Stop These Common Singing Problems

Stop These Common Singing Problems

Many singers make mistakes when they’re performing.

Whether it’s alone in a practice room or on stage in front of thousands of people, everyone make vocal mistakes.

But the truth is that most of these vocal problems are easily avoided.

And if you can avoid these common singing problems, you’ll be doing better than most of the singers out there.

The truth is:

The music industry in incredibly competitive.

And in order to become a rock star vocalist, you need all the help you can get.

So, are you ready to overcome these simple vocal problems and rock the stage?

Read on.

The 12 Most Common Singing Mistakes

Every singer has a unique voice.

And for every voice, there is a unique set of problems and bad habits.

In my years of teaching, I’ve seen just about every kind of vocal issue out there.

Here are the 12 most common singing mistakes and how to avoid them.

Singing Problem #1: Breathing Wrong

Many singers make the mistake of breathing wrong.

Often singers will breathe from their shoulders or chest and add tension to their voice.

But the truth is that learning to breathe for singing is easy to do.

It just takes the right technique and some practice.

I’ve written an article on Breathing for Singing that teaches you exactly how to breathe correctly.

But here’s what you need to know:

The correct breath for singing is called the Diaphragmatic Breath.

It’s easy to master.

Here’s how you do it:

1. Watch yourself in a mirror and keep the top half of your body totally still.

man standing erect from waist

2. Now, place your hand on your stomach and take a slow inhale through your mouth.

3. While your hand is on your belly, allow the in-breath to expand your stomach outward.

man inhaling and holding his stomach

4. Then when you’re ready, breathe out and let your stomach relax inwards.

man exhaling as stomach goes in

There should be no movement at all in your upper body, shoulders or chest.

All the action of the diaphragmatic breath should be in the lower stomach.

Singing Problem #2: Not Warming Up

Warming up your voice is an incredibly important part of singing well.

If the voice isn’t warm, it’s way too easy to miss the high notes you’re going for.

I’ve written an article with 6 Professional Warm Ups to practice daily.

Each of the warm up exercises is designed to help you sing with a Mix.

If you’d like to learn more about singing with a mix of chest voice and head voice, you can also out this article with 10 Singing Techniques to Improve Your Voice.

Learning to sing with a mix is the most important skill in building a remarkable voice.

And warming up correctly is the best way to get started.

Singing Problem #3: Your Voice Breaks on High Notes

We’ve all been there.

You’re going for the high notes when all of a sudden, your voice cracks like a 12-year-old boy.

Hilarious voice crack while singing!

But vocal breaks are really common with singers.

Sometimes, even famous vocalists break when they sing.

But if you properly warm up your voice, your voice will break much less often.

The best way to improve your vocal break is to learn to sing with a mix.

I’ve written an article to help you Improve Your Vocal Break with exercises for every voice type.

But for now, here’s what you need to know:

The voice usually breaks when singing from low notes to high notes.

That’s because as you sing higher, the vocal cords stretch and thin.

But sometimes, the vocal cords thin out too quickly and the result is a a vocal break.

The best way to Fix Your Vocal Break is to sing up to those notes with the perfect balance of chest voice and head voice.

Singing high notes with a balance of chest voice and head voice takes the right vocal technique.

So here’s one exercise to help you improve your vocal break.

How to Sing High Notes without Falsetto--Works for Guys and Girls!

Singing Problem #4: Not Practicing Correctly

It’s been a while since your last voice lesson and the teacher’s instructions are starting to get a bit fuzzy.

“What am I supposed to practice again?”, you wonder.

Or “What did he say about my high notes?”

The truth is that the most effective method of practicing is working with vocal exercises that improve your voice.

I’ve published a video on how to optimize your practice time for the best results:

How to Optimize Your Singing Practice

But for now, just know the best way to improve your voice is to isolate your vocal problems and correct them.

We all have bad vocal habits we need to break.

But if you don’t correct them, you’ll only reinforce negative habits.

So, if you want to hit high notes without falsetto or sing with vibrato, you should practice those skills in a very focused way.

I’ve found that working with an audio recording of your voice lesson is helpful.

That’s why I make a high quality audio recording of every voice lesson I teach.

I sent them out to my students after their lesson so they know what to practice.

If you’re taking voice lessons, try recording them so you know what to practice.

Singing Problem #5: Singing Too Low/High for Your Voice Type

Knowing your voice type is an important first step to become a better singer.

I’ve written an article to help you know your voice type with several listening examples of popular singers.

But here’s what you need to know:

Knowing your voice type is important so you can know what to expect from your voice.

If you’re a Bass, it’d be crazy to try to sing like Sam Smith.

Or if you’re a Soprano, you may never sound just like Amy Winehouse.

That’s because your voice type is totally different from those singers.

Knowing your voice type is also helpful in knowing how high or low you can sing.

If you already know your voice type, here’s a list of the comfortable notes in your range.

Here it is:

Bass: Bass is the lowest male voice type with a comfortable range of E2-E4.

Baritone: Baritone is the second lowest male voice type with a comfortable range of A2-A4.

Tenor: Tenor is the second highest male voice type with a comfortable range of C3-C5.

Counter Tenor: Counter Tenor is the highest male voice type with a comfortable range of E3-E5.

Contralto: Contralto is the lowest female voice type with a comfortable range of E3-E5.

Alto: Alto is the second lowest female voice type with a comfortable range of F3-F5.

Mezzo Soprano: Mezzo Soprano is the second highest female voice type with a comfortable range of A3-A5.

Soprano: Soprano is the highest female voice type with a comfortable range of C4-C6.

Remember that this guide refers to the comfortable notes for the different voice types.

Any time you sing outside this range, it’s likely that you’ll strain.

So, try to stay within the appropriate range of notes and you’ll be amazed at how great your voice sounds.

Singing Problem #6: Singing Too Loud

Singing too loudly is one of the most common vocal mistakes singers make.

It’s also one of the easiest to avoid.

When we sing too loudly, the vocal folds are too thick and pressed to make the transition to high notes smoothly.

Singing high notes with the power of your chest voice is known as belting.

Belting is one of the modes of hitting high notes.

However, belting high notes can also lead to strain and fatigue.

So here’s how to find a powerful volume without being too loud:

1. Pretend you’re on a stage in a small auditorium

2. Now sing at a volume where you could reach the back row.

3. Do this without yelling.

The idea here is learning to project a strong, resonant voice but without the strain and tension of yelling.

I’ve published a short video on singing too loudly and how to avoid it:

The 3 Most Common Vocal Mistakes and How to Correct Them

Singing Problem #7: Singing Too Light

Another very common singing problem is singing too lightly.

If you’re singing too breathy or light, your vocal folds are too thin to resist the air from your lungs.

The result is a lack of power across your range.

Luckily, it’s quite easy to sing with more power.

I’ve written an article with 10 Different Singing Techniques to Improve Your Voice.

Each one will help you sing with more volume and power.

But for now, here’s what you need to know.

Often, when you’re singing too lightly, the vocal cords are too thin.

So, here’s an exercise that will help you thicken up the vocal folds on those low notes.

Here’s how you do it:

1. Begin by saying the number “One” aloud at a comfortable volume.

2. Find a comfortable starting pitch (try C3 for guys and G3 for girls) and say the word “One” on that pitch.

3. Next, say the numbers 1 through 5 on pitch with an ascending 5-Tone scale.

Here’s the scale for guys:

musical scale for men

Here’s the scale for girls:

musical scale for females

If you don’t have a piano handy, don’t worry.

Here’s a video that shows you how to do the exercise:

Professional Singing Warm Up - All Male and Female Keys

Singing Problem #8: Singing with Your Mouth Too Wide

Believe it or not, the position of your mouth affects the way you sing.

Singing with too wide of a mouth is actually a very common singing problem.

It’s also very easy to fix.

Here’s a simple exercise to help prevent you from singing too wide.

Make sure to do it in a mirror so you can monitor your mouth position.

Here’s how you do it:

1. Flatten both of your hands with your fingers in a line together.

This image shows a flat hand

When done correctly, your hands will look like you’re ready to karate chop someone.

2. Place your flattened hands on either side of mouth with your pinkies touching the outside of your lips. Your thumbs should be close to your jaw.

This image shows hands flat on the face

3. With your hands on the sides of your lips, sing the phrase without spreading your mouth past your hands.

This image shows the hands flat on the face while singing

The goal here is to prevent your sung vowels from going too wide.

If you find yourself singing wider than the placement of your hands, simply narrow your mouth and sing the phrase again.

Singing Problem #9: Singing Too Narrow

We now know that the position of your mouth matters when you sing.

In addition to opening your mouth too wide, many singers will also over-narrow their vowels when they sing.

While narrowing your vowels can make high notes easier to sing, sometimes it causes more harm than good.

Especially when you’re singing the highest notes for your voice type, you need a lot of space to make those high notes sound relaxed.

So when you’re singing high notes, be sure to listen for any strain or tension.

If you hear any tone that sounds squeezed or tense, drop your jaw while singing the phrase.

Singing Problem #10: Imitating Other Singers

The truth is that we all learn to sing at first by imitating others.

The same is true when we learn to sing.

Most of us started singing in the first place because we wanted to sound like our favorite singers.

However, as time goes on, it’s important to work on developing your own unique voice.

Not just sing like Sam Smith/John Legend/Adele.

So I’ve written an article on how to find your vocal style for you to check out.

But here’s what you need to know:

One of the best ways of finding your unique voice is by taking voice lessons.

Often we’re imitating other singer without even knowing it.

With a voice teacher, you’ll get the feedback you need to know what your true voice sounds like.

A voice teacher will also be able to give you advice about which genres work for you.

Singing Problem #11: Not Eating Correctly

We all know that the food we eat affects our bodies.

But did you know that food also affects your voice?

Food affects the voice negatively in two major ways:

1. Allergic reaction and…

2. Acid reflux

I’ve written an article on the 10 foods to avoid if you’re going to be singing.

But here’s what you need to know:

The food you’re eating may cause an allergic reaction or acid reflux without you even knowing it.

So to be safe, stay away from foods that produce swelling and mucus in the vocal cords.

Singing Problem #12: Not Working With a Qualified Voice Teacher

The truth is that some singing techniques work better than others.

So it pays to do a bit of research on the best voice teachers in your area.

It’s also important to know the difference between a Voice Teacher vs a Vocal Coach and which one meets your needs.

Here’s what you need to know:

A Voice Teacher can teach you to sing from the ground up.

A Voice Coach specializes in helping you improve your performance.

So if you want to hit high notes or improve your voice, you should search for a voice teacher.

A vocal coach, on the other hand, can only help you if you’re already singing well.

Many singing teachers can do both jobs so be sure to look at their experience.

Most importantly, make sure the teacher you find has experience teaching vocalists to sing with a mix.

Singing with a mix is the most important skill for developing your voice, so it pays to find a voice teacher who is experienced in this area.


I hope you’ve found some of these tips helpful.

If you learn to avoid the most common vocal mistakes, you’ll be amazed at how quickly your voice improves.

So practice the correct techniques for your voice and watch your voice improve.

If you’d like to start the journey to a more beautiful voice, book your first lesson at the Ramsey Voice Studio here.

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