Sing Without Tension – Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy

Sing Without Tension – Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy


Hey guys, welcome back again to Ken Tamplin
Vocal Academy, where the proof is in the singing! Today I want to give you three easy tips on
how to sing without strain. But I want to clear a couple of things that
are in the air that I see on the Internet that are a little wacky, and I’ll explain
to you what I mean. The first thing is that if someone gives you
a tip for something, it should always be with a view towards how you’ll be able to use
it with a practical application for singing. Okay? So the very first thing, tip number one is
make sure that you if get information from someone, that that someone can show you how
to really use it in a song, it’s not just some zany exercise that you do to do something
that you won’t be able to use in real songs, okay? But within that tip, I want to discuss breath
control and abdominal strength. Now I just saw one artist/vocal coach say
that tension starts from the ground, and builds its way up. Well, that’s true, in part. But I don’t want to confuse the words strength
and tension. So it gives this idea that any time there’s
any kind of, you know, work that has to be done in the abdomen, that could be construed
as “tension”. It’s patently false. In fact, your abdomen, and your core, and
your diaphragm is the very engine that drives your car for singing. So without this strength, you will not be
able to sing well and you will not be able to release tension throughout the rest of
the body. Now let me explain to you what I mean, because
we’re going to go through three steps with this. So the first one, again is make sure that
if you’re getting a tip from someone that they can show how well they sing, and they can demonstrate it in a song and not just in a scale or some weird exercise, but something that can be
practical, okay? So when we go to take this breath, let’s
not confuse strength with tension. OK? That’s very, very important. So we’ve discussed the abdominal breath
and I’m going to take this breath really quick, and I want you guys to do this with
me. So do you see my whole abdominal cavity here,
and as I go to take a breath I’m going to breathe in, and we’ve done this before… I’m going to go (inhales) there’s my breath
in… There’s my breath out… There’s my breath in… There’s my breath out… Now if you notice, you see my rib cage. My rib cage is actually not collapsing like
this. It’s staying in an expanded state. So I’m not huffing and puffing and closing
down the rib cage or collapsing the rib cage, so, you can see it from a front angle… See that big balloon of air? Now, people can make this big balloon of air,
and really it not be that effective. Just because I’m huffing in and out, I’m
not really gaining any strength in the sound. So what I want you to do in this first tip,
is I want you to go like this: take in your breath… And go Huh! Huh! Huh! Huh! Huh! Huh! Huh… Okay? Now! If you feel like it’s starting to bind up,
yes, then, it is starting to create tension. Get your fingers in there. Just kind of grind in your stomach just a
little bit… Work out what ever details that are in here… Right? And make sure that you can have this ebb and
flow of this breath that you’re taking… You can take the breath. Eventually you’re going to get to where
you can take the breath like this, and you go… Huh, huh, huh, huh, huh, huh…. And you’ll be able to have this ebb and
flow. Now, why is this important? What’s important to understand is that it’s
this breath that gives us the strength to go “Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!” You know, to get these crazy notes, and to
do these crazy things. Now, I’m a baritone, as you know, and I’ve
increased my range to do some pretty awesome stuff, I think, awesome, it’s a relative term or word… Awesome fun for me. But it’s because of this strength that I
have been able to actually relax my chest. And to relax my neck. And to relax my throat. Now the second thing was posture, as we discussed
posture. And again I just saw this vocal coach that’s,
you know they have this kind of rolling sensation, where there’s this teapot thing going on… You know there are some yoga exercises that
are great for relieving different spinal tension and different neck tension, and we don’t
have time to go into all of that. Tip number two is NOT to get the spine tipped. We don’t want to tip the spine in any direction. We don’t want to tip the spine forward. In fact, you’re going to note that when
you sit, you lose up to 30% of your abdominal strength, and therefore you can start to mount
tension, because you can’t get enough strength to accomplish some of the things that you
want to accomplish. If you want to sing high or sing with a good
robust sort of sound, you have to really focus on NOT moving the body. That doesn’t mean be stiff. That’s not what I’m saying. But not tipping the spine, because once you
tip the spine in a certain direction, especially forward, you actually lose control of abdominal
strength. So that’s tip number two. Don’t tip the spine in any direction. Don’t get tight or tense on it, but maintain
a straight-on position. The third thing is: Tongue Placement, or Jaw and Tongue Placement. Relaxation… It’s called the mandible. So relaxing the mandible and the jaw. Now, to stick my tongue out and go augh, like this is actually a mounting for tension in the tongue. Now, a lot of people have seen my tongue,
and go, and they’ll kind of see it protrude out of my mouth. That’s because I’ve learned how to relax the tongue so much. It’s kind of like a lizard tongue, where it pulls away from the back
of the throat. Now the best thing that I can tell you guys,
first is “Ping is King!” That nice, bright ping in the voice… Is the most important, and really the most
valuable thing that grows the voice. So within “Ping is King” there’s a phrase
that I’ve coined, it’s called “It’s the Lah!!! AHH!!!” And it’s that AH, like the Doctor wants
to see your tonsils in the back of your throat. So you might even get a little tongue depressor
or something and kind of gently push down on the back of your tongue to create the maximum
amount of space. But we don’t want our tongues protruding
out of our mouth, and we don’t want that because it’s actually going to contribute
to jaw tension. Now we can kind of go (moves jaw side-to-side)
you know, just kind of relax the jaw, kinda you know, just tilt the neck and do a couple
of these, you know, like this to kind of release some of that tension… But we don’t want to do any exercises where
we’re actually singing, because when we sing and we go back, it actually cuts air
off from the trachea, and we move forward it also cuts air off, and it also constricts
the airflow that goes in, past the epiglottis, down and out of the mouth and through the
larynx, which is our voicebox. Now, I’m going to do “its the Lah!! Ahh!” So this is tip number three, you want “AHHH! AHHH!!” And you want your tongue to be flush to the
base of your jaw. And you want the back of your throat to be
as Open as possible, like think if you were drinking a glass of water or yawning… Now yawning was correct. There’s one thing that this person said
that was correct about yawning. It is a yawning sensation. But it’s like the Doctor wants to see your
tonsils: “AHHH! LAHHH!” Now, with a view towards that, when we do
these exercises, and we’ll run through a couple of them here real quick, we actually want
to concentrate on having the abdominal cavity do all of our work for us, because it’s
the engine that drives our car, and a relaxation response in the chest, the neck, and the throat. And that’s why we don’t collapse the rib
cage. So the rib cage stays expanded, so that doesn’t
contribute to tension in the chest, neck, and throat. So let’s go through a couple of these. Now I want to do that little huffing exercise. I want to try this scale. Now I know, it’s a little complicated. It’s not going to be easy, and by the way,
I don’t believe there’s a lazy man’s way to ANYTHING if you want to get good. OK? Now I’m not saying that there aren’t simple,
effective things that you can do, but in my world, and the way that I believe, if you
want to be great at anything, you really need to spend some time with it, and the more time
you can spend with it, the better you’ll be. OK? So, guys and girls, I’m going to start right here on “A” and it’s going to be an old Bel Canto scale, and I’m going to break it down really simply, but I want you to take your breath… “Ha, ha-ah-ah, ha-ah-ah, ha-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah…” And I’m not going to go through the whole scale, it’s actually long. I’ll do the whole scale so you know what it is. But I want you to notice the breath. Here when I go to do this. Now watch my tummy. Here I go. Ha, ha-ah-ah, ha-ah-ah
Ha, ha-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-hah OK? Now, I want to have that relaxation response in the abdomen, because it’s a lot like when you’re doing a dumbbell. Let’s say you’re in a gym, and you’ve got a bar bell going on, right? Now, you don’t want your relaxing spot to
be like this, and you’re holding on like this! No, you want to relax. Once you’ve done your reps, you want
to just kind of chill and relax, right?. Then you want to do your next set of reps. Well, so it is with the ebb and flow of the
abdomen and the whole diaphragmatic cavity. Now, let me go ahead, we’re going to move
this up the food chain, will do a couple of these… “Lah. Hah-ah-ah. Take your breath. Hah-ah-ah. Take your breath again Hah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah. Hah-ah-ah, Hah-ah-ah… Did you hear that? Let’s do the next one… (Repeats, a step higher) Is your mouth wide open? Not to where the jaw gets tension in the jaw,
but enough to where the doctor can see the tonsils in the back of your throat, is your
tongue dropped to the base of the jaw? Let’s do another one… “Lah- ah-ah-ah, ah-ah-ah, ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah….” Now, I’m going to do one more, and I’m
going to put those of you who want to expand this, this scale is actually pretty long. It goes like this:
“Lah, ah-ah-ah, ah-ah-ah, ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah…” And you can feel that yawning Lah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ahhhh! Each time you go up to get to a note, that
yawning sensation that will lift that soft palate, and lift the uvula in the back of
your throat to create the maximum amount of space in the back of the throat. Now, remember: “PING IS KING!” So make sure you have that nice, bright “AHH!” And you’re not going uhhh, uhhh… That’s one more thing I’d like to add
about, I just saw, again, this video where their mouth was going “oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh….” We don’t want to train closed vowels. It’s called a covered sound, and it’s
very hard to get pitch, and it’s very hard to get good range out of covering a sound. So what I like to do, I like to train things
I know that I’m going to put in the game. In the game of singing, okay? I don’t want to train things that I know that
I’m going to have to redo or rework later. I want to use techniques and things that are
going to really benefit me in my singing. So, if you guys enjoyed that, please like
and subscribe to my channel, that would be awesome! And I’ve got more coming your way, and until
next time: Peace… Out!

Danny Hutson

100 thoughts on “Sing Without Tension – Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy

  1. if i could give this video 10 billion likes! i would, thanks for sharing you knowledge with us
    you are the best!!
    just have one question can you Please tell us more about closure vocal damage and that "PING" sound! , im practicing as you say but should the voice should be comfortablly ping or how much effort is applied?
    i feel like i use more concious effort to produce that ping tone and closure using the 'open throat technique', i want that robust chest vibrating voice with comfortable ease; it was close to that before i think i jave vocal damage

    Thanks so much for elaborating on the open throat technique!
    thanks for reading this far ☺
    you are a god!!!

  2. i cant even hit the notes 🙁 is it because i have a lot of tension in my throat, or does my vocal range just suck 🙁 i cant sing nearly every pop song 🙁

  3. Thank you so much Coach ken..You are a very good teacher..I learned a lot from you..God bless you always.

  4. Haven’t regretted subscribing to your email yet.
    Ken Tamplin- thank you from the bottom of my heart for being my music coach. I’ve graduated high school a while ago, and so sadly no longer am able to have those free lessons from a choir teacher. 😓
    But you made it all better! I really dig the interactive parts of the videos too. I could SERIOUSLY feel the difference with the yawning thing.

  5. You might be the only person I don’t get annoyed with when they ask me to like and share- I genuinely want to.

  6. 3:26 rip neighbor's ear, btw i have one problem when i tries to sing high notes my voice switches to head voice from chest and it sound compressed so, there is any exercise to fix it?

  7. hi Ken . nice channel I like it. 🙂
    look, can you tell me if there is a exercise I can do every day to strengthen my voice ? thanks

  8. Does weight resistant training on the neck like making it 2 inches bigger affect the voice will it make me sing lower or make my voice deeper cause I want to be able to hit the high notes what’s your opinion?

  9. In all seriousness, you should do a hair routine video for all the other longhair guys watching 👋. You have fantastic waves

  10. Help. I can't grind into my stomach through my unfortunately large gut.

    Lol, love these videos Ken. I have very little ambition to sing due to an unfortunate combination of having a decent ear coupled with a terrible voice 😉 (no fooling myself) But I enjoy learning your techniques for explaining certain concepts and improving my own teaching style for the instruments I focus on. Awesome stuff!

  11. It was very good tip.
    Especially regarding time and effort placed into training to be better.
    Thank You Mr Ken.
    Greetings from Gdynia

  12. Thank you so very very much Ken Tamplin,I keep coming back to your brilliant lesson's for "CONFORMATION"one thing I have learned to do in my life! Thanks to you Ken I'm singing better then I have in my entire life.If I stop singing then start again boy that showed me how important it is to keep singing lol! Have a spectacular weekend my awesome teacher!

  13. Dude, I love these vids! So helpful for me. I have a weak voice…because I’ve been doing it wrong. Thank you! God Bless!

  14. Ken, as a drummer who does some singing, obviously I’m sitting down. Are the techniques the same? Posture, etc. Thanks

  15. Ken, I have always been taught to tense my abdominal when I sing instead of breathing it out. I find your breathing exercise super hard. How do I get better at this, and is what I have been taught the wrong thing (Sissing like a snake and have your muscles expand)

  16. Hi Ken I have a problem when I try to sing a noise like 'arhhh arrhhh' came from my throat. Any solution for this ?

  17. I have always admire those with musical talent, vocal skills in particular, but never pursued learning for myself. Now, I am devoting myself to vocal training and have found it is way harder than I ever thought it to be. It only makes me appreciate talented vocalist that much more. Thank you for offering your knowledge so generously to those of us seeking to improve! Much appreciated.

  18. Excellent job! Vocal training alone was a rocky and frustrating path for myself. Luckily, I didn't cause irreparable damage to my esophagus. Thanks for these tips! New sub here! 🙂

  19. Great video, but the audio was flickering from left to right a lot whilst you were speaking. Sounds like the microphone is picking up reverb off the walls, which is causing the delayed audio to sound like your voice is quickly flicking from left to right and back again.

  20. Hello and thanks for your video. I've been singing since I was a child with sporadic lessons throughout the years. I've been told I sing from my jaw. Sometimes when I sing, I experience vocal fatigue from not singing properly, I suspect. I've been told I have a decent voice but sometimes I doubt it. I want to know your opinion about singing and experiencing vocal tension. If I learn to sing without tension I feel I will lose my sound or my range if that makes sense. Any thoughts? Thanks.

  21. I think I get it, at least I'm starting to get it. As I went up, I started to feel some tension around A4. With these advices, maybe I can reach C5 with minimal tension at my vocal cords. I'll practice more.
    After practice, my muscles hurt, but my voice is still strong, so I guess I did it correctly. 😀
    Thanks for the video!
    Btw, If I start to lose my power from C3, but can go down to G2 then I'm a baritone right?

  22. I did the breathing while sitting and I was getting it and it worked kinda fine.. but then I tried it standing up and oh boi… it was like I need to learn from the top.. hahaha

  23. That's so cool if you take the m out of your name you would be named my hometown in West Virginia

  24. Yo ken I feel like this is a dumb question but when you talk about and other people in videos talk about how there shouldn't be any strain in singing, but I'm a new singer and trying to learn but there still is strain in my throat. Now is that normal and I just need to practice or am I doing something wrong

  25. Good evening sir.I love to sing but I discovered that I use fake voice and I also strain my voice mostly with high tone. What will I do sir?I need your help. It is really embarrassing whenever I am singing with my group .thanks in advance

  26. Great video, I found the breathing tip very useful. Also, when doing the latter exercise, I found myself yawning? Is this a natural reaction?

  27. Tbh when I first watched your videos, I was like "pff this isn't gonna help me!" But I started to watch more and it started to make sense! You are actually really good help and I'm getting so much better at singing

  28. You must be raking in the dough!-Ha-Ha. I am referring to your wealth of knowledge. I have been watching your videos and follow what you say . It took a while but now I like the way my voice sounds! Roughly, how many videos have you made I want to watch all of them.

  29. I laughed more than I need to at 3:10 lol, but was stunned right after when you belted with strength. I immediately understood the need for great breath control for life and wellness. I've wanted to learn how to sing my entire life and only recently begun to sing, albeit karaoke with my family. But I am very much interested now and want to study the art. Thanks for making making these videos available for all to learn and enjoy!

  30. When I stand straight up without my spine being bent, I can't get as much air for some reason. What might i be doing wrong?

  31. Great video.But 1 thing I think is very important before singing is to learn how to talk properly. If you cant talk good why do you think you can sing great. Proper projection of words is very important.

  32. Hello! I am trying to increase my range using my chest voice, but I am not sure if I am straining. I have been singing songs that are higher than usual for me, and I have noticed that it has gotten easier, but I don’t know if I am straining because once I get higher into my chest voice whether I use vibrato or not, I start getting raspy. After a while of singing it feels like my throat is getting a tired feeling.

    If I am straining, how do I increase my chest voice range without straining?

  33. I'm extremely new to singing and whenever I breathe from my diaphragm I feel like I'm going to pass out. Is that normal?

  34. one I can't hold my breath for long but I know I have a hi tone when singing some times I go flat how can u help me plz I love singing than anything and I want to go for the top talent show and the four contest to become a star and a singer I know its a hard word but I am ready to pay the price to get there any help plz waiting for thanks

  35. am agree with some things, am a opera singer and some advices are very similar to the opera…. good vibes from Torreón, México!!

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