How to Sing Without Straining (2020 Guide)

When you take a look at the list of the greatest singers in the world, you will find singers who have the loudest and most powerful singing voices. There’s no denying the fact that singing loud is the pinnacle of singing.

You hear or watch David Phelps catch the attention of everyone in the room with his loud and powerful voice. Let us also not forget about Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Luciano Pavarotti, and many more.

Then there’s you—the singer who once tried to sing higher notes without damaging your vocal muscles but failed miserably. All you were able to imitate is the sound of a strangled cat. The thing is you even ended up pulling your vocal cords.

That is the problem of almost every singer—how to sing high notes without straining. But don’t be disheartened! There are ways to address that problem!

If you wish to know how to sing louder without straining, you should read this article!


What is a vocal strain?

Also called as muscle tone dysphonia, this condition takes place when your vocal folds are not able to fully vibrate the way they should when producing a particular pitch. When this happens, all the other vocal muscles will try to accomplish what they have to do. However, there is a tension that opposes and hinders them.

As a result, it will be difficult for your vocal cords to produce the right pitch. Worse, they are at risk of being overworked because they need to exert extra effort to fight off the unwanted tension.


What are the leading causes and their solutions?

But why does voice strain happen? Where is that unwanted tension coming from? Here are some of the possible causes:


1. Jaw and Tongue Tension

To understand how your jaw and tongue may become tense, you have to have a deeper understanding of the tongue’s anatomy.

The roof of our tongue is connected to the top of our voice box (larynx). This voice box is encased by cartilage, and it is where you can find your vocal folds and Adam’s apple.

When there is tongue tension, the larynx stiffens when you sing or speak. This is because the upward and downward movement of your tongue interferes with the larynx’s natural position. This interference prevents your vocal folds from producing the vibration needed to achieve the right pitch and sounds.


When you pull your tongue back up to hit a high note or place too much emphasis on a consonant, or you try to open your throat by pushing your tongue back down, you will put unwanted tension to your tongue and jaw.


How to Solve This:

  • To prevent tension, perform warm-ups and vocal exercises, and practice your scales.

You can also get rid of the tension in your jaw and tongue by giving your face a massage.

  • Another way to get rid of the tension in your jaw is to chew on a gum before you exercise your voice. After chewing, stick your tongue out so you can stretch it properly and eliminate the remaining tension in the base of your tongue.
  • Relax your jaw and tongue by muttering a couple of “bla blas” in the sloppiest way you can. This may sound silly, but it can help your tongue feel relaxed.


2. Lack of Breath Support

One of the biggest mistakes that singers make is that they rely on the small muscles in the throat when they sing when in fact, they should use the bigger muscles in the lower torso to support the throat.

When you used the muscles in your lower back and ribs, your diaphragm will be activated, and you can get enough breath support needed to boost your vocal tone. This move can also remove the unnecessary strain to your throat, preventing vocal strain.


How to Solve This:

The best way to solve this is by developing correct breath support. Here are ways to do this:

– Expand your ribs when inhaling. Avoid taking a gaspy breath, which may cause your shoulders and chest to rise.

– When exhaling, keep the ribs as open as possible so you can expel the air as slowly as possible. Don’t just collapse your ribs to let all the air out.


3. Air Overblow

We have this misconception that we need to produce more air to hit high notes. Your vocal folds will need less air to vibrate fully when you sing higher.  That’s surprising, right? Yes, but it is the truth, and that is one truth you need to keep in mind to avoid vocal straining.


How to Solve This:

The solution to this is to find enough breath support and practicing proper breath control. You can do this by breathing into your back. While doing so, allow your abdomen to relax naturally. Avoid manipulating it.


4. Lack of Resonance

The common mistake of singers is they sing on their throat muscles, not from the mask of the face. One thing you should understand is that a natural resonance can only be created when the sound waves you emitted bounces off your facial bones and teeth. You can manipulate this resonance so you can produce more sounds without the need to yell or put unnecessary strain on your throat.


How to Solve This:

Practice singing from the mask of your face ( nose, eyes, and area under the eyes). You can do this by singing by producing buzz to the tune of a song. Instead of the lyrics, make sounds like “Mm,” “Ming,” or “Ng.” Emphasize the “Mm” and “Ng.” Do this repeatedly, and once you have mastered this, you will feel the pressure in your throat will begin to ease up. Once your throat is finally free, you can sing as loudly as you possibly can without damaging your vocal muscles.


5. Not Using Their Mixed Voice

To produce a more powerful voice, singers push their chest voice as high as they possibly can. For your information, we are not wired to sing with our chest voice as it has limits. When you push beyond such limitations, you will undoubtedly get voice strain.


How to Solve This:

The key to this is to practice mixing your voice. This means you should try using both your chest and head voice in one note. This is not an easy thing to do, but there are plenty of exercises that can help you do it. These include the Bubble Lips and Ney. You can also do vocal warm-ups like Octave Leaps, Messa di Voce, Portamento, and The Grunt.

After that, you can let muscle memory do the job.


Additional Tips on How to Sing Louder Like Greatest Singers in the World

Aside from preventing vocal strain, there are other tricks that you can try to boost the power of your voice so you can sing louder like the pros. Here are some of them:


Know your vocal range and embrace it.

The most common reason why we do something that strains are vocal cords is we aim to sing higher or lower than our vocal range.

To avoid this, you must identify your comfortable vocal range and sing notes within it. The good news is, the more you stay within your vocal range, the more you will be able to stretch and expand your vocal range.


Enroll in an online vocal training program.

If you want to take a shortcut, the best thing that you can try is sign up for online singing courses that have become quite popular these days. These courses are taught by expert voice coaches who are knowledgeable on how to sing without damaging your vocal folds.


Practice proper posture.

All the parts of your body are affected when you sing. And your body affects how you sing. Improper posture negatively affects your airflow and the vibrations of your vocal folds.

To sing louder, you should stand up straight so you can get as much air as you need in your lungs.



One great activity to try in the arpeggios. This is pretty much like doing scales. The only difference is it uses different vowel sounds.  This is designed to help you practice breath control and expand your vocal muscles so you can sing with more power.



You already have all the tips on you need on how to not strain your voice when singing high notes. Now, all you need to do is work on singing louder and more powerful while putting all of these tips into practice.

Vocal training is not an easy feat. It requires lots of practice, time, effort, and patience. But as long as you keep practicing the tips I have provided you with, there is no doubt that you can sing without encountering any problems.

If you happen to be looking to improve your natural singing voice and learn to sing like a progression, read how to do it here at singinglessonsco.