Why Am I Losing High Notes in Upper Vocal Range? [Answered]

(Last Updated On: April 18, 2023)

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Do you really know why you are always losing high notes in the upper vocal range?

You have to find out the problems since wrong vocal exercises will never allow you to ever extend your vocal range. In fact, it will hurt your voice forever over time.

Would you be surprised if I say that there are two factors of good singing that most people are not aware of or they neglect and thereby wind up not knowing how to sing high? To hit high notes in a clear and sustained manner and without straining your voice, you need to take care of your vocal technique and psychological factors that affect your singing.

Reasons Behind Losing High Notes

You may exactly know your vocal range, but you often experience losing high notes in your upper vocal range. So, your question is—”why do you tend to lose high notes when plodding the upper vocal range?” There are surely some succinct reasons behind this tendency, and it is these reasons that we would like to expound in this article.

You need to know these reasons because they may be preventing you from maximizing the use of your vocal range. Here are these three reasons behind this tendency:

1) You Are Breaking Yourself Into Falsetto

If you have run into falsetto, it means your vocal cords can no longer hold together lead to “breaking apart” on your high notes vocal range.
Your voice will sound light and airy. Furthermore, your tone is singing without depth and solidity to it. This is what we called “falsetto”.
To solve this problem, you have to learn how to “shift gears” and move into your higher registers that will give your sound more powerful, solid and depth in high notes vocal range.

2) You are Trying to Force Your Voice

It’s happened when you are trying to use your extra musculature to force your voice as high as it can go. But, the fact is that you sound like yelling or screaming in the high notes badly.

Be careful! It’s the worst singing practice you have done. You will damage your voice permanently if you keep trying this kind of singing style in high note.

That’s it. The correct vocal range exercises will train any voice to sing perfectly to show your voice how to increase vocal range.

3) You are Pushing Your Voice Too Hard

When you try to produce a kind of voice that has less power and inadequate support, this simply means that you’re utilizing more muscle tensions in your laryngeal area to control your voice. In trying to muscle your voice instead of supporting it, you’re just making your vocal folds traumatic which could result in swelling.

When swelling occurs, you can experience some difficulties in singing to hit high notes. In fact, if you sing “high notes” in your chest instead of head voice, you will experience more friction and trauma. For me, a type of rehearsal that is of ‘high-energy’ could mean a loud rehearsal with a combined emotion.

In this case, it may be possible that you’re trying to monitor the physical sensations that you could feel in using your voice. Therefore, it is possible that you may have overused your voice that caused straining.
To remedy this situation, it is advisable for you to get a good voice teacher that can get you back on your feet.

  • Drink several glasses of water.
  • Monitoring your voice while singing can be of great help.
  • Until you get back the good sound of your voice, it would be better to relax your repertoire.

4) Improper Use of Resonance When Singing in Higher Notes

Wrong vocal technique in using the resonance when you are reaching higher notes may break your voice.

Closing your space resonance and reaching a higher position of the larynx may have a good effect on your difficulty in moving to a higher range. Extending your range depends on how stable your larynx is. This can enable your vocal folds to go higher in pitch. When your larynx rises, your folds inside won’t be able to stretch in pitch. High range depends on the stability of your larynx in keeping the resonator of your pharynx open.

Proper use of resonance supports your voice vibration, and it helps to amplify your tone.

Therefore, your vocal folds can vibrate slightly, and for the higher pitch, it can vibrate faster.

5) Improper Posture

Posture is an important aspect of good singing. If you don’t believe me, you can always try it out. Just sing the same song while you stand slouched, and your head angled downwards and then again with your back straight and head tilted backward and see the difference. A good posture while standing is to plant your feet firmly apart, arms akimbo, spine straight and head and shoulders tilted slightly backward. This will allow free airflow, you will be able to inhale more deeply, and your voice will open up more and enable you to sing high without strain. Try this stance in front of your mirror and correct yourself every time you tend to bend.

6) You Are Too Tense

Some other things which you can do to improve your singing are to learn to relax while singing. Any stress or tension will carry through to your voice. Similarly, wear clothes that are comfortable. Relaxation is easier if you sleep well in the night and try not to lose your temper or get upset over anything and try to stay away from anything that will make you emotional. Other methods of relaxation are the practice of yoga, deep breathing exercises, and meditation. Some people also find it relaxing to read books. These are some very important pointers to the psychological preparation of the mind. Focus on them till you learn how to sing high.

7) You Are Not Ready Yet

Mental readiness or psychological preparedness to singing is the next important criterion for singing high notes. This means that all your focus should be on your singing and no mundane day to day matters should occupy your thoughts. Try to get some privacy while practicing shutting out all exterior noises as much as possible. Radio, mobile, TV, etc should be switched off. Develop a very positive attitude towards singing and always think that “You can” and not “Can I”. With that mindset practice well till you get all your high notes right.

Listen to lots of songs sung by good singers in which there are renditions of hit high notes. Try to understand where they take a breath and how they hold it and exhale it while singing. Imagine yourself singing the same notes and go over it again and again in your mind. This will increase your confidence and you will be able to actually do it. Besides all this, remind yourself that you need to be a good singer and learn how to sing high more than anything else; especially when you feel a weakness to do anything that will affect your voice.

8) You May Have Vocal Health Issues

Well, if you have already determined your vocal range, but still could not reach notes in your upper vocal range, chances are, you may have a possible vocal health issue. If you experience, for example, an intermittent “cutting-out” of your voice when you sing in the upper range, your vocal fold or muscles above your vocal folds may be inflamed. 

The technical term for this tendency is “intermittent aphonia.” Intermittent aphonia means you’re singing “without sound.” If you try to make a note, but you only get an intermittent sound (sans a noise), then chances are, your vocal folds are having difficulty or maybe swelling. 

In extreme cases of vocal cords’ swelling, you usually lose the upper range of your voice. If this is the case, your vocal folds may be inflamed. Moreover, it may be a case of severe constriction in the upper muscles that support the vocal folds.

In such a case, you should have yourself checked-up by a physician so that an appropriate diagnosis can be made on your condition. Moreover, these symptoms may be indicative of a more severe malady such as the existence of polyps, vocal fold hemorrhages, or nodules.

9) Unstable Larynx

The stability of the larynx may play a critical role too in the losing of higher note when in the upper vocal range. When the larynx is in a higher position, it tends to close the resonance space. This closing of your resonance space does make sense if you experience cracking and difficulty in the upper range. If the larynx is unstable, the vocal folds will find it hard to stretch appropriately to reach higher-pitch. 

The high range is generally dependent also on a stable larynx in keeping the pharynx’s resonator open. Without proper resonance, the vibration of the vocal folds will not be reinforced, and the tone will not be amplified because the vocal folds would fail to vibrate faster and quickly to produce a higher-pitch. If these dynamisms are weak and lacking, then, the voice characteristically gives out a strained sound instead of perfectly producing a higher-pitch.

10) Not varying Your Singing Voice, Singing in Chest Voice All the Up to Higher Notes

Versatile singers usually transition to their head voice when tackling higher-notes. They don’t stick to using the chest voice. Similarly, if you only stick to using your chest voice when tackling higher-notes, chances are, you will fail to reach the high notes. 

Sticking to the chest voice will automatically limit your vocal capability. This results in losing a larger chunk of your upper vocal range. Thus, you need to learn some vocal exercise that would help you transition from the chest voice to the head voice to flawlessly produce the highest notes in your entire vocal range.

Final Thoughts

There are no such things of overnight success, and the same theory goes applied in the singing training as well. However, you can keep training your vocal cords on singing different vocal coordination, which will allow you to sing in extremely high notes with your head voice, and mixed voice effortless.

You will not break your voice when singing in high notes in the future again once you understand the root of these problems.

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5 thoughts on “Why Am I Losing High Notes in Upper Vocal Range? [Answered]”

  1. Im a male, My chest voice vocal range is always increasing and getting better, but I’m losing the high notes in my head vocal range, I used to hit C6, but now G5 is hard for me.

  2. Hi sir,

    I am a 18 years old boy with vocal range about d3 to g4, sometimes even a4 …. But I have problem like pharyngitis and recently i have been facing a little bit of tonsil problem.

    My question is how can I sing with this problems and how to increase vocal range? Should I give up or move on?

    • In this kind of situation, you should take a complete rest for a while first to allow your vocal to recover from the throat problems.

      Most singers with severe tonsil problems will have narrower air flow path through the vocal chords. You will lose your voice or even damaging your vocal chord if you’re pushing your voice too hard. You should learn how to sing and to hit higher notes from your diaphragm without pushing too much / straining your vocal chords.


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