I've been doing vocal lessons for about five months now and I'm doing the song Colder Weather by Zac Brown Band and I find I can sing the song well until I get to the bridge (which goes higher).

Now I sang this for my teacher and she's confident I can sing it in my chest voice and tells me to open up my throat while singing, but when I do, and I try to hit these parts it kind of automatically transfers into my head voice.

I only get to see her once a week so I'm here asking for advice, is there a way to increase the range of my chest voice? She seems 100% positive that I'm able to hit it as long as I work on it. I'm just wondering how.

When I sing the part I'm yelling and forcing it out and I can hit a lot of the notes but it sounds forced. Now, since it's forced and in chest voice, is there a way to hit the notes without forcing it?
You don't need to increase or pull high your chest voice, you need to learn how to bridge your chest and head voice. I bet that when you go high you're in falsetto. If it's her that's telling you to do this then she clearly shouldn't be teaching you. What is the note we're talking about?
No no, this is just my inference. She's taught me about the mixed voice register. I'm just not 100% whether I hit it or not. She taught me where it should reasonate but I've forgotten and I'm not great at feeling it anyway.

EDIT: 2:10 mark (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWxVY1ffpZ4) "You're a lover" part, and also the last line of the bridge that leads to the instrumental.

I can sing the song in a lower octave but I'm trying to go higher with it and get more comfortable singing higher.

Any tips on blending?
Last edited by Milan999 at Mar 10, 2013,
The "your a lover" line reaches an D#4 and the "you know" an G4. Now personally I can hit both in chest voice (I don't know about your voice range) but I wouldn't do so. Especially on the G4 I'd have started mixing some head voice. Basically you have to develop muscle memory so bridging becomes a second nature. To do that you have to do the same thing repeatedly. If that G4 is out of your reach don't strain to reach it, instead just let it flip into falsetto and vocalize as lightly as you're able to connect chest/head. I think some slow octave slides are helpful here. You have to imagine the cords zipping up as you go higher and you also have to take off some "weight" like you would do on an air balloon. Then it's just practice.
Thanks for the advice!

Now come to think of it, I do seem to sing most of the song in my mixed voice (if I'm getting what 'mixed voice' is right). When I get to those parts, it just seems like there's nowhere for my voice to go but up into my head voice (not even falsetto). But my teacher seems dead confident that I can actually reach the note without going into my head voice. The notes are kind of right on the verge of where my chest voice meets my head voice and I really just don't know how to go about attacking it.

On one hand I can force it, and it sounds terrible (and I can't even hit the last line while forcing), on the other hand when I open up my throat and try to sing it lighter, it seems to just go into my head voice. Do you think this can be helped by trying to bridge the two registers better? Or do I just attack it by going into head voice (which I find sounds really damn weird after singing an entire song in the lower register)?

Also, are the 4's generally a higher range for guys? My voice is pretty low and I can sing low but I find it harder to add feeling or emotion when I sing low so I want to be able to sing higher.
Last edited by Milan999 at Mar 10, 2013,
ok. You don't have a head voice, and if you have any mix, it's a very very small mix.

What you are trying to do, is take your chest voice cord closure, and force it up to your second octave, in which after a certain point your voice breaks into falsetto. As you go higher, you are technically mixing to a degree, but it's not how a mix is supposed to efficiently work.

What is happening with your voice is perfectly natural, however you want to correct it obviously.

in order to start getting better cord closure, you first need to make sure, 1. you're breathing correctly. 2. your voice is relaxed within it's natural limits. 3. you can sing into your soft palate. 4. you can sing into your nose to develop good nasal resonance, and also thin the voice after you have good nasal resonance.

Once you have those 4 steps down, you can start the fith step which is mixing. What you're trying to do right now is the 5th step, and you don't know if you have mastered any of the previous ones.

Here's a set of tips from one of my other posts

"breathing: breath from the upper abs

vocal tract relaxation: sing a scale of notes while keeping your mouth still or sing something in the most relaxed way you can. You have to get basic relaxation first, but you also need to keep your throat as open as possible through your whole range.

nasal resonance + voice thinning: you have to develop good nasal resonance. start off by singing towards your soft palate, then move all the way into the nose. When you have good nasal resonance, you can thin your voice too as you go higher, which will help with your cord closure.

cord closure + mixing: if you get good at everything else, you can start mixing your voice simply by adding more power while keeping your voice open. It has to stay open. And by power, it means as little power as necessary. When you mix into really high notes, you'll see you don't actually add a lot of chest voice, you just let the throat +cords do the work."

So please inform your teacher, that you need to look at breathing, relaxation, basic resonance, and nasal resonance, BEFORE you start mixing.

For guys with no natural talent, the voice will completely squeeze off and lose coordination around the 2nd octave. So 2nd octave is challenging without the proper technique. I used to sing like that, but now I just go all the way to the third pretty easily.
Last edited by Doveri at Mar 11, 2013,
Thanks man. I have worked on breathing, My diaphragm expands outwards when I breathe in and when I'm singing, my diaphragm is inwards. That's pretty much second nature to me but I'll definitely try to work on it some more/look at the other stuff.

What you're saying does sound like it applies to me but I feel like I do hit that second octave, it's the third I have trouble with. My voice is just naturally lower.
Last edited by Milan999 at Mar 11, 2013,
Yeah. Doesn't matter what kind of voice you have, no nasal resonance = no cord closure. That's just how singing works.
Actually, I just looked at it by going up and down a scale and you're right. I do have trouble hitting that second octave (or finding a way to approach it). Cheers man, I'll heed the advice.
Just an update: I've gotten the technique down and can do pretty much everything that was giving me trouble aside from the "you know" line, but I'm very close on that. My teacher and you guys really helped out. I feel like I opened up my range incredibly with this and can now do most songs in two octaves. Obviously a lot more work to do to get it polished and shit but cheers fellas.