Jaw and tongue tension can wreak havoc on a vocalist’s endurance during a performance not to mention, make singing difficult and exhausting while limiting one’s full vocal potential. But if you can’t identify and isolate the offending muscles then you won’t gain control. No control – no vocal freedom.
Try these exercises to get started identifying and isolating tension in your jaw and tongue in order to get in the best position during singing.
- Gently drop your jaw down and back while opening your mouth as if to say, “ahhh.”
- Then move your tongue out of your mouth and drape it over your lower lip while keeping it flat and very relaxed. Hold it there for several seconds while singing a comfortable scale with the “ahhh” sound. Be sure to keep it resting very still but not tight. The tongue should feel relaxed from tip to root except for the least amount of effort it takes to keep it extended and over the lower lip.
- Last, retract your relaxed tongue and place it flat, just touching behind the lower front teeth. Repeat the “ahhh” sound on a comfortable scale. Again, the tongue is kept relaxed and still with no tension.
Do this exercise through a series of scales from chest voice to head voice noting whenever there is tension until you can sing through your range with no tension.
For jaw tension try this ..
- Find the joints located just in front of your ears, place your fingertips just by and in front of your ears on both sides of your face and open your mouth. The space that opens up as your jawbone moves is your temporal mandibular joint. Massage these joints using your fingertips or the palms of your hands. Release your jaw further and massage deeper as you exhale.
Do these exercises a few minutes at the beginning of your daily vocal exercise routine and watch that tension begin to melt away.