How to Sing Louder without Straining

Ever since I started singing, I always had a little soft tenor voice. My voice type is the lightest of the tenor voice called leggiero in Italian.

I used to think volume, like vocal timbre, is something that’s naturally built in a singer. It wasn’t until the last ten years that my voice finally began to grow bigger and bigger.

I sing in a professional singing group, and, believe or not, I can now overpower every singer in my group.

What exactly happened to the soft tenor voice I originally had?

Now, I will reveal to you how to sing louder without straining.

If you would like to get the best training on singing with power and beauty, I recommend you read this review on the best online singing program.

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Reason #1 – Too airy

Airy tone is the most common problem I see in voices that can’t get louder.

We love to imitate Brian McKnight, Mariah Carey, and all the superstar pop singers sing their sexy airy tone.

That’s a big technical mistake an amateur singer makes trying to sound sexy and cool – mainly to their own ears.

We must keep in mind that airy tone is just one of the chops those great singers have. They also sing loud and powerful, and they don’t do it all the time.

Too much air is actually harmful to the vocal cords.

The vocal cords are just 2 sets of delicate muscles located in the larynx. They can get easily over-powered and develop nodules.

Give up the airy tone until you get a fairly good technical foundation.

Try to cut down the amount of air significantly while you sing.

Remember – you don’t need a lot of air in order to sing loud and beautiful.

Reason #2 – Too Much Tension

This is the other extreme from airy tone – too much tension in the throat. People flex and strain the throat muscles in order to sing louder.

To sing louder, you only need a little more muscular tension.

The challenge is – you need to flex the RIGHT muscles.

There is a concept in vocal instruction –

You want to work the INNER MUSCLES (the actual vocal cords), not the OUTER MUSCLES surrounding the vocal cords that has nothing to do with singing.

In order to sing louder, the vocal cords have to work harder.

Muscles that have nothing to do with singing should relax.

If you have too much tension while singing, relax just a little bit.

When you back off from the tension, the voice might free up more and even get louder naturally because the relaxation might bring better resonance effect.

Reason #3 – Born with a small voice

Yes, I admit some people, like me, naturally have smaller voices. However, I guarantee you that can change when your technique become more advanced. I’m living proof.

When you know how to close your vocal cords tightly and get rid of the airy tone, your voice will get louder with an edge.

When you know how to adjust the resonance spaces above the vocal cords – the throat and the mouth, you can amplify the sound without any more effort. It could be as simple as changing the shape of your mouth while singing.

Reason #4 – Nodules in the Vocal Cords

Now, this is a more serious problem. Nodules are like calluses on your vocal cords caused by strain and excessive air overpowering the cords.

The cords cannot be fully closed because of nodules.

You have 2 options if this is you:

  • Get it surgically removed by an ENT doctor, which I do not recommend because of the risk of damaging the cords.
  • Seek help from a qualified vocal coach who can help you improve your singing technique, because the nodules are most likely caused by bad singing habits.

Reason #5 – Stage Fright and Fear

This is more of a psychological issue that every singer must deal with.

Lack of confidence can actually limit the volume of your voice.

I have countless experience of having trouble projecting my voice in real performances because of extreme anxiety. I simply could not close my vocal cords tightly to produce a fuller tone.

How do we deal with stage fright then?

Just do it. Plain and simple. Don’t think too much.

A little stage fright is good for you because it kick in the adrenaline, but it cannot be out of control.

The best ways to deal with stage fright is correct thinking and self-talk.

Act as if you can nail that song on stage. Don’t care too much about how other will think of you.

This is the main reason we have terrible stage fright – We care too much about what others think of us.

Switch your mindset from competition with others to self-competition. Remember – your greatest enemy is yourself! The only person you need to beat constantly is yourself.

Once you can have the right mindset as a singer, you will find yourself singing louder on stage.

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It serves you no good if you can sing really loud and sound like you’re constipated.

There are many singers who try to sing loud by just yelling their guts out.

Yelling could lead to nodules and sounding like crap to the audience.

If you’re on a TV talent show, you might hear a judge say, “You just invented a new form of torture!”

Let me just reveal to you the greatest secret to singing with power, beauty, and control.

Technique, technique, and technique.

You need to learn how to use the least amount of effort to get the biggest volume.

It cracks me up when I see singers around me trying so hard to match my volume with their face all red, only to create more tension in their voice.

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1. Keeping the sound round and deep

Do a yawn and feel how open and relaxed your throat feels.

That openness, roundness, deepness, or fullness is what you need to produce a big sound.

The openness and roundness in the throat fully utilizes the resonators – the throat and the mouth, that amplify your voice greatly without you having to exert any more effort.

When you are in that roundness, you can be as loud as you want.

You will not be causing any harm or damage to your vocal cords, and you will be getting this power and edge in your voice with very little effort.

This “Rounding” technique can be applied to any style of singing. I’m serious. I’ll discuss more in future posts.

2. Strengthen the voice like a boldbuilder. 

After you have develop great technique, you should start “lifting some vocal weights.”

This is like going to the weight room and bend pressing, training your vocal cords to get stronger to be able to endure a thicker vocal tone at a higher volume.

I used to think it is extremely harmful to flex the vocal muscles too much.

In some cases, yes. If you have too much constriction( i.e. too much wrong muscles involved), you should hold off on vocal weight training and go back to the vocal rounding technique, which is coordination training.

But usually the coordination training and vocal weight training can be done hand-in-hand.

If you’re passionate with getting the most out of your singing voice, read my review on what I think is THE BEST online vocal training program in the market right now.

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If you’re struggling with power and volume while singing, or you feel frustrated and have accepted the view that you were born with a small voice, don’t be.

I’m living proof that voices can be greatly amplified through great technique.

Recently, I have started an intensive program on vocal weight training, because I’m giving my first public solo recital in a few months.

I found my voice growing even bigger and reaching new heights.

I have been able to sing the most famous Tenor aria of all times – Nessun Dorma finally, after just training for a few weeks. This is with power, fullness, and beauty in the voice.

I get the training idea from Robert Lunte’s online training program, which I think is the highest-quality online singing program in the world right now.

Robert Lunte’s vocal training concepts integrates the 2 main key element in vocal training that I’ve talked about here – Vocal technique and Vocal Weight Training.

If a small voice like mine can have this kind of progress, so can anyone. Literally.

Be encouraged. You are not even close to reaching your full potential as a singer.

Keep singing!

Your pal,





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