How to sing higher without straining - STOP trying to "relax your voice" IF you sound like THIS...

pro singing tips Jul 07, 2021

How many times have you been told you need to "relax your throat and everything else" and have "no tension" when singing?  This kind of advice ALWAYS frustrated me when I was first learning to sing because it left me with no actionable step on what to do.

I would sing up to F4 which used to be my highest note...strain and just be told "yeah you're straining, relax more!"  Then I'd just flip into falsetto because I was too relaxed.

I didn't know what to do.  I could only either choke and strain...or flip into falsetto.

The best thing for my brain was removing the word "relax" lol.

So I don't think of trying to "relax" a voice...instead I pinpoint what's weak in the voice, or what coordination is overactive and then I strengthen the weaker side of the coin so to speak until the balance is even.

Singing requires muscular effort.  Heck, even STANDING requires muscular effort.  But when you stand up, because it's so easy, you think "I'm just relaxed".

This is why I...

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How To Sing Higher In Chest Voice With STABILITY & CONSISTENCY

pro singing tips Jun 03, 2021

The most common areas you might get stuck with your chest voice range are going to be either:

  1. The first bridge (F4 for males / C5 for females)
  2. Or the 2nd bridge (A4 for males / E5 for females). 

In this video I'll show you what to do if you're getting stuck at either of those areas with your chest voice.

The way I build voices is in segments.  Before trying to go higher, the first main goal is to build an extremely strong, solid chest voice up to your first bridge (F4 for guys, C5 for ladies).  It needs to be loud, solid and clear.  I go more into detail about this in my last video here.

So that's the first step.  Get really good at your first bridge.  Once you've done that then we can focus on how to approach the 2nd bridge.

If you're getting stuck at the 2nd bridge, then it's likely that your approach from the first bridge up is going wrong.  Just because you can sing up to the notes doesn't mean you're doing it in a way that will take you to...

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Weak mixed voice? STOP "bridging into headvoice" if you sound like THIS....

pro singing tips May 10, 2021

Weak mixed voice?  Just continuously "bridging into headvoice" may not fix the issue.  It is only ONE PART of the answer.  If your mixed voice is weak then it is likely that you need to STRENGTHEN your CHEST VOICE.

Here is an email I received:

"Dear Phil,
My mix voice is very weak and has a really bad tone which isn’t changing despite me trying various exercises.

I’m looking to learn how to strengthen this mix voice and make it actually usable when singing above the break.

Is this mix voice a good start or do I need to find a different approach?"

He sent an audio recording which I show in the video above.  What you're doing in this clip is actually NOT mixed voice.  You're going from chest voice and flipping to falsetto.  There is a common misconception that mixed voice is just about "smoothing the vocal break between chest voice and falsetto" but it's not.  Mixed voice is actually just your chest voice extending beyond where your...

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How To Mix Chest And Head Voice - PART 3 of my HOW TO SING THROUGH THE VOCAL BREAK series

pro singing tips Jul 05, 2018

Welcome to PART 3 of my HOW TO SING PAST YOUR BREAK series.  In this video we'll talk about how to mix chest and head voice and how you should go about doing this.

Here are the links to the previous videos in this series:

  • PART 1 - The difference between head voice, falsetto, mixed voice and chest voice.
  • PART 2 - Why your CHEST voice is the secret to learning how to sing past your vocal break.

In Part 2 I mentioned how there IS a time and place for bridging from your chest voice into your falsetto smoothly.  I say falsetto because most people when they talk about crossing from chest to head voice are REALLY talking about a non-breathy falsetto.  I talk more about this in part 1.  Check it out.

Anyway, the main thing I want to say is this:

You don't build mixed voice and high ranged full voice by just crossing from chest voice to falsetto and "smoothing the break".  I mentioned there is a place for this, but it's a supplement.  It's not a finished...

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pro singing tips Jul 04, 2018

Welcome to PART 2 on how to get rid of the vocal break.  Let's recap what we covered in PART 1:

  • I showed you the proof that myself and my students can sing through the vocal break.
  • I demonstrated falsetto, 2 different types of head voice, chest voice, mixed voice and explain how they all fit together in the puzzle of the vocal break.

If you haven't seen PART 1 of how to sing past your break, then check that out first here.

Now that we’ve gotten the terminology out of the way, in today’s video I’m going to show you the actual process on how to get rid of the vocal break.  How exactly is it done?  What sorts of sounds will you need to do?  That’s what we’re going to talk about today.

The biggest thing I want you to know right away is, we don’t actually wanna sing "around" our vocal break by leaving chest and going into falsetto and trying to "trick" the audience into thinking we're still in chest...  We want to ELIMINATE...

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HOW TO SING PAST YOUR BREAK - PART 1 - Head Voice vs Falsetto vs Mixed Voice vs Chest Voice?

pro singing tips May 28, 2018

Stuck on how to sing past your break?  Feel like you’ve tried every vocal exercise without any luck?  You’re in the right place.  I was stuck on this for YEARS not knowing what I was meant to do to overcome it. 

This is video is PART 1 of a new free video series I'm creating about how to sing past your break in full voice.

Check out Part 2 and Part 3 here.

In PART 1:

  • I prove to you that I can sing through my vocal break as well as my students.
  • I demonstrate falsetto, 2 different types of head voice, chest voice, mixed voice and explain how they all fit together in the puzzle of the vocal break.

In PART 2 I'll be explaining the actual process of how you go about building your voice so that you can sing past your vocal break without cracking or flipping.

I hope you enjoyed this video lesson.  If you want to learn the specific exercises and techniques specific to YOUR voice then I recommend getting Skype lessons with me and I'll teach you how to...

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How to Sing Higher Without Falsetto - Pro Singing Tips

pro singing tips Jan 09, 2018

Today's question is about how to sing higher without falsetto.  The question comes from Reed:

I'm struggling with my mixed voice/head voice. I am very comfortable in a baritone/chest range but the music I love to sing and write sounds much better an octave up.

I have gone through courses and can hit all the notes but my tone is inconsistent right around the chest/head transition. I don’t want there to be a distinct tonal difference, I want my “upper chest voice” and “lower head voice” to blend into one smooth voice. Right now my “lower head voice” is not rich at all.

Some tips on how to sing higher without falsetto

I'm sure you can relate to this: as you sing higher in your chest voice at some point you reach a point where you have to either push and strain in chest voice, or flip to a flimsy falsetto.  So you look everywhere for an answer and everyone is telling you that you need to "smoothly transition" or "bridge" in order to...

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Developing a Chesty Mixed Voice, Belting in Mixed Voice - Pro Singing Tips

pro singing tips Jan 05, 2018

Today's question is about developing a chesty mixed voice/belting in mixed voice.  This question comes from Kevin:

Q: "How would you make your mixed voice more Chestier?  I already have a decent mix but I'd like to make it more Chestier. I'm doing it by lowering my larynx and opening up my mouth more but I'm not satisfied with my current level yet."

Tips for developing a chesty mixed voice/belting in mixed voice

So you can already sing in a mix but it's kind of light and lacks power or fullness.  How do you get it fuller and more chesty?

Before we get into that firstly let me just say that mixed voice is NOT about "mixing" your chest voice and head voice (non-breathy falsetto) together.  It is not some "inbetween" voice.  Mixed voice is simply your chest voice working the right way.  Instead of straining, it just keeps going up.  If you want to know more about that contact me anytime.

Anyway, about developing a chesty mixed voice: basically it's...

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Breath Control For Singing - Pro Singing Tips

pro singing tips Jan 02, 2018

 How to develop proper breath control for singing - this question comes from Laura:

Q: "I’m a musical theater singer and my current biggest challenge is mastering breath control. I know how to breathe properly for singing, but I can't seem to find exercises that improve my breath control. I’ve tried breathing in and breathing out on a hiss, but I don't know if it is helping."

Breath Control For Singing

When it comes to breath control for singing the best way to improve it is through actual singing practice rather than breathing exercises such as the infamous "sustained sss".

Breath control for singing is developed by learning how to pace where you give your energy on a phrase - which is why you need to practice this in singing.  Just doing a sustained "sss" will not teach you how to use it in singing.

The louder and higher you sing the more you will feel a "push" from the lower abdomen, the sides (love handles) in particular if you do it right.

If you push...

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Why is my voice raspy when singing? - Pro Singing Tips

pro singing tips Dec 28, 2017

If you're wondering "Why is my voice raspy?" when singing, or how to sing clearly then watch the video and read this article.  Today's question comes from Mark:

Q: "Hey Phil my problem is I can go through my Bridges, but when I hit my first bridge or beginning of the mix I get a rough tone ( Vocal fry and it crackles like crazy) I don't know if it's that I might have acid reflux, thyroid issues, or maybe allergies. I have been taking meds and no luck I am guilty of pulled up chest as well, and have trouble singing quietly.  I don't feel like I'm thinking out the voice in the right way. Thanks"

So why is my voice so raspy when I sing?

There are usually two reasons why your voice is raspy/crackly/distorted.  It can sometimes be because of misuse/overworking the voice - I deal with this a lot in pro gigging and touring singers.  However in THIS particular case today, from the singer who sent in the question, the problem is different.

The problem stems from...

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