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New student - TM Joint Question + Understanding AA

Hey folks,

First post, excited to be here and most impressed with my first watch of vol 1. Now thats out my system, here goes...

I have a Temporomandibular joint or TM joint problem on the left side of my jaw. Meaning that the joint gets 'stuck' at some point, usually when I yawn, and after about the half way point of being open (around two fingers in size, heh) I can feel it start to sway out of alignment which surely must have some effect on vocal production.

Workin my way through vol 1 at present so with such an early focus on the LA AA AAA I am needing to know whether there are any pitfalls to learning this without having my mouth open as far as I can. I can get a really bright AA but there's a good chance I may be using prior techniques to achieve this, before now I would have called the technique 'twang', ie. the muscle group that can range from subtle brightness all the way up to witches cackle and overly bright sounds. Been a mimic my whole life so I discovered that trick as a lad, great for silly voices!

So two parts there - Concerns over my health with the TM joint and the programme / Understanding the brightness of AA the Tamplin way vs. this old old idea of 'twang'.

Appreciate the help and hope yer all havin a good week.


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    highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,359

    Forget "twang".  This is KTVA and we don't speak "twang" and we certainly don't try to sing with it except as an occasional exception. Please leave those other, incorrect methods at the door.  It will only confuse matters.

    We're talking about a bright ping, not "closing down the epiglottic funnel" gobbledy-gook. We're looking for a good sound here.  We use an OPEN throat.  We're not trying to quack.

    You will get the bright ping by maintaining good cord closure, smiling into the sound, and reflecting the sound off of the hard surfaces. 

    The LAH is the main vowel (as in AH).  The secondary vowel is AA (as in hat).  It is similar to AH but brighter, by way of smiling more into the sound and introducing just a touch of mask (directing the sound toward the front of the face and into the sinuses).  

    As to your TMJ issues, you will have to take that into consideration and avoid overextending your jaw.  KTVA has you extend the jaw because that is a way to enhance the sound and get the throat and complete vocal tract to its maximum potential.  That said, you have issues that are particular to your own case, and it's up to you to only extend your jaw to the point that it does not create TMJ issues for you.  

    My own jaw does not extend as widely as Ken demonstrates.  I HAVE increased how much I open my jaw as I sing as a result of studying this course, and I know now when it's time to open more for the note.  I do so within the physical comfort zone that is my own capability to adapt to Ken's methods.  My jaw will hurt if I open it too wide. 

    (Me) Doc, my jaw hurts when I open it this wide! 
    (Doc) Don't open it so wide!

    You'll be OK.  Just know that opening the jaw will help to get a better sound on important vowels like the AH.  It won't be as wide (vertically) on the EE.  You need to adjust to sing without introducing TMJ pain or dislocations.  Adapt and Overcome.  Find what is best for you as an individual, and make accommodations for those areas that you need to do so.

    All the Best!

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    SilentMindSilentMind Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 2
    Cheers Bob, thats just the feedback I was needing. A little caution to start will be essential and like you say I'll go back to a blank page in terms of twaaaang <insert comedy sound effect>.

    Thanks for takin the time, much clearer and defined about how these things work together.

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