Magic Choral Trick #341 Knuckle Sandwich

Came across an item called the Vocalator, advertised in The Harmonizer – the Barbershop Harmony Society’s magazine.

Here’s a blurb from the website:

Instantly Transforms Your Voice Into a “Singer’s Instrument”

The Vocalator immediately opens the mouth and throat to professional proportions for clear, unobstructed sound. The student “gets it” and muscle memory begins to form.

So of course I ordered one immediately.

When it arrived I started working with it, and found that by holding it lightly between my teeth I was in fact able to sing with an effortless, open sound. One major benefit was that with the jaw relaxed, but everything open like this, glissandi from the bottom to the top of my range were effortless and pretty much eliminated any of the glitchiness over the break area.

Because I don’t have the resources for buying these in bulk, I brought the short stacking tubes from my grandson’s marble game in to my women’s chorus rehearsal. These, like the Vocalator, are 2 inch hard plastic tubes – about 1 inch in diameter.

When the women held these lightly between the teeth and sang our warm up exercises through them it was definitely a bigger, richer sound.

However, after a little while, many of the women began to complain of jaw discomfort. And I must admit, that amount of opening did aggravate some jaw issues that I have.

So we put aside the tubes and decided to try what I call the Knuckle Sandwich instead.

Curl up one of your index fingers, and place the knuckle between your upper and lower teeth – slightly to one side. Relax the jaw.

The mouth and singing apparatus is now in a similar position as was the case with the Vocalator – but because the jaws don’t open so wide, there’s no discomfort.

The downside is that you now have an obstruction over to the side of the mouth – so the sound is not as clear. But this is still really useful for instilling correct singing positioning into body memory.

If you’d like to check out the actual Vocalator though, here’s the website:

About janetkidd

I've been waving my arms in front of choirs now for more than 35 years - and these are descriptions of all the very best things I've learned. I direct a Women's Competitive Barbershop Chorus, a Men's Competitive Barbershop Chorus, a Med School choir, and for a few weeks each year - Big Choir (about 100 voices) - which performs at an annual fundraising concert. Hope at least some of these Choral Magic Tricks will be useful to you - and thanks for reading. Janet

Posted on June 30, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: