Vowel Modification: Practical Cure for Tight Throats
I'd like to introduce you what vocal coaches call "Vowel Modification". Simply put, it's the act of changing the shape of the vowels you use ... usually applied to singing but in my experience also works for the speaking voice.
As Shirlee Emmons states in her comprehensive article on the subject:
...in order to reconcile with higher frequencies and intensities of higher and louder tones, a large resonating cavity is needed. A strained larynx will result when this is not provided.You can get quite detailed with this process (if you are into the science behind the concept check out Karen O'Conner's article), but in practical application just imagine the vowel sound 'uh' ... as in 'duh' ... in the back of every vowel you use. Thus a tight, horizontal kazoo-like 'ee' would turn into more of an 'eh'. A pursed lipped 'oo' would turn into more of a relaxed lip "uoo"; etc.
The throat opens three ways... up (lifted soft palate/upper nasal membrane), down (relaxed and dropped tongue and jaw) and back (head balanced over tailbone/heel, chin level). When you, keeping your head positioned as I suggested, allow the 'uh' shape to influence any other vowel shape, you will be opening up and down more and you won't believe the instant cure this can provide for your tight throat.
This is part of what I call learning the 'dance of the melody'. If you'd like this personalized for your voice and your songs, train with a personal vocal coach. Even one voice lesson can open your throat and change your world.
Any of you experience vowel modification?
Labels: Judy Rodman, tight throat, vocal coach, vowel modification