9 Tension Busters For Better Singing
Jackie, vocal coach at Sono Music, gives you these top tips for busting tension!
🙌 NECK TENSION
If you see lines on your neck or you are feeling strain whilst singing. You have neck tension this can be from improper placement of the voice or even lack of air which leads to engaging the neck muscles. For placement, trying singing from a more nasal, forward placed area and adding a twangy sound to your voice. For breathing, make sure you’re taking enough breath before each line.
Do some very, very gentle neck stretches before you start singing (just like an athlete would before physical exertion).
🍑 THE BUTT CLENCH
Okay yeah, it sounds weird but this is amazing for a hundred reasons. It literally places the tension down and stops you from thinking of singing in the throat (so it’s mentally helpful). Plus, you can exert as much force as you want, without doing any damage to the throat. It also encourages breath support, by activating the pelvic floor which will send breath up with the diaphragm! All in all, much healthier singing.
🌡 NO PRESSURE
Literally, there is a thing called oversinging, which is probably another reason why your throat is hurting after you sing. You are overdoing it, I don’t mean that you are singing too much, (but sometimes yes that can be the case – the voice needs to rest too!) but I mean you are shouting more than you are actually singing. Sometimes the problem can actually be using too much air, or too much force behind that air, if you feel you are breaking or cracking, your cords probably can’t take the pressure. Start using less air immediately. Don’t forget to still keep it supported though.
📣 SING AS YOU SPEAK
Try singing in a similar way that you speak, particularly for any contemporary music, aim from the front with clear vowels and words.
🔊 VOLUME CONTROL
You need to experiment with volumes and if you feel you are overdoing it, pull back! Even try starting with a thin, soft but still resonant tone and then you can add more volume.
😊 RELAX YOUR POSTURE
The body all works together to create a beautiful rounded sound. If you have tension anywhere in your body or even bad posture, it will stop your voice from ringing and resonating around your body. Just like holding a drumstick too tight, you won’t get a nice round sound from the drum but rather a tight, tense small sound. So stand up straight and have relaxed knees but strong legs.
🤔 KEEP A LEVEL CHIN
It’s common for people to lift their chin high when they sing in a higher part of their register. This causes tension and even vocal breaks. Not to mention the opposite which is placing the chin low when they sing which also constricts the air flow making it harder to reach low notes. Keep your chin level at all times!
👅 TONGUE TENSION
Tongue tension can make you go flat, cause unnecessary strain and even mess with your vocal flexibility. We need space in the throat and the back of the mouth to shape our sound and if our tongue is sitting far back than relaxed in the mouth it can cause an impact on our sound. Aim to keep your tongue relaxed and sitting down in the mouth.
There you have it! Try these tips next time you sing and see if you can tell the difference!