hit bass notes without a problem, but right now my deepest note is only an Eb2. 🙇

  21. Thank you Dr. Dan for sharing your extensive knowledge with all of us. Truly grateful. Speaking for myself, I come from a time and age when singing solo was considered a show off and family singing was competitive and shallow. I loved singing and used to record myself (singing) into my cassette player . So I would never have to forget those lovely songs and their lyrics I'd just learned. I wish I had a voice teacher like you 30 odd years ago. It's a God given gift that I couldn't improve upon. I sing only when asked to sing these days. But I will definitely continue watching your videos to improve what is left of my singing voice. Thank you, again. 👏👏

  22. Most lucid , correct voice lesson for budding singers ; Dr.Den is a fantastic voice coach – doing incredible service to the music world ..!!!

  23. Incredible video! BUT, the title & intro are very misleading. I was trying to show my students vocal cords in action — as demonstrated with the camera of the vocal cords actually in action — and instead got a lecture. The lecture was amazing! Just please consider clarifying the title. 🙂

  24. Sometimes when I try to sing, no sound comes out on certain notes. It's more noticeable in a higher register. What does that mean? Great video btw 🙂

  25. this is one of those vids that reminds me i know how to sing. thanks. (even if its not very well and still get booed from karaoke 😀 )

  26. Difference b/w the best biology book and a good video has to be the real video of the organ. Not a great doctor telling/reading about the same. Period.

  27. I love singing but I find it so painful and find the lower the note the more gentle on my vocal chords it is. What can I do to continue singing and stop the pain Dr Dan 😭

  28. Thank you very much! Though some measurements were a bit different from the other video on this theme I've watched, I learned some comprehensive picture on how my voice is ought to work and some valuable insights on what else I can learn!

    Also, can you explain what are(not just names, they hardly tell what is going on) those 4 layers in vocal folds before the muscles?
    Thank you!

  29. I have few questions and doubts.
    Where and how does sound come from ?
    Does teeth or gap in teeth affects the vocie and it's fluency ?

  30. I was sffering C A LARYNX 35 radiation n 5 Chemo. Weekly one radiation completed on 17 Sept. 2019 now ENT SPECIALIST said might be one vocal card is paralized my voice is not yet as PREVIOUS pls,advise me Regards Rao KHAN

  31. Hi Dr. Dan. Please react to Dimash Kudaibergen songs and analyze how he can sing like that.Many people call him an alien, because human can,t sing like that.Thanks

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