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Remove Undesireable Tension

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Hi everyone, 
I've been a long time lurker on the forums, I have had lessons in the past, and I do own a copy of TVS, CVT, and other stuff. The most important thing I learned was to exercise my voice and then sing songs. However, recently I have been picking apart my voice not just the sounds but how it "feels." When I look at myself closely in the mirror I see a little vein popping out whenever I start a note. Furthermore even when I do not sing or speak for a day I still feel a bit of tension in the throat, like my voicebox feels kind of heavy. Naturally I'm a kind of "stressy" person but I would not like to bring "bad tension" to my voice. 

How can I remove undesireable tension from my voice? Neck/Throat tension are really hurting my progress.



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tension is usually caused by bringing a register usually chest up to high and not allowing the head register to do its job. go through your whole range on a non breathy clear vowel and do not raise the intensity to stay in chest allow it to switch where it wants without fooling yourself. do this a few times a day and get used to where your voice wants to goto to falsetto or head. just one idea to help with tension another one is dont get tense ;)

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I'm a big fan of yawn sighs. I have a nerve pain problem, and it can really tense me up flinching in pain, making things worse. Creating a cycle where the nerve tenses, and then it hurts, and then I tense more.


Anyway the yawn sigh facilitates an open throat, which should release a good deal of constrictions, and allows the phonation to stop pressing. Both are also linked psychologically with relaxation.




Isn't a miracle when the nerve is acting up. But it's better than nothing so you might try it if you have problems with tension.


Daniel has the best advice for actual singing. It helps to find less fatiguing ways of using your voice and use the minimal amount of musculature that is needed in addition to finding registers that are working for you. This can refine over time, but lessons might help more so to isolate only what is needed and not drag muscles that don't need to be dragged in.

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Great advice from Dan.

also there is a lot of controversy as to whether seeing stuff in the neck necessarily indicates strain..."a little vein" may not be a problem. but you say you are feeling tension so focus on fixing that and singing from a more comfortable sensation.

if you still feel tension while not singing and speaking for a full day I honestly don't know why, I've never felt that besides being sick. Otherwise if I were you and that happened to me I would probably look into checking out my neck posture and strength and also how I'm breathing.

Also if you are a "stressy" person you're probably going to be a physically stressy singer unless you learn to shut off or release that stress when you go to sing. Or maybe you want to keep it as part of your style and maybe allowing your technique to suffer a bit. But the voice cannot be disconnected from the body and mind, so if you want tension free singing you need to develop the ability to relax your mind and body at command. Simple calm slow deep quiet relaxed breathing can help develop this and is a good way to prepare for performances.

other than that what I find is really helping reduce my own vocal tension slowly but surely is a combination of directly finding the areas of tension and training them to release during singing but also and probably more importantly, strengthening my fundamentals (support, resonance, efficient cord closure) so that eventually i don't need extra muscles to tense and help out because the ones that are supposed to do the job have gotten strengthened and well coordinated through training and can eventually do their job all on their own.


i've personally found that when i sing live and i'm trying to reduce bad habits of excess tension it's actually not reliable to just try to remove the tension right away because without the fundamentals developed first your sound will fall apart. So you have to focus first on implementing your fundamentals correctly despite the bad habits laying on top and then once your fundamentals are getting strong you can start trusting them to stand alone and work on releasing those bad habits.

When you practice it's different, since you don't need to sound good you can put your voice in a blank slate thing where there's no excess tension and no fundamentals and then you build the fundamentals from that place of no excess tension and then once they start appearing free of tension while you practice that's when you can start trusting yourself to gradually let go of the excess tension on live performances.

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You wrote that you own a copy of TVS and CVT and other stuff. I don't know about the other stuff but TVS and CVT are methods that should help to avoid undesired tension. You might try reading them.


You learned it was best to exercise and then sing songs.


Then you started picking your voice apart. Why is that? Why would you do that? And have you given yourself a psychosomatic "wedgie" that manifests itself as a physical symptom? In which, I am not a therapist and not qualified to help.


So, which version of TVS do you own and how do you use it?

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May I add to already great advice, When you warm up, before you start exercising, add to your warm up some exercises designed to relieve jaw and tongue tension.  


They may easily be skipped over or thought of as trivial, but they work wonders to help open you and get you more resonance, ease, and tone quality.


Research some exercises like tongue pull outs, rolls, curls, jaw massage, chewing, yawning, etc...... 

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How long have you been training with "The Four Pillars of Singing"? What version do you have? Do you have the new belting and resistance training content?


Please upload a file or embed link so we can hear what you are talking about?


Try a Track & Release onset with a siren or simple workout and you singing as well... we need to hear the configuration to give you really good answers Jack. Without hearing you, my guess would be that you may be grinding your glottis, too heavy on the glottis and could benefit from lightening the mass and typically amplifying more upper hard palette resonance. Get off the larynx more and into the palette more... but that is just conjecture. 


We need to hear you... 

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