All Things Vocal Blog & Podcast by Judy Rodman: April 2020

Training & insights for stage and studio singers, speakers, vocal coaches and producers from professional vocal coach and author of "Power, Path & Performance" vocal training method. Download All Things Vocal podcast on your fav app!

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Audio Branding - Interview With Jodi Krangle

            Jodi Krangle                                              Judy Rodman

NOTE: The audio player should appear below, if not, please click on the title of this post and go online to hear. 
Available also on iTunes , Google Play, TuneIn Radio, Stitcher, Spotify, Android apps

Jodi Krangle's backstory up to the present moment is fascinating. She has been a voice actor since 2007 with clients from major global brands in a multitude of industries. But on her road uniquely traveled she has done everything from selling computers before computers were cool, diving into the internet and internet marketing very early on, becoming a singer/songwriter/performing/recording artist, developing an award-winning songwriter resource website called 'The Muse's Muse', and now has her own fascinating podcast called 'Audio Branding'. I asked her about all of this and more...


  • Did you set out to become a renaissance woman?  
  • Let's get right into the power of sound. You've really been researching and talking to thought leaders about this on your podcast. Take us into some of the ways sound vibrations work.
  • Some of our listeners may be interested in music therapy occupations. What have you learned about the power of sound for health, pain relief and healing?
  • Give us some examples of the power of sound to influence behavior, Why do you say it's the 'hidden gem of marketing'?
  • Take us into the world of voiceover. What do you like about it? What have been some challenges? What would you say to someone wanting to look into that career?
  • As we speak, the world has changed. Are you seeing vocal career opportunities change in the age of COVID-19? 
  • Besides a voice actor, you are also an accomplished singer and it looks like you've been working on your artistic definition! OK what is the Filk scene? That's a new one on me!
  • What do you do when your internet is down?
  • How important do you feel it is for career vocalists to have a community around them? 
  • Where can we find you, your podcast and your work?



Has this triggered some ideas about audio branding for you? Please comment... we'd love to know!


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Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Tongue Tips for Singing and Speaking - Updated 2020

NOTE: The audio player should appear below, if not, please click on the title of this post and go online to hear. 

Available also on iTunesGoogle PlayTuneIn RadioStitcher, Spotify, Amazon, Android apps

The tongue can get us in trouble, in more ways than one. Its base or root muscle is attached to the top of the larynx and if that muscle gets tight, it can cause vocal strain, limited range, obstruction of the throat channel (limiting resonance) and can cause over- or under- articulation (too much or too little clarity of pronunciation).

My favorite tongue fix:

Training the tongue is a paradox, however, because sometimes too much attention to it causes it to tense just trying to do the right thing. I'm not a fan of strenuous tongue stretching and exercising before singing. My favorite method of dealing with the tongue is to use it with intention to communicate something. The tongue should articulate a message so that the intended ear can understand not only the words, but the meaning behind the words. A tight tongue will create sounds that don't communicate what you usually intend, so this is a holistic approach can work wonders to get the tongue out of the back of the throat.

However, sometimes an ingrained habit will necessitate other approaches. So here are... 

More tongue tips:

1. Do stretches for the neck and shoulders. 
  • It's amazing how gentle neck circles, head-to-the-side stretches and shoulder rolls can free up the jaw, which then frees up the tongue. 
  • Never over-stretch; if in doubt, consult a doctor, chiropractor or physical therapist for stretches best for you.
  • Get a shoulder/neck/head massage. This is especially beneficial before stage or studio performance.
2. Let the tongue just ride along with the relaxed, circular chewing movement of the jaw. 

3. Use the tip and front sides of the tongue to articulate lyrics, not the base.
  • When you articulate from the back or base of the tongue, that muscle contracts and bunches up. Because it's attached, it pulls the larynx up, restricting its movement and narrowing the voice channel in the back of the mouth.
  • To articulate words or lyrics, the tip of the tongue should stay at or near the front teeth. Yes, certain vowels and pitches need different tongue involvement but the point is to operate the tongue in the front and keep the back of the tongue relaxed, not bunching or bulking up.
4.  Do NOT overzealously over-flatten the tongue because this will cause tension in the back of the throat. The correct way to lower the tongue for certain pitches and vowels is just to allow the beginning of a yawn.. not the end of the yawn. (People tend to yawn in my lessons a lot!)

5. Try to add more vertical space to all your vowels, even ee's and ooh's.

6. Try to create consonants in the front of your mouth, or your incisors, not your molars.

7.Some people worry their tongue is too large. I have never run into that being a problem, as long as the person activates the tongue more frontally and keeps the jaw flexibly open.

8. Tongue tanglers are terrific and very practical tongue exercises. Unless your tongue assumes the right position it can't articulate clearly, so the intention to clearly articulate self-corrects tight tongue positions. Try saying these phrases three or four times in a row:
  • "eleven benevolent elephants", 
  • "red leather, yellow leather", 
  • "good blood, bad blood", 
  • "tim the thin tinsmith", 
  • Mallory's hourly salary", 
  • "the sixth sheik's sixth sheep's sick"
  • "rebel rubber welders" 
9. Do vocal exercises properly. Keep flexibility in your jaw at all times, and don't do them faster than you can without tensing your tongue or jaw! 
  • Try putting two fingers firmly up under your chin, pressing into the tongue base there. Purposefully intend/suggest that this area relax as you sing or talk. Expect the tongue muscle to obey and you'll be amazed at how it does!
  • Try putting your knuckle between your molars and saying or singing something. The lowered jaw helps your tongue base relax. Your voice will sound richer and freer. Then take your knuckle out and try vocalizing like it's still there.
  • Check out this vocal lesson I videotaped with a student on relaxing jaw tension, which relaxes tongue tension:

Want more help?

If you'd like a personal lesson with me to help you with tongue tension or anything else, just hit me up at the contact link on my website. I'd love to work with you!

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