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ArtistWorks Vocal School Lessons: Exercise: Liberating Your Lips and Enhancing Resonance with a Song

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Talking about lips.
Frequently, tension in the lips when
you're singing a song
will actually grab the muscles right in
That creates a formidable barrier to your
vocal flexibility,
the possibilities of your vocal tone, the
your ability to move around your range and
sound full and delicious.
So, if you try to use your lips to get
notes or
to form your vowels that's where the
tensions starts building up.
I'm gonna use Novi to sing a section of
one of her songs and
you'll see what happens as we evolve this,
then I'll give you a tip on how to resolve
it for yourself.
How's that feel?
>> Not as good.
>> Not good.
Not good.
Okay, you might, if you didn't notice it,
the first time around, re-wind
this video a little bit, and take a look
at what was happening with her throat.
So, now, we're going to do,
use a remedy which will help her to relax
the lips, and will help you.
You know, one other thing, you may not be
aware of lip tension and
in fact, use it, but when you use this
you'll start noticing it if in fact, you
have too much tension there.
Okay, so you're gonna put your hands right
I want you to notice that the fingers are
only going to the cheek bones,
not up over her eye.
And the hands are resting on the
This helps align the head, which acts as a
second remedy in case you
happen to be reaching for pitch by pulling
your neck up, or your head, really.
And that will tighten all these muscles,
and now, then, at that point you start
using other tensions to try to reduce the
other tension and it gets kinda crazy.
So, this helps align it.
The idea here is the hand will act as a
reminder that any time she does this,
or you do it, with your lips, you'll feel
it with your hands.
So then, release it.
Okay, let's try it out-
>> All right.
>> Sing same song.
>> Okay.
We [COUGH] excuse me.
>> Mm-hm.
How did that seem to you?
>> Better.
>> Good.
>> Cuz I could, I don't know, my attention
went to just the ease of it coming out and
I'm not trying to reach or have different
>> Uh-huh.
>> It was just more natural sound coming
>> Awesome.
Hopefully you heard the difference,
I did standing here, and hopefully you
heard that difference.
And, again, if you are not sure just
rewind the video,
listen to the first time, then listen to
the second time with her hands here.
Now we're going to actually take it a step
Okay, so when you're singing here, the
mouth needs to open
however much it needs to open, depending
on what you're singing.
I do not support any kind of method that
says you've got to open your
mouth a whole lot, because usually that
ends up being manipulative.
Manipulation is always when muscles get
rather than limber and working for you,
they become restricted.
So nonetheless, when you're singing here.
That, next note, might need the jaw to
actually open more.
>> Uh-huh.
>> And I felt that when you were doing it,
you were trying to keep your mouth from
opening too much.
>> Perhaps.
>> So, let's go through it again, because
it'll make a difference.
>> Okay.
>> Because you're going for big sound
>> Okay.
>> This is like the chorus,
you know, right?
>> Right.
>> And your message is p, is punching out
>> Right?
>> So-
>> So, you wanna have this full as
>> Yeah.
>> Okay.
All right.
>> There you go.
>> Argh, flat.
>> Do that.
Do, we were.
Open your mouth more.
You know, it needs more space.
>> [COUGH].
>> Okay.
Okay, now that's being held back here.
Hear how there's a little constriction
The reason why I'm pointing this out as
we're going along is because you may well
experience the same thing, or have at
various times depending on the song that
you're singing and the area of range that
you're trying to sing it in.
So when, when it starts getting sucked
back here muscularly,
it will reduce your resonance, which has a
lot to do with tone.
In a later, segment of this curriculum we
get into all kinds of things about
resonance, but the fact of the matter is
part of the vocal instrument anyway, so we
might as well look at it a bit.
>> Hm.
>> So, okay, so.
It's back here.
And the hands here help direct you
consciousness, your awareness of that.
>> Okay.
>> Cool.
I just.
>> You got too much on the W.
What's the sound there?
>> Okay, that went back.
>> Yeah.
>> So the E there is.
It's almost an eh, not an E really.
>> Yeah.
>> Yeah.
That's right.
just one more time on we were wounded.
Right here.
Thank you.
>> Sure.
>> All right.
So these hands can serve multiple purposes
for you.
One, is to help reduce the lip tension,
which is the primary thing that we're
working on right at this moment.
The other, has to do with imagining the
sound in the front section of your mouth.
So that you don't end up tightening
muscles back here which
pull the sound out of the area that it
most needs to resonant, resonate in.
It will be resonant and that gives you the
fuller voice and
the ability to project without tension.