When going for high notes, a common issue is that you could experience vocal tension. One reason for this can be too much ‘weight’ on the voice.
What does this mean? Put your hand on your chest, now say the word ‘Yeah’ (give it your best Shakespearian actor voice) and try and feel some external vibration, conductive resonance in your chest. When you’re in this coordination in your low chest voice the vocal folds are generally shorter. Shorter folds, tend to close with a thicker, greater amount of vocal fold musculature.
Maintaining this thick vocal fold contact whilst trying to sing higher notes, well… that’s going to be hard heavy work. Too much ‘weight’!
Most people drive a car these days so I’m going with this analogy. Think of this short vocal fold ‘Chest voice’ gear as 1st gear in the car. Hold onto this 1st gear without shifting to 2nd, then the car will feel a lot of pressure and it’s going to be hard work. Over time that engine could get really tired.
1st gear is important to have in your car (and your singing voice) so don’t skip it out. The answer lies in developing 2nd gear in the car (ie a mixed voice)
Lengthen the vocal folds too soon, and it could be too ‘heady’ or ‘light’ too soon.
Don’t lengthen enough, and it’s going to be too much ‘weight’ on the voice.
Shed the weight gradually. Lengthen the vocal folds gradually.
2nd gear is going to probably the most difficult to get.
Stick with doing your 2nd gear workout (mix workout) and over time you will become a highly efficient instrument with the ability to sing epic high notes with EASE during your vocal training sessions rather than excess weight.
18th March 2018
Christopher David Mitchell