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Jaw movement...

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jlewmdob
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Hey there, I've recently started taking lessons again with a Bel Canto instructor. Prior to this, I had one three hour lesson with Jaime Vendera and he taught me the basics of breathing and breath control. I've had about 6 lessons and so far things are going great. What we've been concentrating on the past few weeks is jaw movement. When I watch him sing, his jaw barely moves, if at all. Now mind you, he's an operatic tenor with a Master in Voice from CCM here in Cincinnati. What I'm wondering is how do you guys feel about jaw movement, and the overall affect it has on the singing voice? He knows that I'm a rock vocalist and that raw emotions are what fuels my vocals. I've found it hard to remove jaw movement from my singing. He suggested that I practice at home in from of a mirror, which I've been doing and it helps, but I can't keep a mirror with me on stage. Thanks in advance for your time, Josh.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The jaws should move.

The vocal apparatus has numerous parts, so it is possible to disable a certain part, and create comparable effects. But never as good as the real, full sound the singer is really capable of.

I imagine, if one keeps the jaw fixed, a certain resonance pattern can be more accurately established, and this can be helpful to singing. My opinion is that the mind-body is very capable at adjusting for changing jaw patterns with other, marvelously created resonance patterns.

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I have struggled with jaw movement and still do if I'm not careful. Yes, the jaw does need to move; how do you think you get your mouth open?

:P

Up and down movement is fine, but I struggled with my jaw moving forward, or slightly "popping out." If I closed my mouth when my jaw popped out, my bottom teeth would be even with my top teeth, or past them, essentially giving me an "overbite" (if that's the correct terminology...) The main problem with this that I noticed was forward jaw movement made the pitch go sharp, and a tense jaw made singing more difficult, not to mention more uncomfortable.

As I worked to retrain myself, I also noticed I had a lot of jaw tension. I think this was contributing to my unwanted jaw movement. I solved this by placing one hand on my jaw from top to bottom while practicing. By doing this I learned what the tension felt like and when I did it, as I was not consciously trying to make my jaw move forward or be tense. It took a couple of months, but I managed to loosen up my jaw and get it only moving up and down. Every so often I will start to slip back into my bad jaw habits, at which point I need to pay more attention to what my jaw is doing, but overall it isn't much of an issue anymore. Good luck.

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i'm a proponent of moving the jaw as little as needed, leaving pronunciation to the tongue and lips. ken tamplin advocates the same saying that excessive movement tends to close off the throat. you want as much as possible to keep a steady flow of air while you sing.

for example, a scale on an open vowel, such as "ah" should be accomplished with minimal jaw movement in a yawn-like mouth configuration. this also keeps the swallowing muscles at bay.

for example, exercises on the five vowels should be employed with hardly any jaw movement......"ee" "eh" "ah" "oh" "oo"

or as anthony frisell recommneds the sequence of "oo" "ee" "eh" "oh" "ah" (transitioning from the headiest to the chestiest vowel).

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It shouldn't move a lot but it also should certainly not be completely still. For some vowels, in particular the more open ones, you need to open your mouth a bit more. And you also need to increase the mouth opening the higher you go in pitch. It should happen very slowly, but it should still happen.

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