It seems that getting stuck and becoming unstuck is an important theme in learning how to sing. It would be awesome if we were always unstuck and free!
Yet, for a variety of reasons, as singers we get stuck in constriction or nasality or even in how loud or how soft we sing. Even very famous singers can get stuck, normally singing too loud, and then they have vocal problems.
So, we can know ourselves and warning signs that indicate we might have an issue by paying attention to our dynamic variation when we sing. Can we only sing loud? Can we only sing soft?
Well, an inability to change volume is an issue because we are stuck and not free to express ourselves fully. This also indicates that something physical, something real is happening in our larynx that is preventing us from singing loud and soft, or with appropriate dynamic variation.
When we sing too loud and are stuck, then our voice is being “blown out” and can’t function under excessive volume and breath blasting. When we sing too soft and are stuck, then our voice is “collapsing” and can’t function; being under-energized and feeling like the sound is locked in a box and can’t get out. Further, if we ignore warning signs and just keep going, then we will have other accompanying symptoms like constriction, raspiness, hoarseness, loss of range, continuous vocal fatigue, difficulties being understood as vowels distort, a wobble or tremolo, and on and on.
To be honest, all of these issues are interrelated, and as we work on curing the source of sound, our vocal cords and the muscles that bring them into a balanced equilibrium (closer & stretcher), then we are free, we get unstuck, we can sing louder and softer, neither blown out nor collapsing but a flexibly firm vocalism!