In our lessons students are encouraged to sing songs that suit their style and voice, but more importantly choosing songs that challenge them in order to build skills. With these challenges, they can be psychological and physical. A great example of this can be a ‘crack’ during high note attempts. I would like to address this issue, and give you some handy hints for dealing with a ‘break’ in your voice.
“Why does my voice break? Sometimes I can hit the note, other times I just can’t get there”
Let’s briefly talk about what this ‘crack’ is. It is the sound that occurs when the vocal system is under strain. This can happen for a variety of reasons.
1. Forcing/pushing more air than is needed. This can be due to adrenaline, nerves, or fear. This causes the larynx and vocal system to tense and the voice falls out of pitch.
2. Not using a proper head and face position. By sticking the chin out and lifting the head causes an unnatural, inefficient position of the larynx, straining the voice.
3. Dehydration. If you are not drinking enough water to keep the vocal system lubricated and relaxed this will effect your voice control.
Here’s what I do with my student’s to Overcome this situation:
- Change your posture: take a deep breath, lift your hands straight up over your head to find an aligned, efficient posture. Move yourself to a position of power, to re-affirm with yourself that you have full control of your voice and performance.
- Try to sing the high note on a lip trill (lip buzz). This lets you know it is at least potentially “there” for you.
- Drink 8-10 glasses of room temperature water, every day. Give your body a chance to relax by giving it the water it needs which will relax your muscles and keep your throat, larynx and vocal chords well hydrated.
- Coaching. When nerves get the better of our voice, often there are underlying issues to address. With my experience in life coaching, I help people to identify and overcome their fears which allows them to relax and enjoy the process of performing. By using coaching to help set goals to become your ideal self, it allows you to prioritize the things that are important to you; and to get the most out of your voice training.