Voice Lessons – How To Reduce Tongue Tension – Jeff Alani Stanfill


hello everyone and welcome to the sixth
episode of Let Your Voice Soar! it’s been an exciting time here at Voice Soaring Studios! My instructional DVD and CD called “Let your Voice Soar” was released last week and I’m so happy that people all over
the world are now able to learn about the concepts and the Swedish Italian
vocal technique for pop, rock and musical theatre singers.
So now, it’s time to get back to sharing some very important “Voice Soaring” tips for you guys. You
know tension comes in many forms. There’s good tension, which we need to sing. In order for the vocal cords to come together, there’s tension involved. They’re very
similar to the strings on a guitar. They stretch become more taut. That’s
good tension! And in order for the breath to become
energized, we need to keep a bit of compression to
keep it moving through the vocal folds. Thats also good tension. But then there’s bad tension, and that can come in
many forms as well. so today I want to talk to you guys
about a form of tension that can really affect your singing in a
negative way. And that is tongue tension. Tongue tension is
something I’ve suffered with myself, and something I see a lot of with new
students. And it’s something I will try to alleviate right away if I
notice in a new student. So first off, I want you to pronounce
the five Italian vowels in this sequence: ee, eh, ah, oh, ooh Now I want you to place your
finger on your tongue, and pronounce the vowels again like this
this. ee, eh, ah, oh, ooh once again: ee, eh, ah, oh ooh. you’ll notice, that starting with the ee vowel,
the tongue is in a high, arched position, and it goes down
incrementally when we sing each vowel. And we need that
to happen. but we don’t want the tongue to completely
disappear when we pronounce the vowels, and we don’t
want it to stiffen up. when the tongue retracts too much, it’s like
putting a pillow on your pharyngeal space. And instead a
sounding open and free, the voice sounds like it’s suffocated.
When this happens the voice has to work harder because the
space is closed. Does that make sense? if the tongue stiffens while you’re
singing a scale or song, it can create a feeling is if you’re
belting every note. have you ever had that feeling? So let me
give me some really simple exercises to reduce tension in the tongue. First off, we’ll start with a gentle
non-aggressive exercise. Place your tongue between your lip like this. We’re going to do a very simple
glide from top to bottom, on a 5-tone scale. Ladies, you are gonna sing
up here. Guys are gonna sing down here let’s start the exercise. Let me
demonstrate how this work. Once again place your tongue between your lips
mumm and start the glide…mummm Now it’s your turn Take it up! mumm Your turn! Take it up! mumm… mumm…. Your turn! Again! mumm…. mumm…. mumm…. Take it up again! mumm…. mumm… Take it up! mumm… mumm.. Let’s take it up a few more! mumm… mumm…. Your turn! Let’s do two more! mumm… Your turn! mumm… One more! mumm.. The next exercise is designed to free
the tongue even more, while accessing the resonance of the voice on the “NG” ring. You may think this is a very funny
exercise, and it is!! But it’s very effective in reducing tongue tension. Let me demonstrate! It goes like this: mumm mumm….. Your turn! Take it down! mumm…. mumm… mumm… mumm… mumm… Your turn! Remember you’re doing this on an NG! mmm… mumm… mumm… Your turn. Take it down! mumm… mumm.. mumm.. I know that a really funny exercise, but it is so effective in getting the tongue
out of the pharyngeal space. Getting it free and taking weight out of the voice,
which is so important! and developing the “NG” ring. Okay? Now,
moving on to the very last exercise. and for this exercise you’ll only
need one thing, and that’s a number two pencil. You can use
any kind in pencil actually. I like the number two. Kind of like the ones
used, yeah… that’s a number two. Kind of like the ones used in school. And some people use chopsticks
Some people use a pen, but I really like the number two pencil Alright so this is how it works. This is a
really crazy exercise, but it is so effective. Make sure your pencils nice and clean
because you’re going put it underneath your tongue like this. uhhh…. uhh… Alright!You got that? uhh… uhh.. uhh.. I’m not really pronouncing any
particular vowel… I feel a feeling of “uh” underneath the
sound. So let’s do this again. uhh… uhh.. Your turn! Let’s take it down! uhh… uhh.. uhh… Your turn! uh.. uhh.. Your turn! uhh.. uhh.. Take it down! uhh… uhh.. Your tongue may feel a little sore after doing this, because it’s going to fight getting out of that pharyngeal cavity. It will really try to pull back. You can do as many variations of this
exercise as you want. You can change it. You can actually sing an entire
song with the pencil underneath your tongue. I love that exercise. It really frees up the
tongue like nothing else. So there you go. Three simple exercises
to reduce tongue tension. Now if you’re serious about
singing, try to find a coach in your area who can
take your voice to the highest level possible. if you don’t live in an area with a
great vocal coach, I offer Skype lessons the singer’s all
around the world. if you’re in the New York metropolitan
area I Kitchen Midtown Manhattan I also have a studio right here and
beautiful Montclair New Jersey. I hope you found this information
helpful. If you have any questions about this topic, please feel free to ask in the comments
section below or you can always write me at [email protected] if you enjoyed this video please hit the
“like button” and please subscribe! And check out the website for
information about my instructional DVD and CD called “Let Your Voice Soar” until next time, keep singing and LET YOUR VOICE SOAR!!!

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