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How to Release Tension from Your Throat Before Singing

Learn how to release tension from your throat before you sing in this Howcast online singing lesson featuring singer Anya Singleton.

Transcript

Hi. I'm Anya Singleton. We're going to talk about how to release tension from your throat to prepare for singing.

When you're a singer, throat tension is the most common enemy of singers. There's just nothing to do. It gets worse when you're nervous, and if you're in a situation where you're performing in front of people, it's very hard to control it. A lot of this has to do with working on your breathing. If you're able to tap into your breathing and you take away a lot of the tensions from the upper part of the body, then you'll be able to release a lot of the tension in your throat.

A great exercise to release throat tension is a very simple thing that I like to do, it also helps warm up the vocal folds really nicely, and that's just humming. You can just hum, and try different ranges of humming. The thing that's nice about it is that it keeps it very low-key for you while also doing a lot of things for your voice.

The biggest thing to remember while you're humming is that you need to keep your throat open even though your lips are gently touching. If I were to close my throat up, you would see a lot of tension here in my neck and throat. You can see there's a lot of tension here and the sound gets driven right through your nose, which isn't very useful as a singer. If I keep it nice and open and I think about it as just being very relaxed, it's a nice open tone. I can do it in different pitches. You can even do different sirens. The more stuff you can do keeping that gentle hum, keeping the lips gently closed, keeping it nice and open, the less tension you'll have, because you can't make a connecting sound very well if you have a lot of tension in your throat. That's a great tip to release throat tension.

Another one is to actually do a head roll. I like to do these before I do the humming. I drop down and I do a nice, loose roll, and I go all the way around. The key is to make sure you open your mouth and drop the jaw open as you roll back. If you keep the jaw closed, you bring a lot of tension into this part of the throat. You want to keep it nice and loose.

I think also, it's a side thing, but I think drinking lukewarm or slightly warm beverages is great, too. If you think about it, it's almost like putting a hot pack on muscles to warm them up. It helps loosen everything up. I think sometimes it's a really good idea, especially in the wintertime.

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