Tiring voice, but doing something right....
Just joined the forum. I'm a wannabe singer who's been in the process of learning how to sing for probably 2-3 years now. I understand the value of head voice (full voice up high), and I think I have found it, however, I tire quickly. I just recorded myself singing "I'm down," the Beatles tune, and was nailing those high notes with relative ease, except for the fact that I can't sustain singing for a long time. I don't really believe in tenors and baritones, I figure baritones are just guys who haven't navigated their high range yet (obviously, however, we all have different voices). I could throw up a recording to back my claim on hitting those high A's that the song starts off with, and I'm not pulling chest, at least not completely. I feel the energy behind my nose, and it does feel somewhat free, but slightly strained (which the amount of strain increases as my voice tires from misusing it). Its not a reinforced falsetto, I've been through that stage, but it does still have strain. The strain is persistent through the whole range of my voice, and comes from pushing. I understand its probably neck tension, and a lack of diaphragmic breathing, but I've read so much about how to breath and I don't understand to incorporate it.
I've never taken a lesson (probably obvious to some... hehe :).
here's a link to listen...
maybe I should not comment, since I am still learning singing...but your voice sounds totally strained.
could you lower the key of the song a half step. I sometimes tune to Eb. I feel less strain.
Agreed, it totally sounds unnatural and strained to me. Don't try so hard, the higher part of you're voice will always be harder to develop, so do it gently :)
So, a couple of things I hope will help:
Yes, you are straining on higher notes and the "tiring" that you're referring to is most likely related to the irritation of your vocal cords ('cause they're trying to hold back a bunch of air) and/or the unnecessary work the muscles outside of your larynx (voicebox) are doing. That being said, from what I heard, you have potential for great tone if you develop proper technique.
Much of my experience has been with a technique called speech level singing that was developed by Seth Riggs' and is used by (reportedly) over 150 Grammy winners. Speech level singing teaches you how to stay connected throughout your entire range without straining by keeping your larynx relaxed and stable (essentially, keeping it in the same position as when speaking at a normal volume). If you're serious about developing yourself as an artist, consider taking a few lessons from a certified speech level singing teacher (which can be expensive but can give you immediate benefits) or check out Seth Riggs' book Singing For The Stars (much cheaper). Just working through the first few sets of exercises in the book will work wonders and provide a great way to warm up (which is something you should always be doing before singing).
You also mentioned that you've been reading up on breathing. Proper breathing is important, but it should come as a result of good vocal technique, not before it (I know, this may fly in the face of accepted dogma). Maybe spend that time researching/learning speech level singing instead.
Lastly, avoid singing if your voice is tired or hurt. Continuing to sing may cause blisters to form on the vocal cords that eventually turn into callouses--in which case there's long term damage. There is no gain with pain in singing.
I hope that helps. Good luck.