Vocal cracks are actually a common problem for beginner singers. But, you can take heart in the fact that you’re not alone! Even the experienced singers have their days. When your voice cracks as you sing, it usually happens involuntarily and can be caused by numerous factors. To help you avoid these vocal cracks, here is a guide to take you through the possible causes and give you tips on how to prevent them.
How To Avoid Getting Cracks When I Sing?
In order for you to avoid your voice from cracking, it’s important to pinpoint the reason of why you're experiencing vocal cracks. And it varies from singer to singer because everyone's vocal cords are unique. Here are the most common reasons and solutions for your vocal cracks:
Problem #1 - Abuse
This one is a no-brainer because we all know that if you go screaming at the top of your lungs you’re going to hurt your vocal cords. Not only can it tire your voice and cause vocal cracks, it can also cause you more serious damage in the future.
So, when you find yourself at an awesome concert event or your sports team just won the league, go gentle on your voice. Many singers even avoid crowded rooms before a performance so as to not speak in elevated tones for extended periods.
Another factor that we easily tend to forget is that we shouldn’t force ourselves to hit the notes. When you’re trying too hard, you’re probably putting stress on your vocal cords.
With training, you will learn to achieve the proper singing technique that puts the least amount of strain on your voice, helping the sound to flow. And even though pushing your vocal cords beyond their limits may sound good for a moment, the consequences can be long-term.
Problem #2 - Not warming up
Warm-ups are necessary before starting your singing session so that your vocal cords are warm and flexible. It helps you in reaching your notes comfortably and to sing to your full potential.
If you don’t warm-up, you run the risk of damaging your vocal cords because of the strain you’re putting on your voice when singing those difficult notes.
Problem #3 - Stress
Stress is a common problem we face in our daily routine, whether it’s at work, home, or on the stage. And not only does stress have an influence on you mentally, but also physically.
As you stress, your heart starts to race and your breathing becomes shallow. While your body experiences these symptoms, it becomes tensed and you’re not able to use your vocal cords' full potential.
Let’s compare your vocal cords to an elastic band: imagine pulling the elastic band to its maximum. After doing this, you try to pull it even further which leads to it snapping. That’s what happens to your voice when you’re stressed.
All the muscles surrounding your vocal cords are tensed because of the stress. And as you try to reach higher notes, the tension restricts your voice from going higher. So, make sure to include relaxation exercises into your singing session.
Problem #4 - Breathing
Vocal cracks can also be a result of no/little air passing through your vocal cords, as the sound is dependent on the vibration.
Improper breathing leads to lack of air, which limits the effectiveness of the vibration. In other words, the more the airflow is restricted, the less the vocal cords will vibrate – which means less sound.
The moment you don’t breath properly, you restrain the vibration of your vocal cords and you will hear a crack in your voice.
Doing different breathing exercises will teach you how to control your breathing and keep your diaphragm in place - ensuring clean notes and a crisp singing voice.
Problem #5 Vocal placement
Singing relies on controlling your voice and holding the note, which is achieved by practice and more practice. The ability to control your voice will improve your vocal placement and avoid vocal cracks. It all comes down to technique.
Another aspect to keep in mind is that your vocal placement and vocal range go hand-in-hand. Even though you can expand your vocal range with time and training, your voice will crack when you sing outside of your vocal range.
In order to avoid possible embarrassment, make sure you choose songs that show off your vocal ability and stay within your vocal range. Sticking within your vocal range will ensure that you sing with your best singing voice and can give you a confidence boost.
Now that you know what cause those nasty vocal cracks, identify your problem and tackle it head on. There are numerous methods and exercises that can help you strengthen your vocal cords and avoid those cracks. It all comes down to practice!
About the Author: Brian Collins
I am a classically trained singer who believes that every instrument requires maintenance - including the voice! I started my professional music studies at the age of 8 and competed in and won several local and state piano competitions. I graduated with honors and earned my Bachelor of Music Education in 2003, and since then I have studied with famous musicians and teachers around the world. I have also completed hundreds and hundreds of voice lessons, exploring various methods, and attended countless seminars on voice coaching for all ages.