My voice broke! I can’t sing anymore. Will it ever come back?

My voice broke!

My voice broke! What they probably forgot to tell you or weren’t sure how to tell you.

This is very important. Your voice plate has thickened because your body is now producing massive amounts of testosterone. You’re becoming a young man. Because testosterone thickens the voice plate, it also changes the shape and the audio dynamics of it. Just like taking a guitar and adding another 2 inches to the neck length would change all the dynamics of the guitar, so does changing the thickness of the vocal plate. You would have to learn to play the modified guitar all over again.

Your voice plate is no different. The reason a boy squeaks when he speaks or tries to sing is his minds say to the body, “On my cue, tighten these muscles to shape the throat and position the larynx thus, lungs – push this amount of air out, mouth make this shape and tongue just get the hell out of the way.” The problem is that the mind is playing the old guitar. It needs to reprogram the body for each note.

If you go too fast it can’t keep up. (At least until the mind reprograms.) Once the new program is in place you can scream, rap or do just about anything. For now though until your mind is solid on its new commands, you need to sing very slow songs. And sing them softly. You can add volume later. That will make the programming more precise. Learn sloppy and you will sing sloppy. Take the time to learn properly and it will pay off.

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My sensei once told me, *“It is better to practice one time correctly, than a thousand times wrong.”( * Sensei Katsutaka Tanaka, Alaska , a long time ago.) *

Learning is learning. Karate or Singing or anything else worthwhile in life. Learn correctly. Don’t try to sing in the voice you had before. That time is over and now you need to focus on the new you; your new sound. Keep in mind that as beautiful as your treble voice was, so too will be your new voice. Whether it is alto, tenor baritone or bass, it is yours. It is still uniquely yours and you need to devote time to making it yours and making it right. Start where it is comfortable. If they all squeak then you’re probably still trying to sing too high.

Just like a child learning to speak. As he focuses the words will get better. You however have a more difficult time because your mind has already been trained one way, so you have to unlearn.

Think about each note and slowly deliver it and you will find a whole voice lacking nothing. And before long, you will have retrained your mind and body. All that you have learned will come into play, so none of it was wasted. It will all add to who your are today. You may be the youngest of men, but today you are man training a man’s voice. Just like when you were a treble, it will take time to get that richness and depth in your new voice. Be patient, I know it’s tough, but you were a treble. That was tough and you made it then too. You can do this also.

Sing a lot, it gives you something else to do in the shower and the moisture is good for the throat. But remember that rushing it is what confuses the voice plate. The mind and the body must synchronize for harmony to be restored once again. If it remains confused because you rushed it, you may never relearn properly.

So for a while, work on retraining. Do the scales and start at a comfortable level. When you get one you squeak on, take a breath relax the throat and focus on the note. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t come right away or if your mind can’t identify or co-ordinate all the muscles perfectly right now. Move on to the next note. As your mind learns adjacent notes which are easier to oscillate, it will learn to step in the same fashion as your previous voice. Remember that it is still growing too so sing slowly and your mind will compensate. Soon it will find the missing note simply by taking the shape of the previous note and stepping the same way it has learned previously, going not to note.

If you had a beautiful voice before, you will probably have one again; different but beautiful nonetheless. Work at it and you will be pleased with what you end up with.

I hope this make sense.I’ve tried to lay it out in a way that is easier to understand. It’s all so ambiguous when the say your voice broke and they are always willing to tell you what happened but few are able to explain the “whys” and more importantly the “what do I do nows?” And it’s frustrating because you not only had control but if was special and put you in the limelight. Remember that your hormones make you crazy during this time and your mind and body are also learning new things. Moving is even different because your muscle mass is different. Overnight you stretch out.

The bottom line for you is to do what you can do and be patient. Some guys need to give it some time for the body to quit changing things overnight, before they start to retrain. So go play some sports, exercise helps the body normalize and helps the muscles stretch and fit your new frame. Now is when you will build your new muscle mass. If you want to have that six pack, now is the time to start building it. Remember, you’ll want to look good up on that stage when you get up there to sing next.

It would also be a great time to take up a form of martial arts. It may help you to have, “A sound mind, in a sound body.”

Please note that The motto of Sensei Tanaka’s Dojo is, “A sound Mind, in a Sound Body.” And although I have taken the wisdom of his teachings with me and have shared them with you here, this should in no way be construed as to infer, directly or indirectly, any type of endorsement or affirmation By Sensi Tanaka or Tanaka’s Martial Arts Academy. But I will always remain grateful for his wisdom.


  1. i cant sing will it ever come back i try to sing high notes i bursted but did a high  sing note at the concert  i was like four white horces on the river plus key chain at the end at the song  i sied yo ho very load now my voice changed can you plese help me

  2. @lester Junior:

    From what you wrote, you must be about 16 or 17 now? Your body has grown a lot since 2004, and this has also changed your voice. Try to relax and accept this for the natural and wonderful process that it is. With your new and still developing body, just imagine the wonderful potential you now have to create a new voice that’s even better than the one you had then! I suggest you find an experienced vocal coach near where you live who can help you through this transition period. Of course it’s a frustrating time for many boys, but you should tell yourself to think positively about it, and keep an open mind to your new possibilities! “Life goes not backward, nor tarries with yesterday”…

    Keep on practicing every day as you let nature work her wonders on you…, but don’t overdo it with practice. You can retrain your voice to reach higher notes, though it’s unlikely to be the same one you had when you were 10. So look forward with positive expectations as you learn to accept your “new” voice, and you’ll be amazed what you’ll be able to do!

    Good Luck Lester!

  3. Lester,
    Some boys, using different vocal techniques, can retain a portion of their vocal range but quite frankly you are becoming a man. This is a process that all boys must endure and your voice will most likely will progress into a tenor, baritone or bass depending on what your body dictates. Through the use of falsetto you will be able to sing songs that have notes that are an octave or more above your normal singing range but must be practiced to perfect so it sounds clear and pure. I would highly recommend you get assistance from a vocal coach that can help you achieve your desires with your singing voice!

  4. My really question is……… When im grade 4 (2004) i can sing the song Remember me this way even im a child, but then when i go to 2nd year highscool my voice started to be low a bit… and i cannot sing high speech songs like that…. my voice change just a little bit but i cannot gain the ability to sing high songs like (remember me this way) I want to train my self to gain again the high speech i have previeusly

  5. This is a lovely article. Not only it is a confidence booster, but the way it expresses simple, back to basics techniques, it can be hugely rewarding to all aspiring singers.

    Because simplicity is still the best form of learning. And thanks again for a great article.

  6. Not being a singer myself my observations an experiences with voice change are mainly related to your performers whose music I like. One of them is a boy from my favorite choir who is a lead soloist and even if at times I predicted his voice will change …somehow , no doubt with a lot of support with his choirmaster he managed to remain the fine high quality of his voice. Yet despite my general preference towards the angelic treble voice on more than one occasion I have observed successful transition to a more deeper sounding voice or mature if you prefer with singes such as Declan Galbraith, Billy Gilman, Hanson. They have managed to retain their uniqueness and I enjoy their music now as much as I did when they were trebles. I also think that the article of bestpi provides some valuable insights for the young singers who are expecting or are currently in that years of change and hope that many of them will stumble on this article and read it along with their parents and agents.

  7. Hi Bestpi, your article is very well done.
    I am very anxious of my voice change because I don't want to lose the character of my voice that I have now, and I'm afraid that later my voice will not sound good or that I'll not sing anymore (which means a lot to me right now).
    But at some point, if it's changing there's nothing we can't do except being patient and then trying to master it again. If I have to learn again, I will.
    There are very great men singers and so they were not born with that voice, they used to be trebles too, so if now their voice is beautiful and has a lot of character, why not mine! =)
    I'm not worried, what has to happen will happen, and it's even maybe for the good!!
    Who knows?
    Thanks again for your article and your help!

  8. I am always amazed at your writing capabilities and the way you are able to paint a picture so everything seems clear and easily understood. This is a topic that need to be continually shared and of great interest to those who often visit this site! Thanks so much for your insightful writing and sharing these encouraging words that will help many a young man develop that new found voice within them. Some have an easier time with this than others so each voice is unique in itself and needs to be cared for with personal training. I'm glad I had a choir director that helped me through my voice change. Not unlike many boys I was anxious to start singing lower in the school choir. However, he explained to me that I could keep part of my upper register if I was careful and worked at. I later found that some of it remained and I could still sing the 1st tenor notes with clarity. By tenderly exercising my vocal range it continued to expand as I took on deeper notes and still retained some of that upper register. Yes my treble singing days were long gone but my new found voice was a joy and my new place in the choir was one that was sought after as this first tenor was given many solo opportunities. Thanks again Bespi!

  9. Bestpi, after reading your wonderful posts (and from one who is knowledgeable in these things whereas I am admittedly lacking), I have to say it is a bit intimidating to think of writing a post on the psychological side of a boy losing his singing voice. But, I am considering it, and if I do go through with it will do my best, and welcome your criticism and insights!

  10. amazing response, i thank you for i had a lot of trouble singing after my voice broke. You have inspired me sir :) I wish you the best of luck in the future :D.


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