Belincia wrote:Somehow they manage to chant those mantras. Also, my partner is able to go on many times longer time than I am, and he says he never got any problems.
Every body is different, and people have a different starting point (basic technique) when they sing or talk to begin with. When there has been no technical training, what developed from own experience developed. That may be decent, good, or not good at all. Most of the time it will get worse once one starts to "try" to "improve" certain aspects of it, since trying usually involves strain. Then a teacher can help release what has to be released, and train what has to be trained. I personally only rarely chant mantras, even though my singing technique is rather relaxed. Dealing with allergies, my vocal chords tire fast during some seasons. Not much to be done. I´ve been working with a vocal trainer for a couple of years since my speaking technique was not effortless to begin with, and I´ve given many lectures, talks, training and presentations, so voice was necessary. Though we focused on speech, it did not really work without including singing, and experiencing the difference between the two, and going from one to the other. Usually the vocal apparatus is much more relaxed when speaking. Because you do not concentrate on pitch. Once you fix pitch (for example when chanting), there´s tension involved, if your technique is not good, since you try to "make" that pitch. Even low volumes need not be effortless, but dependent on your pitch can also be forced. In fact, very low volumes without proper technique tend to involve way too much tension. It requires practice for a tone to just "sit" at a certain pitch freely.
In fact, when that tone is just sitting there so that there is no strain involved, so it fills you completely, then you will have given up any strain. But that requires practice and letting go. Not trying to "make". Different vowels require different configurations of your vocal apparatus to obtain the same pitch and tone, and if you haven´t learned how they´re done effortlessly, if you fix a certain pitch and change vowels then there will be strain involved. Fixed pitch without natural vibrato usually tends to be strained anyway. So that´s definitely different between speaking and singing. Speaking on fixed pitch, vocally, compares to singing, not speaking.
About the "inhaling configuration": There are a couple of ways to reduce the pressure below the vocal chords. At earlier times singers learned to "support" the voice by keeping muscles of the abdomen "outward". But that is strain too, and as I heard there were many people who dropped out because of that strain creating wear and tear. A more modern approach would be to have a feeling of "inhalation" when you´re singing. It basically does the same: Keep your configuration so that your diaphragm won´t force the air out, but your vocal chords simply naturally vibrate with as little air as is needed to do the job. Of course that "picture" of inhalation also only leads you there. It counters the illusion of exhaling a tone which is widespread. In the end there is neither, but the tone just appears, without you thinking of any technique. But that will take practice. If you´ve mastered that, you´ve mastered the basics of singing, so to speak. Expect a couple thousand hours practice spread over the course of a couple of years for your voice to become "free".
But that will only work if you don´t overstrain your voice at any time. If you practice until you´re sore, you will only keep yourself from progress, or cause physical harm which may damage your voice in the long run. If you´re sore, then there was something wrong and needs to be corrected. The correction will need time. And it helps to have a vocal trainer.
Formerly aka Gwenn Dana.