Ep 81: How to Train my Voice to Sing Higher #7 – 6 Reasons Why Tension Kills your Singing!

Ep.81: How to Train my Voice to Sing Higher #7- 6 Reasons Why Tension Kills your Singing!

Tension around your vocal cords is like tying 10 lb weights around your ankles before you go for a run. Or putting 25 extra pounds into your backpack before you go hiking. You can still run or hike but you get tired so much faster.

Inside this video are 6 reasons why tension kills your singing and why it’s so easy to give up!

If when we sing, the larynx rises beyond it’s normal speaking position, tension and squeeze is added to the vocal cords. The voice feels heavier.

When the larynx is low and resting at speech level, the vocal cords can function easily and freely.

This allows the vocal cords to develop their own intrinsic strength, coordination and power. The cords, unburdened by the squeezing external muscles, can balance with the air flow quicker and easier.


Tension kills your singing because it’s so hard to eliminate and so easy to give up!

Why don’t the vocal cords immediately function at their highest possible condition once you get the larynx down and release the tension and weight? Here are 6 reasons.

It’s an unconscious habit. You really don’t know that you’re carrying tension. You’ve always had the added tension and so you don’t know what it should feel like without it.
Because you are used to tension, your nervous system thinks that tension is normal.
Without tension your voice doesn’t feel right nor normal because it’s new, and you are literally off balance when you eliminate the added weight of singing with tension. For example, when I return from a backpack hike with 34 lbs of weight on my back and then remove my pack, I feel off balance. I actually find myself being pushed forward as if there was still a weight on my back. That’s after 45 minutes. Think about the effect of a lifetime of vocal tension and squeeze.
Singing without tension and weight will feel new and different. It might feel wrong. It will at first seem impossibly too light. You’ll likely think, “I could never use that in a song or on stage”. With a some exceptions, you’re right. But it will lead to coordinated and balanced vocal cords and real vocal power.
You’ll be tempted to quit, and seek for the easy, quick fix of using a high larynx, adding tension and pressure for immediate vocal loudness. It’ll feel stronger and more powerful, but it comes with a vocal cost. That cost is tension, vocal abuse and eventual vocal decline.
It’s a new coordination. If all your life you had only run with 10 pound weights around your ankles, you wouldn’t take them off just before the race and run the mile and expect your legs to function normally with perfect coordination. It takes time to balance and coordinate your muscles without the added weight.

After years of carrying extra tension when you sing, it’s virtually impossible you’ll stop singing with tension and immediately have the vocal cords balance and coordinate. You may have a vocal limp so to speak. Like removing a cast from your hand, it’s going to be weak for a while. Just because there’s no more tension or extra weight on your voice because you now have a low and resting larynx, don’t expect it to feel right. Don’t expect your voice to suddenly become balanced and powerful. Don’t expect it to be familiar.

Does that mean you can’t sing and perform until you’ve reached vocal perfection?

No! Do your best. Perform your best. Continually refine and improve as you go. If you’re working at it you’ll improve steadily and significantly.

Be patient. The voice you want is inside you waiting to be released!

As you travel on your journey to your vocal best, there is a shortcut. It’s proper technique without tension. It’s patiently putting in the time and effort. Some will discover it sooner than others.

The vocal exercises inside PowerToSing.com will help you eliminate tension. On the home page of PowerToSing.com is a vocal test which I call the PowerTest. Take the test and quiz and discover your vocal type.

Go to the Knowledge Center and watch the videos about your vocal type. There you’ll find vocal exercises designed for your specific vocal type. These exercises will help you eliminate tension and other vocal weaknesses so you can being to improve immediately.

I’m Chuck Gilmore with Power To Sing. You can sing higher with beauty, confidence and power.

I’ll see you inside the next video.


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Chuck Gilmore
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3 thoughts on “Ep 81: How to Train my Voice to Sing Higher #7 – 6 Reasons Why Tension Kills your Singing!”

  1. I finally found that vocal connection from chest to mixed voice,and I wanna
    thank you for that because I was doing the ney ney and mum mum exercise
    along with the dopey EE sound and dopey siren sound and I finally got the
    connection,now I just need to increase the volume without getting distorted

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