Elaina Robbins, Soprano
There’s a reason people love high notes! High notes are often climactic, exciting, even thrilling to hear and sing. Unfortunately, they can also be a real challenge to sing. Many people start looking for a singing teacher online or in person specifically to master high notes.
I’ve been teaching singing lessons in Fort Wayne Indiana and elsewhere since 2011, and students are constantly asking me for help with high notes and range extension. The good news is that there’s a lot you can do to improve your high notes right now! Here are my top four tips for nailing that high note.
Breathing is the fuel of singing. If you think of singing like a car, it doesn’t matter how amazing the car is if there’s no gas in the car or the fuel injector is broken—the car won’t run. That’s why the best online singing lessons (and in-person singing lessons) often start with breathing and breath support technique. So take a deep breath before you sing that high note!
2.Open Your Mouth
If you ever see a great singer singing a high note, they probably have their mouth wide open. You’ve got to make space for those high notes! Allow your lower jaw to come down and relax into a tall “ah” shape before you sing a high note, and make sure you don’t automatically close your mouth as you sing. It might feel strange, but your high notes will likely become much easier if you just make some space.
3.Don’t “Reach” for the Note
Excuse me for changing metaphors here, but now I’d like you to think of your body as a fountain, with the water in the fountain acting as air. A pump in a fountain moves the water up and out, but the pipe through which the water moves doesn’t do anything—it’s just there.
Lots of singers make the mistake of trying to sing with the pipe instead of with the pump. When you sing, the air leaves your body and vibrates your vocal folds on the way out, but your airway and the body parts that surround it (such as your throat and mouth) don’t actually need to do any muscular work to produce sound.
If this concept seems weird to you, this is because it’s very counterintuitive. Any singing teacher online can tell you that most people try to do the work of singing with their neck, jaw, tongue, even the shoulders—anything but the breath. Some people even “reach” for high notes by literally craning their neck up to sing (does that sound familiar?).
That’s why my singing lessons in Fort Wayne Indiana focus so heavily on learning to relax these body parts and use breath support instead. Not sure how to do this? I’ll drop some tips for all three of the preceding sections in the conclusion of this post.
4.Pick Appropriate Music
This might be the hardest thing for singers to accept. After all, songs with high notes can be so much fun to sing! But if your voice simply doesn’t go that high or you’ve not yet developed the proper technique by singing up for the best online singing lessons you can get, some songs are best left alone. Straining to reach high notes not only sounds iffy; it can actually hurt your voice and cause serious internal damage.
If you simply must sing “Let It Go” or “The Girl in 14G” but you feel like your vocal cords are going to burst, consider singing the piece in a lower key. Many karaoke apps now allow you to change background tracks to any key you wish. Sheet music can also often be transposed to a variety of keys. The only caveat is that if you’re entering a classical competition, at times transposed music is not accepted. In that case, you’re better off picking a piece more appropriate for you right now. Don’t sing music that doesn’t fit your voice; instead, set yourself up for success by picking something that isn’t a literal pain to sing.
Nailing Your High Notes with Singing Lessons in Fort Wayne Indiana
The most effective fix is to find the best online singing lessons or in-person lessons you can, but there’s also plenty you can do on your own. The best way to start doing this is to sing in front of a mirror. You can make sure your torso expands when you breathe, your mouth opens all the way (and stays open), and your neck, jaw, and tongue are relaxed as you sing. You’ll probably find that your high notes are suddenly much easier!
If you’re ready to take the plunge and sign up with a singing teacher online or for singing lessons in Fort Wayne Indiana, shoot me a message here. I’d be happy to help you learn to let those high notes soar!
If you’re wondering what’s up with your singing voice cracking, you certainly aren’t alone. Many students of my Fort Wayne singing lessons ask me questions like, “Why does my voice crack when I sing?” when they are first starting out. And the truth is that most of us have experienced our singing voice cracking at one time or another. So, whether you’re preparing to learn to sing online or you just want to know what’s going on, here’s the scoop on why your voice makes these strange noises some time.
Why Does My Voice Crack When I Sing? The Top 6 Reasons
There are a lot of reasons for a singing voice cracking. The reasons below are listed roughly from least common to most common (in my opinion).
6. Vocal Health Issue
In some cases, a health issue can cause singing voice cracking. If you take my Fort Wayne singing lessons, you’ll quickly learn the importance of caring for the voice. Folks who misuse their voice (yelling, using it too much, using it incorrectly) or who have an underlying health condition (such as acid reflux or severe allergies), vocal cracking can be a sign of a bigger issue. This may also temporarily happen to you if you get sick with a cold or something similar. If you think you might need medical attention for this, please see a doctor!
5. Lack of Warming Up
The simplest reason for a singing voice cracking is just a lack of warming up. If you’ve ever woken up in the morning and noticed that your voice sounds kind of odd and “croaky,” you’ll know what I mean. Many singers find that vocal warmups, similar to stretching before exercise, helps to limber up the voice, increasing blood flow and allowing for a more comfortable singing experience.
This is related to reason 5. If you learn to sing online or in person, you’ll quickly realize most teachers want you to bring water to voice lessons. Vocal folds are made of mucous membranes (like the soft, wet stuff on the inside of your cheeks), and if they aren’t properly hydrated, they don’t work as well and can be prone to vocal cracking. This can be exacerbated by dry air caused by a fan or a dry climate. It’s also yet another reason why your voice sounds so weird in the morning after a long break from water. So drink lots of water and see if that helps!
If you’re a biological male going through puberty, unfortunately, vocal cracking may just be part of your life for now. During puberty, this group experiences significant laryngeal growth, causing the voice to get lower quickly. Just like your arms and legs can feel awkward if you have a growth spurt, your voice needs some time to adjust to its new size. This can also happen to biological females, but in a less pronounced way. Trans men taking testosterone may have issues with this as well regardless of age. If you’re in any of these categories, try not to stress about it too much—the cracking is normal and nothing to be embarrassed about.
2. Chest to Head Voice Break
Have you ever heard yodeling? This is the rapid switching between chest and head voice. Most voice teachers agree that the voice has two main registers, and these registers are controlled by two different sets of muscles that move the vocal cords in different ways.
In my Fort Wayne singing lessons, one topic I focus on a lot is helping students learn to coordinate this area better, as the shift between chest and head voice is very awkward for many people. If you don’t have a good natural “mix,” or ability to combine and shift between these two registers, you may find yourself cracking as you move through this area of your voice. This can be improved with voice lessons.
1. Tension/Poor Vocal Technique
While everyone experiences their singing voice cracking occasionally, if your voice cracks a lot, it may be because you are engaging a lot of muscles in your face and next that are better off relaxing when you sing. If you tighten this area too much, it can cut off your ability to sing entirely. If you have a less pronounced issue with this, you might experience some strain or discomfort when singing, and your voice might crack. Again, this issue can be alleviated through voice lessons.
Stop Your Singing Voice Cracking with Fort Wayne Singing Lessons!
I hope this article has answered the question, “Why does my voice crack when I sing?” Feel free to message me if you’re still confused about this topic. If you’d like to learn to stop the cracking once and for all, I’d encourage you to sign up for my Fort Wayne singing lessons. You can learn to sing online with me as well through my online singing lessons. Take action now—your smooth, crack-free voice will thank you!