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What is the resting position of the vocal cords?

As important as it is to understand vocalization, both for singing and speaking, equally important is to understand the resting position of the vocal cords. The vocal cords are instrumental to our voice, and any insight into their workings is crucial if we are to understand how our voice works.

In this article, we will explore the resting position of the vocal cords. The vocal cords are a complex instrument, and we’ll go into what sets them in motion in humans. It’s essential to understand the vocal cords’ resting position before discussing the shape of cords during sound emission.

What Are The Vocal Cords?

The vocal cords are two triangular-shaped structures located at the top of the windpipe. They produce sound by vibrating when air passes through them. The vocal cords are made up of muscles, ligaments, and membranes. When we breathe, the vocal cords stay open, and when we speak, they close to produce sound.

The Resting Position

The resting position of the vocal cords determines the sound quality and level. When the vocal cords are relaxed, they assume a triangular shape, with the apex at the back and the base at the front. When we breathe, our vocal cords are in a relaxed position.

Effects of Different Positions

If the vocal cords are too relaxed, they may cause the voice to sound breathy and weak. The cords need to be in the right tension to produce a rich, velvety voice quality. Too tight or too loose vocal cords both need to be avoided.

The position of the tongue and jaw influences the resting position of the vocal cords. When the jaw tension, tongue tension, and vocal tension are in balance, the vocal cords naturally assume the correct resting position.

How to Find Your Resting Position

Find the correct position with a quick exercise that emphasizes good posture and controlled breathing from the diaphragm:

Step 1: Stand up straight. Relax the upper body and shoulders.

Step 2: Take a deep breath. When you do this, your chest expands.

Step 3: Exhale, and make a “huh” sound. Pay attention to how your throat feels.

Step 4: Vocalize a long pitch, like saying “ah,” with the same throat sensation you had before.


The resting position of the vocal cords is crucial to producing the correct sound. The position enables the vocal cords to achieve the right tension to produce rich, velvety voice quality. Finding and maintaining the right tone requires a good balance of tongue and jaw tension when the body is well aligned, and good breathing is done from the diaphragm.

Learning about vocal cords is a fascinating journey. Hopefully, this discussion about the resting position of the vocal cords has been insightful. Through practice, anyone can achieve the right tone and control that can result in a beautiful voice.


How do you rest your vocal cords?

Vocal cords are one of the most essential parts of a singer, public speaker, or even a teacher’s toolkit. They help produce sound and enable us to communicate effectively. However, like any other muscle, the vocal cords also need rest to avoid inflammation, swelling, or damage, especially for those who need to use their voices regularly for extended periods.

To rest your vocal cords, experts recommend taking vocal naps- simply taking breaks throughout the day to avoid overusing your voice. This could involve speaking softly or refraining from speaking altogether for a period. Vocal naps give your vocal cords time to heal and recover from the strain of speaking, singing, or other activities.

Using a humidifier in your home or office can also provide relief for your vocal cords. Humidifiers increase the moisture levels in the air, which can help reduce inflammation and irritation of the vocal cords. The recommended humidity level is around 30%, especially in winter or dry climates.

Additionally, staying hydrated is essential for voice care. Drinking plenty of water keeps your vocal cords moist, allowing them to vibrate more easily, and helps prevent fatigue. You may also incorporate herbal teas, but avoid drinks that can dehydrate your voice like alcohol and coffee.

Taking vocal naps, using humidifiers, and staying hydrated are essential practices to rest your vocal cords. Additionally, it would be best to avoid smoking, shouting, or whispering too much, as these activities can result in strain and damage to your vocal cords. With adequate care and rest, your voice will be healthy and ready for any upcoming performance or discussion.

What is proper vocal rest?

Proper vocal rest is essential for maintaining a healthy voice. As we all know, our vocal cords play a significant role in our communication and expression. However, overuse of the voice may lead to vocal fatigue, hoarseness, and even damage to the vocal cords. Therefore, it is essential to rest our voice when necessary to avoid such problems.

One of the essential things to do to rest the voice is to take “vocal naps.” This involves resting the voice periodically, especially after yelling at a concert, shouting from a podium, or otherwise overusing the voice. When you experience any signs of hoarseness, discomfort, or pain in the throat, it means that it’s time to take a vocal nap. Take a break from talking, singing, or other voice-related activities and let your voice rest. It’s recommended to rest for at least an hour or more, depending on the severity of the vocal fatigue.

If your job involves talking on the phone all day, it’s even more critical to rest your voice. In such cases, try to rest your voice for ten minutes every two to three hours. During this break, avoid whispering, as it can be more stressful on the vocal cords than normal speech. Instead, try to relax and use nonverbal communication to convey your message if possible.

Another way to rest your voice is by drinking plenty of fluids, especially water. Drinking eight glasses of water a day helps keep the vocal cords hydrated and lubricated, reducing the risk of vocal fatigue or damage. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, as they can dehydrate your vocal cords and make them more prone to injury.

Proper vocal rest is crucial for maintaining a healthy voice. Taking vocal naps, resting periodically, drinking plenty of fluids, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol are some of the ways to rest your voice effectively. By following these guidelines, you can protect your voice and ensure that it performs optimally when you need it most.

Does resting your voice mean not talking?

Resting your voice means giving your vocal cords a break from any kind of vocal strain or stress that they may have been subjected to. The purpose of resting your voice is to allow your voice to recover and heal from any damage that may have been caused to your vocal cords.

When you rest your voice, it means that you should avoid all forms of vocal activity, including talking, whispering, singing, yelling, or any other activity that requires the use of your vocal cords. Even clearing your throat, coughing, or throat clearing can cause strain on your vocal cords, so it is important to avoid these activities as well.

Resting your voice is particularly important when you are experiencing any symptoms of vocal fatigue, hoarseness, or other signs of vocal cord damage. These symptoms may be caused by a variety of factors, including overuse of your voice, throat infections, allergies, acid reflux, and other medical conditions.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to rest your voice as soon as possible in order to prevent further damage to your vocal cords. In addition to resting your voice, you may also want to consult with a healthcare professional for further evaluation and treatment.

Resting your voice means avoiding any kind of activity that requires the use of your vocal cords in order to give them a chance to heal and recover from any damage that may have been caused. It is an important strategy for maintaining your vocal health and preventing long-term damage to your voice.