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  • Tension Is the Enemy of a Singer, Part 3: Tongue Tension

    When we talk about tension in relationship to singing, we are really talking about any type of physical habit that negatively impacts the open flow of energy and sound throughout your body. In this three-part series, I have been addressing the most common physical tensions that I see affecting singers: jaw tension, neck tension, and finally today we will be talking about tongue tension. 
    In my experience, tongue tension results most often when a singer is changing the timber of their sound to make it either sound stronger or better inside their head. It may sound great to them, but out here to the rest of the world it sounds uncomfortable and inauthentic. Most often tongue tension manifests in the tongue muscle contracting and bearing down on the larynx putting an undo amount of pressure on the vocal folds as they attempt to freely vibrate. This can be extremely damaging to the vocal folds over time. 
    Make a “thumbs up” gesture with your hand. Then gently place your thumb under your jaw in the soft tissue area behind your chin. If you press up with your thumb you’ll feel the base of your tongue. Rest your thumb there and allow the tongue muscle to release and melt down around your thumb. Then, do a

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