Exercise & Customization

Tone Exercise: Yawning Mums

This exercise utilizes components that address the vocal tract and resonating spaces of the instrument, creating a unique challenge for developing tone.

Component Breakdown

This relaxed and neutral positioning of the vocal tract provides a semi-open space and helps to primarily target the dimension of tone.

The closing action of the lips creates a temporary degree of back pressure, making it easier to manage the air. This benefits both flexibility and articulation.

This one octave span of pitches makes it difficult to maintain a consistent tone and addresses the coordination of intonation and range as well.

A mid-level volume affects all of the dimensions fairly equally.

A steady and relaxed tempo benefits the dimensions relatively evenly.

 Larynx Down
Bringing the larynx down will elongate the vocal tract, allowing the resonator to generate more overtones while simultaneously gaining more independence of the muscles related to tone.

Guided Exercise

Exercise Components

Formant: Uh  |  Feature: M  |  Pattern: I1358531  |  Volume: Medium  |  Tempo: Mid  |  Variable: Larynx Down

Follow along with the Guided Exercise video above before practicing with the MP3 below. Be sure to apply the Guidelines when training, and practice along with the Guided Exercise video above as needed.

Exercise Customization

The following modified exercise components will help you customize an exercise that is right for you.

Make It Easier

To make the exercise easier, try the following modifications:

 Remove Larynx Down
Releasing the larynx will remove much of the exercise’s focus on tone. However, the other components still align with the development of the necessary skills for the exercise.

 I123454321 (MP3 below)
Reducing the span of pitches within the exercise won’t target range as much, but the focus remains on the development of tone.

Make It More Challenging

To make the exercise more challenging, try the following modifications:

The tongue position required to form a “G” sound lifts the larynx up temporarily within the exercise. Then, it must immediately relax into the selected variable. This is very challenging for the coordination of the vocal tract muscles, making it ideal for tone development.

The additional air pressure needed to increase the volume makes it far more challenging to keep the pharyngeal muscles relaxed while cultivating more overtones within the instrument’s resonator.

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