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by admin

 

Did you know that the tongue could be your worst enemy when it comes to singing?

As usual, I’ve been receiving tonnes of questions on how to improve the vocal mix and vocal connection and sing with less or without cracking. I’ve dropped many vocal tips on these, both on my blog and also through out my live sessions on Facebook via my Thursday Q&A shows, “Talk Thursdays”. However, here’s another one that you can definitely try out of which is a lot of fun 😛

It’s all about the tongue. Your tongue.

If you find your voice cracking every time you move from your low to high range and can’t seem to make bridge from your chest to head voice smoothly, you might wanna watch your tongue.

Tip #1: Don’t “swallow” your tongue

Many singers often find their voices cracking and can’t seem to overcome the vocal break areas in the voice because they “swallow” their tongues!

Use a mirror (or your front-facing camera on your phone) and have a look at yourself as you sing from your low to high notes. Does the back of your tongue dip lower and backwards more and more as you go higher? And do you feel like your voice gets heavier rather than lighter as you go higher? Normally when one “swallows” the tongue, while holding on to the chest voice, a singer would feel like the voice is getting heavier as they try to sing louder and higher across their vocal range. This weight carries on to the point where it suddenly flips into a light-sounding head voice (falsetto), and the contrast between the volume and tone quality of the chest and head voice becomes really obvious – resulting in the vocal break (cracking).

Tip #2: Stick your tongue out instead.

Instead of allowing your tongue to dip lower and backwards as you sing from your low to high notes, try to keep it neutral. However, if you find your tongue is already doing exactly that (dipping lower and backwards), you might want to stick your tongue out instead – this will probably get it back into it’s neutral position. The idea’s to get the tongue out of the way so that we can move through all our vocal registers (from chest to mix/middle to head and to whistle) without cracking. When we speak, we don’t normally “swallow” the tongue (at least, most of us don’t) – which is why if you try to speak all the notes throughout your vocal mix (or middle register), you’d find it easier to bridge your chest to head voice seamlessly 🙂

Tip #3: Back of the tongue lifted only slightly.

If by appling tip 2, your voice is no longer cracking, you can avoid this next tip. Otherwise, carry on! If your voice is still cracking despite the sticking out of the tongue, chances are your tongue is still somewhat dipped (lowered) at the back, hence still contributing to the cracking of the voice. Try lifting the back of your tongue but only slightly – this should help adjust your tongue back to a relaxed and “out-of-the-way” position for you to sing without cracking. Be careful not to overlift it as overlifting the back of the tongue can distort the sound of your voice (making it sound more nasally than it has to, more childlike or even squashed) as you pull the larynx up unnecessarily.

Once you get your tongue in the right position, practice singing from your low to high notes and vice versa smoothly, over and over again. This will help you get in the habit of positioning your tongue correctly so you can go through your vocal mix better and iron out all those vocal breaks 🙂

If you’ve got any questions, I’d be happy to help. Just holler.

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How To Sing With Less Cracks (Watch Your Tongue)