Firstly, I'm a 15 year old male (soon to be 16) and since my voice changed because of puberty I couldn't sing as well as I used to. (I was in a church choir and one of the nuns told my mum that when she listened to me sing she forgot about her troubles and she loved my voice - which was such a nice compliment to hear).

I've completed a singing course online and I personally think I'm not too bad of a singer but I have troubles with some of the higher notes for example Ariana Grande's Break Free, the part where it goes ''This is, the part where I say I don't want ya, I'm stronger than I've been before". The words ''I'm stronger than I've been before'' are quite high for me and sometimes my voice strains / my throat tightens and my larynx rises a lot meaning it sounds stressed.

(I can sing it with less stress but then it sounds breathy / loud whisper type sound) So the first part of the question is how can I gradually eliminate tension when I sing higher notes without the cost of volume? Is there any exercise that helps with this?

Secondly, I've recently fallen in love with 'Emotions' by Mariah Carey and I've watched Adam Lopez sing it with beautiful whistle tones which sound a bit airy but still sound similar to Mariah's. I've tried to mimic this but all I've gotten was the sound of something along the lines of a whelp or a dragon screeching. Once again, how can I achieve whistle notes and are there any exercises that you recommend?

  • I enjoy the imagery of "a dragon screeching". Don't worry, you are still very young, and your voice will have more power and resonance as you become an adult. Since your voice changed, you basically need to re-learn to sing. Do plenty of varied warm-ups before you sing, and over time you will slowly extended your range. Maintaining volume will also stem from increasing your overall range. Male whistle tones are extremely rare; not all people are able to do them, even with extensive training. Adam himself has been training his voice for decades. Sep 18, 2015 at 13:44
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    There are two questions in there. I would split the one about the whistle register (and change the title, obviously).
    – Édouard
    Sep 20, 2015 at 20:15
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    Whatever you do don’t push your voice. If it hurts or begins to hurt do not keep going! Grab a teacher too. They can be wonderful :-)
    – cmp
    Dec 17, 2017 at 20:29

2 Answers 2


For now, I would transpose it down a bit to where you're more comfortable, or pick a different piece to work on, that fits your range better, to avoid strain, damage or bad habits.

At 15, the jury is still out on what your range as a young adult will end up being!

I hope you are still singing with an ensemble. Experiment, try a few different groups till you find the right one for you. It might be different from the one that was right for you a year ago. (Or it might be the same.)

Any chance you could have some private vocal lessons? It sounds like you find singing quite rewarding. Private lessons can be very helpful.

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    +1 to transposing songs down to fit your voice. The goal of a singer should not be to sing a song in the same key as a famous recording artist or sing as high as possible etc. This is because every singer is a different person --> has different physiology and body --> has a different voice/passaggio/break/problems/assets. Concentrate on your own voice, sing and practice a bit every day and find a good voice teacher.
    – jeppoo1
    Jan 10, 2020 at 7:53

The only thing I'll add in to this is that there ARE exercises that COULD help you find whistle register, but they should be done with a voice coach.

Brett Manning is himself a voice teacher, and he has whistle register. He has a series of exercises for just about anything. That being said, you still may NOT be able to go into whistle register even WITH his or anyone's exercises.

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