Tension

Posted in Category Open Discussion
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    Ella Palmieri 3 years ago

    Hi Camille! I am so thankful for these videos! They are so well put together and I really enjoy learning something different each day, while also working to incorporate what was taught in the days prior. There is so much helpful info:) As I have been progressing through the videos, I am noticing that when I start to sing higher notes or try to belt, my jaw becomes very tense. I want to be able to hit higher notes and stretch my range, but I feel as though I may be trying too hard and straining myself? I am not sure how to undo this habit that I seem to have created. Do you have any tips on this? Thanks so much!!! 

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    Camille van Niekerk 3 years ago

    Sure thing, Ella! Glad to hear you're enjoying the course!

    A good approach to reducing tension is to:

    First pinpoint what is tensing! Then, either

    (1) move those muscles to prevent them from tensing in the first place (i.e.: softening and mobilizing your jaw so it cannot clench, or slowly shaking your head “no” to prevent the neck muscles from “grabbing”) 

    OR 

    (2) remove those muscles from the equation (ie: preventing tongue tension by singing with the tongue totally relaxed, out of your mouth and resting on your bottom lip). 

    The ultimate goal with all of the above is to let the correct muscles do their job without the "help" of those extrinsic muscles that are tensing.

     

    For jaw tension specifically, I'd move that jaw so it can't lock up (ex: sing on a YA-YA-YA or MAH-MAH-MAH rather than an open sustained vowel). And for those high notes, find the syllable or configuration that feels easiest to you (maybe it's a lip trill at first), and train for a while on that easier configuration. 

    Here's a whole live lesson on vocal strain, pain and vocal health if you'd like to check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6HRdzfpT20.

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    Ella Palmieri 3 years ago

    Okay great, thank you so much for the tips! 

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    Camille van Niekerk 3 years ago

    My pleasure!

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