The biggest thing to think about with high notes is you don't want to be afraid of them. That sounds obvious, but I can tell you as somebody who has a lower voice, that hitting high notes used to be very scary for me and I had to think about the best way to approach them in order to make them work for me.Learning how to sing a high note unlike your chest voice, is really about when you're making a high note, the vocal folds are going to vibrate much more quickly than they will when you're singing on a lower register. Because your vocal cords are going to vibrate more quickly, you need to really have more breath control. Straining your voice and vocal range can easily happen here. Your vocal mechanism is complex. It's like if you're going to run a really fast race and you're a sprinter, then you're going to need to be able to use up your energy and your faster in a different way than you would if you were going to spread it out over a long-distance race. With high notes, you want to think about making sure that your breathing is really supported. You may need to take more breathes in order to sustain the vocal folds. The other thing is to think about really opening up your throat so that when you're a doing a high note you feel like everything is loose and connected.It's loose but it seems like an opposite thing to say. By loose, I mean that your throat is loose, your jaw is loose. By connected, I mean the breathing is connecting to the tone, so you're able to support it. If you feel like you're straining, then what you want to do is check 3 things: Your posture. A lot of times when we go for a high note, we bring our chin up and we bring up the shoulders. It's a subconscious thing that we all do, thinking that it's going to project the note up. Actually, it increases the tension in the throat, so you want to bring the chin down. The next thing is; am I breathing? Am I taking enough breaths to be able to support a high note? The third thing is; what are some great exercises that work well for my high range? I think the humming and getting higher up the scale is a great one. Practice your vocal technique daily and try to hit those notes without straining. Try this high notes vocal exercise below and sing along. Start the play button.
A lot of people think of the high note as this “mountain” where they've gone to press your voice to get to over the top, and it’s this, you know, “if I could only get to this next pinnacle of my voice”, so to speak. Well, it turns out it’s really about the way you look at the voice that helps you achieve these high notes and not necessarily, or not the brute force, and how you climb the ladder to get to those notes themselves. Now, there’s different kinds of high notes. There’s high notes that can be in your chest and there’s a certain registration for that, there’s high notes in your head voice or falsetto and there’s a certain registration for that, and then there’s mixed voice, which is also can be challenging to get to. So I won’t be able to cover all of that in this one tutorial, but I want to give you guys some very helpful hints on how I view high notes, okay? Now when I was younger, I was just struggling to get an F#4. For those of you that don’t know what that note is, it’s a pretty low note, okay? Now this is extremely important because this is very, true for the voice. Now, I have a phrase that I like to talk about. It’s called don’t sit in the strike zone. I'm going to use an analogy for singing high notes and surfing. There’s several breaks in waves, and the first break, or what’s actually called the third break, is the little break that’s on the shore, and there’s usually another, a second break where kind of the teenagers and younger guys kinda go out there to do their boogie boarding and surfing, and then there’s first break which is the one that’s way out in the water. And that’s the one you’ve got to kinda watch out for, because if you don’t know when the swells are coming in and how big the swells themselves are, you can get pretty beat up and you can get put in “the washing machine”. Try this high notes exercise below.
So what you do is typically when you get out to first break you get a lay of the land and make sure where they’re coming in and instead of waiting for that wave to catch up to you and crash right on top of you, you go out and you swim past the wave and then you come back and you ride the waves in like such. So it is with the voice. We don’t sit in the strike zone. We don’t panic and go “Lah, Ah , AHHH!!!!” Oh, My gosh, we hit the strike zone! No, we think about the note in advance. Now the notes I want to discuss those, too. Remember I said there’s different timbrel sounds, so we’ve got your chest registration, you’ve got mixed voice, and you’ve got head voice, okay? But for the most part a high note really truly is the ability to have a strong abdominal support. Our relaxation response between the chest, the neck, and the throat, and good vowel placement. Now, also believing or visualizing… I hate to use that term but it’s really true. Visualizing the note before you get there, and not even thinking of that note being “the high note”. Now, I’ve used this analogy before, but I want to use it again. If you’ve ever seen someone sing the national anthem, you know, they’ll go “the land of the free”, and they’ll go hit the note and they’ll invariably choke. Right? Well, someone forgot to tell them that they actually sang that note, “rockets red glare” they already sang that note one time before, but when it gets to the end, the anticipation and apprehension you know, and just freaking out at the end, they blow chunks because their body closes down and they don’t give themselves permission to get to that note. Now this is also true with The Power of Love, Celine Dion “I’m your lady, you are my man. Whenever you reach for me I’ll do all that I can, we're HEAD-ing for something” right? That “HEAD” is the same note as power of LOVE! And if you’ve ever been to a karaoke bar you hear them get all the way through the song, and they’re pretty much able to muddle their way through it, and they get to the end, and they blow chunks. Why? Because their body closes down. I can go in and out of a lot of register because I’m giving myself permission on how to get to those high notes. Now, it is true that there are specific vowels, and those vowels change as you go in and out of the scale. But I want to encourage you guys one thing, and I’m going to leave you with this. When you first start to practice your high notes, I want you to do them in falsetto. Even if they’re kind of low high notes, and even if there’s something that you’d normally sing in your chest. I want you first to practice them in falsetto to get the feeling and the ease in the throat itself first, and then I want you to gradually build up if you’re trying to hit a, belt a chest voice note. Gradually build up and remind yourself of what it felt like to sing it in falsetto for the ease and gentleness of falsetto, and then you can gradually build strength and stamina. Now, this comes incrementally, it doesn’t happen overnight. Don’t get upset at yourself and say I just can’t do it. We build these things up over time.
More tips for singing high notes
I think doing very gentle cascades down are great. By that I mean pick a note that's high. For me, let's say I pick an F. What I'm going to do is I'm going to just gently slide all way down. This way, I'm not putting any strain; it doesn't have to be perfect. I'm touching the note and letting everything fall off. If I can do it there, then I can gain more confidence and gain more strength to do it as I work on my scales. Just very simply, if I start here, I'm just going to do it on an open tone sound. I'm just letting it fall all the way down the octave. I should be able to continue that down half a step. Also see some advanced online singing methods and singing techniques which can help your level to lowered larynx. Another important thing to do when you're doing high notes, and it seems counterintuitive, even when you're getting to midrange and low notes. Still think about that you're singing a high note. Instead of making it really chesty, think about, ‘I'm going to use the same technique I was using for the high note' with air flow.
In this vocal technique you can hear it's lighter, it's more open. This is the key in hitting high notes. I'm thinking about the same technology I was using up here, I'm using down here. That way, when I go to get to the high note, I've actually been utilizing it the whole time, so I'm more comfortable doing it and it doesn't become something to be afraid of. That's the best way I can think of to work on feeling comfortable singing high notes.
By using your body more correctly is a major tip in how you can sing higher notes with ease and without straining your voice. Most singers that I work who take the pro singing lessons in all of the years that I've been coaching where I have one person who's come to me who had already reached the maximum of what their range was. That's always the case I mean I can kind of say that even the superstars who you know anyone. They've always had some place where they were limiting the range that they might be able to reach. Let me explain what that is. First of all you have to understand what creating vocal range is about. You will have your own set limit and that's based on the way that your body is built and that's just the way life is. Everybody's body is built a little bit differently. Your vocal cords are made differently than someone else's. The length and the thickness of your vocal cords will basically kind of regulate how much range you will be able to attain for both the high note and the low notes. Keeping your lower larynx low when singing high is another aspect to keep in mind. There's a flexibility factor when you try to sing high notes. Meaning that some people have a little more ability to allow their vocal cords to change to do little manipulations to create a lot more range. I'm always trying to find that within you. I'm always trying to give you the techniques and singing practice to be able to access that but let's talk about it. You have to understand that the way you create notes on when you're speaking normally if your voice even your speaking voice is more in the correct place. Your normal speaking range will be basically the size of your vocal cords which they're in their relaxed state they're going to be a little bit longer.
As you want to go higher in your range you have to allow the vocal chords to make adjustments to reach higher notes. Every time I'm going up I'm kind of letting go and allowing the vocal cords to get thinner or shorter to create the higher notes. Same concept is on a guitar. Thicker string on a guitar you have lower pitch. The thinner string you have a higher pitch. But if you're constantly pushing trying to get there, then you're not going to reach your maximum because you're pushing things out of the way. You're inviting muscles that are restricting what you would do with the flow of air. A great demonstration of this for you to start to feel what you're trying to do is doing just a simple lip trill. You see singers all over the place using a lip trill to warm up before they perform. This will be a great one for you to use to start to understand how you're going to allow more of your vocal range to come through. As I'm getting higher I want you to try to hear smooth and connected sound. I'm sinking all I'm doing I'm not pushing up to get there and I'm allowing my vocal cords to get smaller. If you feel you are hitting notes without straining you are going in the right direction. When you're not pushing, your brain will actually hear the notes that you want to reach and this is important I want you to get this. Your brain will hear the notes that you want to reach. Then your brain will tell your vocal cords what size to get to be able to create those notes. It may take a while for you to get this concept but trust me it works. Your brain is hearing the notes telling your chords how what size to get to. Your body will start to adjust to this so you'll start to see that if you do this often enough you're going to start to get more range and when you start to sing your songs you're going to feel that start to come through. One other little thing that's going to help you when learning how to sing is pushing. You will you haven't gotten this concept yet but I want you to hear that before I go into those higher notes unconsciously thinking not pushing it letting go and allowing those chords to get smaller or thinner. If you do this a few times I'm telling you will feel the results of this okay right here I'm allowing it to thin so that's one thing that will start to help you gain more of that vocal range again everything that I'm doing with all the exercises it is getting everything out-of-the-way that has been blocking what you might be able to do so your vocal range will definitely improve. Learning how to sing can be fun and singing lessons from a professional vocal coach can help in getting you a smooth and connected sound. More tips for singing and your vocal health from Los Angeles vocal coach. Thank you for reading.