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Lip and tongue trills cause discomfort

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Estef
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Hello guys!

Well, the title pretty much says it all... I know that a lot of people use lip and tongue trills to warm-up but whenever I try them, I feel a lot of discomfort, kind of a lumpy feeling in the larynx. What could be I doing wrong? I do have to work very hard on my support to not strain my voice, I am what some people call an "overblower" because I do tend to strain a lot and overblow my voice... I am working on that and have been quite successful by applying the support techniques from CVT and the great suggestions I've read on this forum and the CVT forum as well. However, when I try to do lip or tongue trills, I keep feeling this tension, even though I do try to keep them light and support. Any ideas?

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With lip bubbles and tongue trill warm ups your support should be very, very little, IMO, almost to the point of you not feeling it at all. You might be doing too MUCH support. Every time you sing, don't support too much nor too little. It may also be an issue of you trying to keep your larynx TOO low. Keep a very slight "dopy" sound but if you overdo it, it'll hurt. It hurts me when I do it that way. Those are just some ideas. You could also ask your vocal coach about this.

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why not send us your bubbles and we'll analize them.

we can tell a good bubble set from a non too good one....lol!!!!

adding to what jonpall said

if i can help:

relax, relax, relax, yourself, relax the face and focus the bubbles into the mask.

lick your lips to wet them, use basic support, and maintain consistant, medium, airflow.. just enough to vibrate them freely and consistently..don't over push or modulate your airflow.

(this exercise is a barometer of your current ability and can help spell out areas that need improvement.)

like you, i'm a power push type too, that needs to control airflow and relax.

as far as tongue trills go, my tongue is too small...lol!!! i gave up on this one a while ago.

hope i helped.

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It makes sense to me that you have some difficulty with the lip rolls since you say you are an "overblower". The purpose of the lip roll is to constrict air flow, so this may not be natural for you if you are typlically blowing too much air. Bob is right - try to relax. Are you listening to an example of someone singning it? I find that really helps. Jonpall posted a Seth Riggs youtube example of lip rolls that is pretty cool.

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Did I? Where?

I thought you did, maybe it was someone else that posted it (sorry :/). It was an arpeggio lip trill - 1 5 3 8 5 3 1. Normally I do a standard one octave arpeggio - 1 3 5 8 5 3 1. This one starts 1 5 3, which is cool, because when you get higher, you have to switch back and forth between head and chest a couple times.

It was posted a couple weeks ago. I'll look around for it.

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Part of the purpose of doing lip bubbles or tongue trills is to learn to meter the air speed or pressure so that you don't over blow. Once having learned how to meter the air, one must learn to hold compression (how well the vocal folds are adducting and hold adduction) so that the metered air is the right speed and pressure to actuate the folds. After that comes resonance.

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Hi guys thank you for your replies! So pretty much yes, I do think I might be overblowing my lip bubbles and tongue trills as well because if I don't send a lot of air, I simply can't make any sound! I just recorded a very short sample of me doing lip bubbles first and then a tongue trill. You can clearly hear how I struggle with the tongue trill specially. I did try to make my voice as light as possible first but it's hardly audible, so I recorded it again. Just by recording this, I feel the lump now. It doesn't happen to me with singing, unless I really strain to get some high notes or something. Should I just give up doing them or is it worth trying to get them right? Because anyways, you are NEVER going to actually USE them in a song or something, just as a warmup...

This is the first try, like I told you, hardly audible, so you'll have to turn up your volume

http://www.box.net/shared/tloiev07zi

This is the second one

http://www.box.net/shared/fm69o9dddv

Both were uncomfortable to sing...

Any thoughts?

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If it hurts, don't do it!

There is no sense using lip bubbles to improve your support if they're causing constrictions around the vocal cords, thereby increasing the need for support.

Feeling a lump in your throat is usually a sign of swelling, i.e. you have constrictions and have been singing on them for a while. So I'd say the lip bubbles are doing your voice harm.

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Any thoughts?

Lots of them so far in this thread, yes :)

Listening to your clip, you may need to put a bit more "dumb"/"dopy" sound into it. But basically, relax more, then relax more and then a bit more. Keep doing that until you get it and ask your coach. You could also put a straw in your mouth and the other end in your tub full of water and then make bubbles in the bath. Seriously, because that makes it into a silly game that gets your mind away from overcomplicating singing. Good luck with it!

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If it hurts, don't do it!

There is no sense using lip bubbles to improve your support if they're causing constrictions around the vocal cords, thereby increasing the need for support.

Feeling a lump in your throat is usually a sign of swelling, i.e. you have constrictions and have been singing on them for a while. So I'd say the lip bubbles are doing your voice harm.

blackstar,

hymm...i'm not so sure i'd pass on learning lip bubbles, if i had to choose between the two.

it's a good staple exercise and a great warmup and warmdown!

you can definitely get them to vibrate, so you are able to initiate them, otherwise i say pinch your cheeks together a little with your thumb and index finger.

may i suggest you wet your lips, relax everything, the throat, the shoulders, etc., and try to initiate a more relaxed, gentler start off and do it on one note in the middle of your range till you get the hang of the consistency needed. if you're doing it correct, the bubbles should not change their volume or pitch.

it's very similar to the "sss' breath release (leaky tire) exercise but instead of the "sss" it's the vibration of the lips.

hope i've helped. bob

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  • 5 months later...

i am very comfortable with the lip rolls, but the tongue trills hurt my throat too. is it possible some people's tongues are not suited for this genetically? (just like rolling your tongue into a tube is genetic?) i have not worked on this so much so it's possible that i just need to work on relaxing, but don't want to hurt my throat in the attempt.

i think people with small tongues are better off with the lip bubbles.

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I also Have a very long uvula and i thougth that s maybe why i always had nô difficulties creating a raspy tone...

Abu thoughts about that?

gees, maybe that's got something to do with it. i can't trill so save myself..my tongue is too short...lol!!! i think i got the lip bubbles from making believe i was driving a car as a kid....lol!!!

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  • 1 year later...
  • 1 year later...

Hey Blackstar, did you ever find out what was the reason that you couldn't successfully do the tongue trills? I have the exact same problem, and I even went to an ENT and he told me I had nothing. Haven't gone to get a second opinion yet.... but if you could, please help

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