A Couple of Singing Problems...

by D
(Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

It's strange but I feel at certain times, the air I'm expelling to get the notes out of my mouth can end up in my nasal cavity, resulting in the air going into that part of my nasal cavity and messing up the sound.

Thus, I have to be careful with how I form my sounds and keep my throat really open at times but I feel like I may give up some of my control over the sound.

I also have problems hitting my low notes and I feel like I have the range to go to those low notes but can only hit those notes sometimes.

I find hitting notes in my high range needs some control too; especially if I'm coming from lower notes.

From The Editor

Thank you D for your excellent questions!

Now the good news is that you're obviously paying a lot of attention to what's happening with your sound when you sing.

This is a great start because to evolve as a singer you really need to tune into every little sensation and strain you feel so you can move forward.

First, as your question is fairly in depth I must say that everyone is slightly different and one of the best things you can do is find a vocal coach who really understands the voice who can listen to you and see exactly what you're doing...

... But I still have some tips that won't do any harm to your voice and will very likely help!

As you mentioned, it's a bad habit to allow your sound to get "stuck" in your nose.

What you can do to help this is run through a song you're working on, but replace every lyric with the word "GUG".

This strange sounding word will help you get a feel for moving the sound out of your nasal cavity.

Sing this through a few times, and then see if you can sing the song using the words without forcing your sound into the nasal area.

In Terms Of Your Low Notes

What can happen with a lot of singers is for their low notes they loose the placement of their sound, and it makes things really difficult.

Typically, the sound tends to fall back into the throat, which engages the swallowing muscles and causes all kinds of problems.

The way to get past this is to "think" you're singing "up" into the low note.

You can also place your hands on your cheeks and make sure your sound is resonating above your cheeks as you hit the lower notes.

This keeps your sound positioned correctly, and you should find it easier to get down into those low notes.

For your high notes, once again it sounds like a positioning issue. Especially because you noted it often hard when you're coming from your lower notes.

Once again, do the same thing as with your low notes, except this time think to yourself you're singing "down" into the notes.

Often it's the note before the high note that makes things difficult, because you're already placing your sound incorrectly... and when you need to sing higher, you're voice will just break apart.

So try these tips, and see if you hear any improvement!

As always, there's some great video singing exercises on this website so be sure to check them out as well!

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About The Author

Roger Burnley - Vocal CoachRoger Burnley - Vocal Coach

Roger Burnley is a vocal coach located in Hollywood, California. He has been teaching the voice for over 30 years and singing for even longer than that. 

His clients including Grammy Winners, Broadway Performers, Movie Stars, Rock stars, Finalists on The Voice and American Idol, and many thousands of singers ranging from beginner to professional level.  

Notable past and present clients include Macy Gray, Brandy, Ray J, The Beastie Boys, James Torme, Taylor Lautner, Nona Gaye, and many more. 

His clients have collectively sold more than 30 million albums, with several reaching Platinum and Gold status. 

Roger has been featured on VH1, TV Guide Channel, TV One,
and MTV appearing as a vocal expert.

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