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Tongue trills and tongue tension

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Lobster510
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Hi guys!

Sorry I know this is probably a rehashed topic for alot of you but here goes...

Since I've been using the pillars program I've been finally seeing progress in my bridging and head voice developement, especially over the last week now that I'm managing to keep my larynx down.

I stopped doing lip rolls and tongue trills when I started with pillars.

So the other day, I'd been working for a couple of hours and I decided to do a few tongue trills, all of a sudden everything clicked I was able to do octave sweep exercises with ease, no worrying about bridging etc...

I've done sls in the past and it really didn't do much for me, whereas with the pillars exercises I really feel like i'm building something.

Lip bubbles don't do much for me so I'm just trying to work out where my problem lies.

Do tongue trills relieve alot of tongue tension for you guys?

Could it be that I have a problem with tongue tension?

I know that it's not coming from the suppport benefits, I don't have a problem with that.

Thanks in advance ;)

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Since I've been using the pillars program I've been finally seeing progress in my bridging and head voice developement, especially over the last week now that I'm managing to keep my larynx down.

So the other day, I'd been working for a couple of hours and I decided to do a few tongue trills, all of a sudden everything clicked I was able to do octave sweep exercises with ease, no worrying about bridging etc...

... So uhh.. Where's the problem again? Are they hard or aren't they?

Lip bubbles don't do much for me so I'm just trying to work out where my problem lies.

Do tongue trills relieve alot of tongue tension for you guys?

To me tongue trills excite more tension in my throat/larynx but I get a better range (edit: Nevermind. Lip bubbles still open up a wider range) and clarity of tone. A sharper tone (caused by the higher larynx, no doubt). You kinda have to have a tense tongue to keep it against the air pressure and keep it making the D sound (or the spanish R).

With the lip bubbles I feel like I'm floating, and it really helps me "reset." I dunno if the whole "blood flow to the vocal cords" is just bs, but it feels better than humming.

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ok cool! Yeah I get the "edgier" sound thing, but my tongue feels quite relaxed when I do it.

A bit of an updated the muscles under my chin have been tensing up, I hadn't noticed but it stopped from bridging for an hour. Does anyone know if the two could be linked, are they connected to the root of the tongue or something?

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ok cool! Yeah I get the "edgier" sound thing, but my tongue feels quite relaxed when I do it.

A bit of an updated the muscles under my chin have been tensing up, I hadn't noticed but it stopped from bridging for an hour. Does anyone know if the two could be linked, are they connected to the root of the tongue or something?

Might be due to my overbite, but I can't, no way, no how, keep a tongue trill going at all as relaxed as lip bubbles. I can close my jaw and press fingers below my chin and feel that everything's relaxed, and the lip bubble tone doesn't change much at all. If I try the same thing with tongue trills I can't keep the R going.

All in all, bubbles over trills anyday for me.

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lool well i'm not bad at them!

A bit embarassing really!

As a British expat in France, I was young when I got here and for some reason I thought that all latin languages rolled their "R's" so I did for a few months in french, I had like an accent from the middle east mixed up with my english one it was hilarious. hehe a bit slow on uptake as a kid ;)

I'm sure now that those chin muscles have been holding me back.

I did bubbles for a long time but it's only since ive been doing humming that I've gotten any twang in the mid ranges.

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I did bubbles for a long time but it's only since ive been doing humming that I've gotten any twang in the mid ranges.

I'd love to hear a lip bubbles vs humming analysis from someone who knows their stuff. :) As in what is achieved through one that the other doesn't cover etc.

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I think trills, versus lip bubbles, versus soft consonant such as v or spanish b depends partially on your structure. For example, I have thin rather than thick lips. It causes more tension for me to do what it takes to make lip bubbles. I have an easier time with trills and v sounds.

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Does this work?

Edit:

I usually warm up with lip bubbles then humming.

Then a few chesty stuff from Mastering Mix.

Then get back into lip bubbles but compressed how Phil does them.

Compressed bubble > LAH 5 tone scale

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Rob compares the two in great detail in Pillars but its not without reflecting his personal preference to humming as superior to lip bubbles. So not unbiased scientific analysis, instead he just makes a strong argument that resonant humming tends to engage more twang and put the larynx in a more twang-like, higher larynx configuration than bubbles - therefore it sets you up better for singing.

Definitely an accurate point.

I would add that lip bubbles have more occlusion than humming. That means two things: lip bubbles are a bit healthier/more therapeutic, and you should do lip bubbles first then humming. The other way around makes much less sense (at least warming up) because it takes you further away from singing.

I find lip bubbles are a lot easier too. But going through humming slowly with great finnesse and attention to detail will do more to actually start sorting out laryngeal coordination. Lip bubbles kind of hide laryngeal coordination issues sometimes.

Humming is also nasal, lip bubbles aren't, that's a big difference scientifically but doesn't make any difference in singing once the student is in good control of keeping out nasality. But for beginners, the humming may lead them to sing a bit more nasal.

Lastly, the better you get at vocalizing properly the less you need lip bubbles. Unless you go on to do them in a much different way like Phil's video

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Does this work?

Edit:

I usually warm up with lip bubbles then humming.

Then a few chesty stuff from Mastering Mix.

Then get back into lip bubbles but compressed how Phil does them.

Compressed bubble > LAH 5 tone scale

Lol, so I was doing them right all along. For some reason I just didn't apply them in the Lah exercises. I feel kinda dumb now, but I'm glad to see I was on the right track doing compressed lip bubbles.

Phil's the man, though.

What is this "resonant humming" or "resonant/resonance tracking?" Just humming with a focus on resonance cavities?

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Why would I "rent" a video for 5 dollars when I have the information free right here?

http://thevocaliststudio.com/vocal-warm-ups-the-semi-occluded-phonation-their-application-to-singing/

Also: 5 dollars for "TVS sign language". I might go for that.. Haha, jk.

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I think trills, versus lip bubbles, versus soft consonant such as v or spanish b depends partially on your structure. For example, I have thin rather than thick lips. It causes more tension for me to do what it takes to make lip bubbles. I have an easier time with trills and v sounds.

This ^

Ron is totally right. It is very very subjective because we are all different.

I for example, don't have much tension at all from one note above my bottom to one note below my highest. So I only humm to stretch the folds.

Due to the way that my voice is, and the way my lips are, when I do lip rolls I use much more air to move my lips than I would use just phonating in a medium volume. It also makes my voice thinner and more airy after I've done a minute or so of lip rolls.

Tongue trills are more useful to me to warm up the bridge area, but they tend to tense the tongue a bit because the R is a constant push of the tongue against the hard palate. Now, this way I also use more air than I would just doing an AH or humming.

Also I like to warm up everything together. Warming up the raising of my palate, and the coordination of balance between resonant spaces, along with stretching and warming up the folds and vocal muscles.

So Humming on M, then a twanged M. Doing sirens and scales in low and middle volumes with EH and AE and an ugly AH with the tongue out all over my range, raising the volume bit by bit does the work.

When I feel the voice ready, I just push the gas pedal and start belting out scales, haha.

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I prefer lip bubbles the most. I can get into them nice and easy in the and freely flutter around. Being mixed race I have large lips too so they easily flutter.

Tongue trills cause me more trouble. I get tension under my chin and in my neck. My tongue also gets tired quickly as well. My tongue is rather long and thick as well.

Humming is variable. Many days I can freely hum up and down in sirens but scales really trip me up. Getting into a more chesty hum is harder for me too. I break and flip etc. I also have a tendency to flip into a falsetto-ish sound and then it doesn't connect on the way down.

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And I am glad you understood the point I was making. I have a gift for languages and I can speak a northern german dialect but I can also speak mexican spanish, which is more about what one does with the tongue than anything else.

If I say, Ich spiele Gitarre, the ch sound is the back on the tongue.

But if I say essa basura, the r is a roll on the tip of the tongue.

And I can do the spanish b, which is a close meeting of the lips, rather than a full labial stop. And most people hear it as a 'v" (american english) sound.

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