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Extreme Resonance With An Open Mouth

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Hey everyone, it seems like when I open my mouth fully I lose some "resonance" or the tone weakens because the cords lose a little bit of compression. As a native english speaker it is not necessary to open the mouth fully for all vowels lol... then again english is not a perfect language.

I was wondering if anyone knows how I can feel more compression and resonance with an almost completely open mouth (up to 85% of max jaw drop).

Thanks in advance.

-JayMC

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Vowels, vowels, and more vowels.

English is horrendous because of the plethora, the veritable cornucopia, the deluge of dipthongs in our language.

Worry about the vowel, let the mouth adjust itself.

Redneck singing, by ronws.

:lol:

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One big misconception is that dropping the jaw increases the space in the back of the throat. It actually does the opposite, as Rachsing has showed us with the vowel diagrams. But that doesn't mean it's necessarily worse technique or less resonant. It just tunes the first formant brighter.

One vowel I can think of that combines jaw drop with good compression would definitely be "ae" as in "cat'.

And if that sounds too quacky for you, you can lower the larynx while keeping the same tongue position, in order to make a darker variant of ae.

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I can understand vocalizing with a completely open mouth to help disengage unwanted musculature but not for tuning resonance. Resonance would be shaping the space to corrolate with the frequency of the the sound. It seems to me that different pitches would require a different position of the jaw to adjust resonance and still keep the same vowel.

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Phil,

May I ask, what are those outer muscles?

Rach, I would recommend not bugging Phil with the super techy science stuff. He's not a fan of it.

The digastric muscle is most commonly mentioned in vocal pedagogy so it could be that. Or the...mylohyoid? I looked up these muscle names a long time ago, I kinda forget now, but it really has nothing important to do with singing IMO. Because I think what's usually meant is any and all muscles under the chin.

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I can understand vocalizing with a completely open mouth to help disengage unwanted musculature but not for tuning resonance. Resonance would be shaping the space to corrolate with the frequency of the the sound. It seems to me that different pitches would require a different position of the jaw to adjust resonance and still keep the same vowel.

You're probably more likely to keep a similar vowel by keeping the same jaw position, regardless of pitch. But what is true is that you may have to change it if you want the vowel formant to follow a particular harmonic as it changes in pitch.

It all depends on a lot of things...you obviously can't sing lyrics intelligibly with a fully open jaw all the time but there is potential value of it in vocalizing, even for resonance. If for whatever reason you are working on keeping the first formant high, which I think may be part of the "bright timbre" Ken talks about, keeping the jaw low would help accomplish that goal...

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I've found the biggest benefit behind vocalizing scales with my mouth wide open is that it helped me dis-engage all those outer muscles under the chin that we don't want "kicking in" and "strangling" us. It helped me tremendously to focus on the soft palate and to vocalize on the bright ping of the vowel sound. That is when my voice truly started to grow.

Phil - I'm also doing an exercise that aims to keep the muscles underneath - between the chin and the larynx - relaxed, or at least disengaged. By sticking your fingers underneath to monitor their "tenseness" while doing "ng" sirens. Another one is sticking the tongue out and while keeping it really relaxed, hold it in place with your teeth. And then do "ng" octave sirens. If your tongue starts to tense up to "help" the laynx, it HURTS! It's a great exercise because it gives you instant feedback if you engage the tongue accidentally. You literally can't do the exercise if your tongue isn't relaxed.

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Phil, Are you dropping the jaw hinge or dropping your chin to open mouth? or Both? I may not be finding the correct resonance to begin with. I've read too many contradictory books to know what is correct anymore. :/

I knew a female singer who tried to help me. To show me the difference between trained and untrained, She sang a phrase like an untrained singer. It sounded Great, She had what I thought was good resonance, tone and vibrato. A sound that anyone would be proud of....And then she sang the phrase like a trained singer....The sound came from everywhere. The tone did note change, just volume. She said that it was just from using support and allowing the sound to enter the correct resonance chambers.

She only tried to help me that one time. She didn't know how to explain what was going on.

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I've seen some of your videos before. At that time there were only a few.

I am probably not keeping the vowel bright enough. I also have a low muffled speaking voice.

When I speak to someone I want to speak to them, not the whole room. This is not a correct attitude for singing.

The bright vowel will certainly help me.

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@Rachsing knowing every individual muscle is great but knowing every muscle in the legs won't make you a great runner.

@Phil what vowel do you recommend then? The ae as in "Cat" is great for twang or brightness but imo it is not easy to sing it through the passaggio.

I am just curious how I can use vowels to maximize resonance while having my mouth very open. When my jaw drops I often loose intensity you can call it a "woofier" sound...

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Ken Tamplin advocates the bright Lah and open mouth. Very similer to the sound Phil is using in the above video.

With the mouth open that far the muscles under the chin cannot be used to help or hinder phonation. Therefore you do not have to worry about which muscles are being disengaged. The point is that they are not needed for phonation.

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@JustinOthersinger I thought generally "2 finger width" was the recommended mouth opening I did not know it was different for tenors... as I stated in my other thread I feel the "weakness" occur when my mouth is 2 fingers width apart or more. I feel a physical buzzy mask sensation more when my mouth is closer to what you are recommending.

If I make the sound mmm-eee--aw after the 2 finger width point it is already "uncomfortable" because I feel less resonance around the 4-5 octaves if I am too open in the mouth. It could be because all my vowels are not yet comfortable with the fully dropped jaw.

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The resonance space will be different for every one. Some of us may not be opening our mouths enough to begin with to find the resonance. I am one of those. My sound has always been muffled. Once resonance is found then you can refine it.

Edit: Also what is important is the space at the back of the mouth. Where the jaw meets the scull. This is where the space is needed. The lips may be slightly closed but the jaw hinge should be relaxed and lowered.

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folks, the bright, open, sound that ken teaches is for training purposes..you get palate stretch, (and there's some twang in that sound) and it teaches you to keep the back of the throat from closing down as you learn to narrow on the way up.

the openness of the throat is much more important than mouth height. in fact, you may find you need very little mouth height to sing hugely resonant.

it all depends and sometimes it depends on the lyrics you're dealt.

and you can also have days where you train with lowered larynx exercises...they can be very beneficial.

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Justin I am far from mastering my voice but I do feel that approaching the C5 and above with using extreme resonance it is not necessary to drop the draw "as" much because you are physically becoming a laser beam but it would be detrimental to fully close the mouth loll. Even though the sound may not feel small it is a technical refined detail that actually creates a "force" that is in a sense "surprising" when done correctly... it is feeling the support imo that is tricky because you can give a little and get a lot if you listen to your voice. It would be great to hear the correct way to sing those notes as it is tempting to sometimes "yell" in a watered down speaking voice.

Also in terms of visualization sometimes I do something similar but then as I ascend I vision the the sound coming toward me. As in the sound is meant to project in "all" directions when singing that high including behind you but it is a product of co-ordinating all the right muscles and using adequate breath while not using "bad muscles" lol!

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It all depends on the resonance whether you want to drop the jaw a lot or less...my advice, forget about the actual opening and LISTEN and FEEL. If it sounds and feels good, it's a good jaw position. If one or the other is off, you need to change something. Judging it by looks alone is useless because your amount of jaw drop is not chosen for the visual impact, it's for the sound and feel...so determine it by that!

Jay, it seems like you have more strength building to do with more open vowels. Practice incorporating that buzz you found from the "er" into ALL the vowels...start with the most comfortable vowels and gradually move on to the harder stuff.

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Justin, would you consider posting a short video of yourself singing so we can see what you're doing? Don't worry, I'm not trying to jump on you; you see to have a unique perspective that we might be able to learn from.

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Ahh.. I think I gotcha..... In the high range (F#5-C7) I never open my jaw very much. If I do I will die. lol.. the two finger rule/thumb-width aspect is the only way to really nail those notes. You can't let the note sit in your throat, like many try to when they start learning how to sing in the G5 range because it will shred you. That's what the guy from Primal Fear (Scheepers) does, and it wears him out in a live show. The guy couldn't even sing an hour without botching his top. You have to 'toss' the note out in front of you. Where most mic singing requires the mic to be very close to the mouth, these notes require the singer to pull the mic away, or you will blow speakers if they're not running compression because the air stream is very high. lol.. It's likely your air speed is too slow and you're not projecting the note (I visualize it about a foot in front of me, that gets me the right coordination).

A lot of singers believe that dropping the jaw more and more is the only way to sing the high notes (above F#5, but that's a mistake). For regular singing you shouldn't need to open your mouth wider until you're singing around a Bb4 (with connected breath), then close it again once you're above the F#5. You have to become aware of the breath stream, it's like a laser beam in the high notes (especially F#5 and above). That's where all the power comes from, and it's required if you're going to sing them. Above C6 requires another adjustment - it's a short neck technique - but I wouldn't mess with that too much right now. Nail the B5's first.

In the beginning singing is all about building coordination. I currently only drop my jaw in the upper register. If you're a tenor (sorry, I don't know) I wouldn't worry about dropping the jaw until after you've worked out the passagio and can comfortably sing a C5 with a connected breath. Then again, that's the Italian school. If you're going to approach the upper register with an approach similar to sls (and metal), ie., not a ton of projection, you'll still need to drop your jaw in the upper register, but you won't have a fully connected breath. The Italian power comes from maximizing breath management. The top notes also come from intense air speed and projection. Never swallow those notes, that's a really bad thing lol...

You have to understand where your breaks are and build up your transitions with them firmly in mind. That's the healthiest approach to this type of technique, if that's what you're doing. lol..

One thing to always keep in mind. If you're singing the upper register without a fully connected breath you're going to compensate for that with tension, unless you're singing in falsetto or a head voice. Tamplin's bright Lah is likely a tool he uses to help singers initiate the proper projection. I strongly recommend NOT DOING WHAT'S IN THE VIDEO ABOVE (Phil's video). First because the guy's breath isn't connected in any way shape or form, and two because of the lack of breath he sings everything through his nose... ugggghhh.. don't do that, please. With my limited breath connection (I've been studying the Italian school since November) I can currently fill a 600-700 seat hall, and my mouth will never open like that haha.. I'll post some clips and you'll hear 1000X more resonance in them than in the video. It's not that I'm all that.. no, I'm not.. I'm simply Connecting the Breath and using Resonant Vowels through a coordinated vocal tract.

That's it.

Good post. I agree 100% on this.

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It all depends on the resonance whether you want to drop the jaw a lot or less...my advice, forget about the actual opening and LISTEN and FEEL. If it sounds and feels good, it's a good jaw position. If one or the other is off, you need to change something. Judging it by looks alone is useless because your amount of jaw drop is not chosen for the visual impact, it's for the sound and feel...so determine it by that!

Jay, it seems like you have more strength building to do with more open vowels. Practice incorporating that buzz you found from the "er" into ALL the vowels...start with the most comfortable vowels and gradually move on to the harder stuff.

owen, this is the (non-scientific) approach you should be taking with vowels.

like frisell taught me, disassociate vowels with what makes speech, and consider them just throat shapes.

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So here is my view on this: There are basically two types of technique that are both viable and are both widely used:

1. Appoggio-based technique with "open throat" and "connected breath"

2. Twang-based technique, which focuses more on resonance and less on breath power

For both types dropping your jaw too much will lead to lost resonance.

In the appoggio-based technique dropping the jaw too much will narrow your pharynx too much. This approach is based a lot on the "open throat"/wide pharynx and generates a lot of resonance and power there, so you will usually want a wide pharynx. This is achieved by "vertically" opening the pharynx (the "bright resonance" Ken Tamplin teaches).

When using a twang based approach and drop your jaw too much, you will lose twang compression, as dropping the jaw will usually lower your larynx, and lowering the larynx reduces the amont of twang (which is a higher larynx mode).

This whole discussion about which type of approach is better doesn't really matter. Both techniques are viable. They just use different resonators and give you different types of sound, that's all. As today there is no need to fill a hall with 600 people acoustically, the raw volume that the appoggio approach has as an advantage is not really an advantage anymore.

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benny, why brake twang and appoggio appart from each other to begin with?

Yes, I know it's not really that different if you know what you are doing. But they are often 'sold' as being different approaches. In the end it is all about closing the vocal folds: You can choose to use a lot of twang and then only add slight air pressure to close the folds or you can choose to build a nice pillar of air from your lungs and mainly close the folds using Bernoulli effect, while just using a bit of twang to get a nice overtone.

The use of heavy twang is often thought of as singing "with tension" by classical influenced singers (just like Justin), because it narrows the vocal tract, but it is just the other end of a spectrum of possible sounds you can make with different ratios of twang/bernoulli closure and different vocal-tract setups.

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Benny how do you know dropping the jaw lowers the larynx? I don't see the connection...

The jaw and the larynx are tied to each other somewhat from a physiological perspective. That's also why you should never tense up the jaw while singing. It's also what is happening when you yawn.

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