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Jaw Tension: How did YOU get rid of it?

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Leeeo
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Hello, good folks of the TMV forum!:)

As I proceed with my training and struggle with the E4-C5's, I'm forced by my own reflexes to actually make myself sound more strained and eventually, wear myself down.:/

Don't really want to keep the tension there, so I humbly ask for help and advice:

How do you get rid of jaw tension?

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Keep your mouth wide open! I'm in the same boat. My habit is to set things up ok at the bottom of the arpeggio, then throw it all out and tense up when I go for the top.

I find if I keep an index finger on my temple and a thumb (of the same hand) on my jaw, and make sure my jaw stays still it makes a big difference. And of course use a mirror if you have a chance. I'm usually training in my car, so that's kind of hard! :P

There's more to it than that, but give it a try and see if it doesn't help.

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Still fighting it myself, but a couple sure fire "cheats" I've found to get rid of it are

1. lightening the weight

2. modifying everything to open vowels

Unfortunately as a result you will sound kind of odd making those compromises but at least it will make you more aware of how it feels to produce a powerful sound without excess jaw tension...

The real answer, see a teacher who can help you with it. I don't believe you can self teach yourself to relax the jaw and still create powerful sounds, it's just far too complicated a process to do on your own without specific instructions...

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Start with a relaxed face/neck. Rather then thinking about dropping your jaw, think about moving it back as you open your mouth. Don't lose the relaxed face/neck as you do this. Now just breathe in that position, then move to singing in that position. Let me know if that helped with your jaw tension. I believe Dante has some good stuff on Youtube about this, watching his video on the subject may help.

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Leeeo - Judging by the area you are having difficulty with it could very well be that you are not modifying your vowel correctly. If that's the case your body will fight you and you won't be able to get rid of the tension. So make sure the vowel is right. Otherwise like Martin said, monitor under your chin for tension.

At this point in your range you can begin to thin your folds. Can you do a tension free siren from C4 to C5 on an "NG"? If not, you are not thinning out. If you can do this with no problems, then it could be a vowel issue.

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I had big issues with Jaw tension.

Personally the first thing i did to ease it was learn to shake my jaw up and down loosely with one hand holding the chin. It should move freely up and down, at first it resisted so i just kept doing it & soon it was easy.

The next thing i did was the exact same thing, except singing a note. The higher i went the more it resisted again, so i kept doing that until it was loose again on any note/vowel (obviously you cant pronounce some consonants with your jaw going up and down)

That helped me a lot.

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I struggle with jaw tension a lot. Specifically the muscles are built up around my jaw from tensing my jaw and chewing gum (stop chewing gum if you want to sing!). So I do a set of tension relieving exercises before my practice regimen. I found some great videos from massage therapists on youtube, giving out some free exercises that would probably cost an arm and leg if you booked a consultation with one lol.

This is the one that works best for me personally

This one is good as well

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Just wondering, but Robert always talks about how we should try to keep the embouchure wide and open with top teeth showing, but my jaw gets tired after a while.

Am I forming my embouchure wrong or is my jaw muscles weak or something of that nature?

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if you can record a video of you going from bottom to top on a scale i could better help you. it is most likely tensions from other things. and the wide open embouchure is a great principle to employ

Ok, I recorded a couple with my phone (and yay college dorm room). I'm still a beginner btw, so my pitch and control isn't that great yet.

and a random siren while we're at it:

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Hi Dk1021

You are closing down the sound. You have the same problem this guy had, pay attention to how I correct him and follow along - you have the exact same problem. Your voice will not grow at all if you keep that closed sound.

So what you have to do is create contrast so that you can differentiate the difference between good and bad: toggle between the following - say UNG (with an NG) and then go GAH! you will feel the soft palate pop up when you do that and more clarity will come instead of that mufled ngg sound you have right now. that muffled sound will not grow the voice.

Also, you can connect through to your headvoice smoothly on that volume good job! so now it's time for you to raise the volume more, you will not improve any further on that light volume you are on, take it a little louder. don't add so much weight that the voice cannot blend smoothly though. take it in small increments. Once you are at the volume of a loud speaking voice you will not want to increase the volume further than that, rather you will start to think more about bridging later. but this is downt he track, right now just think of raising the volume a little more than what you are doing now.

good work on not shifting the jaw and keeping the mouth open.

With your siren clip, that's a good volume for now to work on. I would like you to try to leave your chest a little later than you are doing now, (blend a little later) what that will do for you is allow you to thin out the chest gradually rather than just stopping it completly like you are doing now. Get in the habit of having it thin out so that it becomes more of a seamless blend. here is what I mean:

Start thinking more about learning to get some support into the sound too by consciously setting up your inhale and bracing the belly slightly before each phrase - it will become more necessary as you increase volume. Start the habit now so that it will be embedded down the track. if you are unsure about how to do that drop me a message.

Thanks for the input! I really appreciate it.

Mainly on the volume bit, I'm not singing as loudly as I normally would right now because it's Sunday night in a dorm room (sitting on a bed too, so my support wasn't great either). But I do feel the closed down feeling on the scale and will definitely make it brighter.

But how exactly do I stretch my chest voice thin at a low volume like I had? I feel like I need to make it louder in order to extend the chest voice (which might be shouting, but I'm not sure lol)

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I think an important piece of info is missing, is the tension pre-existing or only when you sing?

I have mild TMJ, probably from a soccer injury, so I naturally have tension in that area, in that case, it's a matter of lifestyle changes.

Seeing my teacher has been a great benefit to release some tension as well while singing, so that may be an option?

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