Can Singing Really Feel Easy?
Updated: Mar 3, 2021
My favorite moments as a voice teacher are when a student stops and says something like, “uh, that didn’t feel like my voice. It was…easy!”
This is music to my ears!!! Contrary to what many think and what’s sometimes portrayed on TV, singing doesn’t need to involve a lot of physical effort.
Inhibit the Need to Control
The voice doesn’t need controlling, it needs “letting out.” Sometimes it’s scary to just let the voice fly, but it is so freeing. And it's why you love to sing, right?
I see students with tension in the throat and larynx as a result of their belief that they must make the sound “happen.”
Believe it or not, the throat, larynx, and vocal cords are all in a mostly passive state during singing. The air moves through the vocal cords to make them vibrate, and the neck and jaw are NOT responsible for initiating or controlling the sound. The throat should stay open and the larynx neutral.
It takes mostly mental (not physical) effort to achieve this, and after focused practice it can become second nature.
It’s really not about doing, but inhibiting.
Inhibit your instinct to control the sound and the voice can become free and singing can feel easier.
If you feel tense in your neck when singing, particular in the higher range, focus on:
1. Lengthening the back of your neck.
2. Keeping your chin in a neutral position (don't reach up for those high notes!).
3. Imagine that your throat is a tunnel that is just letting air pass through while staying completely relaxed and open.
Nasal Resonance is Your Friend
The second part of achieving vocal freedom is finding proper resonance. This allows you to get more bang for your buck without a lot of physical effort.
Warm up your voice on a hum, ooh, or using a singing straw and keep your throat relaxed and open and your larynx neutral.
"Aim" your sound forward and up into the nasal cavity (or what I like to call the mask) and try to feel a buzzing sensation around your nose and mouth.
Lift that soft palate! This is super important to finding a resonant sound, especially with mixing and belting.
Of course be in touch if you have any questions. Happy Singing!