Recently, I have been receiving lots of questions from singers on “How to sing high notes without strain”. I have also come to know that singing high notes is something that a lot of singers dread. So I decided to answer those questions in this article. I hope you find it resourceful and useful.
In the realm of singing, high notes are one of those things singers crave to do perfectly, without strain. It can be intimidating, scary and mentally very troubling for some singers which in turn, can compromise good vocal techniques.
But in actual facts, hitting high notes is simpler than you think.
In my years of experience, I have discovered that the major problem with singing high notes is that most singers don’t know how to prepare for them. They do not prepare mentally and technically thereby they get scared that they can’t do it when it comes.
TIPS ON HOW TO SING HIGH NOTES
You should consider these few tips in trying to sing high notes.
1. Know your voice
Every singer is blessed with with a unique voice type, range, texture, pitch, and style. Get to know what works for you.
A good way to singing those high notes without strain is knowing your reach and limit.
A soprano typical range is between a C4 to A5. This however doesn’t mean you can’t exceed this range with constant practice and exercises. Knowing your voice range will give you an edge to prepare for something bigger and better so you don’t end up damaging your voice. So get to know your voice.
2. Vocal warm ups exercises
Vocal warm up is key to keeping your vocal cords fit and active. You should know that your voice is made up of muscles. The more you use it correctly, stretching it before and after use, the more flexible it will become over time making it easier and more comfortable to sing higher.
A good example of vocal warm ups is the lip trills or tongue trills.
3. Relaxation and diaphragmatic breath support.
In hitting high notes when singing, the most important thing you need is breath support and relaxation.
What do I mean?
You need to engage your abdominal muscles to support you when singing. This is as opposed to what most singer do – using their chest. Try as mush as possible not to get your chest involved when taking the high notes.
Another key ingredient of diaphragmatic breath control is avoiding tension. This can only be achieved when you are relaxed and free of tension. Ensure your shoulders, neck and chest are relaxed as you continue to breathe in and out using your diaphragmatic breathing.
Remember, you don’t need more breath to hit the high notes, all you need is to have a good breath support and a clean projected sound.
VOCAL EXERCISE TO HELP YOUR DIAPHRAGMATIC BREATH SUPPORT
Here, do this simple exercise:
a. Sit comfortably, with your knees bent and your shoulders, head and neck relaxed.
b. Breathe in slowly through your nose so that your stomach moves out against your hand. The hand on your chest should remain as still as possible.
Place one hand on your upper chest and the other just below your rib cage. This will allow you to feel your diaphragm move as you breathe.
c. Tighten your stomach muscles, letting them fall inward as you exhale through pursed lips.
The hand on your upper chest must remain as still as possible.
Note: You may notice an increased effort will be needed to use the diaphragm correctly. At first, you’ll probably get tired while doing this exercise. But keep at it, because with continued practice, diaphragmatic breathing will become easy and automatic.
4. Prepare for it before hand.
In this I mean, when it comes to singing high notes, you need to mentally prepare and pretend that you are already at the note before you sing it.
You see as pitch goes up the scale, or as we sing our scale(do,re me fa, so, la, ti, do’) it moves up our body, from one register to another, gradually going from chest register, to middle or mixed, to head, the physical effect of this is we feel some buzzing feeling in the face, called resonance.
For smooth passage to occur in the transition to we need to create space in the face and head, this will also aid singing high note with ease, a good example for this is lifting up your eyebrows, when singing the high notes, this allows you an open space in the face for air to freely pass through.
5. Do not think of the high note to be high up there, rather think down.
When it comes to singing high notes you should think down, cos the note actually isn’t high up there, when you do this, all tension that should have creeped up in the face immediately leaves. Remember in singing high note, you should be as relaxed as possible.
6 Finally, Never Scruch or squeeze your face.
Some singers feels squeezing or scruching the face will help get the note out there, but in reality it’s the opposite we get. Believe me, it won’t help. All you need is open space in the face, relaxation and breath support to hit those notes.
This should improve your ability to sing high notes. Hope this was helpful? Drop your comments below.