Why is There Peppering in My Voice on High Notes?

I love singing a lot, but whenever I sing high notes, I feel this peppering in my throat… which is very uncomfortable. I really do want to sing comfortably high. Help me. Thanks.

The “peppering” feeling in your throat, my guess, is due to forcing too much air while singing high, causing unneeded tension. In order to sing higher more comfortably, you’re going to need to better balance out your vocal mechanism. In order to do this, you’re going to have to balance out a handful of different things.

  1. Maintain a steady flow of air. From what it sounds like, as you’re singing higher you’re adding more and more air pressure… probably to help “control” the sound. However, in order to sing with more freedom in the upper part of your range, you’re going to have to shed that pressure, as it’s one of the main causes of your tension. Keep a steady flow of air, making sure not to add, or take away pressure as you ascend in pitch, and you’ll find singing higher much easier.
  2. Sing at the Same Level You Speak. Most singers when they start out view singing as something they have to “try” to do. Even when I was younger, I had at least a few people recommend that I “push the sound out,” which while it might be well intentioned, is easy to misinterpret. You singing voice is nothing more than an extension of your speaking voice, and should be treated as such. So when you’re singing, don’t feel like you have to add more to make the sound come out. Stick to a speech level while singing, and you’l find much more success.

There’s certainly more to achieving balance in your voice, and if you want to learn more about how to do so, check out these two articles – How to Sing High Notes and Breathing and Singing.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions.

Vocal Coach Ken Taylor

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