Registers Sticking

A vocal issue often experienced concerns a singer’s ability to move around the vocal home.  

For example, some people easily descend into the basement and then get stuck down there, not able to get out.  Others soar to the top of the range, and when it comes time to walk back down into the first floor, there is an issue with adjusting back to the lower level.  Maybe another has an inaccessible basement due to stairs being unstable, or an inaccessible second floor due to a phobia of heights. This person would be stuck in the first floor.  The common factor in all of these situations is that the person becomes stuck and not able to move.

This “stuckness” can usually be traced back to the closer and stretcher muscles not being in a healthy relationship for a variety of reasons.  If these two muscle systems do not play nice together, then as we try to go up and down the vocal range there are miscommunications and muscular coordination becomes more and more out of whack. We get stuck somewhere in the range and cannot move like we ought to.  

The only way to get unstuck is to take a minute, and press reset on the closer and stretcher muscle relationship.

Normally, this is done by beginning to move back and forth between the two muscles.  One would sing in chest voice then falsetto, one to the other until the muscles regain their balance and start to be happy friends again.  

We must first establish a working relationship through simple exercises.  So, we healthily exercise the closer and stretcher muscles together; progressing to more complex exercises. This will take a minute. However, once done, rebalancing becomes easier and more quickly accomplished with the ability to move from one area of the voice to another restored.   

Allen Rascoe

about the author

Allen Rascoe Allen has been enjoying singing since he was a little kid. He officially studied voice at ECU and USC. However, he ran... Read More

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