Upper Register Singing

Hey all you singers out there this is Jim Dix and I just want to take a minute to put up a quick tip on singing. Today's subject is singing in the upper register, and some of the things that need to happen well in order for that to really sound the way that you want to.  

So, the first thing I want to talk about is tension, and it's something that gets bandied around a lot, but it's really important because of the anatomy and what's going on. The larynx is really a cat's cradle of muscle and cartilage and other types of tissue in there, but the main two parts of cartilage that are here... you have the cricoid cartilage down here and up here you have the thyroid cartilage. When you see your Adam’s apple, that’s the thyroid cartilage.  

Those two pieces of cartilage are joined by a couple of little muscles called the cricothyroid muscles that act as a hinge, and when you go up in pitch... if this is the cricoid cartilage and this is the thyroid cartilage and you go up and pitch. those muscles contract and it pulls the thyroid cartilage forward (and your vocal cords are back here), pulls the vocal cords, stretches them, thins them, and makes a higher pitch.  

So the thing is, those are two tiny little muscles and above your larynx you've got you know your jaw muscles, your neck muscles, your face muscles, especially your tongue. Your tongue is a huge and very powerful muscle and it is connected to the hyoid bone at the top of your larynx, so when there's tension, in the tongue especially, that's going to cramp up like this and it's going to pull the larynx up a nice little muscles here trying to do this job of pulling thyroid cartilage and stretching the vocal cords really doesn't have a prayer of doing its job well with all this other stuff is pulling up against it.  

So you really have to relax all this and let these little muscles here do their job and then you'll find the upper register is much easier and it requires much less effort so otherwise you're in this battle of tension and the muscles that are going to do the job best are not gonna to win, so you have to let these muscles win.  

So if you're tense, you're going to get something like, you know, the sound of sort of reaching for the notes, straining for the notes like…. (sung demonstration)...  and that's never going to sound good.  

If you just let the thing relax, just even if you have to stick out your tongue, or think sticking out your tongue, it's just going to settle in much more nicely. It’s just…. (sung demonstration)... and it's really relaxed and you can get tons of power that way... whatever you want to do. It's much more flexible and easy.  

So that's about it for today’s Quik Tip, and if I can be useful to you, please feel free to contact me. Just visit my website - Jim Dix Voice Studio.com. 

 I'd love to hear from you, and if you'd like to schedule a free lesson, by all means. I do my first lesson free, so if you'd like personal instruction I'd be happy to do that and I wish you well in all your vocal life out there and have a great time. Bye.  


Jim Dix 


(561) 573-5719