Improving Singing Tone by Releasing Tension in Neck and Jaw

A loose jaw and flexible tongue is important to good singing. The tighter your jaw, the tighter the sound — and the tighter your tongue, the more difficult it is to make your song understood. Become aware of the back of your neck and jaw as you sing so that you can monitor whether you have a flexible jaw and tongue.

Follow these steps to loosen your jaw:

  1. As you step into alignment, notice what you feel in the back of your neck.

  2. Massage the back of your neck to release any tension.

    As the tension melts away, notice how easy it is to move your head without tension in the back of your neck. Feel your head floating above your shoulders as if your neck is long.

  3. When your neck feels tension-free, notice what your jaw is doing.

    Without even realizing it, most people clamp down on their jaw. Everyday stress can lead to clenched teeth and clamped jaws.

  4. To relieve a cramped feeling in your jaw, let your jaw hang loose as if you were asleep.

    You’ve seen someone snoring away with his jaw hanging wide open for any old bug to fly right in. Allow yourself to explore this feeling of release and openness in your jaw.

  5. When you feel the fluid motion, try singing a few lines of a song.

    Combine correct posture and breathing and open space in the throat and mouth with fluid motion of the jaw and neck. Whew! That’s plenty to think about, but you can do it.

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