Tongue out and hum exercise

My last post was about the tongue and how it can get in the way when you are singing.

When you let your tongue hang out over your bottom lip, it cannot interfere with the back of your throat and stop you from mixing. This is a great way to exercise your voice, although you can look pretty silly doing it!

Try this: Choose a song where the highest pitches are above your passagio….(for women that is A, B flat, B or higher, and men that is E, F, F# or higher).

Let your tongue hang out and hum your song.  If you feel strain in your throat while humming the highest pitches, then lighten up. Try again with less volume.

If you feel the need to “flip” or “let go” in order to achieve the highest notes without strain, no worries! You are now in your head register but having trouble keeping the cords connected as you ascend in pitch.

With careful attention to the engagement of your body (from the top of your stomach and down…including your back and buttocks), and also attention to how loud you are humming your song, you should be able to hum your high pitches without disconnecting the cords (falcetto).

Once you have found this balance where you can hum your high pitches while keeping your vocal cords connected, it is time to allow some of the sound to come out of your mouth. Do not move on to the next exercise unless you can indeed hum your entire song with your tongue out….even if it appears to have no power or substance. If you do this exercise regularly with your songs, your cords will get stronger and allow you to hum with more pressure (volume).

There is more to tell about this delicate yet fascinating exercise. Stay tuned!


Are you mixing?

Have you figured out your vocal habits yet?  Are you mixing?

Are you getting through your passagio without a flip?

Are you feeling strain in your throat as you sing your high notes?

There are many facets to singing well, but mastering your middle voice (mixing) is key to building strength and stamina.

Try the nasty buzzy hum exercise. Go from your lowest notes to your highest notes. What do you feel? Are your high notes dull?

If you are mixing well, you will siren through your entire vocal range.

If you feel strain or an awkward feeling in your throat, then try again….but lighter. Find that “light is right” coordination that gets you through the middle voice. You may find that your low hum is weak. That’s OK, this is where you need to be. It will get stronger as you focus in on the sensation of allowing your voice to resonate in your “head” as well as your “chest”. Add a puppy dog whimper sensation to your hum. This will help get those cords to close.

Questions? How did it go? Let me know!