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Tongue and Jaw in Singing

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Mar. 5th, 2009 | 02:08 pm
mood: accomplishedaccomplished

I have a bad habit of pushing the back of my tongue down in order to transition from chest voice. I've had it for so long that it feels "normal". But it interferes with my singing in many ways - it gets me out of chest voice too early, and it makes it impossible to get a natural sounding mix or head voice.

So last lesson my teacher was working on this. He also worked on my jaw as well, but it wasn't until recently that I realized why. It turns out that when I lift my tongue out of my throat and stop pressing down with it, I have a tendency to lock my jaw forward. And when I make my jaw go back down, I have a tendency to push my tongue down as well. So both of these must be worked on together.

After this realization, I started keeping my tongue out of the way, but [b]only[/b] just enough. Not so much that my jaw started coming up. And with my jaw, I let it sit down and back a little, but didn't try to push it down, which would have my tongue push down. And finally I found it, a free and powerful mixed voice!

The real test is if I can find it tomorrow.. I will be very happy if I can!

The requirements:
- Jaw must be relaxed, and must move down a little as the resonance moves up (for me this starts around Bb below middle C).
- Tongue must not interfere. It must stay in the same place

And how to fulfil these:
- For the jaw, move it around a bit while singing scales. Let it drop a bit as you sing upwards. Not too far, just enough that the resonance stays strong without needing the tongue or outer larynx muscles to "help".
- For the tongue, I picture my voice as staying in the same place. When my tongue pushes down, I can feel some kind of movement in my voice. To stop it from doing this, I picture it as not making that move.

The exercises: "gee" and "nay". "Gee" is great for connecting, and "nay" helps with finding the right spot for the resonance change. I've noticed that after "gee" is working properly, I can jump straight into "mum" and it also works.

Edit: My jaw may need to drop as early as Ab below middle C actually, to maintain total freedom. More investigation is needed.

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