Singing tips: the jaw
Among other parts of your body that are used when singing, the jaw is not the first one we usually think about. It's usually when not working properly that we become conscious of how important it is. Indeed, when stressed or under pressure, like before starting a karaoke or on stage for a concert, we can feel the resistance due to the tension in our muscles. As well as a tight throat, tight jaw becomes an obstacle for the diffusion of the sound.
A great attention to your jaw must be provided even before singing. Like a professional athlete, you'll need to warm up and stretch your jaw to get it flexible and get passed the tension. We're not saying you need to be a Jim Carrey, but simple exercises will be enough.
Exercise #1 : let-it-go
The easiest and most natural exercise is to let your jaw go. Open your mouth slowly (don't break anything) and keep your down jaw hanging towards your neck. Your sex-appeal will be reduced to 0 for a while and you will look silly but it will relax your muscles between your jaws. Put one finger on each junction between both jaws and try to feel the whole that just appeared. Keep your fingers on it for about 10 seconds.
Exercise #2 : massaging
Put your index and middle finger at the back of your cheeks, next to your ears. Open your mouth slowly until you feel a small bump in your jaw. Massage your jaw where your fingers are, not too hard though. You should soon feel an urge to yawn. Don't refrain it, yawning means your jaw needs to relax.
Exercise #3 : rest your neck
Put your hands back your head, on your neck, so that you support your head. Release the muscles of your head. Your hands only support your head now. Sing like this, you should feel your jaw relaxing and your singing gain confidence.
Exercise #4 : reading
Talk out loud words containing the long « o » ([o:]). For instance, « rose », « pose », « close », « vote ». You jaw will work in a position that will allow it to relax.
Practice those exercises just before singing, and you should quickly be able to tell the difference and improve your singing.