Love ’em, love ’em, love ’em! And you should do ’em, do ’em, do ’em!
This is no easy task but it’s a sure fire way to find out if the back of your tongue is getting in the way of mixing from chest to head voice.
So, let your tongue hang out…not forced out like you would stick out your tongue at someone, but loose and lazy with a big mouth. You will notice that your jaw will drop and your larynx will automatically stay reasonably low and stable. Ideally you want your face to resemble the start of a nasty scream or a happy yell. Your cheeks and nasal area should raise, and your upper lip will spread wide.
Now it’s time for making noises. Don’t try to sing. Making sounds with “g” like “gug” and “goo” in your middle to high register will challenge you to work your tongue high in the back of the throat. The tongue needs to touch your soft palate to make the ‘g’ sound, and yet in order to make these sounds in a mixed voice, your soft palate has to be high enough to allow the sound to resonate into the nasal area.
You should notice yourself making interesting facial expressions as you try to figure out how to get cord closure (so your sound isn’t breathy) into you high voice.
This is twanging in a mixed voice. Twanging is a term used in Estill Voice Technique, and Robert Lunte’s Four Pillars TVS program. For those of you working on Brett Manning’s Singing Success and Mastering Mix programs these are pharyngeal sounds. And by the way, all four of these are great invaluable programs with loads of insight into great singing.
Try it and let me know what you think. Can you do it? How high can you get without your cords allowing too much air to get through?
Oh, and the best place to do these exercises is in your car on your way to and from work:) The other drivers will love it!