Hitting high notes with ease

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angelie_can_sing

Post by angelie_can_sing

How do people learn how to sing high notes without straining?

Jenny

Reply by JennyGOLD

I gained lots of tips from www.vocalist.org.uk. It's a greatsite for any kind of singer.
Basically, you need to 'think down' for a high note, which sounds bizarre, but it's true! Breathe in (not a big breath though) towards the sides of your rib cage and down into your back with your diaphragm raised always. Think 'down' and make yourself smaller when taking the note.
It's trickier than a gym workout at first but gets easier with practice. And you have to have resonance, so aim your voice up from your (tightened) abs (not in the throat) up into your sinuses and focus the sound to a spot about 12 inches out good clear diction as well!!
There's more ....You did ask!!! All the best, Jenny (I'm still struggling to co-ordinate it all)

OldPioneerParrotLEVEL 2

Reply by OldPioneerParrot

...and think "parrot" .. if you have to strain, it's probably not in your range (your vocal chords can only stretch so much).. try to mimic sounds you are trying to capture.

Tension = bad.

You put it well, Jenny

JacquiLEVEL 21

Reply by Jacqui

Oh wow!! Thanks, Jenny! Now I understand why I always sound like the high pitched whine of a jet engine......

WebAndNetLEVEL 1

Reply by WebAndNet

Here's my personal experience.

The trick, for a guy, is to generate enough air power from the diaphgram and to relaxedly open up the entire chest, throat and mouth cavity.

Here's why, in my opinion. Highs' pitch, it seems to me, is limited by my vocal cords. For me, it's relatively easy to reach highs, the difficulty was achieving the highs with volume.

It seems to me that, instead of trying to reach highs by stressing the vocal cords (which would achieve a small degree of higherer pitch), the trick really would be to push more air through the highs the vocal cords already attains. Then ensure that this sound is appropriately amplified through the throat, mouth, head, and nose.

So, first, ensure you have the air power (without straining the vocal cords to attain such), relax the vocal cords to the same as a low volume high pitch, and then push the air power through (again, without straining, in particular, the throat muscles (which one frequently sees, but it seems to me tense throat muscles only slightly increasing pitch, as most of it is from the vocal cords). Stressing the throat muscles, would seem to me to impair opening up the vocal sound exit.)

Then, by manipulating the sound tract, it seems to me it's possible to further amplify the sound produced by sending the sound through the sinuses, which still further amplifies the highs (and gets rid of lots of the lows)).

It wouldn't hurt to bend your head back a bit, to ensure a straigher path for the lower-powered highs to get toward the sinuses. And it would help to get your spine straighter to attain more power.

Once the sound passes the vocal cords, then the trick is to amplify it; which means, to open up as much of the sound-producing smooth muscular track as possible (without straining these).

JacquiLEVEL 21

Reply by Jacqui

LOL! How the hell do I do all of that, and sing at the same time?

WebAndNetLEVEL 1

Reply by WebAndNet

It's less effort than any other mechanism. Your body will actually do all these things naturally, if you manage to get rid of the hinderances.

Remember the sayings-- "The divine is within you." It goes for your divine voices too. Your highs and power are already within you and the capabilities are already within. The question should be-- how in the hell are you not able to do all this, when it's natural to you?

What I said above is actually the natural way people would do all this--your body already knows all this. How did you happen to lose this skill?

I made a prior posting titled something like Zen and singing--this might explain how NOT to do whatever you are doing.

WebAndNetLEVEL 1

Reply by WebAndNet

Very impressive recommended site, Jenny.

HuckLEVEL 23

Reply by Huck

I have come to learn in my efforts to sing if I can think the note ...or hear it and believe it... I can hit it....I think thats pertty much what has been said over all in the reply's...I'm just saying I agree..... & The more relaxed the better..

MissTwang

Reply by MissTwang

IMO.. I think that some singers can become 'afraid' of a high note, and when they are coming up to that part of the song, they have already convinced themselves internally that they wont hit it right, and will back off it because of the doubt they have created mentally about it.. Hope i explained that right and u can make sense of my woffling LOL

Lov1tt28LEVEL 27

Reply by Lov1tt28

www.vocalist.org.uk ...thats what i used ..it realy works..well you hurd my high notes lol..thats how lol

cjtay

Reply by cjtay

You know, a really great thing to do, is watch experienced singers. Listen to them. For instance, Martina McBride is this teeny thing with an explosive voice! If you really study the way someone looks when they hit those notes that seem impossible to reach, well, you learn alot. She tips her head back some on reallly high notes, she drops her jaw (or relaxes it). She does use all of that sinus area. Believe me, your voice needs all the room it can get. Sometimes if you have to strain, it may be that the note is just not for you, or it may be that there are other options than hitting it full on, like a strong, controlled tone. I am not talking opera, here, just a strong, steady tone. You have to use your support in the sinus cavity for this. Experiment, experiment, experiment! I have never had a voice lesson, could not afford them, but there are many ways to learn by watching and listening to those who are professionals, who sing challenging material. Fear will halt your voice! Sing lilke you just don't care, like you have nothing to lose, bcause you don't. When on stage, my Dad always taught me, that I was in command. When I am onstage, the show is mine! Sing like this when you are alone!Always warm up your voice, and start with an easy song. Sing,sing, sing, just for the fun of it, and you will be surprised how your voice will progress.

Honey_99LEVEL 5

Reply by Honey_99

The band, or the accompanist, playing for a professional singer plays in the KEY specifically for that singers voice. We dont have that luxury here in karaoke. Some songs are simply not in your key. Therefore, you sometimes will sing in your chest voice, and other times in your head voice. That doesnt always work well with certain tunes. We all need our own band. lol

Honey_99LEVEL 5

Reply by Honey_99

Professional voice training is the optimum solution. However, that is not always available or convenient. Anyone who is singing on a daily basis should vocalize. Practice singing the scales. Exercise your voice each day, and be sure to sing from the diaphragm, not the throat. When you vocalize, try to make each note as clear and strong as you can, staying on pitch. Record yourself over and over. Listen to the recordings carefully. You should see improvement as you go along.

Honey_99LEVEL 5

Reply by Honey_99

The band, or the accompanist, playing for a professional singer plays in the KEY specifically for that singers voice. We dont have that luxury here in karaoke. Some songs are simply not in your key. Therefore, you sometimes will sing in your chest voice, and other times in your head voice. That doesnt always work well with certain tunes. We all need our own band. lol

smiles22bethLEVEL 15

Reply by smiles22beth

Most people who sing professionally have a method of warming up. Whether it be scales, or a certain easy song or two, etc to get the 'pipes' ready to go. I have actually increased my range as I have gotten older. I can sing higher notes with ease that when I was in my late teens I could not even think about touching. Something that helped me is learning to relax totally when I sing. I just sit back and let it flow. I never start out with a difficult song. I usually try something mid range like say...mmmm an eagles tune. That is pretty much directly in the middle of my range. One thing I will tell you. Do not ever try to hit a really high note on a dry throat...I did that once and lost my voice literally for 3 days. Learned my lesson real quick. LOL
Singing is all about practice, practice, practice. You can improve yourself over time just by listening and doing it over and over. It is a bit of work if you want to be really good. There are very few who are just that way without any effort. Not sure if I helped...:) Beth

smiles22bethLEVEL 15

Reply by smiles22beth

Oh, one more thing I forgot to mention:
Breath control is really for me the key to hitting the right note at the right time. Especially when I am going for the really high ones. I find if I push it out more (sorry don't know the technical term) I can get a bit higher and a much better tone out of it.

MmeOdileCLEVEL 33

Reply by MmeOdileC

I had not sung for 10 years..so many problems with asthma etc...and the fact that I had not discovered karaokee online yet....anyway...I use to have just a high voice....then I only had a low voice..then I had both..after not singing for 10 years..the low was the most confortable...now I have gotten to the highs little by little..by being here and practicing....I also discovered that a lot of singers whisper the high notes..and that really works for me...I also noticed that there are certain tecniques that are used....moving your head in certain positions...turning certain ways...also there are various voice areas...in your stomach..in your chest..in your head..you can feel it if you are in tune to your voice and self...a headphone works wonders..you can hear tiny minut echos and you can really hear your voice in the headphones..which is a great feedback for you to hear well...I am no professional..so I am speaking in simple terms......in other words..you have to play with your voice...a great way to find new ways and sounds and styles to your voice..is by listening to others perform and picking up on their ways and voice, vocals etc...hope this helps

MmeOdileCLEVEL 33

Reply by MmeOdileC

yes, totally agrees with smiles.....the breathing is so important..that is why sometimes I cannot sing..the asthma thingy...so yes,...breath my friend...breath...:)

kathywowsemLEVEL 2

Reply by kathywowsem

you can't actually "learn" to sing high notes. your range is determined by the length & thickness of your vocal folds (cords). that's something you have no control over. what you "can" do is learn to sing all the notes within your given range smoothly and consistently all the way up and all the way down with little noticable "breaks" or transitions between your registers. many of the things already suggested in this post are helpful. proper breath support is the biggie. also, making sure you use the proper register (chest, head). don't carry your chest voice up into mid to high range notes or you'll end up straining and possibly do damage to your vocal folds. always use head voice in your upper range. imagine placing the pitches in the "mask" of the face (the front area of the face in a horizontal line above your cheek bones and nose). always focus the sound into this area of your face/head, especially on high notes. one warm-up I find helpful to really get the sound moving forward and to get the placement just right is to "bubble" on various pitches, scales or whatever: make the motorboat sound, but hum pitch through it. amazingly enough, you can "bubble" to higher pitches than you'll actually be able to sing! it also activates your breathing muscles. you'll "feel" what proper breath support feels like, then you should try using the same amount of support while singing. after you "bubble" for awhile (carry the bubbling up into your higher range), sing. you should "feel" an amazing difference! you're voice will feel much more free, almost like it isn't attached to you at all! maybe this will help you or someone else here...

ChastityLEVEL 36

Reply by Chastity +1

sit down... sing a note.. do you feel it in your head or your chest?...a lot of people try to push a high note from their chest,it's wayyy easier to push with your head voice..the trick is to go between the two with a song that has a lot of range. dropping into the parts you feel in your chest are hard to transition to from the ones you feel in your head. That's why so many people have problems with Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey.Pull out Vision of Love or something and practice.. see if you can feel what I'm talking about. It's very hard to explain without having you here in front of me.

lildivauk

Edited reply by lildivauk

my handy tip, which im still trying to master myself...getting there!....is to try and stay on top of the note....dont let it go to your head voice (if that makes sence?) because when u let it go to your head you strain (confused yet?)

imagine the note you are trying to get is under you, then when you hit it, try stay on top of it....it will sound more powerful as it will still be in your chest voice.

if ive confuzzled you, pm me and ill try explain lol!!

VoiceLEVEL 22

Reply by Voice

CJTAY....you hit the nail on the head...sing like you just don't care....warm up first.

Here is an interesting article:

Warming The Voice

While singing may seem heavenly, vocal production itself is a down to earth physical experience, requiring athletic discipline as well as artistry. As any athlete knows, an effective warm up is essential for optimal performance.
Why should singers warm up? No one would expect a gymnast to stand up and perform back-flips after a full meal, but singers who are dinner guests are frequently asked to perform "on-the-spot entertainment," after dessert and coffee. The wise singer will politely decline, rather than reveal his raw vocal product, which is further hindered by a bloated stomach! Warming up allows the singer to "get-in-touch" with herself or himself, both physically and psychologically, and to experience that kinesthetic self-awareness which is the foundation of a secure vocal technique.

Allowing time to warm up

Ideally, the warm-up procedure should be unhurried a leisurely self-exploration that allows adequate time for gradual loosening and coordination of countless muscles, large and small, which contribute to vocal production. Warming up should be an enjoyable experience, comparable to a luxurious massage. All too often, unfortunately, the singer is warming up while rushing to a rehearsal, or frantically trying to learn his music at the last minute. The pressure of "too little time" results in physical as well as mental tension, and warming-up is difficult, usually ineffective, or even counter-productive.

The warm up procedure

Singers develop distinctive warm up regimens appropriate to their personal needs; these may vary considerably with changes in physical, mental, and emotional well being. Nevertheless, consistency in the overall approach is most beneficial. Many singers begin by warming-up the entire body with gentle physical exercise (e.g., stretching, yoga, Tai Chi). This helps to alleviate the muscular tension that interferes with vocal production, as well as to stimulate the deep breathing which is necessary for good support of the voice. The muscles of articulation, which include the jaw, tongue, lips, and soft palate can be loosened with appropriate exercises, which also can help to activate the singer's expiratory airflow. Before beginning to explore the day's potential for vocal resonance, the singer should be relaxed, yet vital. If the singer is fatigued, or not feeling well, it will be necessary to "energize" himself, so that he can provide adequate breath support for singing. It is wise to begin vocalizing in the most comfortable mid range of the voice, and gradually work out to the higher and lower extremes of pitch. High notes (faster vocal cord vibration) may require substantial airflow. and increased pharyngeal space. Low notes, which use a "heavier" mode of vocal cord vibration (thicker vibrating mass), also require appropriate support. Recent biomechanical studies at The Center for Voice Disorders have shown that singing at the extremes of pitch both the highest and lowest notes of the vocal range can strain the laryngeal muscles, and can result in undesirable (and potentially harmful) patterns of muscle tension. Therefore, it is good common sense to avoid the "outer extremes" of the voice until one is well warmed up. In the mid range, the singer may safely begin the daily search adjustments in the size and shape of the pharynx. Considering the countless possible configurations of the vocal tract, the process of developing a resonant tone is an ongoing one, even for seasoned professionals. Most of a singer's warm up is devoted to the objective of obtaining a beautiful vocal timbre through the use of an enormous variety of vocal calisthenics.

Finally, the singer is likely to test his vocal register transitions during the warm up. Exercises that "blend" the "chest" ("heavy" laryngeal adjustment) and "head" ("light" laryngeal adjustment) registers eventually produce a smooth passaggio, resulting in an "even scale" from the "bottom" to the "top" of the vocal range.

Warming down

The long-distance runner will spend a good amount of time stretching and massaging muscles after a marathon, and likewise, the singer who has extended himself should "warm-down" his voice, with exercises that "soothe" the vocal cords (vocalizing on "oo," for example). If the singer has been using a "belting" voice, it is especially helpful to sing in the "head" register (or falsetto), which stretches the vocal cords and alleviates laryngeal tension caused by the "heavy adjustment," or thick vibrating mass. Re-loosening the articulatory muscles, even without phonation, is therapeutic. Massaging the jaw the masseter ("chewing") muscles as well as other muscles of the neck and shoulders, particularly the trapezius (which arise from the back of the head and vertebrae in the neck and chest, and extend to the collarbones and shoulder blades) provides welcome relief to the singer.

ExoticSarah

Reply by ExoticSarah

Practice Solfege (Do, Ra, Mi, Fa, So, La, Ti, Do) and practice each in your lower, middle, and higher register. Then increase each time. Don't over do it and do not stress out the consonants, using gemination and vibrato. If you want to create a timbre, do not use melissma or any kind of runs or vocal eurythmics. Start out regularlly. I was trained in coloratura opera, so I can easily hit an F6 without doing anything, but that is how I was trained. The Solfege system works. Good Luck!

neo_waxworksLEVEL 5

Reply by neo_waxworks

actually... for higher notes you need LESS air than lower notes..gotta look at it like..ummm like take a piece of paper, pull the ends so it's reallt taught... and put it to your lips to make a kazoo type sound... which works better? lightly blowing air to make it vibrate, or blowing really hard to where the sound is terrible... same with your vocal folds... to much air will force them open instead of allowing them to vibrate....
I have actually ordered the BEST Singing course out there... not gotten it yet, but have already picked up several tips in emails and on the programs site....

ChrisKennedyLEVEL 6

Reply by ChrisKennedy

grab your balls and hope for the best...

neo_waxworksLEVEL 5

Reply by neo_waxworks

there are exercises that will increase your range.. they sound goofy and you feel stupid doing them , at first! but they do work...just takes time and lots of practice...
I just started them, currently my highest is Eb above the male High C. we shall see in 6 months how much it increases....

Anonimuzz

Edited reply by Anonimuzz

As a baritone (I think that's my range, although I never searched for vocal coaches or something), I reach some high notes, but I don't really control them most of the time. But there are online exercises pretty helpful. To warmup, I use Eric Arceneaux's exercises, that you may find in Youtube (search for "vocal warmup") or in his personal website (whose name I don't remember). Do them everyday, and you may improve. I've started a few days ago, and I hope that in 1/2 months, I see some changes. For now, the only high notes I can control easily (I think) are made in falsetto.

MandyLEVEL 24

Reply by MandyGOLD

grab your balls and hope for the best... ChrisKennedy

What if you don't have any balls?

Would grabbing someone else's help???

*looks hopeful*

neo_waxworksLEVEL 5

Reply by neo_waxworks

grab your balls and hope for the best... ChrisKennedy

What if you don't have any balls?

Would grabbing someone else's help???

*looks hopeful*Mandy

LMAO
You might get the high note, but it will be disconnected since it won't be coming from you...lmao

ChastityLEVEL 36

Reply by Chastity +1

grab your balls and hope for the best... ChrisKennedy

best advice ever. LOL..

ChastityLEVEL 36

Reply by Chastity +1

hahaha neo!!!

Susan35LEVEL 9

Reply by Susan35

Glad I found this thread..I tried out a few of the ideas because I was pretty close to giving up on *Greatest Love* from Whitney...to make it short I think I went a tad too high now ..lol.. and thats where I hit the next problem, the silly old mic I have does NOT like such high notes. The recording sounded.. awful.. to say the least..*shudder*

Time to go shopping, and this time I will treat myself with something good.

scribbly

Reply by scribbly

LOL, ChrisKennedy!!!

With regard to high notes, I first tried to sing "Loving You" by Minnie Riperton several months ago - I tried using a lot of air and found that I couldn't hit the notes (no control) and I was hurting my throat in the process.

Now, I've learned it's more of a squeak thing - very little air - like you're imitating a mouse. One more key thing I learned (through trial and error) - you have to RELAX!! If you tighten up, you limit yourself and can't hit the notes.

So it's little air and relax!

neo_waxworksLEVEL 5

Reply by neo_waxworks

YUP Exactly.. the higher you go the LESS air you need...

and definately have to relax, the lesson I am on is designed to make you relax the mucles UNDER your tounge cause they tend to REALLY tighten when you get high notes....and since they are part of the whole swallowing process, they squeeze off your pipes...basically makes it hard to do anything, plus you'll eventually get one of those dreaded tounge cramp thingies

so for optimal High range you want, LOW Larnyx(Easier to be in head voice it's easy to train just sing mum, mum, mum on an octave scale in a dopey voice before you do your recording....eventually you'll be there without even realizing it), Completely relaxed Throat and area muscles, good air control and even more important, your voice hasd to be warmed up..so the Vocal folds are good and flexible..those high notes have then pretty tight so they need the elsticity so they can vibrate!

tommyniteLEVEL 9

Reply by tommynite

sing in YOUR key not someone else's.. you're singing . not them.. me giving advice.. lol the blind leading the blind

smiles22bethLEVEL 15

Edited reply by smiles22beth

As someone who has been a Soprano ( I actually have a long range from Tenor, sometimes lower, to High Soprano lol) most of her life I will tell you this. You cannot lump all high notes into more or less air. It is not about how much air, but rather how you use it and how you control it. Control is the most important thing when hitting any note. What I am getting at is, how much power does the note need? is it a straight note or one that goes higher? how long do you need to hold it? etc. That is what breath control is all about. You cannot simply say ahhh high note less air because not every situation is the same. If you are comfortable with the note you will need less air, however if it is one that needs to be pushed out you will need a bit more but not too much as that will sound squeaky which is what you do not want.
And again for the Key thing... you do not have to sing in the part of the key the original singer sings. Example: Garth Brooks is way too low for me, however I can sing the same note in the mid level of the key and it is fine for me.
Hope this helps Beth

YoullRememberMeLEVEL 53

Reply by YoullRememberMeGOLD

I have come to learn in my efforts to sing if I can think the note ...or hear it and believe it... I can hit it....I think thats pertty much what has been said over all in the reply's...I'm just saying I agree..... & The more relaxed the better..Huck

I think Huck is on to something! Believing is DOING, to some extent! I think believing adds to motivation, "to get it done".

You can get lazy, when doing high notes. Many are high enough, but not with a touch of vibrato, that's required for certain songs.

What seems to work for me (when I'm NOT being lazy, ha!) is to "really bust it, with the stomach muscles"; really tense them, to FORCE out some vibrato sound, to accompany high note.

Yours,
Jeff

YoullRememberMeLEVEL 53

Reply by YoullRememberMeGOLD

grab your balls and hope for the best... ChrisKennedy

What if you don't have any balls?

Would grabbing someone else's help???

*looks hopeful*Mandy

Mandy,

THAT'S funny! Now I know your singsnap goal, is to someday sing an IN-PERSON duet, with Chris Kennedy.

Chris, my sincere sympathies, Buddy. And Mandy, NICE SONG, with great sound effects!

Jeff