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Country Vocals Lessons: Vocal Warm Ups - Vowel Scales

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This page contains a transcription of a video lesson from Country Vocals with Lari White. This is only a preview of what you get when you take Country Vocals Lessons at ArtistWorks. The transcription is only one of the valuable tools we provide our online members. Sign up today for unlimited access to all lessons, plus submit videos to your teacher for personal feedback on your playing.

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[MUSIC]
Vowel scales help us engage
all the little muscles that help
control the nuances of how we
shape notes in regards to tone and
also in regards to diction.
You'll notice that some notes it's
easier to sing that particular
note on a particular vowel,
like it's easier to sing notes that
are right around in the break
between my chest and my head voice.
It's easier for
me to sing them on an or an o or
pretty much any vowel, except for an e.
That e sound up in that breaking
register is really a challenge
to keep the soft palate in my throat
open enough that I can generate the air.
To accomplish those high
notes on an e vowel.
So it's important that we practice
shaping each of these vowels and
really feeling the difference
inside our throat and
where our tongue is all of the muscles.
And all of the things that have to
change to shape different vowels.
It's still a warm-up but it's
an opportunity for us to practice some
fundamental skills like identifying our,
the break in our registers.
So that we can eventually grow to
make it nice and seamless and even so
we don't have a marked break
between chest and head voice.
And very gently it's a way to expand
your range to just explore and
develop muscle memory, that allows
you to maybe add another note to
the lower register or
another high note to your higher register.
It's a nice gentle way to explore
the outer reaches of your current range.
Again, you always wanna make sure
that you are not hurting anything.
That if anything hurts or
feels uncomfortable,
that you just stop, breathe,
relax, come back to it later,
and make sure that you're
healthy in your instrument.
Vowel scales,
we're gonna start with an e, and
we're gonna pick a nice easy
note in our speaking register.
[MUSIC]
And
I'm just doing
a major scale
up and down.
[MUSIC]
Here's some things
you're thinking about as you're
warming up using vowel scales.
You are moving gently up and
down in the scale,
and then moving to the next
starting note up in the scale,
so that you're going a little
bit higher with each scale.
You're keeping your ear nice
focused through your mask,
through the front part again.
You wanna feel your nose
tickle a little bit,
you wanna keep a nice little buzz in
the front of your mouth and lips.
You wanna keep your tongue forward and
the more you practice
these the more you'll become conscious
of as you get into the higher notes.
You shouldn't be having to
push a whole lot more with
your air support system
should stay fairly even.
Maybe just a slight pulse pump of
support from your respiratory muscles.
But what you'll really start to
be conscious of is how a little
bit more space inside your throat,
like back in your soft palette.
A little bit more space
you create on those
higher notes as you get up into
the higher notes of the scale.
[MUSIC]
So I'm staying on that e vowel.
I'm trying to keep the tone
very consistent and
the shape of the vowel very consistent.
But I can feel as I get up into the higher
notes, that I'm creating a little
bit more space in the back of my throat,
around my soft palate more like a yawn.
It's almost like I'm feeling
the effects of that yawn,
as I get into the higher
notes of this scale.
[MUSIC]
[SOUND]
[MUSIC]
Hopefully
you're doing
this with me.
[MUSIC]
So you see it's very
important that my jaw be relaxed.
Did you notice that my jaw just
kept dropping a little bit as
the back of my throat is
opening a little bit?
[MUSIC]
This is all super relaxed
still I'm not clinching.
[MUSIC]
That's me clinching with my jaw,
this is me staying relaxed.
[MUSIC]
And you can hear how the tone
when your jaw's not tight,
the tone stays nice and round and open.
So, that's a e vowel, we're gonna do
this on every vowel, so that was e.
I like to start with e,
because it helps me really focus my air,
it's almost like a thread or
a laser beam coming out of my
mask when I'm on the e vowel.
Now we're going to do it with an.
[MUSIC]
You don't want
to articulate an h or
any other kind of consonant or
interrupt any kind of,
with any kind of glottal.
[MUSIC]
It's all just pure air coming right out
through your vocal chords,
across your vocal chords.
You're not trying to constrict or
interrupt that airflow at all.
You're trying to keep
it all very focused and
consistent, and just slowly easing it out,
using your respiratory muscles
pressing evenly and consistently.
[MUSIC]
Now
we're gonna
go to an o.
[MUSIC]
When I get
to these high notes,
I wanna keep
the same shape
of the vowel.
And so again, you just have to
adjust in the back of your throat,
open up your soft palate
a little bit more.
Create a little bit more
of a yawn in the back of your
throat to give the air
more room to circulate,
before it comes out of your
mask to maintain that o vowel
as you get up higher
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
Let's go to a short I,
[SOUND] let's go down.
Now we're gonna explore a little
lower part of the register.
[SOUND]
[MUSIC]
I'm already very
close to the bottom
end of my register.
We'll just do five-note scales so
we can have a little more room to play.
[MUSIC]
Again, the sound
is tickling my noise and
it's keeping very forward in my mask.
[MUSIC]
I'm down
close to the bottom
of my chest voice
registers.
I want to be extra gentle and
cautious, but
I want to explore a little bit down there.
[MUSIC]
When you get down to
the perimeter of your register,
it's fine to explore.
Just make sure that
you're staying relaxed.
And that you're not doing
anything that hurts.
And that you're not trying to introduce
any kind of gravel or texture,
that you're just really pushing air.
Let's go to an ooh, an ooh vowel,
and we'll start at the bottom.
[MUSIC]
Making sure
that I keep
my tongue
forward.
[MUSIC]
Okay,
great warm ups.
We've gone through ee, oo, ih, and ooh.
Getting all of our shapes warmed up.
[MUSIC]