I sometimes have to sing songs at the very edge of the top of my vocal range. I have a number of techniques to do this but when I'm singing blues or American Oldtime I sometimes use a folk song technique where I move the rear of my tongue up towards my soft palate. For some reason, this makes it easier to hit my high notes than my regular voice.

Why is this?

Note that this is not the "head voice" technique which you can feel resonate behind your nose. With this technique, the voice appears to resonate towards the back of your palate.

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    Moving the point where the acoustic impedance of the pharynx and mouth changes also changes the resonant frequency of the voice system. I suspect that is at least part of it. – Todd Wilcox May 27 '16 at 18:34
  • @ToddWilcox, I agree. In one word: resonance. – Johannes May 30 '16 at 8:37
  • @ToddWilcox Could you expand on your comment and make it an answer? – xpro May 31 '16 at 16:30
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    I'd have to research to remember exactly what's happening. I do remember that the mouth and throat act somewhat like the bell of a brass instrument, which does this kind of impedance coupling thing which is very interesting. I'll see if I can find it in my books and make an answer if I can. I was hoping someone who just knows would do it. – Todd Wilcox May 31 '16 at 16:40
  • @ToddWilcox looks like you're the expert on this one. :-) – xpro May 31 '16 at 18:02

My voice teacher says that raising the rear of the tongue changes the shape of the voice box, shortening the vocal cords, thus making it easier for them to vibrate faster, which results in higher pitches. Since the cords don't have to work as hard to get the higher pitches, it feels easier to you to get up there. I'm no expert, but my voice teacher is!

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