This post will combine the Jaw Swinging exercise of the Intermediate Warm-up with the descending triads used in the Resonance Basics of the Basic Warm-up. The sound of the descending triad can be heard in this audio file. If you can do both those things, this post will be very simple, though the exercise is actually quite challenging.
So here’s the exercise, in a nutshell:
- Standing or sitting in alignment, grab your chin with thumb and index finger of both hands.
- Let go of any jaw tension and let the jaw drop away from your upper teeth, your lips come apart and your mouth open.
- Holding onto your jaw, begin by sounding the descending triad on either “ah” [ɑ] or “uh” [ʌ].
- Now, as you do the next triad, gently shake your jaw while trying to maintain the open vowel sound.
- Continue to do the triads as you gently shake your jaw, opening both your range and your jaw. As you get higher, be careful to make sure that you don’t allow any jaw tension to creep in. If some does, stop and go down a semi-tone so that you always explore the Jaw Swing with ease, as if your jaw hinge had turned to Jello. Men should feel comfortable to work up into falsetto, and women can work up into their head-register.
You need to alternate your focus on release in the jaw, alignment (think “Forward and Up!”), and vocal ease as your explore your range both upwards and down into the depths of your chest resonators. Combine the awareness of jaw release with the sensation of vibrations in your chest, face and head.
This exercise can be used in place of a Jaw exercise in any of the warm-up series provided on this site.