Did you know that there is a wrong and a right way to open your mouth when you sing? And that fixing your jaw posture when singing can be a quick relief to a lot of your vocal problems? In this post I’m going to give you a quick tip to have good jaw posture when you sing. Let’s dive right in![youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmDhNjEhVi8&w=560&h=315]
Why You Need Proper Jaw Posture when Singing
When you drop your jaw the right way for singing, you make room for the sound to resonate freely in your oral cavity. This allows for your vocal folds to stretch freely to create different pitches.
What happens when you drop your jaw the wrong way, is that your jaw pulls in your larynx, or voice box as it is more commonly called. This makes your vocal folds unable to move freely resulting in strain on your voice.
You can now see that proper jaw posture when singing can play a big role in your ability to sing freely. But don’t worry, There is a cool tip to check your jaw posture.
1 Tip for Proper Jaw Posture
To check if you have propper jaw posture when singing, you want to be aware of your jaw hinge. This is the spot where your jaw connects to the temporal bones of your skull (where my middle finger is placed in step 2 of the exercise below).
If your jaw is popping out on the sides by the jaw hinge, you are opening your mouth wrong. If it is not popping, but moving down and back, then you are doing it right.
There is a simple tip to check that you are using proper jaw posture. Follow these steps:
- Place your index finger behind your jaw (see picture).
- Place your middle finger on the jaw hinge (see picture). Now, as you open your mouth, you can feel if your jaw posture is correct by monitoring which finger moves: Middlefinger on jaw hinge = wrong. Index finger behind the jaw = Right.
- Try doing it wrong first by pushing your jaw down and out to create an underbite like a bulldog. Did If you feel your middle fingers pushed outwards from the pop at the jaw hinge?
- Now try doing it right by relaxing your jaw down and backwards. – To do this right, some of my students find it helpful to think of the kind of jaw posture you have, when you are sleeping with your head tilted back and your jaw dropped down – Did you feel your index fixed pushed backwards? The is proper jaw posture when singing.
Practice Propper Jaw Posture when singing your Songs
In my experience, most people are able to drop their jaw the right way, but they often forget about it when they sing. As I said earlier, using proper jaw posture when singing can really be crucial in avoiding singing problems. Especially on those higher notes.
I recommend that you try using this tip for jaw posture while you sing a song. Be an investigator, especially on those higher notes. If you find that you were opening your mouth wrong try pausing the music and singing through the phrase a few times a capella (without the backing track) while paying attention to opening your jaw correctly.
I have a post here to help you find a good beginner song to sing: 5 Easy Songs to Sing for Females
You can also try to practice propper jaw posture with a vocal exercise that has different intervals. Sing along with me in the video below:[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWmLagXjURw&w=560&h=315]
You Can Open Your Mouth too Much when You Sing
You often have to open your mouth less than you think when you sing. I sometimes see singers who have heard that you need to open your mouth more on higher notes. That is correct. Unfortunately this way of thinking cause many singers overopen their jaw which forces it in the wrong position.
When opening your mouth too much you get the opposite result of what you were hoping for. Namely, that feeling that your voice has “hit a sealing” and that you cannot sing higher without switching to heard voice or yelling. This is because “over opening” you mouth also pulls the larynx upward and restricts the voice.
Instead, try relying on your feeling of resonance to tell you how much you should drop your jaw when singing. It is often less than you think. To practice your resonance, check out this blog post: How to Add Resonance to Your Voice
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