The second tip in the tips on how to sing series is rather simple but can be very effective when you’re having trouble hitting higher notes.
When singing higher notes, there is often a tendency for singers to strain or sing louder. This is caused by the outside muscles of the larynx (voice box) trying to help the vocal cords do their job. The problem is that the vocal cords are designed to produce the high notes on their own without any extra help from these outside muscles. (These outside muscles are designed for swallowing, not singing).
An indication that the outside muscles of the larynx are helping is that the larynx begins to rise up. If you watch the front of your larynx–the “bump” in the front of your throat often called the Adam’s Apple–in a mirror or place your finger on it while singing higher notes, you’ll see this in action.
The key to keeping these muscles from interfering is to concentrate on keeping the larynx relaxed and stable. That is, keeping the larynx in the same position as when you are speaking normally.
A great way to learn how to keep the larynx stable on high notes is to bend slightly forward. As the notes go up, you go forward and down (just be careful not to bang your head on anything ).
This tip is best used when practicing scales or warming up. Over time, you will need to bend forward less and less as your mind begins to think “stable” or “relaxed” when hitting higher notes. It’s all about developing coordination and learning “to let go” of the tension around your larynx.
We hope this tip helps. It’s something that you can always come back to if you “get stuck” trying to hit high notes. Be sure to let us know (via the comments) what kind of success you have with it.
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