Home Vocal Health and Wellness

Unhealthy High Notes?

When I sing higher notes in my head voice, especially on the EE vowel around the G#5, my throat tends to get irritated and itchy feeling. It's right in the back of the throat above the adam's apple, causing me to want to clear my throat or even cough after hitting higher notes. I don't really feel like I'm straining to get up there and I'm using support/vowel modifications etc yet it still persists. It's also at generally higher volumes, so I'm wondering if I'm using too much air and irritating the cords? I want to make sure I'm not doing any damage.


  • Options
    highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,359
    Many singers tend to almost yell out their high notes. That's not the way to produce healthy high notes. You have to gradually cut back the tone and cut back the volume as you ascend in pitch. EE, especially, because it has such an attack on the onset. High EE's should be rounded-off at the beginning with an A (as in Eight) sound.

    Aye-EEEEE; a short, millisecond or two of "A" to begin your EEE. Otherwise you are beating your cords up with a blunt object of air.

    Besides the rounding off, do make it a habit to reduce the intensity of your air as you go higher.

    When you are in Volume 3, you should learn and implement glottal compression as a means of cutting back the air pressure. Until then, proceed with caution and pay huge attention to that slight irritation feeling. AS SOON AS YOU FEEL THAT, take note of what you just were doing and stop it. You are oversinging and that will cause your cords to swell. That's about all the warning you get. If you just keep doing that, you'll just keep irritating your cords. So don't.

    Learn to cut back the volume a little bit and surf just below that threshold of irritation. No irritation, no damage. Irritation, proceed at your own risk. You can figure it out pretty quickly if you pay attention and heed the warning. You are in charge of your own body. Protect it.
  • Options
    theandrewaustintheandrewaustin Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 2
    Great, thank you so much for the advice, I'll be more careful!
Sign In or Register to comment.