How Singers Release Tension in the Upper Body

Savvy singers release tension in the upper body to allow for a more open sound and easier breathing. To release any tension in your arms and hands while singing, you also want to check in with the areas surrounding the arms and hands.

  • Chest: Check the position of your chest to make sure that it’s open and lifted, not pushed up.

  • Shoulders: With your chest in the right position, notice the position of your shoulders. You want your shoulders centered, neither too far forward nor too far back.

  • Arms: Tighten your arms and notice what that feels like. When your arms are tight, you feel tight across your back and perhaps across your chest. Release the tension in your arms and notice that they feel as if they opened.

  • Elbows: You may have discovered that when your elbows are tight, your back and shoulder blades are really tight. All your muscles are connected and need a balanced relationship to support the body.

    Your elbows can also feel like they have a spring in them. Your elbows and your body should have distance between them; you don’t want your elbows to press against your body or push out from your body.

  • Hands: The same tension release can apply to your hands. If you tighten your hands and wrists, you can feel the tension move all the way up your arms and across your back and chest. When you release the tension in your hands, you may feel as if they aren’t as heavy as they were when you tensed the muscles in your hands.

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