Voice Cracking - How do good singers handle it ?
Voice break generally refers to transitions between different vocal registers of the human voice. Although singing is mostly done using the modal register, it is important for more professional singers to be able to smoothly move between different vocal registers. Unintentional voice breaks are called voice cracks. Cracking voice sounds very naive and its not good at all for professional singers. Voice cracking happens when there is lack of steady flow of air especially when singing higher notes. The voice muscles are not able to support. For Professionals it happens when they have an ailment or allergies which impacts their voice muscles.
To draw a parallel, you can compare it with shifting gears when you drive a manual car. Initially new drivers would not be able to do it smooth and it will result in stopping the car or /and jolting your passengers, the same goes for learning to shift between the vocal registers. When you are amateur singer , it will sound unnatural and may crack. With practice your transitions will be smooth and pleasing to ears. As a young singer your voice will crack when you are discovering how to sing higher notes. Young men around the age or puberty who practice singing can also experience voice cracking.
Professional singers are able to control their voice so they don't crack at all. They practice it well and it is really rare if their voice cracks. The only time it would crack is when they have sick throat. If you are really well trained before cracking of the voice, the bursts of the cracking can be really frustrating. Trained singers keep on singing, even with cracked voice , they try to sing normally. They let the voice crack as much as they can till it reaches a point where its unbearable to hear your own voice. This is the discovery moment, when they realize that singing in lower tone or notes is much more easy and pleasing. So they will adopt the scale which suits them the best. It needs practice to smooth your voice and be aware of your range. Not only that you have to extrapolate the high pitch songs such that it suits your voice range.
How to stop craking at higher notes ?
- You will have to experience cracking properly to understand what cracking is. Hence you will have to sing higher and permit yourself to crack so you know what it feels like and you will have to get rid of the fear of your voice cracking when you are singing.
- A song may have 100 notes, its okay if you are not able to sing one high notes. What you should be aware is where to stop such that your voice does not crack. You cannot be perfect. Trying to be perfect puts a lot of stress on the singers and it is the number one reason new singers are not able to make a mark.
- Scientifically when you sing higher you need more air to move through your vocal chords. This is done through breath support, more consistant air flow, and more space in the back of the mouth. If there is any gap it can result in being off-pitch or cracking. With proper breathing you can prevent yourself from cracking. Lower range requires much less air and everyone can manage that without cracking. People get away without cracking in lower range as its effortless. With proper breathing you can support high notes better. You will have to sing on exhalation or sighing. The tension in your jaw and throat will be less when you sing on the breath, air will freely move into your resonators to produce fee tone.
Cracking while singing is not like end of your career. Audience is kind enough not to put you down as every one understand the learning curve one has to go through while singing. Also if you must sing a particular note then practice it several times till the cracking goes away. There is no alternative to practicing. Good songs are practices for hours or days before they are presented to audience.
It does take lot of determination and perseverance to achieve all this , when you find non-cracking voice you will be amazed how easy it is not to crack. You should not be thinking about all this when you sing. Only thing you must worry is how to transfer the emotions in your song to the audience.
TRY THIS - Multitask when singing. Say you are bathing or cooking or driving, without any efforts you would have reached the scale you wanted. Which means that worrying about it actually makes your singing worse. You have to go with the flow and make is sound all natural.