Nay / Wah Octave Scale Exercise Demo

The NAY and WAH exercises encourage release and mixture in the voice. The NAY sound builds on the NG hum (which is a pure pharyngeal tone) by now opening up the mouth and allowing the resonance to be shared between multiple resonators. The excessively whiny sound keeps the vocal cords together through the bridge/break by thinning out chest voice to meet head voice. Tips to make these exercises most effective:

  • Aim for as whiny and ugly a sound as possible! Without the whiny sound, the voice will tend to break apart because the resonance has to jump over the middle of the face and shift coordinations quickly. The whiny pharyngeal quality allows the shift in resonance and shift in vocal cord coordination to be done gradually. Remember the migration of vibration!
  • Make sure the sound is clear, not breathy.
  • Hammer out the “N” consonant (NAY) and emphasize the “W” (WAH) to help you find grip and consistency in your resonance.
  • Think about the tilting letter C as you move higher and lower in the scales. Always aim to hold onto the whiny pharyngeal resonance, but the higher you go, the more the resonance tilts into the head cavity, and the lower you go, the more the resonance tilts into the mouth.
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