One of the most common struggles of people learning to sing is being unable to sing high notes. Everyone has a vocal range that they are comfortable staying within. However, if you do not learn to expand it on either side of the spectrum, a lot of songs might just remain outside your range.
Being able to belt out powerful high notes is every singer’s dream. It brings them instant admiration and acclaim. We cannot deny the goosebumps we get as we listen to Whitney Houston hit that high note in I Will Always Love You.
It might seem difficult in the beginning but with the right technique, you can learn to channelize your inner Whitney very soon. Here are some simple and effective tips to sing higher:
Find your range and set realistic goals:
Not knowing your range and trying to sing a note far beyond your reach can quickly become demotivating. It is important to find your range and expand it. Set realistic short-term goals and take them slowly. This will avoid any permanent damage to your vocal cords and will be fruitful in the long run.
Relax your facial muscles:
Do you end up straining not just your vocal cords but also your face and neck while struggling with high notes? It is common among beginners to get all tensed up. However, this just works against your goal. You must start by releasing any tension from your face.
Begin by stretching your neck and lifting your cheeks up. Simulate a big yawn to stretch your face and jaws. Massage the root of your tongue under your chin with your thumbs. All of these will help relax your face as you prepare to sing.
Do not lift your chin:
Another common tendency with singers attempting those high notes is to point the chin upwards. This happens almost instinctively as you try to visualize the notes placed higher up.
Unfortunately, doing this causes unnecessary strain in the back of your throat and cuts the airflow. Keep your chin down and let your technique help you with moving to a higher pitch.
Learn to breathe correctly:
We cannot emphasise enough the importance of breathing correctly for singing. Breathing literally carries your voice. If you are breathing wrong, you might not be able to sing as good as you want to. Learning to breathe properly will help you deliver a smooth and resonant sound.
You must draw your breath by expanding your diaphragm and not your chest. Learn to release your breath slowly in a controlled manner so you do not run out of it too soon. It will also help you project your voice better.
Keep your jaw open:
In an attempt to reach higher notes, a lot of singers end up constricting their jaw and throat muscles, leading to straining. It also reduces the overall strength and the throw of your voice. Keep your jaw open and open your mouth vertically with your cheeks relaxed.
Try singing the vowel “aah” while keeping your face relaxed. This is the mouth position we are aiming at. It allows your voice to travel with minimal obstruction and makes it easier to hit those higher notes.
Follow an exercise routine:
To be completely honest, there is no shortcut to expanding your range on the higher end. These tips might help you to utilise what you already have in a better way, but the best way to improve is to rehearse daily.
You must set a schedule of singing exercises, including those for singing higher. Doing regular vocal exercise can strengthen your vocal cords and build muscle memory and flexibility.
Modify your vowel sounds:
Our vocal cords are the most relaxed when singing vowel sounds, allowing for maximum air passage. However, some vowels can be easier for you to sing than others.
For example, the vowel “aah” is always much easier than “ee”. So if you are singing a word like ‘lie’- it starts with the “aah” vowel sound and then has the “ee” sound. It will be easier to sing the “aah” vowel longer than the “ee” vowel.
As a singer, you’re allowed to experiment with sounds to suit your needs.
Warm-up and cool down:
The importance of warm-ups cannot be stressed enough. Just a few minutes before you start pushing your voice out of the comfort zone can do wonders. A lot of singers who warm up often overlook another needed step – which is to cool down. After a rigorous singing session, it is crucial to also cool down so that your vocal cords remain safe from damage.
Learn Singing Online from Monali Thakur:
Joining an online singing course is undoubtedly the most effective step for improving as a singer. If you struggle to sing higher despite everything, let a vocal coach monitor your progress and guide you personally. With years of experience and a thorough understanding of how singing works, they can make the journey much easier for you. Check out our unluclass by Monali Thakur.