Tight Voice? What Do You Do?

FFC lunge stretch

What do you do when you go to sing and you feel tight?

Or what about if your singing feels a bit laboured, or you can’t quite access the sound you know is inside? There are many reasons why this may be happening. Most singers, when I ask them what they do when this is the case, they say one of these things:

-I try to do more vocal warm ups / exercises

-I sing some easy songs until things loosen up

-I stop singing

-I get mad at myself

Well, we definitely don’t want things to lead to #3 or #4! Both #1 and #2 have some good merits and can work depending on the underlying issue that’s causing the tight or laboured feeling when you sing. The reason WHY you’re experiencing this and are not able to access a voice that feels free and easy and open is definitely very important. But unless you’re super good or experienced at self-assessment, or have someone around you who can accurately do it for you, it’s helpful to have something to do even when you have no idea WHY it’s happening.

There’s one answer that’s not on this list that can do that.

And it’s the one I would go to first!!! The answer is: When my voice feels tight, a bit laboured, or feels like I can’t quite access the sound I know is inside, I do a physical warm up!!!!

I can’t wait to share all the different kinds of warmups you can do as a singer to open up your body and voice (there are so many!!!) but I wanted to start with one that’s super short, easy to do, and therefore very realistic to add into your routine. It’s only 90 seconds long!!!!!

Before I share the sequence of stretches, it may be helpful to know when to do them. We uncovered the first above. But here are some others….

  • Right upon waking in the morning (and before you start work)
  • Before you song-write
  • Before you record vocals
  • During a break (in between takes) when you’re recording vocals
  • After a show
  • Before bed

This set of exercises is nice and short and sweet. At the end of it is asks you to stretch out anything else that feels tight. The more you do it, the more you’ll have a pulse on what feels tight and needs stretching. While this is a very short physical warm up, some people find they need a lot more. For people with voice issues, sometimes a 30 min or longer physical warm up is key to improving the issue.

Of course, depending on the reason this issue is happening, this approach will have varying degrees of success. But doing these stretches is ALWAYS a good idea!!

Here you go! Try this out and grow from there. My VoiceFIT app isn’t yet done, but it will house other types of physical warm ups! Please share with your singer friends so everyone benefits from this small simple practice.