What Does Tension Feel Like When You Sing?


What does tension feel like when you sing?

Do you know what tension sounds and feels like when you sing? Inside this video I’m going to show you how the slightest tension may be hurting your voice.


What does tension feel like when you sing?

There’s a difference between the tension created by the external neck muscles that squeeze the vocal cords from the outside and the friendly compression and tension needed within the vocal cords to generate speaking and singing.


Our challenge is to become aware of external muscle tension and eliminate it. But how can you eliminate it if you are not sure what it feels and sounds like.


Here’s what the external neck muscle tension sounds like in the bridge of the voice.


I’ll demonstrate different degrees of tension and no tension


Here’s obvious tension from Bb3 to F above middle C on the word “Oh”: [Demo]  Now no tension. [Demo]

Now for ladies F to High C:[Demo]  Now no tension. [Demo]


Less obvious tension: Men/Women with and without tension. [Demo]


Slight tension but enough to squeeze the vocal cords: Men/Women with and without tension. [Demo]


Tension feels tight. It gets harder to sing higher. [Demo]

No tension feels relaxed. It stays relaxed as you sing higher. [Demo]


With tension the vowel spreads wider. [Demo]

Without tension the vowel stays the same. [Demo]


With tension you reach for the higher notes. [Demo]

Without tension there is no reaching. [Demo]


With tension the vibrato slows or stops.

Without tension the vibrato is consistent and balanced.


Is There Good Tension When You Sing?

Is there good tension when you sing?  Without external muscles squeezing the vocal cords, the cords can generate the friendly tension and adduction with just the right balance of air from the lungs to create their best possible sound.


Without the external muscle tension the voice can find optimal balance. This gives your tone beauty and power which increases your singing confidence.


Even though you might see and hear tension in other singers, you may not be aware of it in your own singing. And tension can prevent you from discovering your optimal vocal cord function, balance and results.


Tension may prevent you from sounding your very best. You may never discover your ultimate potential as a singer, if you’re unconcerned and or unaware of the external muscle tension in your own singing.


You can’t be aware of tension until you understand, feel and are aware of no tension in your voice. You can’t hear and feel tension in your voice until you are aware of no tension.


Eliminate Tension by Knowing Your Vocal Type

A great way to become aware of and eliminate external neck muscle tension is to do the exercises for your vocal type. Your vocal type is what you tend to do when you sing.


Do you know your vocal type? Go to PowerToSing.com and take the vocal test which I call the PowerTest. Take the quiz and discover your vocal type.


Visit the Knowledge Center and watch the videos about your vocal type. Download the free exercises for your vocal type and start practicing them. They’re designed to help you eliminate the external neck muscle tension.


If you like this video, hit the like button below, share it with your friends and please subscribe!


I’m Chuck Gilmore with Power to Sing. You can sing higher with beauty, confidence and power.


I’ll see you inside the next video.

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Chuck Gilmore

Chuck Gilmore

If you want to do more with your singing voice it is possible. This is the first and most important message. It is possible to achieve your dreams to sing better, to sing higher, and to add beauty, confidence and power to your voice!

I know this because I’ve experienced a real change in my voice. I am reaching my dreams to sing and perform. You can find happiness and fulfillment with your singing too!!


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