Why is my voice cracking?
How to stop your voice from cracking
La, la, la, *crack*
Often times, singers flip from chest to head voice unintentionally. If done harshly enough it can sound like a complete break or crack in their voice.
This happens most often when a singer is singing large intervals (notes that are far from each other). But not always--sometimes it happens, seemingly, out of the blue. The singer will find themselves singing normally and then suddenly the tone and color of the note they sing sounds lighter at best and weak, unstable, and completely mute at worst.
What is this phenomenon and how can a singer overcome it?
The biggest culprit for a sudden change in tone is vocal placement. Each vocal register a singer sings in (chest, mixed, head voice, falsetto) has a specific vocal placement that helps the singer have resonant notes.
What are resonant notes?
Have you ever been in an empty house with no furniture. Maybe you just moved in and all of your furniture is still sitting in the u-haul. If you're anything like me, you might have tried to sing or yell in that empty room. Why? Because your voice sounds amazing. It echoes--it reverberates around the room. Your voice has a larger space to reverberate and there are no couches or other items in the way to dampen the sound.Your voice has more...resonance.
Vocal placement is reminiscent to the shape of a room, which can be changed by the addition or removal of items. There are things that we can do with the shape of our mouth and placement of our tongue to aid the resonance of certain pitches.
With this particular issue of a singer unintentionally singing from chest to head voice--they are skipping a register entirely by not adjusting their vocal placement. Which register? The mixed register!
Every singer is different, but chances are, if singing low is a breeze and singing higher becomes more of a strain, they likely have a tongue that is dropped in the back of the throat when it should be raised.
Vocal placement is a subtle art, raise your tongue too high and you'll find yourself sounding too nasally. Drop your tongue too low and you'll sound like kermit the frog. It is a delicate balance.
Experiment by gradually moving your tongue from a neutral/relaxed position and slightly raise it as you slide vocally into higher notes. Also, you will find circumstances when you want to have a sudden flip between chest and head voice for the sake of the song/emotion etc.
The key is to learn how to do things intentionally and in a healthy way with your voice.
Watch this video of my virtual lesson with my student Nate, as we work through this issue!
Indie Artist School