MODULE TWO

Now it's time to begin PHASE TWO of your warm-ups.

 

This phase is ALL about coordination...

 

Let's work! 

TIME TO COORDINATE

In this video, I introduce you to the COORDINATION PHASE of your warm-up!

Be sure to read the TIPS and TRICKS as you go!

BLUBBER LIPS

The oh-so-magical warm-up that addresses lots of key elements in ONE exercise! You may know this exercise as "lip trills", but it's "blubber lips" to me!

TIPS & TRICKS TO KEEP IN MIND

When "blubbering", remember to use your hands to assist... no need to get frustrated by doing it without. In time, you'll be a master.

 

If you still find it difficult, and are able to roll your rrr's you can do this instead (called tongue trills or flappy tongue:).

Hard vvvv's a great also... just make sure you don't feel your throat tighten... it must stay open and relaxed - THINK DOPEY! 

 

Watch out for being too breathy. Really listen to yourself and if you hear lots of extra air escaping, check your upper belly. Is it staying out? Make sure it does... this will help your air stream become more energized and help your cords/folds come together more cleanly - THAT IS THE GOAL! 

 

Aim for a nice steady, consistent stream of air... you can always begin doing them staccato as this helps get those lips blubbering. Your goal, eventually is to get more smooth and connected, legato, with it. 

 

Also, as you move through this exercise, feel free to roll your shoulders to remind you to relax. And it can be challenging sometimes to stay focused and keep your mind from wandering (those dishes in the sink can wait!) Stay focused!

 

Have fun!

HEE SLIDES

Almost as fun as sliding down the slide at the park... almost! 

 

This one is one of my favorites for coordinating all those little muscles in the larynx to DO THEIR THANG! This simple exercise also wakes up your RESONANCE quite a bit!

TIPS & TRICKS TO KEEP IN MIND

Remember here to begin with a YAWNY sensation in the back of the throat. Not only does this help lower your larynx, it also lifts your ***soft palate, which is something you WANT! Aim for a nice high note in your range, but not so high that everything seizes up on you!

 

Your soft palate*** is the softer, spongier part of the roof of your mouth towards the back of your throat that ends with that all so adorable uvula that hangs down! Take a mirror out and have a look-see! 

 

You may automatically feel your cords slam shut and your larynx rise... If so, let out a stream of air first to aid the larynx in remaining seated comfortably low. Think a small "huh" sound to get this stream of air moving! This should help alleviate that larynx from hiking upward and cords slamming shut!

 

Try and AIM your sound forward, up right behind front teeth... at upper cheeks... as you slowly descend your scale. 

 

Using your hand and arm as I do in the video is actually a great way to help you remember to stay "connected" throughout. If you find this "connected" feeling difficult, BE PATIENT and just keep trying from day to day. IT WILL HAPPEN!

WA WA DOWN

Taking a cue from the HEE SLIDES, this adds a bit more structure and yet another level of coordination! If you have time for this, wonderful! But... if you need to get moving on your warm ups, this one can definitely be skipped.

 

You're really becoming quite the vocal athlete now!

TIPS & TRICKS TO KEEP IN MIND

By now, you should be getting a sense of a theme here... start off with a pseudo yawny feel to help keep your larynx (voice box) chill and your soft palate lifted! That soft palate is important because it helps give us a more round sound. 

 

You may feel like the sound is coming straight out of the top of your head. That is great on those top notes, but as you descend really focus your sound more forward. If it feels like you are unable to get the sound frontal, perhaps your soft palate is too high... yes that's possible! If it's too high, your sound will get a very "hooty" quality. Play around with it!

 

It is important that you isolate the closed lips from the super open sensation at the throat. The temptation may be to close everything down when your lips close for the "w" - DON'T DO IT! It's all about coordination. You can do it!

 

Just like the "hee slides" before, one of your goals here is to aim and shoot your tone right through your face, up behind your front teeth. I love the idea of "aiming and shooting" here... think dart board!

 

If you find your voice "slips" and loses "grip" as you descend, you may use a word to speak ("watermelon" works great) and also use a little creaking door sound. I like to imagine this creaking door (aka vocal fry) is like the nubby tire tread for four-wheelers! It helps you gain traction!!! JUST BE CAREFUL NOT to let larynx seize and rise at this point.

SUPER STACCATO AH'S

This exercise is a WORK HORSE in UNICORN'S CLOTHING!

 

Don't underestimate this one!

 

It may seem simple, but it takes lots and lots of control and achieves major results in regard to range extension,balanced cord connection, stabilized larynx AND lifted soft palate.!

TIPS & TRICKS TO KEEP IN MIND

This one is ALL about remaining SUPER small... it's not about showing off power... that comes later. This one really feels like yoga for my larynx quite honestly. When you are done, you should feel nice and stretched and actually quite relaxed in your throat.

 

The goal is to ONLY sing as loud as you can achieve a small, crystal clear tone. We don't want a breathy tone here. Just small and clear:)

 

Let your belly do most of the work by lightly bouncing to help achieve the super staccato (short and disconnected) attack. Be careful NOT to do a glottal here. A "glottal" is where the cords are pressed together FIRST and then the air forceably pushes them open. We want the cords to be OPEN to begin with, letting the pressurized air stream pass and gently draw them together! You will hear a sort of "click" noise on glottals. If you aren't sure, there is never any shame in letting a tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny (get my drift) "h" out first. We don't want a huge puff of air because then your sound will tend to be too breathy.

 

As you ascend, make sure you are conscious of keeping your larynx remaining comfortable. DON'T press it but gently persuade it to remain chill ;)

 

 

BUP PUP LOW

Swing low sweet chariot! 

 

It's time to work some of those LOW notes... nice and easy!

TIPS & TRICKS TO KEEP IN MIND

Again, nice and easy are the words to keep floating around in your head. You may have the tendency to want to PUSH your limits here and show off how low you can go. I beg you not to do that. The reason is because in your effort to do so, you may very well engage some extrinsic and uneccessary muscles in the process which will negate any benefits!

 

If you tend to have an edgy tone when you sing in general, try using the "p" first... this just adds a bit more of a puff of air to your tone to help ease that edginess. And... if you are too breathy? Use the "b"! 

 

Try to imagine with each articulation of "bup" or "pup" that a puff of tone is being delivered right behind your front teeth!

 

Again, nice and easy... the heavy lifting comes later.

 

YEAH!

The word of the day with this one is RELEASE! The tongue is notorious for getting in the way and causing all kinds of havoc. This simple exercise helps to bring awareness and thus release to the MONSTER!

TIPS & TRICKS TO KEEP IN MIND

Keep the tip of the tongue at the tip of the teeth and the rest of the tongue should be full and soft. 

 

You can use your jaw, but don't over do it as to neglect the awareness of the tongue... we want to be aware of how it wants to tighten so we can tell it to "chill out!"

 

Use a reset breath between each repetition to keep your larynx in a stable position and throat nice and open and also relaxed.

 

Feel free to do some fun little stylisms as you descend the scale... just to keep things interesting ;)

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