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Throat Tension

Ever since I have been singing (about 7-8 years) I have always had an absolutely terrible issue with chronic throat tension. Some days its difficult to even speak due to the unpredictable tension in my throat and it often causes hoarseness and loss of range. I obviously am either speaking or singing incorrectly in some way, but I would like to know exactly how to release throat tension. I have looked relentlessly online for exercises to help and have even visited my ENT, but to no avail. Any advice would be much appreciated.


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    highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,359
    Hi, @drew.

    Post a demo. It should be a video demo, showing you from about the waist up to the top of your head. Do the first Volume one exercises of the Lip Burbles, Tongue Exercise, and LAH. Do your best to relax, but do talk in your video about your tension, and show us what you mean.

    We'll watch and listen and try to give you some good suggestions to help you relieve some of the tension. Post the demo here in this thread so we will have the background on what your issues may be.


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    AlixandreaAlixandrea Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 3
    I wonder, are you engaging your diaphragm at all? Chronic throat tension can come from trying to get your throat to do all the work when it's the diaphragm that should be driving the voice. In front of a mirror, stand straight in a comfortable and relaxed posture, with a slight bend in your knees. Take a breath in. Where does the breath appear to go? Do your shoulders or upper chest raise up? They should stay relaxed and still. Do your lower chest and abdomen stay flat? They should be expanding outwards 360 degrees.

    Lie on your back on the floor/sofa/bed. Take a breath in and watch as your abdomen rises. This is how you should be breathing when speaking and singing. Lie here and just breathe for a few minutes. Then hiss your next out-breath. It should be a fairly 'pushed', long hiss, so put your tongue behind your teeth to prevent the air from rushing out all at once. Hiss out until you've got nothing left. Then take another breath in and do it again. Do this for a couple of minutes. Now try the same thing, but with short, sharp hisses. You should see and feel your stomach contracting, there should be a 'bounce' in your stomach/solar plexus. Do this for another couple of minutes. Really squeeze the last of that air out. You'll never be in this position when you're singing, but this is all really good exercise for your diaphragm, and it will make it stronger.

    Finally, try some of the singing exercises suggested above from the same position lying down. Make sure to use your diaphragm to control your out breath and make the sound happen, rather than trying to drive it from your throat. Does that feel easier? When you feel ready, see if you can replicate these exercises standing up.

    It's also worth bearing in mind that tension in the voice can be psychological in origin. You may need to do some deep thinking about whether you were ever told 'you can't sing', or 'children should be seen and not heard' or similar when you were younger. You may have some anger about not being heard in some way. In this case, you may have to go on a voyage of self-discovery to work out what's holding you back. I highly recommend the book 'Feeling Good' for some excellent strategies in this area.

    Best of luck. And do post us a video! :smile:
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