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Episode 31 – Taking Chest Voice Higher | Hints & Tips

The brilliant Erika opens our show today with her single Fly Away. Find more of her music at and support her wonderful shows!

Taking ‘Chest Voice’ Higher – OOOOOOOOOH!

Todays subject is super-hot on a modern singers list of vocal wishes. That’s why we wanted to talk about it… and how to train for it. 

First up, if we want to understand chest voice we should start with a bit of vocal cord knowledge, and we help you understand this in our podcast. To accompany the show, here’s a moving cross section of the vocal cords:

Vocal fold animation

Moving forward we’ll help you understand how resonance and acoustics assistant in taking chest voice too!

We also cover a methodology to develop chest voice higher. Here’s the general gist:

  1. Tension release – this is an obvious but often missed part of the process. Taking chest voice up is a nightmare if you have a bag load of tension in the outer muscles surrounding the larynx.

  2. Allow the ‘flip’ – it’s important to experience the break without tension, and exaggerate the movement towards another muscular coordination with the vocal cords. This means, as terrible as it may sound, let yourself fly into the lighter top voice (even falsetto if you have to) long before you start straining in the middle. This will help to train out habitually straining in the middle.

  3. Build in some intensity – tune in to the episode for more ideas on specifics, but there are several ways in which we can recruit some ‘beef’ going through the middle. Straw exercises and wide vowels on short scales can also help us hugely once we’ve mastered the first two parts!


Developing chest voice has its dangers. Without proper guidance you could easily become too rich in the chest tone. An overcooked ‘chest voice’ can stunt range, leave volume uncontrollable and leave you open to vocal damage. Get the help of a coach to listen out for you… it’s difficult doing this all on your own.

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