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Tongue Shape

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Wildcat
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i always hear people say keep the tongue forward, out of the throat, and things like that but when i see videos of a lot of other singers their tongue often goes into a U-shape (looking at their mouth from the front of their face) to where it's sort of curled with the sides wide on the molars and the middle flattened along the length's center. i can't seem to do this, nor do i really know why some singers do it.

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I always hear people say keep the tongue forward, out of the throat, and things like that but when i see videos of a lot of other singers their tongue often goes into a U-shape (looking at their mouth from the front of their face) to where it's sort of curled with the sides wide on the molars and the middle flattened along the length's center. i can't seem to do this, nor do i really know why some singers do it.

Wildcat: Don't bother trying to emulate them. Everybody's tongue is different dimensions, and it has to fit between the teeth, which are not always the right distance apart.

Find, instead, the right place for your own individual tongue in your particular mouth.

If you want to get a sense of this, let your tongue flatten out side to side, and let your molars come together. Can you feel the edges of your tongue between your molars, to the point that they would be bitten if you closed your teeth on it?

If so, your tongue is flat enough.

now, raise the sides of the tongue so you can feel the inside of the top molars... while keeping the tip of the tongue at the gumline of the bottom front teeth. In this position, the tongue forms an air channel from the top of your throat across the roof of your mouth and down to the opening between your teeth. It may require a little playing with to find, but this sense of 3-point touch (tongue at the inner sides of the upper molars, and also at the bottom of the lower teeth) makes a very well-shaped acoustic channel for the voice, and can be achieved fairly easily for all the vowels.

Try it with an /i/ (ee) first. I think you will like it.

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Thank you! I was in a college voice class last year and have bought several voice books since, and while I advanced much, all of these sources still left me confused as to where a good, natural starting point would be to finding a good and flexible tongue position.

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