How to Sing Without Straining Your Throat (Exercises to Relax Throat Muscles)

How to Sing Without Straining Your Throat (Exercises to Relax Throat Muscles)

How to sing without straining your throat? That’s a million dollar question every singer
wants to know. But you don’t need to pay me million dollars. I am going to share with you 3 very simple
exercises to relax throat muscles so that you can start singing without straining your
throat. Keep on watching and I’ll be right back. Hi, I am Katarina from How 2 Improve Singing. For the best advice on how to use your voice
in a healthy way, subscribe to my channel and click the bell icon so that you get notified
every time I post a new video. If you are frustrated by that feeling of growing
throat tightness when singing, that holds you back from singing your favourite songs,
I have something for you. By the end of this video, you will have three
very specific throat relaxation exercises for singing without strain. When someone asks me how to not strain your
voice when singing, three things come to mind: breathing, open throat and easy phonation. So, let me show you three exercises for singers
to a more relaxed throat. Exercise 1: Breathing with Abdominal Release
Developing good breathing technique is essential for reducing vocal strain and throat tension. If you control air pressures and airflow at
the level of the larynx, you are putting a lot of stress on your throat muscles. If you know how to manage breath with your
whole body, you take the pressure away from your throat. This is exactly how you can produce powerful
sounds without hurting your throat. Singers who experience throat tension often
use shallow breathing, so in this exercise we are going to focus on releasing the abdomen
in order to make inhalation deeper. Although, there are more components to deeper
breathing, in this exercise, you will focus only on your abdomen. Release your abdomen during inhalation. But don’t push the abdomen out. We can move the abdomen in and out by contracting
the muscles but that’s not the point. Release the abdomen as you inhale. This will allow the diaphragm to descend low. Let’s it together. Put your hand on the abdomen to feel the movement. Start with exhalation, that will help you
inhale with more ease because your body wants to inhale. You don’t need to suck the air in. Inhale and release
the abdomen, exhale and again, inhale and release the abdomen. Then exhale and again. Inhale, let the abdomen release, and repeat one more time. Inhale and release the abdomen. Very good. If you are not able to release the abdomen,
watch this video in which I break down this exercise even more. Now, once you know how to do this simple breathing
exercise, add “mee” on a simple 3-note scale. So, before you sing the scale, inhale and
release your abdomen. Sing in your comfortable range. Let’s do it together. Move up or down the scale by a semitone. But don’t forget to inhale with releasing
the abdomen and driving the air through the vocal folds. Exercise 2: Open your throat. The open throat concept can be confusing and
it can mean different things to different singers. What is it and why would you want to know
how to open your throat when singing? For the purpose of this exercise, let me simplify
this concept to four components. To make more space in your throat, you can
lift the soft palate, widen the pharynx, lower the larynx, and get the tongue out of the
way. All of these movements happen somewhat automatically
during inhalation. But a singer needs to learn to open the throat
even more and maintain this open posture when breathing and singing. When the throat is open, the throat muscles
are not tight and closed. And there is more resonating space so you
don’t need to exert as much energy to produce powerful sounds. In this exercise, we will focus on just one
aspect and that is lifting of the soft palate. Where is your soft palate? It’s the back part of the roof of your mouth. You can feel it with your tongue or your finger. Put your tongue up right behind your upper
teeth and feel that the roof of your mouth is hard. If you slide your tongue more and more back,
suddenly the roof of your mouth becomes softer. That’s where the soft palate starts. Now, get a mirror and open your mouth. Inhale and lift the soft palate. Exhale and keep the soft palate lifted. Then, relax the soft palate and repeat. Inhale and lift soft palate, keep it lifted
and exhale. Then, relax the soft palate. One more time. Inhale, lift the soft palate, keep it lifted, exhale and relax. Excellent. Keep practicing this movement so that you
get the movement of the soft palate under your control. Exercise 3: Lip trills
Lip trills are great exercises to learn how to sing without tension because lip trills
require just the right amount of air. If air pressure is too small or too big, the
lip trills will fail. Lip trills belong to a category of sounds,
called semi-occlusive sounds, which means that when you produce these sounds the pressures
above and below the vocal folds are equalized and the vocal folds work at an optimal level. So, lip trills teach you singing without straining. Here is what to do: first lift your cheeks
to relax your facial muscles and blow air to set the lips into vibrations. Easy, right. Now, do the same thing but sustain a neutral
sound “uh” while blowing the air through the lips. Like this. Once you know how to do this, combine the
first exercise with lip rolls. Inhale while releasing the abdomen and sing
a 3-note scale with lip rolls. Excellent. Did you feel how easy it is to produce those
sounds with lip rolls and abdominal release? If you want more breathing exercises, click
this link or a link under the video to improve your breathing skills and get rid of that
strained throat from singing. If you liked these exercises, let me know
by liking this video. And don’t forget to subscribe because in
my next videos, I am going to cover more ways to release throat tension. Make sure to hit the bell icon to get notified
when a new video is up. Keep practicing. Happy singing and see you in my next video.

29 Replies to “How to Sing Without Straining Your Throat (Exercises to Relax Throat Muscles)”

  1. Thank you for watching. Let me know which of these three exercises did you like the best. And stay tuned for more videos on this topic.

  2. What a great video! I loved your tips. I’ve always wondered how artists can hit a range of notes without damaging their vocal chords or straining.

  3. Love how you pointed out shallow breathing in this. I definitely have to be mindful of how I'm breathing when I'm singing because sometimes I forget and it only makes it harder on my voice! Cheers!

  4. This is perfect timing as usual. My throat muscles are strained from swimming!!! I know, not voice, per say…. as in singing…. but it was bothering me when talking… so you know, I"m doing these… And the first tip really works!!!! Okay… second one works great too… (I'm doing it as you teach it!!!) My god, you are such a good teacher…… the soft pallette… wow…. I had to put you on pause for a minute while I got it!!! LOL … I'm doing my elements of magic retreat… I think all of these would be great to use in the element of air …and the the lip trills would be a totally great exercise to add too… that was unexpected! And AWEsome! … I love your videos so much …. Wouldn't it be great to meet in person one day?!!! ~Elizabeth 😀

  5. Hey great Video Katarina! I was a tenor back in the day – waaaayyy back lol – and I remember straining on those high notes so this would have been so helpful. I don't think YT was even around back then!

  6. This is super important and a lot of people with no vocal training can end up straining their voices from improper technique! My vocal coach taught me to imagine my torso like a vase, with the bottom abdominal area opening up widely when breathing. Love the demo at the end. Thanks for sharing this exercise, Katarina!

  7. Thanks so
    Much Katrina , have been suffering from
    Major throat tension despite belly breathing . Will surely try these methods

  8. Nice video. I have trouble to keep the soft palate lifted when I exhale though. It automatically wants to go down with the air I push out. Any tips to solve this problem?

  9. I’ve only watched 2 of your vids so far but already you make more sense than what I’ve heard and read other the years.

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