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vowel modification question in reference to KTVA

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I have a question regarding vowel modification. This isn't a question of what and how too, more a question of what happens when you do.

I can bridge and stay connected to full head voice up to and E5 on good days. I usually modify ee to ih/eh and ah to ouh as in book. But i want to start thinking of vowel modifications as vocal tract shaping instead/aswell.

My question reffers to Ken Tamplins program. In volume one he shows a close up of his mouth while he bridges and the only thing I can see that changes is lifting his soft palette as he ascends. The Jaw stays wide open and slight smile stays and tongue stays flat. But he does advocate going from AA (as in apple) to OH (as in loft) to OUH(as in book) to OOH (as in who). I was under the impression that the tongue is flat for aa then the back slowly rises higher for oh, then a bit higher for ouh then higher again for ooh, taking the tongue out of the back of the throat and increasing resonant space. But he says to keep a flat tongue throughout and shows this in the close up. My question is, in this instance what is changing within the vocal tract configuration that means he can bridge so well. My guess is the modification is doing something at the back of the throat that we can't see.

I thought I had this figured but it's just really confused me today for some reason! I thought the whole point of 'narrowing' the vowel was to get the tongue out the back of the throat, therefore raising the back slightly? I think i'm confused, can anyone clear this up for me? and any links to throat shapes images and what actually happens through these modifications would be grrrrrreat

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gina, i just park my tongue tip in the back of the lower front teeth and don't worry about it myself. the narrow vowel is used (as i know it) to coax and engage more head voice musculature on the way up and shed chest weight in a gradual manner as more of the head voice musculature (c/t) takes over the production...(like he talked about the rocket stages).

as i ascend i can feel a narrowing sensation along with a more pointed, more precise, almost laser like breath stream when i reach "oo."

the narrowing of the vowel (i call personally them throat shapes and divorce them from having anything to do with speech (frisell)) is your release valves enabling you to rise in the scale so you can better direct the breath stream to the best resonating pocket.

here's a great resource on this subject. i had a lesson with her and she is great.

http://www.singwise.com/cgi-bin/main.pl?section=articles&doc=VowelsFormantsAndModifications&page=3

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The vowel will change the height of the larynx without you yourself having to do anything..Just go from a as in apple to oo on say a middle c check it out

That is the natural movement but it's not guaranteed to happen. You can change the vowel without moving the larynx.

I just tried it and I can feel a slight change. The larynx seems to duck down and/or tilt forward a teeny bit, about a half a centimeter, on the oo. But that's different than keeping the mouth the same and modifying the vowel only by lowering the larynx. The way I'm doing it the tongue and lips change the vowel and as a result the larynx lowers slightly. But that's probably not what's going on with Ken, if his tongue and lips aren't moving yet the vowel is changing. He may be using the larynx as the main vowel shape-shifter.

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You could fight the natural movement of the larynx but you will just end up with more questions down the road.

Agreed. There are of course basic things like learning how to not let the larynx shoot way up high and make you quack like a duck on high notes. But micro manipulation of the larynx, or trying to keep it totally stable, has never helped me.

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I follow KTVA's stuff. I can't answer the technicalities nor am I interested in that. Just wanted to clarify: All the complex things are happening AUTOMATICALLY by following the set principles:

expanding the ribs, holding back the air, maintaining the bright and wide AHH vowel and modifying as you go higher. There is no worrying about changing the larynx or other things. It is an extremely simple system and the results come very very fast.

Yep it's really no different than any good solid vocal instruction it's not rocket science.

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click, click, clunk, clunk! That is the sound of my brain clicking into place :lol:

Thanks guys, that makes perfect sense now.

Bob, I love that site, very informative, but that is what confused me in the first place. Here is a quote that seems to contradict Roberts and Kens way of teaching .....

"I’ve watched video after video of teachers (whose own voices typically sound terrible) demonstrating singing technique that involves overly wide buccal (mouth) openings and other such faulty practices. (A common mistake is equating an open mouth with an open throat. In reality, a jaw that is too low actually places tension on the larynx, lowers the soft palate and inhibits the effective closure of the vocal folds, which is the opposite of the desired effect.)"

But clearly neither of them have bad vocal technique. I personally have always favoured the wide mouth opening.

Daniel and Owen. Thats the answer I wanted, thanks :D

Phil, cool. I just wanted to know what is actually going on physically, It helps me to understand and helps me to teach the more scientifically minded students.

Cheers guys, great help

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click, click, clunk, clunk! That is the sound of my brain clicking into place :lol:

Thanks guys, that makes perfect sense now.

Bob, I love that site, very informative, but that is what confused me in the first place. Here is a quote that seems to contradict Roberts and Kens way of teaching .....

"I’ve watched video after video of teachers (whose own voices typically sound terrible) demonstrating singing technique that involves overly wide buccal (mouth) openings and other such faulty practices. (A common mistake is equating an open mouth with an open throat. In reality, a jaw that is too low actually places tension on the larynx, lowers the soft palate and inhibits the effective closure of the vocal folds, which is the opposite of the desired effect.)"

But clearly neither of them have bad vocal technique. I personally have always favoured the wide mouth opening.

Daniel and Owen. Thats the answer I wanted, thanks :D

Phil, cool. I just wanted to know what is actually going on physically, It helps me to understand and helps me to teach the more scientifically minded students.

Cheers guys, great help

For one thing, Rob has more recently been advocating a more narrow embouchure, less jaw drop.

Also, I don't believe her claims about the disadvantages of dropping the jaw. There may be some disadvantages but is it really that bad? I don't think so.

I do know dropping the jaw does result in is narrowing the back of the pharynx. Dropping the jaw indeed does not open the back of the throat. She's right about that. But the other stuff she says about it...eh, I don't buy it. Or if it's true she's making it sound worse than it really is.

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