Tongue Tension In Singing – How To Get Rid If It!
How to sing without tongue tension. If you don’t like the sound of your voice. Then the first thing you want to check is that that tongue is nice and relaxed. As a tight tongue will bunch up in the back of your throat, muffle your sound and also make your singing pitchy. So it sounds something like this, AH rather than AH, and in this video, I’m going to teach with a tool that you can use to get rid of that tongue tension. And it’s called the held tongue exercise.
Hello and welcome my friend I’m vocal coach Dylan.
Okay. So before we start those steps, the first thing you want to do is make sure that you have a mirror. I always have one handy here,
You want a mirror? If you haven’t got a mirror, that’s fine, but ideally a mirror. And you also want to record your voice down so we can do a before and after comparison. So you can see just how powerful this tool is. So even if you don’t think you got a lot of tongue tension, if you can hear a difference in the before and after there obviously was some tongue tension that needs to be worked out with the held tongue exercise. Alrighty.
So a little point here. I’m not saying your tongue should be flacid like this, but I’m also saying it shouldn’t be rigid like this. It should be a balanced tension cool and that’s what you’re going to learn. And that balanced tension feels more relaxed and fluid. Cool and groovy man, nice and fluid and relaxed. So it’s responsive to the will of making those sounds.
Okay. Step one. You’re going to stick your tongue out gently. Don’t stick it out so far that it hurts at the back. Just out. As far as you can, like this, that feels comfortable that doesn’t and that isn’t sticking your tongue out at all.
Cool so stick out as far as he can comfortably. Really important thing to note here. Did you know that the tongue is the only muscle in the whole body that’s not attached at both ends? So what I mean by that? Your bicep, I know impressive, right? The bicep is attached here and here. So when we want to stretch out, we just do that and it stretches while the tongue is attached at the back, but it’s not attached at the front. There’s the front. So you can’t actually do that unless you do this exercise where you grab hold of it and stretch it out. Cool. So it’s a really powerful tool. We’re actually going to learn to stretch and relax that tongue.
Okay. Onto step two, you’re going to take your finger, your index finger, and your thumb, your tongues out and just going to gently hold it. I don’t squeeze it really hard. Just lightly. Hold it. Now, if you don’t want to hold your tongue, use a hanky or something. Cool.
And go like this, alright, just gently holding your tongue now, can you notice that already under your index finger and thumb, you can feel it wiggling and as it trying to pull back and can you see in the mirror it’s wiggling and jiggling, if you can, they’re all signs of tongue tension. All right. So just note that and I’ll see in the next step.
Okay. So now we’re going to gently create a little bit of pull on the tongues. We’re just gently going to put it that way. Cool. Just ever so lightly and what you want to feel for is there’s a point where you feel a little bit of resistance. Now do this really gently. If you feel it’s hurting, you’re pulling your tongue out far too aggressively, and that’s not the aim of the exercise. We want to just feel a slightest has better resistance at the tongues, kind of almost stopped there. And then we’re going to breathe through it and relax the tongue until it feels it’ll feel like it just releases a little and moves forward. More OK, so it would be like this.
And all I’m going to do is breathe in and out, in and out as I breathe out, I’m going to work on softening my tongue. And it’s going to take a bit of time and a bit of patience here. As you breathe in and out and locate that area of the tongue, it’s kind of at the back and you’ll feel, ah, there it is. And then you’ll feel the tongue just soften ever so slightly move forward a little, the more tongue tension you have the less, you’re going to notice an improvement, but the more you need to use this tool cool and time, you’ll get a nice bit of stretch and release in the tongue. All right. So I’ll do it again (sounds) gently pull it forward
easy to say with your fingers on your thumb and finger on your tongue. (sounds) Then I felt a little release. Now you can do this step as long as you like over and over getting more and more release, but remember never at any point yank tongue forward, you’re constantly trying to release it and recognize that sensation of release. So you can bring your tongue forward more and more gradually over time. All right. So remember you want patience with this step? Just take your time, breathe through. It’s not something you can rush so take your time. Cool.
Next step. Okay. So you should now feel like you can actually relax your tongue a little bit and move it forward. So once you’ve got that sense locked in, we’re now gonna stick a sound on it. Cool. We’re going to do, AA, as in the word, Apple.
AA, AAAAAAAAA, cool. And we’re going to hold this for a whole breath and that’s going to give you plenty of time to zone in on that feeling of tongue tension, just like you did in the last step and work on releasing it again. So it’s like this, AAAA, AAAA, cool.
A couple of points there I felt my tongue pull back, especially when I first made the AA shape. Then I carried on breathing through it and relaxing it until I could relax the tongue. And it still sounded like AA. If the sound changes, then it’s no longer an AA OBS. Cool. So then readjust the tongue until it’s in the app position, but it feels soft. So once you can hold that AA, for a whole breath and release that tension, you can then do the held tongue exercise for releasing any tongue tension.
So if you’d like me to help you on your singing journey, then I got a load of singing courses that you can check out in the description box below. Okay. So now that you can do the held tongue exercise, let’s apply it to singing because at the end of the day, that’s what we’re all here for. Cool.
So do you remember you recorded your voice down at the beginning, take the first line of that song and you’re now going to do the held tongue exercise over that song, melody. So it’d be like this. So I’d sing it. Well, my mummu said
(holding tongue) did it snatch or pull back at any point? If it did breathe through it, pause on that pitch, breathe through it and release that tension. Then do a song melody again, (song melody), ah! there it pulled back. So I’m just going to stay on that note and breathe through it. So be like this, AAAAA, you hear the tone change now. I’m happy on that pitch. AAAA, AAAA, that’s nice. Now I’m going to sing it well my mummu said.
Cool. I heard a difference. Did you hear a difference? Now do it yourself. Record your voice down and compare it to the recording that you did before you did the steps and leave in the comments below whether you could hear a difference, what a powerful tool that is. Huh? Great. Okay. So you now know how to sing without tongue tension, how you use the held tongue exercise.
That’s this cool work that exercise over and over. You don’t always need to do on a song. You can just spend ages and ages, uh, working on softening and releasing and stretching that tongue out like a bicep, like my fine bicep.
Cool. So do that over and over and get that release in the tongue. Now really great exercise that you can do that goes along with that held tongue exercise is the NG. Hum. It’s a great way to warm up your voice, but importantly it lifts that tongue up at the back and gets it out the throat and conditions it to stay up higher. So it’s a nice little stretch on the back of the tongue and you can learn how to do that exercise here: How To Do An NG Hum