|Originally published: August 4, 2020|
Stick Out Your Tongue, Singers!
You were told not to do it because it was rude, but did you know that sticking out your tongue helps you sing? That’s right. Not only does it help you, but it does so in more than one way!
Your tongue and your larynx are connected. In fact, the base of your tongue is attached to the hyoid bone, from which the larynx hangs. This means that tongue tension can raise the larynx to a higher position in the throat. If your tongue pulls up your larynx, the resonating space in your throat is reduced and you may not be able to achieve the full, rich sound you are aiming for. Tongue stretches, such as sticking your tongue all the way out in every direction, can help reduce tension and free up your voice.
Sticking out your tongue while you sing may feel extremely weird, but it can help you achieve that illusive forward resonance that many singers want. Singing with the tongue out is an exercise many voice teachers use. With the tongue so far forward in the mouth, singers find that their vocal tone is enhanced. Of course, everything else sounds a little strange, but that’s not the point! Once singers feel the sensation of that forward resonance, they can then work to maintain it with the tongue in a normal position.
|To learn more about tongue exercises, and how they can help you, upgrade and take Juliet Russell’s lesson Reduce Tongue Tension for Singing|
Find Your Starting Note
Even experienced singers occasionally feel a little disoriented when trying to find their starting note during the intro of a song. It’s nothing to be ashamed of! Choral singers and those who sing harmony parts know all too well the challenge of finding one’s starting note – especially when it is not the melody. On Thursday this week, visit Matthew Howe’s instructor page to view in his two new lessons: Finding Your Starting Note and Changing the Key of Your Song for practical tips to help you in your next performance.
Watch Jermaine Jones absolutely killing it at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem a few years ago. Keep watching after he sings to hear what Gladys Night and the other judges have to say.
Kathy Alexander is VP of Curriculum for Singdaptive. She was a staff writer for 6 years at VoiceCouncil Magazine and works for the University of Victoria as a practicum supervisor. Kathy is also a singer, vocal coach and choir director. Career highlights include guest appearances in Europe with Quannah Parker jazz fusion band in Norway, and back on the West Coast with Vision TV’s Let’s Sing Again, The Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra and the Victoria International Jazz Festival.