An Exercise to Unlock Tension | The “Gah” Exercise for Stronger Singing

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You can actually have FUN reducing tension in your voice.
Published: March 16, 2021

An Exercise to Unlock Tension

Bad effort muffles, dampens and constricts your sound. When you tense the muscles in your tongue, jaw and neck to sing, that’s bad effort. You should be doing the opposite! These muscles need to be neutral to help your sound resonate, your registers mix seamlessly, and your voice soar.

A great way to release tension in those areas is to distract your body! This exercise is a “trick” that helps you release tension while singing any difficult note. 

Find a stool, box or small table that is heavy enough to require a little exertion to lift, but not heavy enough to hurt your back.

I use my piano bench.

Bend your torso over with legs straight but unlocked knees and take hold of the item you plan to lift. Sing an arpeggio on “mah” and as you sing the top note, lift your item and then set it down as you finish the arpeggio. Here’s how I do it:

Don’t strain or get tense. This lifting encourages you to engage the muscles of your torso and lower body and distract you from tensing up your neck and jaw on the top note. You may notice your sound becomes suddenly powerful on the top note as you engage your core and distract yourself. Now pick a word in a song that needs to be powerful, but that you always have trouble on. Sing your phrase and do your “lift” precisely on that note. 

Kathy  Alexander
VP Curriculum, Singdaptive

The “Gah” Exercise for Stronger Singing

Vocal Coach Mark Baxter’s incredible vocal exercise lesson is free for anyone: The GAH Exercise for Stronger Singing. Our full-access subscribers have been enjoying his entire course on Singing with Strength! by Vocal Coach Mark Baxter.

To learn more, upgrade to premium and check out Mark’s entire course, How to Sing with StrengthMark will reveal the right mindset and exercises to develop a stronger vocal sound.

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