Laughter is the Best Medicine

How to Keep Your Voice from Cracking

do you ever experience your voice breaking in the middle of a big high note or maybe in the middle of an exercise that you’re trying to do today in this vocal tip we’re going to be talking about how to prevent your voice from cracking I’m Shelby Rollins with Singing and we’re going to get really nitty-gritty with some very technical oriented exercises to help you keep your voice held together to keep your vocal cords engaged and connected instead of breaking apart a lot of times when you’re singing and you’re going for that big high note a lot of times we’re pulling up too much tension and the vocal cords can’t sustain that type of pressure and pull on them because we’re using wrong musculature to get to those high notes and so they just break open and usually it breaks into like a falsetto and you know we will recover and get back together and the cords basically just kind of go from vibrating together to busting open and then coming right back together and it’s just this very split second thing that happens but of course you’re left then with this embarrassing moment of ah my voice cracked and you know it happens to the best of us and especially you know if you even already know how to keep the cords together but maybe you’re working into an exercise that’s more normal showing off normal coordination like a very neutral mum or nuh or something like that it’s not an exaggerated sound it’s a really normal mix those are usually the moments that the voice cracks the most and it’s because we’ve lost a little bit of the exaggerated quality so say for instance you’re in a scale you’re going (mum sounds) kinda breaks or a (mum sounds) we’ve lost a little bit of the coordination to help it stay together it’s partly because we’ve lost compression there’s a loss of a type of compression anyhow on the cord so in that example I was losing a little bit of the cry a little bit of the gentle Brett calls it a friendly squeeze right here on the vocal chords if these are your cords and the Arytenoid muscles put a little gentle squeeze right here if it loses it maybe prematurely or we pull too much of it off in our sustain then it can slip out of gear and flip a little bit so instead of just hitting that scale thousand times over and over and over again till you’re blue in the face just abandon the skill for a second and go after what actually happened too many times I think we just want to sing the same scale over and over and try harder and harder and we usually end up eroding the voice rather than fixing something so what happened there is i lost a little compression so I’m instead of going back to the same scale i’m going to use a little bit of vocal fry to help me hold the cords together on that pitch where I lost it which for me right here is a C just right outside my first bridge i’m going to go and feel that cry hold it together i’m rolling up from the bottom starting with a little bit of vocal fry I want you to try this with me go stay really whiny with it we don’t want to try to do this by saying uh and not exaggerating it excuse me enough when you’re diagnosing something and breaking it down your kind of reverse engineering the process so you do have to kind of swing the pendulum back to a more exaggerated form of whatever you did which we did with that mum right so I don’t want to get more normal i want to get more weird actually so that I then can go back to normal after that with the coordination from the exaggerated version of that so I want to make sure we’re going staying really whiny for the resonance of that sound right up in here you can also do this on an M and say if you’re testing to see if you need if you’re using tension or you’re still struggling to get this press your thumb right here underneath your chin like you’ve probably seen in student videos before and see if you’re pulling tension and press up against it if you are when you start to hear the connection and you hear the cry staying held together the entire time then go back to the scale (mum sounds) keep it loose don’t worry about quality yet or note accuracy really or even sustain just kind of go for working your way back in your stair stepping your way (mum sounds) let it kind of feel sloppy even a little bit in terms of pitch slowly begin to elongate the note and then eventually as you add a little more airflow and you feel that you can sustain this and get a little louder (mum sounds) and you’ll come back too much more than normal tone so try this process instead of whenever you hear yourself mess something up or your voice breaks instead of just singing it louder and harder over and over and over again reverse engineer the process think about for a second take a pause why did my voice crack what was lost if it was maybe a little bit of cord compression then use this example this vocal fry to find the connection again on a smaller level and then slowly lean into it a little bit more as you slowly go from a thinner amount of cord depth to a thicker amount of cord depth getting louder adding the airflow adding the volume just how I walked you through just now and then eventually get back to the scale at hand and i just used a mum as an example here but you could actually do this on most any especially normal sounding vocal exercises that you hear that you’re trying to do hope this helps if you still need a little bit more troubleshooting to get you into this coordination give us a call I’d love to help you out with this

22 thoughts on “How to Keep Your Voice from Cracking

  1. Oh my God. You explained this perfectly. I kept wondering why it seems hard to get a clean transition in mixed voice now, I understand the chords need to be held together. That's how you get a normal yet clearer tone.

  2. At the moment you do that crying at min 2:45, i feel my adan's apple rises when i sing high notes with that whiny sound, but i can barely feel the conexion. is it normal?

  3. I notice when I do this and the crackle. It's not as clear as yours when you go from mmmm to mum mum. It's crackly and only clears up when I go higher.

  4. Thanks for these tips, I enjoy when my voice is cracked up and sounds husky .. Does it harm my voice in the long run ?

  5. Very nice explanation. Especially the vocal frying tip! Thanks I see your approach to fix problems is really effective for me! It worked!

  6. Shelby – thanks for your tips. My voice cracking is different. Have posted few lines here -> [Could you please check at 1.13mins to 1.15mins, the way my voice cracks? I am so much concerned to repair my voice on such notes where it begins to crack 🙁

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