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That Nasty Tounge

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I wanted to get some feedback regarding tounge position.

The back of the tounge should be up, correct?

I've seen many times people saying that the tounge position for ng is the correct position for singing and that the throat should be opened simultaniously for better sound production.

Lastly (and what I find the most confusing) is the placement of the note when singing. Are you supposed to feel it in the gap between your palate and raised tounge?

If anything I've said is wrong or inaccurate, I would very much appreciate it.:)

My tounge likes to give me lots of problems.

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In TVS, we work with two tongue positions. The Leveraged Tongue position and the Open Throat Tongue position. Leveraged tongue position requires the tip of the tongue leveraging the back of the bottom teeth. Its great for helping you to get your larynx dampened and can also help create compression for twang. The open throat position is used to encourage respiration and is great for Appoggio.

Hope this helps...

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The position of the tongue, must come from the intention and the ajustment of the vowel you are using. Ideally, yes having the back of the tongue not completely flat down is best. The correct ajustment is up directed to ng, but of course not yet ng. The result is so forward that it does not fit most pop material other than rock/metal

For trainnig yes its very usefull.

Still, if you just try to lift it, withou first working on references, it will sound like you have a hot potato inside your mouth. Carefull when using this kind of approach. Its meant to relief stress, if tensions pop out or you feel more strain when you do it. Its completely wrong

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Thanks for all the replies so far and thanks Robert for taking the time to comment (I've been following your videos on YouTube).

Last night I went to karaoke (the only place I can practice without ticking off my neighbors) and worked with singing with proper breath support, an open throat, twang, while raising the route of my tongue. The results were amazing. I will definitely record this and upload but my voice before and after the changes. I was able to stay consistently on pitch and even though my voice is quite low I was able to sing tenor range songs in standard key which is the first time really since I've started singing.

I think my tongue has been the greatest obstacle to my progress (well, besides myself at times). I think my tongue is really wide and meaty or something as it looks really different to a lot of the singers I see on you tube. A lot of people have narrower looking tongue. Raising the back while projecting forward basically helped eliminate my break and most of all stabilized my pitch (which being in a rock band has frustrated me to no end).

It also seemed that even if I changed the timbre by adding nasality or darkness to my voice my pitch accuracy stayed consistent.

Nasality as someone mentioned is not necessarily a good thing, but the genre I'm doing likely calls for more nasality than most of the regulars on this board are into.

Robert's siren videos really helped alot for getting me to raise my pitch and coordinate my voice a bit. Another thing that helped tremendously were a series of tips from Lisa Popeil on YouTube. Most YouTube vocal teachers are strictly SLS and I am somewhat weary of their methods but she seemed to share a lot of ideas consistent with Rob and CVI.

Little by little I'm starting to find my way. Next I'm going to need to upload some stuff and get advice from you guys.

Thanks again any other advice or opinions you have are very much appreciated.

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Along the lines of what Felipe said... the location of the tongue hump is a primary determinant of the vocal tract configuration that results in the vowel. Assuming a high soft palate, the higher the hump is, the deeper in frequency the first vowel resonance will be, and (correspondingly) the higher the 2nd vowel resonance will be.

For the vowels /i/ and /u/ (ee an oo) the hump of the tongue is highest, high-front for /i/, and high-back for /u/. It is flattest for /a/ and /o/ (ah and oh).

However, the particular height for the tongue hump varies by person and by voice type. For example, if a singer has a high hard palate, the hump will be higher to get it to the needed position for some vowels. Appropriate tongue hump height also can vary by note, as the vowel resonances (especially what becomes F1) will move as the jaw is dropped, the mouth shape is varied, and larynx raised or lowered.

Because of the interrelationship of all these articulators, hard and fast rules are a bit slippery unless particular colors of vowels are decided to be preferred.

FYI, for a classical soprano, all vowels converge toward /a/ or /U/ (ah or Uh) as the range between C5 and G6 is traversed. Otherwise, tone quality and volume are lost, and vocal strain increases.

And, as for the correlation of high tongue hump and high larynx, they do not have to correlate. Try an /i/ with the jaw nearly shut, and a low larynx. This coordination can be learned. Most of the classical basses and baritones I know can do this quite readily.

I hope this is helpful.

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Another update, last night I was (for a little while until I lost the configuration) getting some really nice natural vibrato on the legato notes. It the first time to experience it, so it felt a bit wierd. Almost like a automatic machine gun in the back of my mouth going off. I tensed up a bit after that likely due to just being physically exhausted. I think the hardest part of all this is making the correct vocal configurations perminent and unconcious. Which, esential is the point of all those vocal excercises I guess.

For the time being, I still have to do all the warm-ups and checks to get things going.

I'm going to record something tonight if I have time. Unfortunately I don't play any physical instruments (though I am quite good with programming music i.e. MIDI). I'll record a backtrack and try layering my voice over it.:)

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