Why can’t i sing high notes anymore?

The Surprising Reason That You Can't Sing High Notes Anymore [And How To Fix It]

So you've lost your high range.

It totally sucks, right?

It happened to me many years ago and I seriously thought my life as a singer was over.

In fact, I had torched my voice so badly from show after show that I really struggled to sing anything, let alone the higher notes.

Worse still, it happened right before an important recording session with my band in the late 2000's - there was a label interested in releasing an EP with the view to move towards a full length album within the year.

My dreams were coming true...

... Until I stepped up to the mic in the studio and I basically couldn't sing my own songs.

You can imagine the horror in the eyes of my bandmates when everything else had been laid down and the lead singer, the frontman, the head honcho of the band that wrote and sang everything couldn't sing.

It was seriously embarrassing, heartbreaking and disappointing all in the same moment - and I really removed myself from making music and being in bands for some time after this because I thought I just didn't have what it takes to be a singer.

The frustrating thing was that I knew I'd been able to sing those songs previously, maybe not perfectly, but the notes were kinda there - and now they weren't.

What happened to my high range - and what has happened to yours?

I'll share a "before and after" with you in a moment that shows you the exact problems I was struggling with - the massive improvements my singing has made on every front, and simply put: the #1 thing that helped me rediscover and even increase my high range.

This is THE thing that has allowed me to return in full force with even more range, power and freedom than I ever had "back in the good old days" - oh yeah, I'm also pushing 40 if that puts it in perspective for you that this is a real thing that anyone can do at any age.

Now, we all know that "the proof is in the pudding", so if you're just looking to hear all this crazy range, both low and high that I've built, you can scroll a little further down the page and you'll see few covers and some originals that display the full gamut of range that I'm going to help YOU build too!

I've gone from a permanently hoarse voice, failed recording sessions, thousands of dollars wasted in lessons, thousands more dollars wasted in the recording studio and ultimately being unable to perform at my best, embarrassing gigs and my band mates shooting secret glances at each other every time I missed a note - to a highly successful vocal studio which is regularly featured in Top 10 lists with world renowned vocal methods and teachers like Christina Aguilera Master Class and Roger Love, praise from other highly successful voice teachers that Bohemian Vocal Studio is "the only vocal studio to trust 100%", power, distortion, sustain and stamina for days and a healthy voice most importantly; but don't just take my word for it, the following amazing feedback and comments about my singing voice now that I've learned the REAL and RIGHT way to sing correctly is just a drop in the ocean when it comes to all the comments I now get about my voice and singing ability;

Before we get started and I share with you the absolute Secret Singing Sauce that allowed me to rebuild my range and return with more range, more power and more control than I had even had in the early days - let me tell you exactly what happened to my voice to cause me to lose my high notes.

What Happened To My High Notes?

There's quite a few reasons you might find your high range has diminished, and providing you haven't done any physical damage to your voice along the way - it's likely that your voice has simply changed over time, but your approach has not adjusted to these changes in any way. Our speaking accents often become more ingrained and pronounced over time, our bad habits start to take over - and before you know it, you've blown out your high range.

I realise now that the issues I experienced many years ago are in line with the natural maturation of my voice - what simply "worked" when I was younger had really stopped working for me. This was totally a reflection on my poor technique as a singer at the time rather than any true issue with my voice - in particular, the 'recovery time' that was only a few seconds or moments after pushing a high note had actually become days, weeks and honestly MONTHS for my voice to return to normal again without breaking and flipping.

It was simply "make or break" time for my voice - either I had to step up and become the professional singer with professional vocal technique that I had always dreamed of, or my ability to sing was simply going to decline with time as a total hack with awful technique and poor vocal health.

Looking back at the "before" video I'm about to share with you, it's now obvious what my issues were;

  • lack of support
  • pronounced vowels
  • lack of resonant space
  • glottal onsets
  • subglottal pressure
  • syllabic delivery
  • pushing and straining
  • yelling and shouting
  • lack of head resonance
  • lack of forward placement
  • no mixed resonance
  • generally poor technique

I could just go on and on about the reasons my voice crapped out on me, but you can judge for yourself in a moment. 

With even just one of these issues, you'd be in for a world of pain with your voice performing show after show like we were doing at the time - but with so many issues, my voice was obviously doomed from the start.

But first, I want to share with you a happier story that will hopefully inspire you to keep working towards your goals, and really give you a baseline for how you can get your high range back - and how you can avoid losing it again in the future.

I'll take you through the reasons that you've lost your high notes, either over time, or after a bad show, but first I want to share with you what CHANGED in my voice to allow me to build a seriously crazy amount of range with more power and freedom than I could have ever imaged before.

I recently detailed The Secrets I've Learned From Building a 4 Octave Singing Range, but I'll save you the pages-long read by telling you right now the secret to reaching your goals as a singer - in fact, the secret to becoming a master at anything.

Serious, Honest, Self-Reflective Goal Setting In The Short, Medium and Long Term.

At this point you're probably thinking something that I hear absolutely EVERY day as a professional voice teacher - and it's something that I too used to say every single time I tried to sing, every time I went to a new teacher and every time I tried something new:

"My Voice Is Just Different - This Isn't Going To Work For Me"

I hate to break it to you, and I'm sorry if this isn't diplomatic - but your voice just isn't that special.

My voice isn't special.

Aretha Franklin's voice wasn't special.

Chris Cornell's voice wasn't special.

Adele's voice isn't special.

Sure, they're all great singers - but their voices work just like mine and yours;

Airflow + Vibration + Resonance

That's it.

Seriously, that's it.

Now, you could try to be all cheeky and say "what about compression though?" and I'd tell you that compression is just a way to help you improve/manage your airflow.

You might even say "what about vowel modification then?" and I'd simply point out that vowel modification occurs by altering your vocal tract to help you sing with better resonance.

You could even go crazy and say "what about cry? And Mixed voice?" and I'd point out that cry occurs when you use the cricothyroid to stretch your vocal folds to aid in strong closure for better vibration, and mixed voice is essentially a shift in the coordination of how your vocal folds come together to vibrate.

I'm serious, you can throw any crazy term you've learned from YouTube or can quote from Wikipedia at me and I'll immediately attribute them to just three fundamentals;

Airflow + Vibration + Resonance

So my big question to you is whether you're a master of airflow? Are you a master of Vibration? And are you a master of Resonance?

I bet you hesitated for a second before finally admitting that no, you're not a master of at least one of these basic vocal fundamentals.

Are you still wondering why you've lost your high notes?

Let me take some of the guesswork out of this whole thing for you by teaching you more in a <10 minute video than you've probably learned from YEARS of being stuck in "the YouTube video loop" or trawling through pages and pages of blog posts.

There's actually only FOUR things you have to do to get all your high range AND MORE back in spades - The Four Vocal Fundamentals:

Now, going with our revelation that ALL singing voices are just:

Airflow + Vibration + Resonance

Do you have a set of lungs to create/manage airflow? Yes.

Do you have a set of vocal cords that can vibrate? Yes.

Do you have a mouth, sinus and pharynx to resonate with? I certainly hope so (if not, I'm going to call an ambulance for you!)

Is your high range REALLY 'lost' - or do you just have serious work to do on these three basic fundamentals? I'm going to go with a solid YES on the latter.

Don't get me wrong - I totally appreciate that you're having issues with high notes that you weren't having some time ago/when you were young/before you blew your voice out; but how WELL were you singing those high notes in the first place?

Again, I need to ask you - were you an absolute MASTER of Airflow, Vibration and Resonance? Honestly 

And here lies the absolute unbridled, unfiltered, ugly truth about why you've lost your high range - your lack of foundation just caught up with you, just like it did with me so many years ago.

With that little zinger, you're probably wondering about your options at this point.

Option #1) You're kinda on the fence about me and what I have to offer.

You're probably thinking something like "who is this guy anyway?" or "he's probably just a Tenor" or "he's just a natural singer" or here's the real kicker:

"My Voice Is Just Different - And This Isn't Going To Work For Me"

*zing!* *pow!* *boom!* *bam!*

Where have I heard that before?

Obviously, you can click off this tab - go back to your google search or YouTube, trawl through a few more "how to" tutorials or videos; and our little meeting here will be a distant memory. You might even find an entertaining little post or video somewhere that makes you feel all fuzzy inside again like you have before - but it will ultimately prove unhelpful and you'll be back on the 'ol YouTube loop of video after video after video searching for the answer which I'm ultimately giving to you right now.

And this is a total shame.

Especially considering you're only ONE click away from getting your high range back.

Option #2) You can invest in your voice like a dedicated, serious singer would - by letting me take the guesswork outta this whole thing for you with the Foundation 101 singing course. In fact, I'll even throw in the Growth level course as well for just a few extra bucks than Foundation 101 is usually worth on it's own - up until now, Growth has only been made available to students that I selectively choose to work with, and who have been through the Foundation 101 course first; proving to me that they're not just going to waste my time - but we both know that you're absolutely serious because you've read this far and watched the videos along the way.

And just a few days, weeks and months of practice and dedication away - you're likely going to see more range than you've ever dreamed of, or at the very least you'll be a very long way past the point that you're at right now - wondering whether you even have what it takes to be a good singer in the first place, right?

Remember, even other voice coaches with tens of thousands of subscribers are saying that - "Bohemian Vocal Studio is the only vocal school that I 100% trust"

You get to work right away with the actionable goal of building a rock solid foundation for your voice and you double your vocal range, power and start reaching your full potential as a singer.

Now I'm not saying this is an easy fix - there's a reason that I'm selective about who I work with, and especially when it comes to how I've shared the Growth level course in the past to only those who've worked through the Foundation course first. 

It takes work.

It takes dedication.

It takes actionable goals.

This isn't a quick fix, a cheap trick or a magic show - this is the real deal.

But you're ready for that, aren't you? It's time to stop dreaming and get your high range back once and for all.

Seriously - let me help you.

You can invest in your voice by building a Rock Solid Foundation using the link below to buy the Foundation/Growth pack:

But what if you're still on the fence, and how about that "Before and After" that I promised? Can we hear that 4 Octave range we've been hearing about?

Of course.

The video on the left is a Mark Lanegan cover showing how my natural Baritone vocal range has developed by mastering The Four Vocal Fundamentals - personally, I just LOVE singing in this range, and it's been quite a discovery for me to learn just how much room for development there was in my low range, even as a guy who had a pretty low voice to begin with. My voice has always been low, but I never really considered this range as 'usable' because it just wasn't powerful, full and effortless like it's now become.

The video on the right is my original material with the Dead Spirit Communion band - and honestly, this song was really just an excuse to challenge my high range, power, distortion and the intensity that I can sing with. Honestly, I never dreamed that I'd be able to sing even half of this range or with even a quarter of this power and effortlessness; but it's really what I've become well known for as a voice coach and also as a professional singer. You can probably tell who my "rock" influences are immediately, right?

But that's not really a comparison of "before and after", now is it? Nope - these are both from 2020.

My before and after is in the video below, along with the #1 thing that changed EVERYTHING for me as a singer and even better than that, I'm also going to give you a foolproof vocal plan that is not only going to help you get your high range back, it's going to help you build more high range than you've ever had before!

Being totally honest - I'm actually pretty selective about who I work with and who I help - with my calendar booked out weeks in advance, our 8 month old daughter tugging on my Iron Maiden shirt every 45 minutes looking for attention and the fact I'm 3/4 of the way through the next Dead Spirit Communion album as I'm writing this; I can't afford to have my time wasted by tyre kickers. So if you're not interested in building more range, you don't REALLY want to become a better singer and you're just here to be entertained rather than becoming a serious entertainer yourself - then you might be better off just clicking off this tab and hopping back on the YouTube loop.

But if you're serious, and I suspect that you are if you've read this far and watched the videos above - watch the video below the full way through for my "Before and After" as well as learn the #1 thing that has changed absolutely EVERYTHING for me as a singer - oh yeah, the first part of the vocal plan is actually in this video too, so pay attention!

Sign Up to your Three Part Vocal Plan Below:

9 Comments

  1. The chords do not zip in head voice. They get longer and tighter? How can they can zip or shorten when the lenghten and tense? Thanks.

    • Actually, they do. Once you travel through the mixed portion in the centre where you balance the TA and CT, the folds BOTH tighten and lengthen, but also partially close off so that only a portion of the length of the folds is used for vibration. Try a classical sounding “hoot” sound with an OO vowel, like a gentle “hoo” in your highest register – the folds aren’t long and tight, they’re actually short and tight at this point, or at least, the portion that vibrates is short.

      All the best,

      K

  2. I had severe laryngitis eight months ago. It was not caused by singing, but coming down with a bad cold and having to talk all day at work did me in. My voice was completely gone for a week, and I got sick two more times before I could recover – although I never did fully recover. My voice gets tired now much faster from talking, and if I try singing, I pay for it. My voice will be horse for days afterward if I trying singing one whole easy song, or if I try testing my voice to see if I can belt again. I was a professional singer, and I could sing things like Journey and Celine easily. Now I can sing in my high register in my head voice ok, and my mid range has come back, but when I try belting out any high notes, my voice just breaks. It just won’t do it. I want to see a vocal coach, but first I want to make sure that nodes aren’t my problem. I’ve had a problem with health insurance, and haven’t been able to get the testing done. Any advice for me? Been singing my whole life 🙁

    • Hey Danielle! I’m not an ENT, so I can’t advise regarding the nodes – I suspect it will be more of a technique thing, where your voice is trying to protect itself. The red flag to me is that you’re having trouble belting, which to me would suggest your approach wasn’t all that healthy to begin with, and after the laryngitis, this old technique of clamp-and-push just isn’t going to cut it anymore. Try to focus more on building a fluid and healthy connection between all of your registers instead of trying to belt. A belt really comes from a drag in the mid section, so it’s likely you’re actually pushing from chest instead of using a balance between weight and tension in the right way. You’re welcome to shoot through a short clip and I’ll let you know what’s going on.

  3. very interesting when I was twenty I could sing really high backing vocals to anything and even push dream on. not any more out of the game to long but I want it back it’s enough to make me consider your proposal. I used to sing in a band with a chick singer and do all the high back up. i’m 65 now and play bass , piano, and lead guitar. so hmm. how mutch and do you think it would work

  4. Hey man for your health pls take the flu vaccine shot so you won’t catch cold but have to take it each year so you won’t pay in form of your voice sorry for my english

    • Approaching 40, with 10 years+ of being vegan and keeping a healthy, active lifestyle; my health really has never been better before. I haven’t been to the doctor in almost 15 years – I prefer not to poison myself. Turmeric in particular is incredible for your immune system (you know, that thing nature gave us). You’re aware that “a cold” is different to “the flu” and the flu vaccine doesn’t stop you from catching colds, right?

  5. I am now 22. I have a problem of singing high note with vowels E I O etc. bt I am comfortable in A vowels in high notes . So what I have to do sir.

    • Hi Sandip – the vocal plan at the bottom of this article will help you develop your vowel sounds on the higher notes. AY/EE/OU are all an extension of a raised tongue position; this is really the first thing you need to work on. From here, you need to start adding height in the tract and staying neutral of pronunciation to ensure peak resonance in your higher range. All the best – K

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