Everyone seems to want to sing high notes. You probably have a lot more unused high range than unused low range, but it’s a little trickier for some people to access that high range than to access the low range.
One reason it is tricky is because there are a lot of different ways to sing in your high range! For example….
Click here to hear a classical head voice (well, as classical as you’re going to hear me get, since I’m not an opera singer. Forgive me!)
In contrast, when you try to sing the lowest notes of your range, there’s really only one way to do it: relax and sing in your chest voice. See this article for more information on singing in your lowest range.
I’ll spend the next couple of newsletters providing tips for how to sing higher notes than you are currently singing. Depending on who you are and what your challenges are, different advice may be appropriate, so although I will make these tips as useful as possible, I do recommend finding a good vocal coach if you’d really like to make fast, healthy progress toward a bigger, more powerful upper range.
Today we’re going to start with what you already know.
Using what you already know to sing high
1) You know when you yell for joy? Or yell “whoo-hoo” at a concert? Try that. (like this)
2) Do it again and hold it out longer. (like this) Now match it up to a pitch. What note are you singing? Is it higher than you thought you could sing?
3) Do it again and slide down an octave (like this). Now slide back up. Is it harder? Well, your brain suddenly thinks, “oh no, I’m singing high notes!” and you tense up. So back up to step 1 or 2 until you are comfortable, and then come back to step 3 when you’re ready.
4) Great, you’re doing a siren exercise! Do it on different notes, going both up and down.
If your voice is breathy up there, that’s fine – for most people, it just means you need to wake up this range of your voice, so do this for a few days and see if this range starts opening up for you. Some men with deep voices won’t get a lot out of this exercise, but most people do. It’s important to “wake up” your head voice in a light, easy way like this before trying to sing powerfully up high, so even if you are a rock singer who can’t imagine singing in a hooty high voice, I still encourage you to spend some time opening up this area of your range and getting used to singing here.
That’s it for today! Have fun!
(c) 2010 Adrienne Osborn