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Vocal Fundamentals Week 7: Stretches for Singers & Speakers

Today, we're talking about vocal fundamental #7: STRETCHES for SINGERS & SPEAKERS

 

This fundamental could be a pivotal moment for you. Here's why:

 

So many of us deal with tension and tightness in our shoulders, jaw, neck, and tongue.

 

What happens when these key singing and speaking muscles are consistently tight?

 

Surprisingly enough, it can lead to vocal strain, pain, hoarseness, and constant vocal fatigue. It can make your voice feel like it's constricted or caught in your throat. It may also cause other muscles to overcompensate, leading to tightness and possibly pain in other areas of the body as well.


All of these things combined = not your best voice.

 

So how do we start getting your singing and speaking muscles to calm down...

 

We stretch em' out!

 

When I started incorporating stretches into my vocal warmups and vocal practice, it made a world of difference both in my singing freedom as well as in my on stage performances and worship leadership. When you can get your singing muscles loose, relaxed, and moving freely, it can open up so much in the overall ease, clarity, and even range of your voice!

 

Do these stretches VERY GENTLY. Just like when you're doing pilates, yoga, or regular stretching, start slow and small and build your way up. If at any point you feel pain STOP. Let yourself rest and try again either later in the day or the next day. Let yourself relax, and breathe.

 

Here is my 7 Stretch Series for Singers & Speakers that I take my vocal clients through:


  1. NECK ROLLS

These are just what they sound like. You gently roll your neck to the left 3x, and then switch and roll it to the right 3x.




  1. SIDE TO SIDES

For this stretch, you're simply looking from side to side.





  1. TONGUE RELAX

Stick your tongue out slightly. Bite down SUPER GENTLY on your tongue with your back teeth. Let the muscles of your jaw and neck release and relax. Hold for 10-30 seconds.





  1. TONGUE STRETCH

Stick your tongue out to give it a stretch. Now relax. Now stick it out again, this time a little bit further.





  1. TONGUE STRETCH & NECK ROLLS

With this stretch, you're simply combining a tongue stretch with the neck rolls. 1x in each direction.



  1. JAW OPEN

Open your jaw slightly. Now close it. Open it again, this time going a little bit further. Repeat.





  1. JAW SIDE to SIDES

With your mouth open slightly, VERY GENTLY move your upper and lower jaw in opposite directions. Switch directions.





Additionally, Raspberries are an exercise I include along with this series when I'm working 1:1 with clients to add some extra tongue stretching and movement.


Your assignment this week: do this 7 Stretch Series at least 1x this week before your vocal warmups.

 

There you have it! My 7 Stretch Series for Singers & Speakers. Let me know how it goes, and if you have questions, REPLY to this email. I'm here to help, and I don't want you to go one more day feeling like you can't put your best voice forward.



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