Jaw Relaxation Exercises For Easier Singing
How can I make singing easier? A question that I have asked myself a lot. Jaw relaxation was one of the best ways to make it easier.
The jaw takes an important role when producing sounds. Not only does your voice sound better when you can open your mouth properly but also affects the way how easy it is to sing.
Today I want to show you how jaw tension effects singing and how to release jaw tension.
How Does The Jaw Effect Singing?
The first time I’ve had singing lessons my teacher observed me closely. It didn’t take long until she stopped me and noticed some key problems. Don’t get me wrong I still have problem areas but I know my weaknesses and I educate myself and work on them.
She asked me to stop and told me that I’m looking very serious and that I’m having a very tight, nearly cramped jaw.
Back then I wasn’t educated and I had no clue what singing is really about but I noticed that I get tired really quick and my jaw starts to hurt after singing a few songs. I always thought singing was that hard work and mouth movement which I did really exaggerated. I was forcing myself too much.
We really had to work on that jaw problem to make it work naturally and not cramped and tight. Because you can not sing with ease, when your mouth isn’t working the way it should be. A relaxed jaw helps to open up your mouth naturally and makes movement just so easy.
We pretty much take use of our jaw every time we open up our mouths, so it’s doing a pretty important job.
There is people though who do the exact different and they don’t open their jaw at all and give very little space because their mouth is basically closed. You can not make a nice sound when your mouth is closed…duh. When I shouldn’t open my mouth too much, you should definitely open your mouth some more.
Relaxation is generally a good state to be in to make singing easier. Singing can be hard work but should always feel naturally and never hurting! If you’re feeling good and your body is well rested, singing will feel much better, than after a night with a few too many drinks.
That’s why I like to prepare myself before singing.
- Make sure you eat some 30-60 minutes before singing and not right before singing
- I’m making myself some nice licorice tea to keep the throat nice and moisturized
- I will not only do some jaw relaxation exercises but also warm up exercises
- A few breathing or scale exercises to learn something new and progress as a singer
After work this whole preparation will be less time-consuming but on my days off, I really enjoy it to do something nice to my voice. It does relax me a lot.
Jaw Relaxation Exercises
So what are some good and effective exercises to get your throat relaxed?
I always start off with yawning.
It stretches your jaw and will end up in relaxation. I really like to combine it with sirens from high to low to warm up your voice at the same time – Gotta be time efficient!
Try to touch the sides of your face while yawning. Do you feel how the muscle pops out? Gently massage that area with small circles. This will relief tension from your jaw. Be careful and don’t overdo it. I don’t want you to hurt yourself.
Another exercise I do that feels sometimes really weird is moving the jaw in different directions. For me it’s weird because sometimes the jaw makes weird pop noises but it doesn’t hurt. I’m not a doctor but I think that’s because there is a lot of tension on my jaw.
Here is how I do it:
- Open up your mouth really wide open (like saying “ahh”) and close it
- Move your jaw from left to right
- Move your jaw from back to front
I do all of the above exercises 10 times til I move to the next one. We now have 3 different directions to make our jaw more relaxed and flexible. Up and down, left and right and forward and backwards. Like I said don’t get irritated when your jaw makes weird noises.
Remember to be gentle and slow to not cause any harm to yourself. If you feel that your jaw is hurting, better stop and try it another time.
If you’re having trouble and pain more then once, you should consider going to a professional vocal teacher!
It’s as easy as it sounds. Get on your widest smile face and open your mouth just a little bit. Hold that position for 10 seconds and release. I know it sounds and looks stupid but it does release stress on your jaw!
Also, smiling is healthy and will boost your mood, if you do it a few times! This is still called positive songwriting, so do something positive and smile!
If you’re having urgent pain and you really want to release it right now, you should make yourself a hot compress.
Take a hot towel with water and wring it out. Put it onto the lower part of your face, covering your jaw area. Then go to your couch and get into a comfortable position and relax for 10 minutes.
Warmth will relax your muscle and calms down pain pretty quick. If the pain is still there, you should take a pain killer and go to the next doctor.
What Other Muscles Effect Singing?
The jaw on its on doesn’t produce the sound of your voice. It’s an array of muscles that are responsible for our vocal sound. Jaw tension was one of my main problem but there is another group of muscles that go hand in hand with the jaw.
Very similar to jaw tension and the unease of singing, is tongue tension. Your tongue can literally get in the way of your singing. My singing teacher used to tell me that I’m moving my tongue way too much.
That’s when I really had to take care of how words are pronounced and how to make them sound naturally without my tongue going crazy. I’m not an English native speaker thats why I had some problems getting used to that but I improved by a lot.
An easy way to release tension from your tongue is to stretch it.
Stick it out as far as you can and maybe grab onto it with a tissue and pull it ever so slightly. Hold it for about 15 seconds and release. Don’t be aggressive doing this please!
So all in all, I have to find ways to make my face muscles relax. They all separately are part of your vocal sound and need a bit of attention. The more releaxed you, your jaw, your throat, your tongue and basically your whole body are, the easier will it be to sing.
I hope you enjoyed todays post and I could inspire you to work on your time management.
Take care of yourself and I will talk to you soon.