With every other singing advertisement telling you they can make you sing higher, I need to point out a few things about what can and will happen if a singer with a lower voice decides to press their upper boundaries incorrectly. There is big school of thought out in the world of singing that singers need to sing high, even if you are a lower voice. Gotta get that high note!
Such a mentality had me sent down the wrong path vocally from the time I was twelve years old until I was 36 when I crashed and burned with vocal nodules caused by singing out of my range.
Here are 3 reasons why trying to sing higher can really harm your voice:
1. OUT OF RANGE
Low voices aren’t made to sing high. Does that sound corny? Some people have a broad range and some singers have a more narrow range. The human voice can only have a range that extends so far and knowledge for your own range is so necessary. Forcing out of the range, wherever it may reside, can cause hoarseness, vocal fatigue, vocal nodules, and more. Same goes for the higher voices, trying to sing low and out the natural range can be equally as harmful but this isn’t my point for this article.
2. TOO MUCH AIR
If you do find yourself getting up into these higher ranges without the proper breath usage, that can cause too much air to blow over the vocal folds and brings friction to the sound and pressure along with a breathy, blown airy sound. When I was a “soprano” I had to use a lot of air and shove to get a high C and I was always vocally fried afterwards. My voice was never meant for a high C. It eventually caused my voice to crash completely.
3. BOTTOM GETS RESTRICTED
Persisting in singing higher when your voice naturally does not desire a higher range, overtime pushes the larynx up higher and artificially restricts your bottom voice. If you listen to old recordings of mine, you would hear and probably think that I was indeed a soprano because my larynx had been pushed up so high that there was no full bottom. When I switched to mezzo when I was 36, and then to Contralto now which is my authentic voice and always was, it took time for my voice to “settle” back down and free up the middle and bottom and not have to press down to find my middle or bottom voice.
I should mention that I’ve previously discussed the first two reasons “OUT OF RANGE” and “TOO MUCH AIR” in my blog article “Healthy Belting: My 7 Non-Negotiables”, which you can read here.
If you are questioning your range, or confused about how you are singing. I listen to all kinds of voices and help singers in my Monthly Live Webinar Masterclass. This month happens to be for Mezzos and Contraltos. Please see skokstudio.org/masterclass.
Low voices, keep singing low!