Home GENERAL SINGING - Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy Forum

Question about vowel modifications

Are vowel modificatoins performed only with the tounge? I find on the aa,ee,ii,oh,ooo exersice I am trying to imitate the student video and not move my jaw a bunch. As a result my tounge is doing most of the vowel shaping. Is this correct and if so should it be applied to vowel modifications as I go higher up in my voice?


  • TommyMTommyM Pro Posts: 270
    edited April 2018
    Simple answer: No.

    I'm sure one of the moderators or more advanced members can explain this far better than I can, but I'd say, yes the tongue plays a part as it'll naturally shape itself to the vowel. You don't want your tongue doing all the work though; those changes should occur naturally with the sounds and any added tongue movement would, I think, be more down to stuff like what Ken does when he sings. It's keeping your throat as open as possible while using that space in the back of your throat to manipulate the sounds. I'm sure there's a technical term for it but I'd just embarrass myself if I tried to name it.

    [Edited to add] The jaw should remain as stationary as possible. Remember, it's all about the open throat and using those natural spaces to resonate.

    As Ken shows in the videos, some of the vowels use very small spaces (like "Eee") while others are bigger (like "AA"). With the bigger spaces, we need to pare down the sound as we go higher and use the modifications to shape that space to create a path of least resistance. This doesn't involve consciously using the tongue to do it, in my experience so far. Yes, we need to keep the tongue nice and flat, and avoid having it choke off our throat on consonants, etc, but aside from that it seems to do its thing automatically. I don't know how to do what Ken does with his tongue as that seems very idiosyncratic to him, but if you listen to him doing the exercises you can hear how his tone stays completely consistent regardless of his tongue shape.

    So, in short it's a combination of the spaces in your various cavities and using them effectively. The tongue plays a part but it shouldn't be the engine that drives your exercises. I, as always since I'm a KTVA noob really, stand to be corrected so don't take this as gospel. Someone with more experience in the course than me will hopefully pipe up and offer some clearer advice.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 2,111
    Unfortunately your not a student because there is a lot of information, and videos on this stuff, and Ken can teach it better than me ha ha.
    Different vowels take different shapes in the throat. You modify the vowels with the back of your tongue to keep the air flow from being restricted (choking off the notes)

    That is my understanding of it.

    Peace, Tony
  • jimijamesjimijames STREAMING PRO Posts: 22
    I am a student. Im about 3 weeks in. I can imitate keeping my jaw stationary and using my diaphram and it even sounds correct when I listen back. I appreciate the feed back ill just keep practicing. It sounds like I shouldn’t over emphasize the tounge. Also based on the first comment I see that really its about space in the throat and a natural wide open feeling. Thanks for taking the time to respond ya’ll
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 2,111
    If you are a student, you need to upgrade your status so you can get the additional information here.

  • jimijamesjimijames STREAMING PRO Posts: 22
    > @videoace said:
    > If you are a student, you need to upgrade your status so you can get the additional information here.
    > Peace

    Okay, thanks I didnt know that. Ill make sure to do that.
  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,346
Sign In or Register to comment.