The lip roll
ninak Pro Posts: 7
Hi you guys!
I'm fairly new at the KTVA, and struggling with the lip roll. I can make it work for one or two notes and then the lips won't do the roll'y thing anymore, my lips just tenses up. I recon that is a common problem, but what do I do about it? Do I just keep going and sing the scale without the lip roll, hoping that one day I will get it or what? Any tips on how to make it work for me??
It took me forever to get the hang of the lip roll. I've done many other courses before doing KTVA and had troubles with them before, as well. Ken tells us not to cheat and put our hands on our face to make it possible to burble.
In the other courses I had taken, in addition to the lip rolls, there were also tongue rolls. My first several months with KTVA I just did tongue rolls instead. Yes, I was a cheater. But no more.
Finally, I decided to do what Ken said, and just keep trying until I GOT it. It's really a matter of relaxation. That's one reason they are so good for you... You HAVE TO relax your facial muscles to do them right.
One of our students suggested using lip balm so you don't have to keep licking your lips. I tried it, but that didn't work for me. Your mileage may vary. You DO have to keep your lips moistened, with plenty of water. I now lick my lips periodically during burbles.
Recently I have come to the realization that I can get higher with my lip trills by burbling only the center portion of my lips... just a small area, like a mouthpiece on a trumpet. I can sing much higher than I can trill my lips, because the air has to be much smaller up high, and slightly higher pressure. Wide lips won't let me do that, but a small aperture of bubbling lips will let me get up considerably higher. Then I get to a point where the air stream is too small to move the lips. I can just open my mouth and sing several notes higher than I can trill.
So stick with it. Try to relax the lips, the cheeks, the tongue, EVERYTHING. SUPPORT!!! Feel your support increase as you go higher.
The burbles are important for learning relaxation in the face and learning relaxation when bridging the passagio. They are GREAT for warmups. They are great for testing your voice after an illness.
Try supporting, using different amounts of air pressure (remember these are supposed to be done at the lowest possible volume), relaxing the lips, changing the amount of surface area of the lips that actually burble, etc...
You can do it, and probably in less time than it took me. Go easy on yourself and keep trying. If you can't get them, don't worry, just keep going back and trying periodically. You will get it eventually.
10-4 on the grocery store! Ha, ha! I catch myself doing liprolls ALL THE TIME now! I'll look around to see who's wondering what's wrong with me! : ^ )
You actually should try to bridge into head voice and reduce the volume a bit so that you CAN go into head voice without the yodel.
The secret to smoothing out the speed bump can be found by getting quieter and quieter, almost ridiculously quiet, with very low velocity air. See if you can find that sweet spot where you can shift from low to high without popping the clutch. Once you find that, and learn the feeling, you can very slowly and very, very gradually increase some volume and eventually get to where you can bridge smoothly through from chest to head and then back again, without the bump.
Lip Rolls are THE Easiest exercise to learn to bridge on, so it's best to work on eliminating the speed bump with lip rolls. You can get good on lip rolls and still have a little trouble on the tongue exercise, and so forth with regular vowels. Eventually you learn the skill, and transfer what you learn on one exercise to the other exercises.
You will learn it, regardless of whether you're a baritone or not.
Baritones, tenors, altos, and sopranos ALL have to learn to bridge. It's just at different notes where that happens.
As Ken said, If you're having troubles with it now, you can skip ahead, you can just join in in head voice a few notes later, or you can work on bridging now. Sooner or later you will need to learn to sing through your bridge.
All the Best!