Want to make a leap forward and sing better fast? Sometimes it helps to just go back to basics!
I had a fabulous voice lesson last week.
I brought my teacher the song “Use Me” by Bill Withers. It has one note that jumps up high – not that high, really, and I can hit it, but sometimes it sounds… well… less good than it could. I had tried a number of different approaches as far as placement, mix, pressure, and volume, but no approach gave me a consistently good result.
She had me massage my jaw a bit, pull it down with the palms of both hands, and let it hang like it’s heavy.
Simply doing that made that one note easier to hit, more powerful, and more similar in tonal quality!
So simple. So basic. But so powerful!
This is so simple it almost doesn’t feel like a valuable vocal tip, but it’s so common it’s worth a reminder. I hear singers with tight jaws almost every single day, and I have been working in this myself for years. Chances are, you may have a bit of tension to let go of even if you don’t think you do. And since “the knee bone is connected to the thigh bone” – in other words, every part of the body connects to some other part of the body – when you relax your jaw you’re likely to relax adjacent muscles as well, such as the tongue. Tone always benefits when you relax vocal muscles!
So, next time you sing, try relaxing your jaw and see if that helps.
(c) 2010 Adrienne Osborn