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How to Avoid Vocal Strain While Singing

Learn how to avoid voice strain from vocal coach Cari Cole in this Howcast singing tutorial.


Hi I'm Cari Cole. I'm a celebrity vocal coach and artist development expert. And I help artist find their voice, craft their music, and create successful music careers. I've worked with Donald Fagen from Steely Dan, Courtney Love from Hole, I've worked with the band Journey. I'm going to teach you how to be a better singer and performer. So I want to teach you today a little bit about how to avoid strain. It's probably the number one reason why most singers come to me to train their voices. Is they're having problems with singing on stage and straining, or just in general having problems with their voice straining, feeling like it's stuck in their throat. The thing about singing without strain is the first thing to understand is that the vocal muscles should have very little pressure on them. The pressure on the voice should be really taken in the muscles in the pectorals and in the rib cage and to have a nice free back of the neck. Most signers tend when they strain they tend to jut their chins forward and AHHHH, AHHHH. What you want to do is the opposite AAAH AAAH so you want to tip your chin down slightly, chest lifts at the same time and bring the sound back and around. You actually want to have the sound go this way.

So the first thing that you want to do is not sing with the throat so much, imagine the sound resonating up in the mouth, point your chin slightly down, chest slightly up, feel a lot of space in the back of your head, like the sound is coming in through the mouth and out the top of the head, and don't sing with so much pressure, keep it light. AAAH, AAH A AHH A AAA. Try that, keep your chin pointed down, chest up. AAH A AHH A AAAA. Some people just feel a lot of pressure here at the vocal muscles. Sometimes that can be from physical things like if you have a lot a lot of tension in the back of the neck that tends to squeeze those muscles back there and there are nerve endings in the back of the neck that actually have to do with the laryngeal muscles. So some of it can be physical and the best thing to do in that regard is to go get a massage, see an acupuncturist, you know get this part of your body healthy. I mean, singing in general has a lot to do with physical health. The healthier your body is the healthier your voice is.

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