Mark Williams and a girl blowing snow

Freezing High Notes

This week we have another singer having trouble with their high notes, but in a different way. Brad let us know that his warm-ups are going well, but the song performance is having a little trouble. Do you ever have this issue? Read on.


Hi, My voice freezes up and or fades away on higher notes just when I am singing an actual song, yet I do not seem to have this problem when warming up or doing your vocal exercises!! Any tips to help me overcome this problem? Also when breathing should I purposely pull in my stomach on the exhale to sing better?? I am a bit unsure if I should pull in my tum or just keep the sides and back expanded and I do want to keep my breathing support correct. Hope you can help with some good advice.


One thing you can try to help alleviate the ‘freezing up’ or ‘fading away’ of the voice is to actually sing the song while combining your favorite vocal exercise. Example – choose your favorite and possibly easiest exercise – like maybe the Lip Trill – and sing the entire song with the lip trill – use no words. Or if your favorite exercise is on an ‘ah’ – sing the entire song on an ‘ah’ (no real words, just the ah). I think the Lip trill could be a great place to start.

Practice it once with the lip trill and then try it as normal and see if there is a change or relaxation in the voice. You can also combine and sing half of the song (the easiest parts) with the words and then try the highest parts on lip trill. As far as breathing goes – No, do not pull in the stomach. Simply allow the frontal abdominal wall to go slightly out for the inhale and do what it needs to do for the exhale. Remember to keep the chest and shoulders still. Allow the stomach/diaphragm to work, don’t make it do anything. Rather, let the expanding back and sides be your focus.

You can also read this “White Paper” on breathing:

We have an online lesson designed for just this problem. I can walk you through a particular song and help you work out all the technical and performance tweaks. It’s well worth your time! Find it on the Vocal Coach Store

Similar Posts