Ep.41 Problems Singing Higher at the Vocal Bridge

Ep.41 Problems Singing Higher at the Vocal Bridge


In our last episode we talked about three things that must happen to avoid problems singing higher at the vocal bridge so you can sing into your head voice.


  1. Resonance splits and shifts into the head cavities.
  2. Vocal cords thin and adjust as we sing higher and
  3. The larynx stays down while the vocal cords stay connected.


Bad things happen if we don’t. I’ll show you what that sounds like. Watch!


Problems Singing Higher at the Vocal Bridge


Here are some common problems at the first bridge and what they sound like. I’m going to use the song “Why God”  from Miss Saigon.


Problems Singing Higher at the Vocal BridgeScreen Shot 2016-01-26 at 9.17.55 AM



I’m going to demonstrate first of all the wide vowel, possible causes for the wide vowel, possible solutions for correcting that. [Vocal Demo]


Why God? Why this face?


Now the correction to that would be to narrow the vowel.  So here’s an example of taking that vowel and narrowing it down on the word “why”.  [Vocal Demo]


Why God? Why this face?


Now I also narrowed not only the “why” and the “God” but the word “face”.  “Why this face” open it wide…”ah” to “feyce” …”fey…ce” and “wuhy” instead of “why”.


Also illustrated now is the… allowing the resonance to shift into the head.  First I won’t let the resonance shift. [Vocal Demo]


Why God? Why this face?


Now I’ll let the resonance shift into my head as a result of narrowing the vowel. [Vocal Demo]


Why God? Why this face?


Another problem: reaching and straining.  It sounds like this.  [Vocal Demo]


Why God? Why this face?


I hate to do that to you. A possible cause for reaching and straining is the larynx is rising.  A possible solution for that is that the larynx stays low.


I’ll try it now without reaching, straining, forcing and yelling. [Vocal Demo]


Why God? Why this face?

Another problem we face at the bridge is flipping or breaking… cracking.  And the possible cause for this is that the larynx is rising, it’s going up. And then the cords split or the cords break apart or separate. So let me see if I can demonstrate that in this song. [Vocal Demo]


Why God?




One way to try and correct that is using a bratty “ney”. I’ll show you. [Vocal Demo]


Ney Ney Ney Ney Ney


Or another approach is to use a dopey “gee” sound to keep the larynx down. [Vocal Demo]


Gee Gee Gee Gee Gee Gee Gee Gee Gee Gee Gee Gee


Now then I can take that and apply the words to it. I could try it… the words a little bratty.  [Vocal Demo]


Why God? Why this face?


So that holds.


I could also try to apply kind of a dopier sound to the words…huh.. just kind of pull my larynx down a little bit. [Vocal Demo]


Why God? Why this face?


You hear the difference. There’s no crack or break.  


Another thing that we do at the bridge is go light or breathy because if we go strong it will do bad things. We’ll pull chest or it will crack or break or whatever.  So an example of that would be this.  [Vocal Demo]

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 11.12.30 AM

Why God? Why this face? Why such beauty in this place?


It doesn’t work very well. The problem with going light is that it doesn’t work on stage.  You can’t do that and have big powerful song and end with a light, airy, breathy sound. It just doesn’t work.


The solution to the going light and breathy again is you can use the bratty neys or you can do the the dopey gee’s or you can even do dopey “guh’s” to get a little bit more purchase of the vocal cords. It would  be something like this you’d do as an exercise. [Vocal Demo]


Guh Guh Guh Guh Guh Guh Guh Guh Guh


You can feel there’s more strength in that.  So that’s a possible solution to solidify that area in the bridge and then you can take it and apply the same feel then to the words of the song.


I’ve only listed some of the possible causes and solutions for problems singing at the vocal bridge. These are a few of the solutions that can help you overcome these problems you face. There are many others.


The important thing to know is that it is possible to solve each of these problems.


How you sing through the first bridge reveals your vocal type. Do you know your vocal type? I’m not talking about whether you are soprano, alto, tenor or bass. Your vocal type is what you tend to do when you sing.


Visit PowerToSing.com and take the PowerTest and quiz. This will help you discover your vocal type. Then visit the Knowledge Center and watch videos about your vocal type. Download the exercises for your vocal type and start improving your ability to sing through the vocal bridge and into your head voice.


I’m Chuck Gilmore with Power To Sing. You can sing higher with beauty, confidence and power.


I’ll see you inside the next video.


[Vocal Demo]


Why God? Why this face? Why such beauty in this place? I liked my memories as they were, but now I leave remembering her! Just her!


Hope this has been helpful.


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