Welcome to The Voice Connection Sound Off; a forum for users of books like Raise Your Voice, Melody to Madness, The Ultimate Breathing Workout, and Unleash Your Creative Mindset, as well as a place for Vendera Vocal Academy members to interact.

This message board was created so that singers could come together and "sound off" to help support each other during vocal development and the creative process of unleashing the creative spark that occurs when writing and producing music. Currently, myself and vocal coaches Ben Valen, Ray West, and Ryan Wall are here to respond periodicially to your questions, with new vocal coaches coming soon. But, feel free to help each other too:)

This board is here for you to ask questions about my and my fellow coach's books, videos, and MP3 programs, as well as offer others help with our vocal techniques. You may also post videos of yourself and your band to share your music and ask for critiques.

Please refrain from negative comments, profanities, spamming, and inappropriate criticisms of vocal methodologies, vocal coaches, and singers. All negative posts will be deleted and subject to banning without question. I will not respond to negative posts, because, as Mark Twain once said, “Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” With that said, positive criticism is welcome because that is how you'll grow as a singer during the training process.

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Unintentional distortion in head voice

Hi folks,

It's been a few years since posting on this board, but after finally understanding how the voice works I've been training for the last two and have managed to increase a vocal range of 1.5 octaves to almost 4.

What I'm not sure about is how you get rid of unintentional vocal distortion in the head voice. It's not constricting to the point of being chokey, but the tone just isn't clear. I can post an example if you want to hear it, though I'm not sure if I'm singing with too much compression or not enough (getting a fry sound).

Anyone know how to stop this? I'm thinking that working on the OO vowel might help, but other than that, I'm stumped...


Re: Unintentional distortion in head voice

If you still have unintentional distortion in the higher range, it tells me you are still straining. You need to turn your head side to side as you sing higher to break loose that neck tension. Also, check out the pocketVox from This will help to balance your air pressure so you don't force the upper notes.

Re: Unintentional distortion in head voice

It's weird- when I was younger, I didn't have constriction or tonal impurity- and I thought I was singing the wrong way! To warm up, I'd just sing some stacatto punk lyrics in head voice with a slightly hard attack. Four things have happened since then:

1. I've developed acid reflux and have a very dry cough during the night that wakes me up and seems like I'm trying not to swallow something (but not sure what it is- the context could depend on the dream preceding it). That would account for the unwanted grit- might have singed the vocal folds in that pitch area (anywhere from C4-E4 depending on volume level).

2. Spent a lot of time singing with such an overly high larynx that it took a year to free up a hooty tone (low larynx) in head voice. Also spent a fair amount trying to strengthen it, which may have made C4-C5 less stable in full voice.

3. Have not drank nearly as much water as before. Trying to break this reverse-habit.

4. Aged a bit. The last year I can recall singing strong and free was 2005.

In 2015 between all the different vocal training approaches, something worked around May and I had an incredibly strong midrange. Then it weakened while working on high reinforced falsetto (above C5) and for about a year head voice became breathy and no longer felt like chest. I would really like to diagnose the problem and do what it takes to fix it- do you offer a listen-and-diagnose service and then prescribe particular exercises that work on only the part of the voice that needs help?

Also, one last question: Can you really power chest voice up to your highest falsetto note in a safe way regardless of voice type and natural vocal weight?

Re: Unintentional distortion in head voice

Hey Jaime. I am not sure if I am experiencing the same thing as Pram but here is what happens to me. As I do my exercise mainly full voice exercise I have a pretty clear tone but when I reach the A#4 to B4 and even C5 it is like brain starts to negotiate which way to go about getting through this area. I can do those notes in full chest but in order to do so I tend to push down a lot more causing me to distort through that range. Once I get past those and I am forced to thin the voice as I negotiate on in through to A5 my voice is very clean again. In fact I have yet to learn to be able to distort in my higher range.

Now if I approach the A#4 to C5 if I loose the weight of my voice and go ahead and lean more towards my head voice register the sound is clean. I do not feel any strain when my voice does distort. I know it is coming from me pushing down and really getting that girth chest in that higher range. I guess my question would be is how can I negotiate this area in my full chest tone without distorting. This small area seems to be the hardest for me A#4 to B. I don't flip or anything its just that I can't seem to make a decision on how to approach this part of my range. Should I go ahead and thin out and loose that girth so i don't distort or to I keep on doing it until my full voice learns how to negotiate this area.

Some of my most favorite singers in the world seem to live in this area. One that comes to mind is Rick Emit From Triumph. I notice when he sings in this area it is very thin sounding. One song that comes to mind is Magic Power. Of course I have never heard Rick distort while singing. I like to be able to do both for style reasons but just wondering when doing my exercises should I go ahead and start thinning out around the A#4 so that I stay clean or should I do this exercises both ways to continue building my chest in that higher range. Its like my mind gets scared when I get to those notes because I can't decide on what should I do. I should probably use this and make a audio file and submit this in the VVA academy for a critique. Record this both ways ads me doing it in full voice or thinning it out. Its just when I stay in full voice sometimes it works out and sometimes it does not.

Sorry for such a long post.It is hard for me to put in words what I am experiencing. I am not noticing any tension. Sometimes I will choke out if I stay in full voice and I do feel the tension but other times it works but it gets down right Narly and distorted. I am pretty sure the distortion comes when I really push down with my support.

Re: Unintentional distortion in head voice

Hey Michael, I had not even considered that I was using too much support! That is probably it... Another thing that causes distorted tone in the high range is singing with too much twang. Take twang too far, and it brings the false folds closer to each other so they're almost touching.

Need to experiment... But it's got to be one of those things or the other. The strange part is that when I sing in CVT Overdrive (shouty), there's no distortion. The distortion creeps in when I try to sing in Edge (cackly), which requires more twang than Overdrive.

For both of us, the problem could even be as simple as not using the correct vowel for the pitch. That would put you inbetween modes, which also causes distortion. I know what vowels have to be used above C5, but haven't found much information about un-modifying them lower in the range (C4-C5).

What I find interesting, is that I used to have the exact opposite problem: too much breathiness on those same notes! It's amazing how you can try to do something to correct a problem and end up going the other way into a different problem.