To Tilt or Not To Tilt: That Is The Question

The chin that is.  It seems that the lifting or tucking of the chin is a controversial topic.  A friend of mine heard that to lift the chin is dangerous even.  And I agree if you are singing as a baritone you should keep your chin down.  When the thyroid cartilage is tilted and your larynx is low, you produce a very Shakespearean or operatic sound.  It actually hurts to lift your chin and still make that sound.  Try it! But as a tenor or belter, lifting the chin for the high notes makes it much easier.  Physiologically it may be a way to make your vocal folds even thicker and to keep that close phased longer.  And I think it allows space for the cricoid to tilt.  I must say at this point that Estill Voice is neither for or against the lifting of the chin.  Estill Voice Training is not a technique but a way to understand the voice and only lays down a basic “recipe” of one type of belt.  Personally I have used that foundation to build up a technique that I feel is safe and that works.  But I do feel that it is based in some knowledge of how the mechanism works.  So try an nice comfortable yell and then try lifting your chin higher and higher.  If you are doing things correctly you should feel it get easier and easier.  Now yell and lower the chin and it gets harder and harder.  To me that is the proof that two very different things are happening between baritones and tenors.  So here are some videos of various singers lifting or lowering there chins for the high notes!

First Sutton Foster singing Gimme Gimme!  Watch the ending as the chin goes up!

The Bulgarian Women’s Choir singing Oh Susannah!  Looking all those raised chins belting away!

A young Pavarotti!

Alfredo Kraus!

And Hans Hotter – A Baritone who is definitely keeping his chin down!

And one of my favourite tenors, Fritz Wunderlich displaying lots of dangerous chin lifting!!