Ep 85: How to Sing Higher without Cracking or Breaking

How do you Sing Higher without Cracking or Breaking? This is one of the most embarrassing things that can happen when you sing.

There’s a specific cause for breaks and cracks and here’s a great exercise to prevent it! This is a more advanced exercise.

Hi! I’m Chuck Gilmore with Power To Sing.

Have you ever tried to sing higher only to have your voice crack or break? It’s frustrating in practice and embarrassing in a performance.

What causes this to happen? There are several reasons for a crack or break.

The Larynx is rising. This causes the vocal cords to break apart.
The chest voice is being pulled up. The added tension and pressure will also cause the cords to break apart into falsetto.
Swollen Vocal Cords from illness, menstruation, allergies, lack of sleep, vocal abuse or damage, reflux, dehydration, medications, etc. Under these conditions, the vocal cords, like a sore muscle, become unstable and the larynx quickly goes up which causes the crack or break.

How to Sing Higher without Cracking or Breaking

Here’s a great exercise that can help with the high larynx, pulled chest and swollen cords.

Important: If you have vocal damage of any kind, a doctor should be consulted before doing any vocal exercises.

The exercise goes by various names such as squeaky door, sometimes I call it the puppy dog sound. It sounds like this. [Demo]

Two factors make this effective. First, just the outer edges of the vocal cords are used, so you don’t want to jam it or press it too hard. Second, try to do this exercise without using any external neck muscles.

Monitor yourself by putting your thumb under your chin and gently press in. Now swallow. Do you feel the muscles push your thumb outward. These are called digastric muscles. When these activate it pulls the larynx upward.

Your job is to do this exercise without those muscles pushing against your thumb and raising the larynx.

First start on a pitch in your chest and inflect the voice upward. [Demo] Practice doing it until you can do it without the muscles pushing against your thumb. Don’t do it hard or loud. Just enough to keep the vocal cords connected.

Once you’re able to do that, move on to this exercise. Using the squeaky door sound at medium volume, and placing your thumb under your chin, do this scale. It’s a 1 ½ scale. Men begin on the B2. Women begin on the F#3. Both voices go up three half steps and back down.

First do it staccato. Demo 1 ½ scale. Practice this until you can do it without the muscle pushing against your thumb. Then move on to this exercise. [Demo] 1 ½ scale with the gallop. Then the triplet.

Progress to the next exercise once you’re able to do it without the muscles pushing.

This will isolate the vocal cords from the external muscles in the neck. This will retrain your neuromuscular system to produce your tones at the vocal cord level without the extrinsic muscles raising the larynx.

How to Sing Higher without Cracking or Breaking – Benefits

This is a great exercise for every vocal type. It:

Trains the vocal cords to function without the external muscles

Keeps the larynx down which eliminates the breaks

Helps build vocal cord adduction (bringing the cords together)

Rehabilitates the vocal cords

What do you tend to do when you sing? Does the larynx go up? Do you pull chest voice too high? Do you crack or sing too breathy. Do you tend to mix?

Go to the knowledge Center and take the vocal test, which I call the PowerTest. Take the quiz and discover your vocal type.

Watch all the videos about your vocal type and download the free exercises for your vocal type. Practicing these each day will help you improve your voice quickly.

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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