Updated: Jan 24, 2021
Here at Silversong Voice, we encourage challenging your voice to reach its full potential, but not going past your limit when you know you’ve reached it! Experiencing vocal and tongue tension can hinder you from doing so, so we’re here to help! So what exactly is vocal tension? What is tongue tension and how do you recognize these as well as overcome them? We’re glad you asked! Here are some tips on how to overcome it to make sure your voice is free and loose, ready to go and ready to grow!
Vocal tension can be very common, occurring when the muscles around your voice box become so tight when you speak, your voice box does not work as effectively and as efficient. Feeling as if your voice is tight, strained, and weak tells of beginning vocal tension. When you are singing, it can feel very breathy, hoarse, and you experience a loss of your normal vocal range. This tension creates a drawback in your voice, not allowing your true sound to freely move and travel as it usually would.
...And How to Overcome It
To get your authentic voice back, here are some tips to help start you off when you are experiencing vocal tension.
1. Make sure to rest your voice, not overusing it when you are feeling it strain. This includes not using the opposite extremes of your voice, meaning whispering or shouting.
2. One of the most important things to keep in mind as well is to make sure you are breathing correctly! By breathing in through your stomach it helps your vocal cords open correctly and loosens tension. Relaxing your neck helps to release this tension as well.
3. Some exercises to help overcome vocal tension are to try singing with your tongue out, holding your tongue with your index finger and thumb. Relaxing your tongue helps ensure it lies naturally while you sing.
*Note: If the tension is very serious, make sure to go get it checked out!
Like vocal tension, tongue tension has a tightening effect. This tension comes from the root of the tongue. It can pull and push your voice box to the point it highly impacts your ability to smoothly sing notes and scales. Constricting your throat space and affecting the tone of your voice, tongue tension usually produces muffled sounds, making it difficult to articulate and produces a tendency to sing flat. Vocalizing takes much more effort than usual when it comes to tongue tension.
…And How to Overcome It
1. Stretch your tongue! It might seem silly to say at first, but simply sticking out your tongue, drawing it back in a few times for about 20 seconds each can help stretch it out, releasing tongue tension. Tongue push outs are another helpful way to do so- put your tongue behind your back teeth and stretch it up to make a “U” shape- stretching the middle of your tongue.
2. Vocal exercises that encourage flexibility and movement of the tongue using consonants and vowels help with articulation. Use consonants that move both the front and the back of the tongue Consonants that are great to use in vocal exercises are G, L, K, D, T, & J. This helps in keeping your diction clear.
3. Moving your tongue while you sing by placing the tip of your tongue between your bottom lip and teeth, running your tongue over them from one side to other helps release tension to relax your tongue.
4. Make sure to keep your jaw relaxed, moving free and loose! Being mentally and physically relaxed assists overall in releasing tension in your body to release tension in your voice!
Reducing and overcoming vocal and tongue tension can allow freedom in your voice! It improves your voice range and control as well as growth in your voice and we can’t wait to hear how your voice shines and grows here at Silversong Voice!