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Shaky Singing Voice: Why Your Voice Gets Unsteady and What You Can Do About It

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One of the common issues singers face is an unsteady voice when singing. This can happen at different times.

If and when it happens to you, you will feel insecure because you feel like you are losing control of your voice. You may sing out of tune and your tone wavers.

Here are 4 common reasons/places where your voice may get a bit shaky and out of control. There are also things you can try to make your voice more stable.



Growing Voice


If you are going through puberty (12-17 years old), your voice will be growing and changing a lot during this period. It is normal for your voice to be shaky.

Think of it as a software update that is installing on your computer. While it is loading, your computer may not function very well. You wait patiently for it to finish installing. After that, your computer performs better than before.

Your voice is getting an upgrade. While that is happening, it is not going to sound the best. You will sing out of tune and your voice will get shaky.

The best thing to do is to build a good foundation for your vocal technique and work with/around the imperfections of your voice in the meantime.

You want to avoid pushing with your breath too hard or do things that will become bad habits. You will end up hurting your voice. It may cover up your imperfections but they will become worse over time.

Work on having an open throat instead. Make sure the foundation is in place. When your voice has finished growing, you are going to sound so good, you will even surprise yourself. If you have not downloaded my free ebook, you can get it here and find out more about the Open Throat Concept.



Register Break Points


Your vocal range is how high and how low you can sing. Your range can be divided into different parts called “registers”. You have lower, middle and upper registers.

The border or the point where you go from one register to another is called “register break points”, “gear change points” or “passaggi”.

If you do not negotiate the gear change between registers well, your voice will break or get shaky. This is due to tension and/or the sudden change in vocal setup that is not properly supported.

This can be due to a constricted vocal tract, an overly high laryngeal position, vocal folds not changing from raised plane position to horizontal plane position smoothly, larynx lacking agility, body/throat lacking support (not anchoring properly), vocal folds not changing thickness properly, and not using breath well.

These are beyond the scope of this article. Having an open throat will definitely solve a lot of those issues. My singing academy can help you with that.



Lower End of Your Range


Another situation where your voice would get unstable is when you are singing in your lower register, especially the 2-3 lowest notes of your range.

This can happen when you use too much air to sing those low notes (too much air coming out). You are probably coming down from a high note and forget to tone down your breath.

For your low notes, sing them a bit more casually and avoid trying too hard. Let them come out naturally.



Upper End of Your Range


Your voice can also get shaky at the upper end of your range, from the 3rd highest to the highest note you can sing.

This is usually due to constriction in your vocal tract, larynx coming up too high, breath pressure too high, tension in your articulators (jaw, tongue), not lifting your soft palate enough and/or not having proper internal and external muscular support.

The solutions to the factor above are beyond the scope of this article. Having an open throat will solve most of the issues above.

Here are some tips that can stabilize your voice in the meantime:

  • Breathe in just enough air (but not too much) before you sing any high notes
  • Avoid pushing your voice. Instead, imagine you are falling down onto the high note you are singing
  • Have a good posture. Look forward. You can look slightly up, but avoid looking down. Make sure your sternum (chest bone) is up



Conclusion


A shaky voice is most often caused by tension, constriction and/or incorrect breath support/breathing technique.

It usually can be fixed quicker than many other vocal issues.

The key is to build a strong foundation in vocal technique. Aim to feel physically comfortable when you are singing, before you think about how good you sound. When singing starts to feel easy, that is usually when you will start sounding good as well.

 

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