I have been singing for several years. But only now I have learned I need to breathe from my stomach and keep my throat open when I sing. However, when I am trying to hit higher notes, it gets more difficult to keep my throat open. How do I stop it from closing up on me?
There are a couple of things that could be making it difficult for you to sing high notes, but I’m going to guess you’re singing with too much pressure.
The whole purpose of singing with our diaphragm is to create a steady and consistent flow of air. This means that whether we’re singing low or high, the same amount of air continues to flow. Said differently, you don’t need to add more air pressure when singing higher.
It’s very common for singers to push too much air when singing higher. They’ve been taught that in order to sing higher, you have to support. This is true, but if you force too much air, you’ll press your larynx out of balance, and will take force your chest voice up way too high creating a ton of tension in the throat, closing it off and ultimately causing it to crack.
To help prevent this, think of singing at no more than a speaking coordination. For a bit, allow yourself to release and switch to head voice when necessary when you ascend. Then, once you get used to singing lighter, then connect your chest and head voice by singing lightly on a dopey oo (singing dopey on this vowel will help you keep your larynx from popping up). This it’s just a factor of figuring out how to alter your vowels to follow that coordination as you ascend in range.
I hope this makes sense. I know I’ve gotten a little technical. Regardless, best of luck allow those upper notes to freely come out of you.
~ Vocal Coach Ken Taylor