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What is The Embouchure in Singing! - NEW Robert Lunte Lecture

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Robert Lunte
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The embouchure is a French word we use to describe the following physical components of singing; jaw, lips and teeth. Beginning students are not used to opening their mouths wide enough for singing. Spending a life time in speech mode, means your mouth is used to only opening up for what is necessary for speaking, but when you sing, you need to open the mouth in a specialized way. Remember, the way we use our voice when speaking is NOT how the voice is being used when singing.

The embouchure for singing is a totally new and exotic physical configuration. When singing, generally speaking, try to drop your jaw and expose the canines, or the upper teeth. Also, keep your tongue forward. Always lift your top lip to expose your canines or upper teeth and plant your tongue forward, lightly pressing the tip of your tongue, against the back of your bottom teeth. This is the general position you need to remain in, when singing all the time, especially high notes. If you do not maintain a good embouchure when singing, your voice will constrict, break, and a whole series of problems will unfold in your lap.

There are two embouchure positions in TVS Methodology, the horizontal embouchure and the vertical embouchure, both are explained in this video. The #1, most important thing you need to learn to do during your first week of training TVS is to practice in the mirror, to learn how to shape and maintain your embouchure.

This lecture is one of 40 lectures available in the popular TVS vocal training system, "The Four Pillars of Singing". To learn more about TVS techniques and "The Four Pillars of Singing", visit this web site:

http://www.thevocaliststudiostore.com/The-Four-Pillars-of-Singing-25_p_27.html

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Hey Rob I thought the video was great, I'm excited to try out the horizontal position, as the moving of the jaw with the vertical position often distracts me or can psyche me out thinking I'm going to lose my intrinsic anchoring. I just have a quick question.

Is this supposed to be included in Pillars 3.0? As I had Pillars 2.5 and then bought and synced the programs using sharefile on June 30th, and I assumed that the only thing missing is the pdf (the version I have is about 2.8 as you put it), but my video entitled "embouchure" in the lecture is different than this one.

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Cool video. I really like the new embouchure. I already did it like this, most often unnoticed, because I never really get used to the "muppet mouth" vertical embouchure. Somehow, for me the horizontal one is more intuitive.

That said. I think "open" (vertical) and "closed" (horizontal) would be a little easier to understand as descriptions instead of "horizontal" and "vertical". This also reflects the fact which vowels are easier to sing with which embouchure.

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I have to disagree with benny I personally think horizontal vs vertical is clearer terminology. With closed vs open you could interpret that in either direction. But the point is not how closed or open it is thats too vague its about the shape

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I have to disagree with benny I personally think horizontal vs vertical is clearer terminology. With closed vs open you could interpret that in either direction. But the point is not how closed or open it is thats too vague its about the shape

The point I'm referring to is that when thinking "horizontal" it kind of creates the imagination that I have to spread (smile) more using that embouchure, which is not really true. The horizontal spread is about the same for both versions, while the vertical one has more vertical spread obviously.

But imo the major technical difference is really the tongue position (the way you shape the vowel), which is more flat/open throat for the vertical version and more curved/forward for the horizontal one. The more forward position for the vertical emouchure makes it so that the vowels are formed more forward in your mouth and you have to use the jaw to assist the process of vowel forming, while for the horizontal one the vowels are formed further back in your mouth with more assistance of the throat.

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"open", "closed" are terms more commonly used for vowels... but you could used them for embouchure... its 6 and half a dozen really. Owen is correct, vowel formation happens mostly with the tongue and pharynx, but the embouchure is part of that. The bigger point of this video is... the more horizontal you can go, the more efficient your vowel formation can be through a process called, "Throat Shaping".

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Hack,

I am really pleased to hear this is helping you... we have a 'win'! That is great... a lot of my students are making the same statement the first time they get throat shaping going , they say, "... that's easier...". I think its helping. Now to be clear, you can't always be static on the jaw line, but the goal is, to try to be at least eliminate the jaw movements that are truly not necessary. If you pay attention to it, you will discover that you can be more efficient with this technique and suddenly singing can become about 20% easier and sound better too... I failed to point out in the video that the horizontal position has the additional benefit of offering sound color and resonant energy off of the molars, the back teeth. Its a cool sound, a bit more mouthy and belty... but if you get it tuned just right, you can actually feel your molars vibrating... not kidding... I can do it sometimes.. and the sound is cool, it has a "molar" sound color to it if you can imagine...

Hack, I really don't like this, "drop your jaw and pul lit back idea"... that sucks. I would never coach a student to pull their jaw back. Of course, jaw lines and mouth shapes are very different for many people, there are a lot of different sizes and shapes... so its conceivable that this movement might help someone, but generally speaking, for most singers... I'm pretty sure dropping your jaw and pulling it back would pretty much create a nasty problem for you.

Hope this help.

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Hack, its hard to coach you in the written medium here, but I can tell you this for sure, when you hold the horizontal position, two things will become very apparent and you don't really have to make it happen, the body just knows what to do... which is a pretty cool thing to witness with your own body.

1). You will notice the tongue starts working more. The tongue starts flipping and articulating a lot more to get the vowels out. It touches the palette more and curls more and other positions, which is favorable, its what we want it to do.

2). You can actually feel a subtle, focused squeeze in the larynx as the larynx also begins to kick in and help out with the vowel formation.

The two embouchures and the throat shaping is further explained in "The Four Pillars of Singing", but most of all, I think with "Pillars", the 40 vocalize / vocal workouts in the program give you lots of options for practicing this throat shaping idea. In particular, the sirens and articulation #1 and #2 with the text...

I hope you can become a client of TVS and I can help you further. Feel free to reach out if you likey...

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I can feel the necessity of opening the mouth as part of singing but I need to be wary as I suffer from a broken TMJ on the left side.

I can comfortably open my mouth to a thumbs width but any more and I can see & feel my jaw slowly moving out (jutting) and swinging to the right ever so slightly. I often catch myself with a jaw position that is too forward simply because that is generally more comfortable when approaching my safe limit. As a result, tucking the jaw back toward the neck slightly really helps me open up the higher range as it counteracts the unconscious trend to move the jaw forward as it opens.

I've also noticed that I often compensate for a lack of space in the embouchure by twanging harder than I need to. Is this based on any factual evidence ? Can you over-twang as compensation for sluggish support or lack of space in the embouchure ? I can hear it too as the tone tends to be overly bright with a slight witches cackle kind of sound.

Gotta get a grip of this issue - it feels intuitively like a fundamental hurdle I need to leap over to progress further.

Any thoughts are most welcome!

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I can feel the necessity of opening the mouth as part of singing but I need to be wary as I suffer from a broken TMJ on the left side.

I can comfortably open my mouth to a thumbs width but any more and I can see & feel my jaw slowly moving out (jutting) and swinging to the right ever so slightly. I often catch myself with a jaw position that is too forward simply because that is generally more comfortable when approaching my safe limit. As a result, tucking the jaw back toward the neck slightly really helps me open up the higher range as it counteracts the unconscious trend to move the jaw forward as it opens.

I've also noticed that I often compensate for a lack of space in the embouchure by twanging harder than I need to. Is this based on any factual evidence ? Can you over-twang as compensation for sluggish support or lack of space in the embouchure ? I can hear it too as the tone tends to be overly bright with a slight witches cackle kind of sound.

Gotta get a grip of this issue - it feels intuitively like a fundamental hurdle I need to leap over to progress further.

Any thoughts are most welcome!

Can you twang too hard, squeeze the hell out of the twanger to compensate for other components in your phonation package that are not balanced? ALL DAY LONG... absolutely... it is the body's solution for everything. In the absence of good technique and training, the body wants to shout at hight notes and squeeze the hell out of the twanger... if your squeezing the hell out of the twanger, its is a sure sign that you are not doing something else you need to be doing.

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