The Best Singing Exercise I've Ever Discovered

Today I’m going to give you the best vocal exercise I’ve ever discovered. I discovered it last week!

Always New Things!

I'm always discovering new things. You should as well. As you're working on your voice, you're going to keep getting better. You're going to discover more stuff that helps you get even better.

I'm always trying to find a better way that I can explain something to you. I look for the most effective method that I can give you to gain control over your voice.

So I'm going to give you something that I came across last week, working with a client.

You know how I talk about not using the swallowing muscles, which are under your jaw. If you put your thumb there and swallow, you will feel the muscles come down. When those muscles come down, they move your larynx out of place. Then you're cutting off your air, and screaming, and trying to get the sound out.

We want to keep that area open. So one of the things I do often is the tongue trill.

Tongue Trill with a Twist

The tongue is connected to the swallowing muscles. If you place your thumb on your throat and then move your tongue way back in your mouth, you'll feel those muscles move. Or if you yawn, you'll feel those muscles come down.

Some people can't do the tongue trill. That may be a physical thing. It may be the way your body is built. So don't worry. If that happens, let me know and I can give you something else to work with. But I want you to understand the concept.

If you are a person who can do the tongue trill, try this. Place your thumb under your jaw. Close your mouth. Then do that smiling grimace face that we do (example at 1:58) because it gets you in a good position.

Here's the Twist

So, I'm not taking a breath. I'm starting that note, with the tongue trill and the smile. What I'm doing on this that made it so incredible is that I'm going forward.

I'm not thinking I'm going up for the notes when I go to the higher notes. I have to literally think I'm pushing it forward. And when I'm doing that, it's like magically I don't fall back in my throat.

There's another thing that used to happen for me, and probably happens for you as well. Going down in my lower notes, I'd fall back in my throat as well. Same problem! I'm moving my larynx and cutting off my air. 

Then I discovered that just like I think of going forward for the higher notes, if I think of going backwards to my lower notes, that same magic happens. I'm feeling the notes up in my cheeks, and it's not going back in my throat.

Let's Try This Out

Let's try this with an exercise at 3:05. We'll do arpeggios with the tongue trill and the smiley face. I don't take a breath when I start. And then coming back down on the arpeggio I have to stay close.

Watch me demonstrate this in the video below (it will begin at the correct time) 

Don't let it open. Then I can keep it out front, in the cheeks. You're giving your body this internal training that's going to show up when you start to sing. 

I want you to understand that your voice is always going to keep getting better. You're always going to keep developing and learning new stuff, just as I'm doing. So have fun with this one!

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About The Author

Roger Burnley - Vocal CoachRoger Burnley - Vocal Coach

Roger Burnley is a vocal coach located in Hollywood, California. He has been teaching the voice for over 30 years and singing for even longer than that. 

Notable past and present clients include Macy Gray, Brandy, Ray J, The Beastie Boys, James Torme, Taylor Lautner, Nona Gaye, and many more.

His clients have collectively sold more than 30 million albums, with several reaching Platinum and Gold status. 

Roger has been featured on VH1, TV Guide Channel, TV One,
and MTV appearing as a vocal expert.

About The Author

Roger Burnley - Vocal CoachRoger Burnley - Vocal Coach

Roger Burnley is a vocal coach located in Hollywood, California. He has been teaching the voice for over 30 years and singing for even longer than that. 

Notable past and present clients include Macy Gray, Brandy, Ray J, The Beastie Boys, James Torme, Taylor Lautner, Nona Gaye, and many more.

His clients have collectively sold more than 30 million albums, with several reaching Platinum and Gold status. 

Roger has been featured on VH1, TV Guide Channel, TV One,
and MTV appearing as a vocal expert.

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