If you find that throat is sore after speaking or singing, or your jaw hurts after a day of talking, you may be creating a strain on your voice and jaw by pushing your chin forward when you speak or sing. The tension that occurs in your throat and jaw also affects the tone of your voice.
In part one of Making your vocals smooth, I wrote about opening your throat to create a rich tone. As you’re becoming more comfortable with speaking and singing with an open throat, you’ll want to avoid tension in your jaw and strain on your voice. Let’s add this next component to your skills.
Relax your jaw.
When there is tension in your jaw, that beautiful tone you’re creating will be distorted. Forcing your jaw forward while singing or speaking creates tension. I recommend that you place your index and middle fingers of one hand on your chin to remind yourself to relax your jaw. Now sing something simple like Allelujah.
Keeping your fingers on your chin, sing something more challenging. Focus on relaxing your jaw and opening your throat at the same time.
You’re creating a warm tone with your throat, you’re avoiding tension in your jaw and throat, and you’re now going to allow that amazing sound to come out fully. You’ve worked hard to produce something beautiful, so let it out. Open your mouth.
When your jaw is relaxed, it’s easier to open your mouth. Relax your lips now and place two fingers in your mouth. Turn your hand so your fingers are not flat in your mouth but your hand is positioned so your fingers are vertically stacked in your mouth to force it to be more open. The point of this exercise is to get to know the feeling of having your mouth fully open.
With your fingers in your mouth, sing Allelujah. It won’t be possible to create the consonants, but go ahead and sing the vowels. Remember to relax your jaw and open your throat.
Consistently achieving a full, open feeling in your throat, face, jaw, and mouth when you speak and sing requires practice, but with time and attention you’ll succeed.
You’re on your way to making your vocals smooth.