Sing Without Tension – Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy

Sing Without Tension – Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy

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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!

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. Hi. Any tips on breath control of any such when singing while standing playing an acoustic guitar? I'm finding that the guitar is prohibiting my breathing a little. And I'm then singing more from my throat. Thanks.

  3. I suck at singing for real like im one of those people who would annoy the ears of the judges in american idol, anybody for that matter. If i really start practicing from the very first step how long will it take for me to sing at least decent lol?

  4. Taking deep breaths while standing straight up puts pressure on my spine, can anyone help me know what I’m doing wrong

  5. What would you say to someone who has an "Essential Tremor" that effects their voice?
    A lot of what you said in this video is really appropriate. As tensing muscles causes the tremor to increase.

  6. This is interesting I’ve always been taught to not allow my stomach come in. I was told to contract my lower back muscles and diaphragm to release air

  7. I don't know how I ended up here, I am 26, just started taking singing lessons and I have been practicing daily for at least an hour. I'm still in the stage that I think I will never sound good, hahaha, let's see if a few years from now, hopefully, that changes. Thank you so much for your videos, they compliment really well with what I am taught in class. <3

  8. Oh man your exercises are awesome. But i can't practice in home because of my family💔and i don't have a place to go for and practice 💔💔. I just try to sing quietly hiding in the bathroom 😂💔.

  9. This is awesome! I'm joining the academy very soon. Saving up and should be in by the end of the month. Can't wait!

  10. I have an overbite and a huge tongue that touches the roof of my mouth and this blocks sound from coming out.
    This occurs especially on the vowel i and e.

    Just joined a church choir where there are lots of "I" and "E" vowels and sounds.

    Any videos on this? I cannot drop the back of my tongue to be flat like yours

  11. Hello there, is there a possibility that im doing the diafragm part already unconsciously? I don't actually know how to breathe from chest anymore ahhaha. One more thing. Should i sing always like this? In all kinds of voices, head chest etc?

  12. Thank you you’re so wonderful. A true gift. I’m starting to think after a long time not singing maybe there is hope and it’s not too late for me. I will watch all your videos and see what progress I can make to build up my voice. It’s sad to go silent when singing and songwriting have been such important part of my life.
    I started a listening room for songwriters to play only their original music called Café Artiste at the Jersey Shore Arts Center I livestream performances and post on our Facebook page. I’d love to have you do a seminar on the voice. Looking forward to this journey step by step 🎶🙏🏻

  13. That was the best explanation of how to sing for real I heard yet. So your stomach is the engine, and what you aim for is to put the work in to make your ride as comfortable as possible. Got it! Ty.

  14. Nice video. that's for that! now i'm going to watch all of your vides 🙂 im about to go touring wint my band and I want to be as prepared as possible!

  15. I love your videos Ken! they are so helpful ( I am not a singer) but a medical interpreter and my voice is soooooo in vocal rest!!!

  16. Merci beaucoup mon  professeur, tu enseigne merveilleusement bien, c'est tellement claire et tu as une trés belle voix, Merci infiniment.

  17. Ken i just want to thank you for all the blessings…¡Its a honor learning with you! You are the best off all the vocal couches i haved seen alredy, so i will get your course…. Thats a willin i chose to make happen. Just want to thank you…and lettin you know that i am form México-Querétaro….SALUDOS Ken

  18. Don’t lie, you are hiding a well built abdomen like that of a bodybuilder under that shirt isn’t it?? 😜
    Great lesson

  19. Singing without strain is super important!

    Our vocal cords get pissed off at us when we do "squeeze or nothing"

    Great opening line about the necessity of application.

  20. "Don't confuse strength with tension" — great

    I never could connect with the belly balloon thing myself. I like expanding the rib cage and pelvic floor and a big natural breath.

  21. wish I could learn in person from you. It seems to me you have so many years of wonderful experience .. it's such a shame it can't be passed on to me. you seem pretty expensive as a singing coach but we'll worth it … I'm pretty sure

  22. Ive seen thousands of videos and yet I still haven’t figured out what is wrong with my voice, I hope this is able to help

  23. You are amazing at explaining! Just from watching this one video I could already massively improve the way I get through a song without getting tired, I'm seriously considering getting your course sooner or later.

  24. Is the Bel Canto exercise supposed to be sung on chest or head voice? I tried doing it with chest voice and I still sing on my throat and it hurts a lot.

  25. I'm trying to get my power back I used to have such powerful vocals took a break and had so much trouble getting it right without hurting myself now. Hoping this helps I was able to do it and not hurt my throat at all was so scared I lost my voice permanently.

  26. Nice, but thought it was higher. (Psalm 148)

    I live in the Book of Psalms, and sing Praises, unto the Lord Most High. Was looking to sing a new song and thought your YouTube video could help.

    Trained for choir as a youth, in concert, and adult church choir. Nothing worldly or secular. I too am 55.

    My sons, Band, Carnegie Hall, public school performances, they can read, and write music. 3 instrumentalist in my household, I am not.

    May God bless you! Psalms 127 and 128.

    Praises – Psalms 146, 147, 148, 149, and 150.


  27. hey Kem. I sent you an email. I wanna start my singing classes with you to improve my vocal range and own voice. please…I'm gonna buy a couple hours on your website. rewards and peace out!!!, I await your reply

  28. So, now I've decided to start torturing my neighbors with singing in case they got tired of my rapping lol.

  29. Aside from the fact that I'm flat, have no range and probably tone def🤣 my biggest complaint is my vocal cords get strained after one song.

  30. Really helpful and totally relatable to what my singing teacher keeps on telling me. I am definitely going to try it first hand tomorrow during my lesson. Actually last time she showed me a video of opera singers who were shirtless precisely so I could see how their tummies were operating. We start every session with some yoga-inspired meditation to evacuate the built up tension. I also had this intuition about vowels vs consons but you spelt it out quite clearly in another video. So 'han' you!

  31. I have no interest in learning to sing, but I really liked your video and have passed it on to someone who enjoys singing and is trying to improve.

  32. 6:55 That's why!! I notice a lot of singers lower their tongues when they sing and i always wonder if that's a trick to sing well! Thank u for your awesome lesson, very clear and understandable!!!

  33. Thank you so much. I respect you so much for releasing your great knowledge to the universe. Thanks.
    My language is Sinhle
    I am from Sri Lanka

  34. I feel like I have potential but I could definitely could use some lessons…sometimes my voice be on and sometimes it don't be…

  35. Hi Ken, just saw your video. I’ve been singing for quite a while and my coach told me that one of the way to sing without straining is by lifting my soft palette, but i’m having trouble maintaining it bc it feels uncomfortable and i can still feel the strain. Is there really a connection between lifting soft palette and singing without straining ? I’ve been in doubt in singing for a long time because of this, and tbh, i overthink whenever i sing, it has got to the point where i’m doing weird things when singing, for example like holding the back of my head with one of my hands to make sure “i’m singing above the soft palette”. Pls help because i really like to sing :(.

  36. That's what i needed to find for diagram work don't think i'll need that many breaths though just the ones where the notes stop that'll do just fine cos it's a lot air lol the air can carry a bit further for simple notes a lot of songs don't need that much air either especially pop songs unless someone sings 80s metal or full on opera, thanks Ken 😛

  37. The tongue part and the rest was never taught to us and I'm glad I saw your video. I subscribed right away also ❤

  38. Dude I can't believe I just found your youtube page I've watched many like your page but they are either overly sporadic in their teaching style or they are just overly vulgar and therefor unprofessional in their video, thanks I've been trying to get back into singing and these are amazing refresher courses for me. Thanks I really appreciate it keep up the great work.

  39. WOOOOOW!!!!! That’s like belly dancing speed!!!! Lol so it almost looks more like flexibility than strength, actually! 😱

  40. i can't even sing a birthday song to my wife,so i thought if learning some basic stuff of how to sing a song properly then i come to this channel.damn,its like he teaching us how to build a rocket.advanced stuff.dont know where to start from learning screws before i learn how to build a rocket.anyways, very nice and super informative ways to learn how we can manipulate our voice.subscribed just because i found this channel very informative and the proper way.

  41. Your beliefs about spending true time to get great at anything is fact, as it's with time spent focused on the correct ways of doing something that we automate these ways and open our focus to new improvements. Awesome lesson, thanks!

  42. I've been singing since 1986 and I still come back to you for vocal instruction. Thank you, Ken, for showing all of us that vocals can be practiced just like any instrument. Fine-tuning the "voice" can be accomplished just like fine-tuning an instrument. Bravo!!!

  43. Dude, you're SO AWESOME! AND at 10:31 & 10:38, you're SO HILARIOUS! Where were U when I was in my 20's & 30's giggin' 5 -7 nights a week? That's ok. It's never too late. Thank you for the teachings. You sing beautifully & your vocal range is AMAZING!

  44. I taught myself to sing from my diaphragm by lying down and piling books on me while singing years ago. Now it comes naturally to me. A lot of people say not to use your diaphragm, but it helps me. I’m curious as to your take on it Ken?

  45. Question: how Maynard can sing perfectly while he curves his back and crunches his stomach and leans forward while standing?

  46. Great teacher! Awsome! 6:28 actually showing what it looks like not just some weird discription.
    Now that love!

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