How to Remove Tension in the Neck When Holding a High Note

How to Remove Tension in the Neck When Holding a High Note

Have you ever sang a high note and felt a
lot of tension in your neck? Inside this video I’ll show you how to remove
tension in the neck when holding a high note. Hi. I’m Chuck Gilmore with Power To Sing. This week I received this question from a
YouTube subscriber. He asked: How do you remove tension in the
neck when holding a high note and why can it happen? First, why does tension in the neck happen
when holding high notes? Because in some way the voice is out of balance. At the end of the song from Beauty and the
Beast, If I Can’t Love Her, the final note ends on the F4 above middle C, which is in
the middle of the men’s first bridge. Here are some ways the voice can get out of
balance and cause tension on this ending note. Larynx rising [Demo]
Pulling and forcing the chest voice too high [Demo]
Vowel is spreading [Demo] Over-compression of vocal cords [Demo] These things can cause the extrinsic neck
muscles to squeeze and tighten around the larynx. Here are 4 ways to remove tension in the neck
when holding a high note. #1. Keep the larynx low and resting. As an exercise substitute a dopy gee in place
of the words. This holds the larynx down. Sing the phrase and the note with this dopy
sound. Start out soft to medium volume. Do it several times until it feels balanced
and comfortable. As you repeat the exercise do it more normal
until you completely eliminate the dopy sound while maintaining the lower larynx. [Demo] #2. Learning to bridge from chest into head voice
will help eliminate pulled chest on high notes. If you can’t bridge, it’s very difficult
to immediately bridge and sing the high notes without tension. It took me a long time to do it well enough
to perform and even longer to do it confidently. The fastest and easiest way to help you with
this is to have you take the vocal test which I call the PowerTest at Take this test and then take the quiz and
discover your vocal type. Once you know your vocal type, go to the Knowledge
Center and watch the videos about your vocal type. Download the vocal exercises and start practicing
them. They’ll help you learn to bridge. Your progress can be rapid. This will help you remove tension singing
high notes faster and more consistently than anything else I can teach you. 3. When the vowel spreads is sounds something
like this. [Demo] This widening of the vowel shifts the
resonance into the mouth and chest. It causes the larynx to rise and engages the
outside muscles which creates tension and squeeze. In this example narrowing the vowel from “May”
to “Me” keeps the resonance in both the head and chest (mix) and enables you to sustain
the note without the tension. If it spreads while you are sustaining the
note, adjust the vowel from “May” to “Me”. You will immediately feel the tension leave. [Demo] For more on vowel narrowing, watch Episode
25 on vowel modifying hacks. You can download a PDF of vowel modifications
to help you. 4. Over compression of the vocal cords means
you are closing the vocal cords too tight. It’s likely this is happening because you
are singing too loud or you are too worried your voice will crack or break while you are
holding the note. If you are cracking and breaking then you
will be most helped by focusing on learning to bridge. Again, follow the directions in #2 above. You can quickly reduce the over-compression
by practicing at medium soft volume. Do this until you find a balance between the
air flow and the vocal cords. [Demo] Gradually increase the volume while maintaining
the balanced air flow. If you begin over- tightening again, go back
to the volume that worked without causing over-compression. Here’s an exercise that will help you develop
the ability to increase the volume without tension. On the octave repeat scale, sing “new”
to “no” like this. [Demo] Be careful that the “no” stays in the
same feel as the “new”. Don’t spread the “no” so that it falls
into chest. [Demo] Keeping it in the narrow place that the “new”
was in will help you develop the power you want without grabbing and over-compressing
the vocal cords. [Demo] As you can see, this is probably not going
to be an immediate fix. It will take time and preparation to do this
confidently. But if you put the time in, it will work. If you liked this video, give it a thumbs
up, subscribe and share it with a friend. What’s the hardest thing about singing high
notes for you? Let me know in the comment section below. Also please join me, Power To Sing, on Twitter,
Instagram and Facebook. I’d love to see you there too. I’m Chuck Gilmore with Power To Sing. You can sing higher with beauty, confidence
and power. I’ll see you inside the next video. Subtitles by the community

13 Replies to “How to Remove Tension in the Neck When Holding a High Note”

  1. Thank you! I just wanted to ask you. Why some songs that are higher key I can sing easier than lower ones, however I'm baritone. Is because the passagio of some songs?

  2. Hi Chuck, I'm on your site all the time and have practiced all your lessons. Question: I can sing Elvis low and basically sound exactly like him. This is good for songs like "In the Ghetto", "Love Me", "Crying in the Chapel" … but when I try to sing high note I sound like a stuck pig. Can you give me some suggestions and/or direct me to a lesson on your site that may help.

  3. hi chuck well i'm taking lesson with sls vocal coach for two months by now after few years spending studing classical singing with a wrong method teacher,i was keep pushing my chest voice up to an G4,and he was saying that the top of my voice was the G#4, well now i bridge i go higher but my voce sound to me so feminine,not airy, but very feminine why? that's hold me a lot to use the sls technique while singing in front of an audience,is this normal or it's just me?

  4. Thanks so much. Actually, when you are demonstrating, I can't quiet tell if you are singing in a harmful way sometimes. I think as a trained singer even when you are singing in the wrong ways somehow you still sound good for the most of the time. XD

  5. Hi Chuck! I got lots of tension in my neck when I sing some high notes and It is really make me so tired, my throat kinda pain even though I practice vocal exercise every day! It seem not to work. what should I do now? might you give me some pieces of advice about that? I'm kinda sad when my every effort do not work:(

  6. Im a bright mezzo so i have to really watch my nasal sound and would like to know how to darken it so that when i belt high notes i dont always have to sound like Michael Jackson when he was 7 years old..because thats exactly what i sound like . i end up sounding like a little kid and thats not cute when you are 34 yr old grown woman

  7. Hi thanks for this video. Not only do my neck and throat tense when I try to sing higher but my head starts to hurt making me have to stop. Will these techniques help with the pain in my head or is there something else I have to do?

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