Tongue Position

Forum for singers about singing life, career and singing technique: management, taxes, auditions, appoggio, covering, messa di voce, placement, registers, etc.
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Aureliano
Posts: 25
Joined: 07 Jan 2016, 20:11

Re: Tongue Position

Post by Aureliano »

pagliaccio wrote: What intrigued me of that particular character was that some clips of his alleged students have nice voices with nice amounts of squillo, for one thing. I don't hear that a lot these days.
If it's not too much trouble for you, would you mind posting examples or links to these clips so we can listen here and see what it is that is so impressing you? Cheers.

pagliaccio
Posts: 11
Joined: 05 Jan 2016, 20:18

Re: Tongue Position

Post by pagliaccio »

Thanks for your thoughtful reply, Aureliano.
I'll ponder that more intensively, and look if I can dig up the audio examples, when I have more time.
Currently lots of studying next to full time job. Not opera, though. I entertained the idea for a while when I was younger, maybe 10 years ago, but my voice was and still is just too unreliable / unpredictable for a career (airways react to airborne irritants), so much that I only relatively recently (few years) picked up lessons again after the voice being many years neglected. I'm not even sure how long I'll be following through with that, though, as I'm not happy with the kind of progress rate I'm having, and considering the cost... then again, I don't really have a reference of how somebody moderately talented at my age (over 30) doing this "as a hobby" would be progressing ideally.

Though, I don't think that all the pondering in the world will make more appealing those unpleasant or hardly present high-ends of vocal ranges, sometimes almost buffo voices for grand opera or the "I've got a golf ball stuck in my throat!" hero Kaufmann.
Is that too negative? Well, who thought somebody named pagliaccio would be positive ;)

Guessing from your forum name, you're not too averse to old world singing yourself :-)

pagliaccio
Posts: 11
Joined: 05 Jan 2016, 20:18

Re: Tongue Position

Post by pagliaccio »

Hey,

I still didn't get to search for the examples I mentioned, but I saw he had old, damaged recordings of concertos of the singer he calls his mentor, Tom LoMonaco, restored by an expert, and posted them on a new channel (or is this someone else? no time to check)
I thought I'd share. With some inspiration from the "pre vs post 1950's singing" thread I though to myself, that guy had some rather caruso-ish qualities, but certainly did not record into a horn in 1954, when large membrane condenser mics had been around for quite a while.

I'm a layman, but to me the clips of students I remember apparently also had some of the qualities audible here, the fullness of sound even on higher notes. If in those particular clips I haven't found yet they seemed to somewhat lack control over their massive instruments, as if the voices were running away, having a life on their own, but I guess that might be a normal phase in development of the voice, freeing it of unwanted tension.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8q9ewaE-r9M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxDRhLXjjwU

(That channel has two each approx. 1 hour videos of concerto, one from 1953, the other from 1954. it seems those shorter clips are excerpts from that, but I have not checked whether they all are indeed contained by the longer vids)

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Aureliano
Posts: 25
Joined: 07 Jan 2016, 20:11

Re: Tongue Position

Post by Aureliano »

Yes, this is a new channel created by Scott Flaherty who is a wonderful person (I met him on one occasion and he was very kind and complimentary) and from what I have been told by friends who work with him, an excellent teacher. Scott was very close to his teacher and has restored very faithfully his old concert recordings. If you are indeed interested in pursuing this approach to singing I would say he is the only person to be trusted on the subject. For what it is worth, I find the recordings excellent and showing a remarkably talented singer with a powerful and compelling voice. I do not, however, see all that much similarity to Caruso technically. Perhaps only by comparison to singers of the current era can one draw a comparison to Caruso. If you want to listen to a singer who really does sound a lot like Caruso, then I recommend Alfred Piccaver.

FrancoFiglio
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Joined: 18 Jul 2017, 18:08

Re: Tongue Position

Post by FrancoFiglio »

Lots of good input for the OP here.

My 2cents. As mentioned previously, its dangerous to draw an equivalency between tongue tip and phonation. Certainly we can see it does not always stay completely relaxed forward in portions of the scale apart from the zone of speech. It goes back further for some singers than others, but it would be just plain silly to build a technique based on its recession.

It IS a good barometer as to what is happening in the unseen portion of the vocal tract around the larynx, and so most teachers rightly encourage it to be forward. Strategically, it is always going to be ideal for the vocal tract's freedom to build into one's technique the entirety of the tongue staying forward, not down and/or back. To not do that, but to bring it back places muscle mass inside a primary resonating zone (the pharynx) and diminishes it.

Not only does it diminish space by utilizing too much grapefruit feeling, but it also invites tongue root involvement around the aerepiglitstic region, thereby placing the tongue root squarely against the epiglottis in an inordinate amount, a huge problem. Its a seductive one because it retains sound inside one's head and give biofeedback which is detrimental ("ooo, don't I sound goooood?!"). No, the wise singer narrows this region very selectively without a preponderance of tongue root involvement (usually by directing the sound toward the mask, or aiming for the cheeks, or whatever system you use) but NOT by attempting to bring blockage into the whole paradigm, which is what tongue retraction will certainly do.

Always go toward freedom and ring OUTSIDE one's head, not inside.

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Negenbari
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Joined: 16 Oct 2016, 09:19

Re: Tongue Position

Post by Negenbari »

The tongue needs to be out of the way. End of story. If it's not, it needs to be relaxed. Not consciously depressed, not gliding around the teeth, not pressing against them, etc,. I basically agree with the previous comment.

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