Home GENERAL SINGING - Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy Forum

Open throat and airy sound help.

So, just got the course! Great so far! But I have a couple of questions.

1. When doing the lip bubble and tong exercises, I can pass through the passagio but it is very airy. I try to make more of a fuller sound to prevent the airy-ness but then I crack. And help with this?

2. I can open throat. I get a handheld mirror, and breathe in and the back of my throat expands. However, as soon as i even start the LAH, the ceiling of my throat returns to a lower position. Breathe again, expands the throat, begin to sing, goes back to a lower position. I try to imitate the 'bright ping' and I think I am doing more nasal than a bright tone. Also, Ken says to keep the tongue flat. I can do that, but then it soon rises into an arch position once I start singing. Any help.?


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

    Just getting through the passagio on the lip burbles and the tongue exercise is good. It can sound a bit airy, because there is some shifting going on in your throat when it happens. Just throttle back the air a little bit. Notice that Ken says to do these two exercises (tongue and lip burbles) very lightly. That means very little air. The speed bump, or break, happens more often when you use too much air pressure. So sing very lightly on these exercises. It's similar to a speed bump on a road. So take your foot off the gas and it will be less of a bump.

    On your Open Throat, go back again and again to Ken's demonstration where he says "It's the LAH!!! AHHH!!!" and imitate the sound he is getting. Start out your exercises with "It's the LAH!! AHHHH!!! AHHHH!!!" and make it sound just like Ken does, really bright and at the same time really OPEN. It should feel a lot like your throat does at the beginning of a Yawn. Open that much. That open space will give a lot of room for the sound to bounce brightly around. Smile and make sure the lips are off the upper teeth, and raise the cheeks. Direct this bright sound toward the hard palate and the back of your upper teeth.

    Your tongue will begin to cooperate more after it learns that you aren't going to let it get away with creeping up as you start to sing. Some students get a spoon or popsickle stick and gently "help" the tongue to remain lowered. You don't have to force it, but you can "train" it gently to calm down and lay in the jaw. You sometimes have to actually get the feeling of the tongue down at the bottom of the jaw and hear the sound before your tongue realizes that it can relax down there AND your voice sounds better.

    One way is to use your back molars as a guide. Just feel the sides of your tongue beneath the ridge of your back teeth and use that as a reference as you begin to sing. Eventually your tongue will stop misbehaving. Work on your other moving targets initially. When your tongue sees that all of the other moving targets are behaving, it will get the idea that it will need to comply, or there will be trouble. The tongue is often the last to go along with your new, better singing habits. It will get used to its new home position soon.

    Don't worry. This will all come together for you before long.

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    MarshyMarshy Member Posts: 3
    Thanks a tonne Bob. It is early days after all. I have only practiced twice so still dipping my toes in the water. Just wanted to ask these first so I know I'm off to a sturdy start. I will implicate your advice in my practice session today. Thanks for the very thorough and snappy reply! ;)
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