Ep.85: How to Sing Higher without Cracking or Breaking – Advanced Exercises


How do you Sing Higher without Cracking or Breaking? This is one of the most embarrassing things that can happen when you sing.


There’s a specific cause for breaks and cracks and here’s a great exercise to prevent it! This is a more advanced exercise.


Have you ever tried to sing higher only to have your voice crack and break? It’s frustrating in practice and embarrassing in a performance.


What causes this to happen?  Here are several reasons for a crack or a break.


How to Sing Higher without Cracking or Breaking

  1. The Larynx is rising. This causes the vocal cords to break apart.
  2. The chest voice is being pulled up. The added tension and pressure will also cause the cords to break apart into falsetto.
  3. Swollen Vocal Cords from illness, menstruation, allergies, lack of sleep, vocal abuse or damage, reflux, dehydration, medications, etc. Under these conditions, the vocal cords, like a sore muscle, become unstable and the larynx quickly goes up which causes the crack or break.


How to Sing Higher without Cracking or Breaking


Here’s a great exercise that can help with the high larynx, pulled chest and swollen cords.


Important: If you have vocal damage of any kind, a doctor should be consulted before doing any vocal exercises.


How to Sing Higher without Cracking or Breaking use an exercise that sounds like a puppy dog

The exercise goes by various names such as squeaky door, sometimes I call it the puppy dog sound. It sounds like this. [Demo]


Two factors make this effective. First, just the outer edges of the vocal cords are used, so you don’t want to jam it or press it too hard. Second,  try to do this exercise without using any external neck muscles.


How to Sing Higher without Cracking or Breaking monitor the muscles under your chinScreen Shot 2016-07-04 at 12.12.06 PMHow to Sing Higher without Cracking or Breaking monitor the muscles under your chin, the digastrics

Monitor yourself by putting your thumb under your chin and gently press in. Now swallow. Do you feel the muscles push your thumb outward. These are called digastric muscles. When these activate it pulls the larynx upward.


Your job is to do this exercise without those muscles pushing against your thumb and raising the larynx.


First start on a pitch in your chest and inflect the voice upward like this.  [Demo]  Start on a pitch in your chest voice and then inflect the voice upward.


Practice doing it until you can do it without the muscles pushing against your thumb. Don’t do it hard or loud. Just enough to keep the vocal cords connected.


Once you’re able to do that, move on to this exercise. Using the squeaky door sound at medium volume, and placing your thumb under your chin, do this scale. It’s a 1 ½ scale.  Men begin on the B2. Women begin on the F#3.  Both voices go up three half steps and back down.


How to Sing Higher without Cracking or Breaking – Advanced Exercises

First do it staccato. [Demo]  


Start with the men. Ready?  Now the Ladies.


Practice this until you can do it without the muscle pushing against your thumb. Then move on to this exercise. On the same 1 ½ scale with a gallop. It sounds like this. [Demo]


Now men, the gallop.    Now women, the gallop.


Once you are able to do that exercise without the muscles kicking against your thumb, progress to this next exercise. It’s a triplet, same scale. [Demo]


Now men, the triplet.    Now Women, the triplet.


Progress to the next exercise once you’re able to do it without the muscles pushing.


This will isolate the vocal cords from the external muscles in the neck. This will retrain your neuromuscular system to produce your tones at the vocal cord level without the extrinsic muscles raising the larynx.


How to Sing Higher without Cracking or Breaking – Benefits


This is a great exercise for every vocal type. It:


How to Sing Higher without Cracking or Breaking

  • Trains the vocal cords to function without the external muscles
  • Keeps the larynx down which eliminates the breaks
  • Helps build vocal cord adduction (bringing the cords together) 
  • Rehabilitates the vocal cords


What do you tend to do when you sing? Does the larynx go up? Do you pull chest voice too high? Do you crack or sing too breathy. Do you tend to mix?


Go to PowerToSing.com and take the vocal test, which I call the PowerTest. Take the quiz and discover your vocal type. Then go to the Knowledge Center and watch all the videos about your vocal type.


Download the free exercises and use them to start improving your voice immediately.


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.


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Chuck Gilmore

If you want to do more with your singing voice it is possible. This is the first and most important message. It is possible to achieve your dreams to sing better, to sing higher, and to add beauty, confidence and power to your voice!

I know this because I’ve experienced a real change in my voice. I am reaching my dreams to sing and perform. You can find happiness and fulfillment with your singing too!!


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  1. Hi Tim: Yes correct practice makes perfect. I think the number one tip that helped me was to do it easier/softer. Also do it with a dopy imposition of the larynx….keep it dopy and hootie as you do it. Good luck Tim!

  2. Hi Chuck! Thanks so much for all your amazing resources. Do you have any advice for how to stop the muscles from pressing against your thumb in the squeaky door exercise? Or is it really just practice makes perfect?


  3. absolutely Groovy: Thankyou so very much for your selfless contribution to the craft, you make such a difference I am humbly gratefulI do all your exercises find them making adifference Thankyou Good Sir;you ae a true professional at what you teach thank you very much your friend Brian

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