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Extending my range

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I recently learned how to extend my range after watching some Brett Manning videos. It was like majic - for a month I was working on my upper range - up to Eb5 - felt great - no tension. But at the very top end I would feel a little pinch sometimes -looking in the mirror - I could see muscles in the neck flexing along with the pinch. I tried to work through it - I guess too much. One day I screwed up my voice - have not sung in 4 weeks, and I'm still not back (larynx feels inflammed and tired most of the time). I posted this on the Vocal Health page and Snax said I probably used my "constrictors". Can someone enlighten me on this? What did I do to myself and what should I do in the future to avoid doing this again?

Here is an example of me singing - maybe you can tell something wrong with my technique (I don't feel any pinching while singing this song):


I appreciate any feedback!

Thanks, Geno

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Hi Geno,

yes it does sound like you may have ended up with constrictions which can wear on the voice. if your still having problems after 4 weeks of vocal rest i suggest you go and see a doctor or ENT and also make sure that there are not factors such as acid reflux or things like fumes from chemicals and paints if your around any that could also be of significance.

In SLS, so im assuming its the same in SS there are various bridges or passggio in the registration of the voice and it just happens that that Eb5 is pretty much where one of them is. if you want go even higher one way is to release, relax and lighten the voice to a place where it feels almost as if its going to flip into falsetto and narrow the vowel your using. in fact as a training tool you cant start on a very narrow OO type sound, one that is a little deeper/darker than say the vowel in the work TOO so more like the OO in the word FOOL which kinda had a tiny amount of UH in it, narrow your lips like as if you were whistling and siren/slide up in pitch and see where you get. remember as you get up high to drop your jaw but keep those very narrow,whistle type lips and make sure there is absolutely no tension in the throat, keep it very relaxed so that it is as easy and free/released as the feeling of falsetto.

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Thanks for the feedback. I do want to go higher. It's funny - I never thought I'd be able to sing up there, and I've never considered myself a Tenor. If I can master that higher range it will seem like a little miracle. A lot has changed since I studied voice. This forum has been a real awakening. Thanks again!

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Br Bounce - thanks for the nice comments on the song. Yes - singing that song doesn't hurt me - the highest note in the song is a high B at the end, which was a struggle a year ago when I recorded the song - but never hurt. I'm not used to going above that until a couple months ago. I was able to get up to Eb using a Brett Manning octave and a half triad excersize singing "no no,.." seems to allow me to go up there with no tension - except at the very top where I would sometimes tense up. The "n" and the "oh" vowel seems to force the head voice early. I guess I was doing some slightly dangerous things just trying things off youtube without a teacher telling me exactly how to practice it. I'm going to contact my ENT tomorrow.

I think when I'm healed I'm going to have to try to do excersizes that builds the "muscles" carefully? Am I right that you have to treat it like a sport? I know that a lot of it is just muscle memory, but isn't some of it building muscle strenght too?

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