Head Lifting –
Singing To The Skies?

Head lifting when singing is one of the many common undesirable vocal habits that singers may have, and it is also one of the easiest to rectify too.



Many amateur singers or students of singing raise their head whenever they move from low notes to progressively higher notes. The rationale is that as the notes get higher, the student or singer feels that they need to raise their head in order to visualize the higher notes and to be able to sing higher!

This is in essence a reflex action, since the singer thinks that by raising his or her head, they will be able to reach higher and higher notes and avoid going out of tune when singing.

Some students move their heads according to the pitch that they sing, lifting their heads when they sing high, and lowering their heads when they sing low! This results in a ‘head bobbing’ action that really looks quite amusing at times…

In fact, head lifting is absolutely unnecessary and it can even be an obstacle to good singing! The reason being as we lift our heads when we sing, we are actually straining and stretching the front portion of our throat, as well as pressing down on the back part of our throat. This subjects our throat to additional strain, and activates some of the muscles in our throat, possibly tiring them out unnecessarily.

Some head lifting is still acceptable if it is required for performance purposes or for visualization purposes, and it does not involve too much throat strain or jaw tightness! If these occur, it would mean that our throat is not relaxed when singing, and this could hinder our ability to manipulate our voice to the best of its potential. Click on the respective links to understand more about these two undesirable vocal habits!

When we sing, we should try to keep our head at eye-level, without raising our heads too high when we sing. In fact, for higher notes, we might wish to slightly lower our heads and pull in our jaw when we sing, so that our throat will be more relaxed and our vocal cords have more room to stretch and produce the high notes needed! Learn more about our vocal cords by clicking on the link provided!

Practising some general pitching exercises and tips in front of a mirror or a live audience will help to rectify our head lifting problem by helping us to observe our head movements when we sing the basic singing scales or musical intervals! If we find that we are moving our head up and down too much, then we should stop ourselves and start again with the basic scales until we are able to keep our eyes at normal eye-level when we sing!

We can also practise our vocal warmup exercises in front of a mirror as well, in order to rectify our undesirable vocal habits from the very root, before we even begin to sing actual songs! Once we begin to sing songs with lyrics, there will be a lot of information going through our minds and we may forget to keep our heads level when we sing! This is why it will be good for us to practise all our vocal exercises as well as pitching exercises with proper technique in order to solve the problem at its root!

Just remember to keep looking at yourself in the mirror at eye-level, and you will be on your way towards achieving a more relaxed throat and jaw for great singing!

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