Ep.87: How to Strengthen Your Singing Voice

Is your singing voice breathy and soft? Do people tell you they can’t hear you when you sing?


Inside this video I’ll show you a quick and easy fix.


One reason your singing can be weak and breathy is the vocal cords are not coming together firmly enough to hold back the air from the lungs.


The results is too much air is escaping through the vocal cords.


This causes the following problems:

How to Strengthen Your Singing Voice-Adduct the vocal cords more firmly to stop the air leak

  • It allows an air leak, so to speak, giving you a light, airy, breathy sound.
  • It’s difficult to increase loudness (or volume) and vocal intensity. The voice doesn’t project.
  • It’s easy for the extrinsic neck muscles to start squeezing to try and increase power in the voice.
  • The added tension pulls the larynx higher, which makes it harder, not easier to sing.


How to Strengthen Your Singing Voice


A beginning first step to get more power in the voice, is to get the vocal cords to come together firmly. This will help the vocal cords hold back more of the air from the lungs.


If my fingers were vocal cords, and this sheet of paper were air from my lungs,  it’s the difference between this, letting a piece of paper slide easily through my fingers and this, bringing my fingers together more firmly so they hold the air back or give more resistance to the air that’s pushing against the vocal cords.


This coming together of the vocal cords is to adduct the cords, or vocal cord adduction. It means to move toward the midline, or another way of thinking about it is to bring them together. It’s the opposite of abduct…or to take away.


Here’s a simple exercise that will increase the firmness of vocal cord adduction.


Say “ae, ae, ae”. It’s a rather ugly sound, but it’s designed to get the vocal cords to adduct firmly.


Can you feel and hear there is less air escaping through the vocal cords?


Now say “ae” on a 5 tone scale like this. [Demo] Finally add an “N” and say n[ae] on the 5 tone scale. Be careful to not relax the cords when you add the scales or the “N”. If you relax the vocal cords that would sound like this. [Demo]


Do this on the same scale as an exercise. Women begin at the G below middle C.  Men begin at the D below middle C. Both voices and go up 6 half steps and back down again. These pitches will take you to the top of your chest voice.


Ready men? Starting on the D3. Ready Ladies? Starting on the G3.


As soon as you can do this one, try it with “Ney” on the same notes like this. [Demo]


How to Strengthen Your Singing Voice -Exercise Tips


If the vocal cords want to disconnect into falsetto, add a slight bratty sound to help hold them together. Especially as you go higher in the chest voice. [Demo] If the cords want to break that’s when you want to add that little bratty sound.  [Ney]. As soon as you can do that without the cords breaking back off of the bratty sound. [Demo]


Start out doing them with medium volume. If your vocal cords want to disconnect into falsetto, you may need to increase the volume as well as the bratty sound.  


Just loud and bratty enough to keep from disconnecting into falsetto. Discontinue the bratty sound as soon as you can. There’s no need for it once you can do it without breaking.


This is an aggressive way to adduct the vocal cords and at first it will seem like there is too much pressure on the vocal cords. It’s more than you’re used to, but it’s not excessive if you’ll do them as I’ve shown you.


Just do them once a day. Don’t push it too loud or hard.


How to Strengthen Your Singing Voice-Benefits of the Exercises


  • Doing these exercises regularly will retrain your vocal cords to adduct more firmly. This will help balance the air and muscle at the vocal cord level.
  • Less air escapes. Instead of a breathy, airy sound you start to gain strength and power in your voice. This helps you project your voice when you sing. It also helps when you speak.


This is a perfect exercise for the singers who have the vocal type, Light Chest-No Chest. Do you know your vocal type? This is not vocal range, soprano, alto, tenor or bass.


Your vocal type is what you tend to do when you sing. To discover your vocal type, go to PowerToSing.com and take the vocal test, which I call the PowerTest. Take the quiz and discover your vocal type.


Then visit the Knowledge Center and watch all the videos about your vocal type. Download the free exercises and practice them. They’re designed 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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