When you sing high notes in a pure floaty head voice, are they cloudy or are they clear?
A cloudy note has a sound of air turbulence or static. It doesn’t have that nice bell-like resonance.
A clear note has none of that hissy sound of extra air in the air/sound mix. It resonates beautifully, giving you two or three times the volume with no additional effort.
If you have been trying to clear up your high notes without success, here’s a quick and weird shortcut to clearing them up:
Bend over and let your head and shoulders hang down. While bending over, sing those high notes again.
Yep, that’s it. Simple but effective.
Why does this work?
Oftentimes, the cloudiness in high notes is due to extra tension in the neck and/or shoulders – which can come from bad posture, habitual tension, or tension you introduce just because the high notes freak you out. When you hang upside down, you release this tension and the note is free to come out clearly.
If this trick doesn’t work for you, be sure that you are actually letting your head hang completely loose. You may need to bend your knees a bit, if your hamstrings are a little tight. That’s fine. But you should be able to swing your head around freely in both the “yes” and “no” directions.
Hearty credit to fellow voice coach Ayo Awosika for this week’s vocal technique tip, and thanks to the several students this week who trusted me enough to try out this tip.
(c) 2010 Adrienne Osborn