Home GENERAL SINGING - Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy Forum

Why does Ken use the 'L' sound along with the vowels?

I suspect it has something to do with achieving a wider throat space with the vowels. But I wonder if someone could provide me with a more specific reason. Also, opening my mouth really wide, hurts my jaw and I was wondering if I was doing something wrong. Thanks a lot.

Comments

  • PhMarnePhMarne Member Posts: 98
    Hi @Abh1lasha !

    As to jaw-opening, do remember that Ken says: "not to the point that you get tension in the jaw"...

    I'd recommend you'd drop your jaw and relax it. Lowering your jaw with too much energy could in fact hinder the opening of your throat, which is what you really are aiming at.

    More experienced forum members could certainly add to this advice.

    Keep it up and don't go tense :)
  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Moderator, 2.0 PRO Posts: 1,899
    only open your mouth as wide as you can COMFORTABLY. you don't want to introduce tension. it will stretch over time. you can also stretch your jaw without singing, like on the bus stop. only open as wide as comfortable. there are also exercises you can look for on youtube (unrelated to the course, for general stretching).

    the thing with the lah, good question, i guess it is just traditional to start with LAH. if you sing without lyrics, it is mostly lalalalala right? maybe someone else can help...
  • ElaraElara Moderator, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 212
    edited October 11
    Using an L opens up your lips and the front of your face into a position that is very similar to the optimal one for the LAH sound. It also makes the onset of sound gentler. What this means is that you are better able to control the air passing over your vocal cords. If you do it straight away with the AH, it's harder to control the air. It is very helpful when starting out, before you have gained the muscle memory for proper support and open throat.
  • Abh1lashaAbh1lasha Member Posts: 4
    The points about the mouth shape and onset make a lot of sense! That really gave me added perspective. Thanks a lot!!
    Elara said:

    Using an L opens up your lips and the front of your face into a position that is very similar to the optimal one for the LAH sound. It also makes the onset of sound gentler. What this means is that you are better able to control the air passing over your vocal cords. If you do it straight away with the AH, it's harder to control the air. It is very helpful when starting out, before you have gained the muscle memory for proper support and open throat.

  • Abh1lashaAbh1lasha Member Posts: 4
    Thank you for your response. I may be overextending my jaw and now that I am actively trying not to, I feel that the opening in my throat is more easily felt!
    Klaus_T said:

    only open your mouth as wide as you can COMFORTABLY. you don't want to introduce tension. it will stretch over time. you can also stretch your jaw without singing, like on the bus stop. only open as wide as comfortable. there are also exercises you can look for on youtube (unrelated to the course, for general stretching).

    the thing with the lah, good question, i guess it is just traditional to start with LAH. if you sing without lyrics, it is mostly lalalalala right? maybe someone else can help...

  • Abh1lashaAbh1lasha Member Posts: 4
    Yes, working on not overextending the jaw and it feels much better. Thanks for your response
    PhMarne said:

    Hi @Abh1lasha !

    As to jaw-opening, do remember that Ken says: "not to the point that you get tension in the jaw"...

    I'd recommend you'd drop your jaw and relax it. Lowering your jaw with too much energy could in fact hinder the opening of your throat, which is what you really are aiming at.

    More experienced forum members could certainly add to this advice.

    Keep it up and don't go tense :)

  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,189
    @Elara and @Klaus_T both gave good information on this post. I want to add a little bit, as well.

    Lah, as opposed to just AH, starts the onset of the note out with a light consonant, "L"

    In the scales we sing Lah, ah, ah, ah, ah , ah, ahhhh. Not Lah, lah, lah, lah, lah, lah, lah.

    We are keeping the throat (vocal tract) OPEN for the remainder of the notes of the scale for contiguous vowel singing, aka Open Throat Singing. Every time we use a hard consonant, we have to work to reset the vocal tract to open it back up (or it simply is not open). Training in consonant-launched scales we will be totally dependent on launching every note with consonants. That is not good vocal technique. It's hard on the voice.

    Some of you (like me) may have previously done some other courses using other methods that are entirely consonant-launched exercises. Such as Mum, mum, mum, or goog, goog, goog, or gug, gug, gug, or Nay, nay, nay.

    Sound familiar?

    Courses that teach this are duping the students. Putting harder consonants on every note is the opposite of Open Throat Singing, and most definitely not contiguous-phrase singing. The only way those students can hit the high notes is to pop them out with hard consonants. That doesn't work well in a real song. You can sing the notes in a scale, but not in a song. You don't learn to sustain notes with those consonant-launched notes.

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