Lesson 4: The Mouth
Here we are in the mouth, a place that we do not pay enough attention to when singing or speaking, but the mouth does a play a very important part in the art of the voice production.
The mouth is just like a speaker, only more complex, as it not only omits the finished sound, but also processes it into what we know as words (articulation).
There are also other uses for the mouth such as: resonance (which will be covered later), placing, pulling and packaging of the sound.
Let’s look at the mouth in Fig 1 It shows an open mouth. This is not a very wide opening, but it’s enough for us to see what is going on.
In Fig 2 the jaw is lowered further and as you can see, inside, it makes the shape of a dome or cone.
This is the space that we package our words in.
First we must look at how best to use the mouth. Say the words:
“ON” “WE” and “MID” very slowly and see which way the words flow in your mouth. Do this a few times just to make sure.
Have you noticed the following?
Ø The word “WE” flows forward out of the mouth
Ø The word “ON” flows back and downwards into the throat
Ø The word “MID” stays in the same place, central
When we sing, we usually sing the vowels of the words and not the consonants, there are only five vowels in the alphabet, but in the English language there are some twenty-five or so vowel sounds that we use everyday, so the most important thing to note is how all the vowels and vowel sounds flow in the mouth and the sounds they make.
Remember, there is always a safe place for all words to travel to in your mouth, as long as you do the following:
ü Keep all your words off the “ON” path (back and downwards in the throat)
ü Not letting the words escape the “WE” path (forward out of the mouth) and
ü Make sure that each word or syllable is packaged in the “MID” position
The “ON” path restricts control of the sound you wish to make and can result in voice strain.
The “WE” path (w is a semi vowel) - sound escapes forward out of the mouth and is lost.
By keeping your words or syllables in the “MID” position you should feel no strain or discomfort when you sing, therefore it is much safer.
You can see more of our videos on the Inner Vocals Technique at our Singer Surgery You Tube channel.