What exactly is singing with strain?
Basically, it means a singer is over-compressing the vocal cords. Over-compressing is “squeezing” or “pushing” the sound out, instead of simply allowing the sound to release with good cord closure. This can happen a lot when singing high notes. We tend to “reach” or “squeeze” to sing our high notes.
Try doing your vocal exercises and your favourite songs (especially the high notes) while:
1. Lying down on your back, flat on the floor.
2. Walking around the room.
3. Holding a book in each hand while holding your arms out (like flying a plane).
What do you notice about your singing effort now? Is it more challenging to get the tone you want than standing in one place? Is your tone it breathier?
I suggest you keep vocalizing with these new ideas for a few weeks. You should start to notice breathiness (falcetto) start to lessen as your vocal cords get stronger at cord closure with the correct coordination. You should also notice you are much more relaxed while singing giving way to a free and flexible voice!