Sing Without Tension – Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy

Sing Without Tension – Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy


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

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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!!!

  6. 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!

  7. 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?

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

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

  10. Please tell hints on how to memorize words to songs. I have a mental block when it comes to memorizing words to songs. Thanks in advance.

  11. You are a very wise instructor but please get acoustic treatment in your room all the high end room noise is killing me inside lol

    I am also an audio engineer so I may be a bit more sensitive to this than most

  12. If you loose 30% of your abdominal strength when sat down; then search roger Taylor singing I’m in love with my car Hammersmith 1979, he’s a singing drummer and what an amazing voice he has.

  13. This video really impressed me I have been looking for years to figure out how to stop tension thank you your a genius and a life saviour

  14. Beautiful and great Demonstration 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻. Exactly what I’ve learned from training back in the Philippines.Thank you Sir. I’m a fan 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

  15. I met my neighbour for the first time in six months and he said fuck you can sing mate 😂 I was expecting home to say can you keep that shit down a bit 😆

  16. You’ve just got yourself a new follower and 1 gazillion likes for me. This all makes so much more sense! I’ve came a crossed those videos you mentioned which is why I am here. From still searching! . ! Thank you deeply for this. I was just watching that video you’re speaking on and found that sticking my tongue out actually felt like it caused strain. Tilting forward making the zombie face gave me strain. . It does the opposite of what you want just as you stated. I didn’t find the teapot Helpful. I kept trying to understand why it even would help.. considering our anatomy.. I didn’t understand. hey And omg your VOICE. !! I LOVEEEEE!! Wonderful music !

  17. Ken, nice informative video there. Have you got any tips for singing in the head voice/falsetto? I had major surgery on my neck a few years back, and whilst my belt voice is fairly good, when I switch to falsetto, it just sounds raspy and breathy with very little tone. What could be happening here?

  18. I’m a novice baritone but my musical idol is Starset, who usually sing in the tenor range; whenever I try to hit their notes I question whether or not I’ve finished going through puberty. My ultimate goal is to be able to belt the tenor high Bb in their song “Diving Bell” and I plan to use the practices and techniques in this video as square one of being able to further my range to that point.

  19. My kid is 7. I think I'm going to show her your videos because she loves to sing and I think she'd have a lot of fun with your stuff.
    Thx for doing these.

  20. 🙏♥️♥️♥️🌹🌹🎶🎹🎹🎹🎹🎹🎹🎹🙏♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️🎵🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

  21. thanks so much! one question though: You said we should not move the spine but during the excersise you did not keep your spine straight as well but lifted your chin a bit- was that on purpose? or just cause maybe the notes were quite high for bariton? thanks a lot your a great teacher!

  22. I just wanted to say that I really appreciate your proper usage of anatomical terminology. Not many people use these words 🙂

  23. In India we call this screaming not singing. True vowels are in the note it self not trained which constantly require to speak or ding in particular places of the body. But then again we can hit micro tones faster and efficient thang anyone on the planet.

  24. I have watched a few videos of Yours. You do have many very good Points etc. but; I actually get a bit stressed by watching you! Do not get me wrong, you know what you are talking about, but in my point of view (and ears); slow Down! 😀 Often, every muscle in Your face is highly activated when talking and singing! I just cannot watch! I have been taught to relax as much as I can whilst singig, and that is actually something I hold on to. Just a different thought, I Guess! 🙂

  25. I was trying it but it's to hard BC when I sing I feel something in my stomach I thing I do not have talent in sing

  26. Not only is he plain right about human anatomy and using that effectively for singing, I dig this dude's philosophies on learning too.

  27. The palate/back of throat raising thing was one of the most important videos/realizations because I'm french canadian and basically talked with a closed mouth and no abdominal muscles for 30 years (+ health problems + overbite). This video was sorely needed. At first I thought it was making things worse but it was the microphone clipping and held at an angle. I still sound barely human but at least you can hear the melody, lol. Anyway your advice fits exactly with another article I read that related raising the palate using the muscles involved in making a pseudo facial smile, and inhaling while doing a "k" consonant (sorry that's best I remember it – something about breathing in with no resistance also being the best throat arrangement for singing), which was the only article I ever understood, and in the sea of videos and articles it's hard to make out what's really solid, so your video was the second piece missing to believe it. Anyway thanks for this video because this is one of the hardest parts of singing and simply articulating english for me.

  28. I started to sound right after I thied this exercise (in a quite low voice though, but its a promising beginning). Thanks Ken <3

  29. I watched tons of videos about singing, good ones and other stuff 😉 You are a crazy teacher ( I don't mean it in a bad way) I heard the ha-hahaha-hahah…. exercise before. Looking forward to watching more videos!!!

  30. Im 14 yrs old and i do think i have potential but i cant control my voice not that i crack in some times well i do but , everyday i think my voice changes and the more i practice the song i like the more it gets worse :((

  31. Ken, thank you for your videos. My kids are off to college and I have a lot of free time so I decided to try to learn how to sing. So seven months ago I took your course and been working everyday. I just joined a band and will have my first gig at the ripe are of 51 this Saturday, thank you for your lessons. Living my rocking roll dream at 51.

  32. I tried the breathing thing you did a few times in the beginning and almost passed out!! I feel great!!! #AnemicTingz 🤪

  33. Anyone can learn to sing, that doesnt mean they'll have a distinctly unique tone that drives you to buy an album, go to a show, or put their song on repeat. This samely worded advertisement (with different actors) playing across YouTube's vocal warm ups and greater vocal coaching irks me just a wee bit. Most people don't learn to sing, because they lack the passion and genuine interest in the creation of music. Why pay to sound better when you can belt it out as you are, with all your might – after watching a marathon of Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy of course 😎

  34. hi ken. love your videos. i ear train often and have been practicing aural recall for years (intervals, chords, walking basslines, ect). when infind myself singing relaxed, i do indeed have better range, but my intonation is terrible while accompanying myself eith piano and guitar. i find that oo vowels help me relaxed but again the intonation is terrible, and when i do ahhs, my intonation is great but i feel tension. how should i address this

  35. Which side of the throat should be felt when we rehearsal , for example, on the side of the nose or direct throat hole, or chin. ….please sir. Please. I hope so much from you.

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