My clients repeatedly hear me say:
“drop your jaw”
“release the jaw”
“open the mouth”
Let’s look into this.
What happens when you DON’T drop the jaw?
If the mouth isn’t open enough, you literally trap the sound in your mouth.
By dropping the jaw you can create more amplification with less work.
Direct the sound forward out of the mask and drop the jaw, and you will naturally have better resonance and pitch AND LESS STRAIN.
What happens when you don’t drop your jaw, “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’re probably not dropping your jaw enough.
Most if not all of my clients, do not drop their jaw nearly enough.
As soon as you’re working on a new skill or a note that you may think is low or high, immediately you can find yourself tensing up and closing the mouth. Sometimes the corners of the mouth draw up as well, further collapsing the space inside the mouth.
Once this happens you have tensed up and flattened everything that needs to be lifted in order for the vocal cords to flexibly move.
How can you tell if you’re dropping your jaw enough?
"Place your finger on your chin and trace your jaw line back to your ear. At the back of the jaw, you can feel a curve under your ear. This is the area to focus on when you drop your jaw. Instead of trying to drop your chin, drop it from the area right underneath your ear. The back space gives the tone room to resonate."
"Practice dropping the jaw to discover how to open the space in the back of the mouth — called the back space — and space in the throat; dropping just the chin doesn’t open the back space."
Go over a song you’re working on and focus solely on dropping the jaw. Stay vertical and open in the throat (think of a yawn). Sing forward out of the mask (apples of the cheeks). As soon as you feel yourself tensing up, drop the jaw some more.
THINK OF A YAWN?!
At the beginning of the yawn, you can feel the muscles stretching and opening. By the end of the yawn, the muscles are tight from the huge stretch. You want to remember the beginning of yawn, when the muscles are opening, not the tense phase at the end of the yawn.
Yawn inside your mouth and throat without opening your lips.
To do this, pretend that you’re at a boring dinner party and you don’t want the hostess to see you yawning. You feel an opening sensation inside your mouth and throat when you’re starting to yawn.
What happens when you DO drop the jaw?
More of everything!
It is so beneficial to drop the jaw and create that beautiful space in the back of the throat.
The vocal cords are freed up to naturally do their job therefore LESS STRAIN.
You can sing higher more easily!
More accurate pitch.
Better resonance (more fullness of voice on each note with less work).
More fluid movement for vocal runs, etc!
It can help create better transitions between your registers.
Release tension by dropping the jaw from back behind the ears.
Use a wine cork!
Pretend to yawn/think of a yawn!
Watch yourself in the mirror or film yourself singing and catch when you don’t release the jaw.
Don’t forget to flatten the tongue! It should always be attached to the front of bottom teeth. If you draw it back, you again block the sound.
That's all for now!
See you soon + stay warm! Cx