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mestisa 11th May 2015 10:04 PM

Throat, Jaw, Tongue and Neck Muscle Tension and Pain During Singing
Pain During Singing

When you are singing, you shouldn’t be feeling tightness or pain in your throat. If you are trying to squeeze your throat to sing high notes, then you definitely have a wrong way of singing, and one that is harmful to your throat now and in the in long run (even if you sound good doing it!) .

Singing high notes is a matter of good diaphragm support and open throat, with a very relaxed upper body. If you have trouble reaching high notes, its because you squeeze your throat as you sing higher. If you are tense in the neck and shoulders and jaw, these impede the notes from going higher too. Tensions in the neck and shoulder region may significantly affect the voice, impairing both the top and bottom extremes of a singer's range. Tension in the shoulders can affect the neck's ability to remain relaxed during singing.

The sternocleidomastoid muscles, along with the scalene muscles - three muscles found in the side of the neck that elevate the first two ribs and tilt the neck to the sides, and are, essentially, responsible for holding up our heads - are accessory muscles involved in breathing, and they are activated to higher levels during both inhalation and phonation (the making of vocal sounds). Because these neck muscles play an important role in breathing, there will be some movement of them when the singer inhales and exhales. However, while some subtle movement is normal because of the involvement that the sternocleidomastoid and scalene muscles have in breathing, excessive movement or tension should not be seen or felt. Remember that singing occurs while you are exhaling, so there may be a little - very little - motion there while you are expelling air during singing. However, there really shouldn't be an excessive amount, and if you are feeling tension or soreness, then the movement is likely not healthy or natural.

How You Breathe in Daily Life Affects Your Singing

Singers who are experiencing neck muscle tension may need to examine how they use their breath, both during singing tasks and during relaxation. Either standing in front of a mirror or having a vocal teacher observe them as they breathe and noting whether there is any excessive movement or evidence of tension in these muscles during breathing is the best place to start.

A Good Vocal Teacher

A good vocal teacher should be able to tell you right away, even from the first lesson, exactly what is the wrong with the placement or whether you are too tense when you sing. She should be able to accompany you on a piano or guitar and be able to teach you the rudiments of music and to sightsing, and prepare you for singing exams, if you want to.
She should also be able to teach you to sing in a proper appropriate way for the genre of music you like – not sounding classical in pop songs, and not sounding pop in classical songs
A proper singing teacher should teach you how to sing with your chest voice without shouting and hurting your voice! Shouting is bad for the throat and proper singing teachers should not let you shout and hurt your throat. Note: Please do not listen to classical singing teachers who say singing pop and belting is bad for the voice. No. 1 – there is a way to belt SAFELY and FROM THE DIAPHRAGM that is safe for your throat. No. 2 – Shouting and screaming is NOT BELTING and No. 3 – Your classical singing teacher probably does not know how to sing pop nor to belt, that is why she says this. Just as to play classical piano has a different style and approach from playing jazz piano and pop piano, you cannot be using classical techniques and approach to sing pop and jazz songs!


If you might want your singing lessons to be accredited or certified, you have the option of taking the Trinity Guildhall or ABRSM or Rock School Singing Exams. You may also, of course, take lessons for leisure or other professional objectives

Lessons at $70 per session from a Trinity Guildhall certified teacher of 12 years at local and international schools, and a seasoned professional singer of 25 years local and international performing experience. Performance/Vocal coaching is also available for semi- professional and professional singers, or for those going for a singing audition. Email at for any more enquiries, or call 96512921.

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