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Robert Lunte
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Hello Community,

 

Lip trills are one, of several semi-occluded phonations that singers can do to balance the sub-glottal and supra-glottal respiration inside the upper vocal tract. The benefits are several:

 

1). The balance the above/below respiration pressure making the vocal folds oscillate more efficiently.

 

2). Given the vocal fold compression efficiencies they produce, they help to carve a "resonant track" through the vocal registers and train the CT/TA to remain coordinated for seamless vocal fold closure through the F1/F2 formant shift.

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3). They have the benefit of keeping the larynx in a "neutral" position, which is quite healthy, but actually is not the most advantageous configuration for warming up the singing voice.

 

However, regarding #3... another form of semi-occluded phonation is called "Resonant Tracking". Resonant tracking utilizes compressed nasal consonants; /n/, /m/, & /ng/ to do a similar thing.. however, resonant tracking is marginally better for warming up the singing voice because it also engages cricoid tilt, or "vocal twang", which is critical for great singing, anchoring stability and engaging strong vocal fold closure. Thus, in the repertoire of semi-occluded phonations, resonant tracking is arguably more beneficial for singers.


Here is an audio I did on the topic which comes from the TVS vocal training program,

"The Four Pillars of Singing".

 

Click HERE >>>

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My local teacher had me doing trills until a few months ago (pre TVS even) and I got onto something similar to resonant tracking and thought that it seemed better.

 

I can imagine that if one can't do trills (and I couldn't initially) getting to the point where you can do them is useful in developing coordination, and thereafter that tracking is better.

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Interesting stuff, Rob. I stopped lip trilling because they don't use vowels and I often don't have endless practice time at a loud volume. I like to do something more productive with it. I hum out of necessity when I can't be loud which is the majority of the time which has actually been really useful. I like to take a light heady hum and buzz it to a point where it has a thickness. If people here hum, Rob is totally right to not push.

 

When I warm up with volume, it's often mum as the first warmup (lightly then getting a bit more closure).

 

I like to do kind of a hoo, ho, ha kind of tranistion to feel the pharynx opening in various ways. And do a slightly yawny feel to get it feeling free. Something along the lines of nya is nice for a twang and nasal resonance.

 

Anyway I like to practice all vowels with m, but I make sure I practice all vowel onsets too.

 

may

me

my

moe

moo

 

mam

mim

mom

mum

mem

 

Lately i've made extra care to do the ones giving me the most trouble which are anything R

 

mare

mere

mire

more

merr

marr

 

And I make sure to throw 'world' in there for that extra to work on the L too. I might even want to do L scale work too. I've decided to try to get all of my vowels functioning at least equally well. Sometimes it involves playing around with modifications that will work for my voice, but I keep toying with the least amount possible. I've got a more relaxed and fairly chesty sounding ee vowel up to B4 now without having to modify to the point where it sounds like any other vowel yet, so I think I've been doing something right.

 

If I ever hit a point where I have to make sounds that don't sound cohesive with my vocal style, I think that's where I'll tap out and just polish the style I've got. I feel like I have identity and would like to take it as far as it can go. I would like to stop vowel specific pitchiness though. I'm cool with slight pitchiness in my voice, but vowel specific pitchiness ruins the cohesion.

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Lip Trills are perfectly ok and helpful, they are just not as effective for preparing the voice for singing, if you want to build muscular strength.

 

Killer, your list of onsets there would be classified as "Track & Release" Onsets in TVS and the training program, "The Four Pillars of Singing". A T&R Onset begins with a nasal consonant... then what you do is follow it with different vowels as you have here. Very intuitive.

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I have never done a lip thrill until I saw this post and then looked it up on youtube lol. The only benefit I can see to it would be clearing out mucous which humming does for me just fine. Is there another purpose for lip thrills?????? and might relax the lips a bit, In Opera we sing with firm lips the majority of the time. I can see where this might be of use to people who sing music with many words at high speeds :)

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   It is supposed to help regulate the air to the vocal folds. You need a steady amount of air to keep the lips vibrating. Also the occlusion helps to keep the vocal folds together.

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I have never done a lip thrill until I saw this post and then looked it up on youtube lol. The only benefit I can see to it would be clearing out mucous which humming does for me just fine. Is there another purpose for lip thrills?????? and might relax the lips a bit, In Opera we sing with firm lips the majority of the time. I can see where this might be of use to people who sing music with many words at high speeds :)

 

That is kinda weird... that you have never done lip trills?  Its like saying you have never eaten pizza?  But... listen to my audio file on it, I think it does a fair job of explaining it.  Lip Trills tend to be the "warm-up" of choice for "Sing like you Speak" programs because it does a nice job of keeping the larynx neutral, which is important to a lot of "Sing Like you Speak" people... unfortunately, that is precisely what you don't want to do at some point in your training... 

 

Bro, lip trills are as old as the hills... 

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Seth Riggs was where I first heard of lip trills way back in the 80s (early). I've since heard them on every subsequent program. There might've been other programs prior to "Sing with the Stars" that used them, but I never came across them.

"old as the hills"... yes, I am. Now, you kids, get outta my yard!

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Seth Riggs was where I first heard of lip trills way back in the 80s (early). I've since heard them on every subsequent program. There might've been other programs prior to "Sing with the Stars" that used them, but I never came across them.

"old as the hills"... yes, I am. Now, you kids, get outta my yard!

"Get off my lawn!"

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Lip trills are an excellent part of any warm whether you are a pro heavy metal singer or r&b singer or opera star.

 

1. It connects a steady flow of breath to your vibrator (vocal cords)
2. It allows you to go from chest to mix to head without feeling or hearing an abrupt switch or break
3. It helps with sub glottal and supra glottal pressure. So you have air coming up from the lungs and air being thrown back at the vocal cords because your lips are closed slightly. So it acts as an extra helper for cord closure.
4. It keeps the larynx from raising to much (think ou as in book behind the bubble)
5. Think of it like stretching before jogging

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Why's it have to be either/or? I've found the best warm up to be something like

- Breathing exercise 1-2mins to increase lung capacity
- Lip bubbles to help ingrain airflow control
- Humming to ingrain placement
- Singing quietly to apply all the above
- Singing at a normal level
(- sometimes singing at an operatic volume, especially after the neighbor had a dubstep party the night before, the earlier the better)

I also don't believe in a circadian rhythm for the voice. If one warms it up, it should be ready to go. The only reason it might not is that the body isn't warmed up. That can be achieved with a simple jumping-jack/pushup/pullup-routine. And caffeine. Ohhh, baby, does it rock.

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I personally use both..

 

Lip-rolls as a kind of "pre warm-up" then use TVS Track and Release routine for a "real warm-up"...

 

Also NG sound really gets me in my "twang mode" and im finally starting to realise what it needs to be..

 

Also i tought warm ups are kinda meh and not really usefull but now i really appreciate it..its really a whole different ball game after proper arm up.

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I prefer humming a few minutes and then do a hard staccato to beat open my sinuses. I do the hard staccato from about middle C through to my high C, when the high C in the staccato is good it is almost impossible to wreck any note above it. I'm not sure if Robert Lunte uses the hard Staccato in his teaching. If you don't know how to do it however it will destroy your voice, I do not recommend it for someone who is not at an advanced level of vocalizing. it must be 100% from the diaphragm, lower abdomen and be place properly in the head, punched really , really hard.. it is not the pretty little staccato used during the singing of a song. It is almost like a dog barking loudly. Singers not advance tend to ram their larynx up , it will cause severe damage if not executed properly, incredible benefits for those at that level.

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I prefer humming a few minutes and then do a hard staccato to beat open my sinuses. I do the hard staccato from about middle C through to my high C, when the high C in the staccato is good it is almost impossible to wreck any note above it. I'm not sure if Robert Lunte uses the hard Staccato in his teaching. If you don't know how to do it however it will destroy your voice, I do not recommend it for someone who is not at an advanced level of vocalizing. it must be 100% from the diaphragm, lower abdomen and be place properly in the head, punched really , really hard.. it is not the pretty little staccato used during the singing of a song. It is almost like a dog barking loudly. Singers not advance tend to ram their larynx up , it will cause severe damage if not executed properly, incredible benefits for those at that level.

 

 

Would that be something like Glottal Attacks?

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No that would be more like the pretty little staccato I mentioned. Similar principle but these are banged full force into the head, will literally knock the snot out of your nose, make your nose bleed the first few times. Mostly used by Dramactic and Spinto type singers. If you listen to Caruso, the high notes are more rolled in the head, If you listen to Domingo his high c is also rolled, round, but it is belted out like a canon ball, add squillo and your golden in any opera house. This exercise is for developing that hard belt, but I found it was really great for warming up, particularly for bigger voices.

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No that would be more like the pretty little staccato I mentioned. Similar principle but these are banged full force into the head, will literally knock the snot out of your nose, make your nose bleed the first few times. Mostly used by Dramactic and Spinto type singers. If you listen to Caruso, the high notes are more rolled in the head, If you listen to Domingo his high c is also rolled, round, but it is belted out like a canon ball, add squillo and your golden in any opera house. This exercise is for developing that hard belt, but I found it was really great for warming up, particularly for bigger voices.

 

Dont know why but while reading this Alfredo Kraus came to mind :P

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No that would be more like the pretty little staccato I mentioned. Similar principle but these are banged full force into the head, will literally knock the snot out of your nose, make your nose bleed the first few times.

Sounds like you have a vocal teaching book coming out.

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Dont know why but while reading this Alfredo Kraus came to mind :P

 

That is about as exactly correct as anyone could get the idea, without hearing it. Right on there! There are several Dramatic Tenors and Dramatic Sopranos with the ability to bring the full weight of the chest voice up into or beyond the normal Tenor or Soprano register our high b, c, d, e, f is often as dark or darker as the rest of the voice. That is my real voice type, so that warm up really works well for me. I would only recommend it for Dramatic or Spinto type voices. It make the voice big and heavy , a coloratura or light type voice would most likely be hurt by it, even if it didn't it would not be a benefit to those voice types as it is preferred they be light or whistle. I tried thinning my voice for many years to do more pop/rock/metal , not wise lol It is always better to perfect what you've got instead of trying to be, have what you aren't. When I do Mariah's whistle notes in my real voice there is almost no tone because the full weight is there , the harmonics and over tones disappear. it is like a brick rubbing on the wall but I can project it loud enough to fill a room. I consider my singing full tenor range plus through to the F legit by Opera standards. I have gone to low D to the last B above double high C in exercises, but I wouldn't use that in opera. I have recorded any rock in almost 10 years, who knows maybe I'll do some more in the future and toss some in. It really doesn't impress me though, the hard areas to master are in one's own register. People are impressed by Mariahs whistle, if she were a contralto it might impress me.. but compared to many coloraturas I know she is blah awesome for what she does though.

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