The best part of any performance is when the audience gets absorbed and reacts positively to your delivery.
For a singer, receiving a standing ovation is the best indication of your singing prowess. One sure way of doing this is by hitting the high notes; the reason why the greatest singers like Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston have always been revered all over the world.
However, reaching such a singing peak that those singers are able to achieve does not come easy.
Even if you are naturally endowed, a certain level of skill is necessary to hit those high notes, which can only come about with consistent and dedicated practice.
You may now ask, how does one learn how to sing high notes?
Well, the fundamental principle for achieving these transcendent vocals is dedicated, disciplined practice.
Practice, combined with some key tips (I’m going to give you the juicy tips in this article), will allow you to improve your vocal control and achieve mastery of the high note.
This article will give you some quick, actionable tips to immediately improve your vocal range to include those high notes, but always remember you need to be disciplined to see improvement!
The majority of people struggle with singing high notes because of practicing the wrong way. The key in doing this is by knowing your vocal range and learning techniques to control various aspects of the body (such as the diaphragm) as you try out the high notes. The following tips will guide you on how to sing high notes without straining and damaging your vocal cords.
When you’re done here, check out our article on learning falsetto too!
Just like any other muscle in the body, the vocal chords require stretching before being utilized so that they are flexible while you are singing.
Learning how to sing higher will be helped by learning how to relax the face. Daily singing practice will condition them to the stretching and make it more comfortable for you to hit high notes. Perform the following exercise daily before getting into your singing session:
• Place your trigger fingers over the chin and use your thumbs to gently massage the area so as to loosen the surrounding muscles.
• Open your eyes and mouth as far wide as you can and repeat the process a few times.
• Do a huge yawn to stretch your jaws and face.
• Stretch your neck and shoulders to relieve them of tension.
Learning to Breathe
You use air to provide your voice with the needed power; therefore, a stable and continuous supply of air is crucial for anybody trying to learn how to sing high notes.
Inhaling too much air may cause pressure to build in your throat, whilst also creating resistance below the vocal chords and result in the cracking of your voice. On the other hand, too little air will weaken the voice; this is why you should master how to control airflow by controlling your diaphragm. Follow these steps:
• Practice taking big breaths and staying relaxed in a standing position with your hand placed on your diaphragm.
• Maintain the position of your shoulder as you take deep breaths by pulling the breath from the stomach and not the chest.
• Take large breaths of air as you feel on the diaphragm expanding.
• Gradually release your breath using a “shhhh” sound with no breaks and repeat this until there isn’t enough air to produce the sound.
Mastering this technique will enable you to sing with an open throat and keep your voice from straining as you sing those high notes.
Building Vocal Stamina
Learning how to sing higher really comes from being able to condition your voice for the actual power that the notes bring.
Poor vocal stamina will cancel out the effectiveness of a good voice combined with the great technique a singer is using.
Having a weak voice will be a challenge when you are singing and trying to sustain the high notes. Vocal stamina can be improved by working on vocal technique exercises four to five times weekly for between thirty to sixty minutes.
This will stretch your vocal cords, expand your range and prevent damage to your muscles as you sing.
Here’s a supplementary article to help you further with building vocal stamina.
Smooth, Connected Sound
Another crucial factor in hitting the high notes is the need to maintain a smooth and connected sound.
This can be realized by controlling airflow from the diaphragm, unless when one is singing a staccato- a method of singing notes that aren’t connected to one another. In singing a staccato, you should have the air pressure moving upwards at all times without pushing hard or very slow.
By feeling the air pressure in your mouth, this training will assist you to achieve a smooth and connected sound.
Don’t Press your Voice
In many cases, the reason why singers experience a cracked voice during singing is that they push their voices when trying to hit difficult notes.
Pressing your voice is a poor technique when singing high notes and will end up limiting your vocal range to a great extent. Try as much as possible to avoid this!
Keep Your Jaw Open
Most singers tend to close their jaws a little in trying to reach the high notes. However, you should be wary of closing them too much as this may cut off your volume, power, and tone. Maintaining an open jaw to the close of a word will grant you more power and volume. This can be done best by practicing voice building exercises.
Chin Pointed Downwards
Given that high notes are positioned higher in any singer’s instrument, the mistake often made is to reach up.
As much as you may want the soft palate to arch up in the upper backside of your mouth, you definitely don’t want the tongue or the chin to lift. Maintaining your chin in a downward-facing position during high notes will enable you to hit them without a struggle.
Composed Vocal Mechanism
A healthy technique that can be employed to hit the high notes is by maintaining a balanced voice mechanism.
This implies having a nice cord closure plus a leveled to lowered larynx. Cord closure helps to control the airflow into the mouth; cords that don’t close cleanly may cause your voice to sound “eerie”. Also, a level position of the larynx results in the perfect singing voice.
Hitting the high notes will without a doubt dazzle the audience and convert them into your fans during a singing performance.
Achieving this doesn’t mean going above and beyond, by pushing the voice over the notes.
What it takes is learning to control the flow of air and possessing a nice cord closure with a low to level larynx. Mastering this technique will gradually enhance your vocal range and put you in a comfortable position to hit high notes. The above guidelines offer an easy way to perfect the singing of difficult high notes.
To supplement this article, we definitely recommend checking out our informative guide on how to sing better overall and how to get a better singing voice in general. Good luck with your singing endeavors and remember to practice, practice, practice!
James is an ex-writer for Music Grotto who focused the majority of his writing on the musical skill development content on the publication. His 20+ year career as a singing and vocal coach provided insightful content for the website, and his continued thirst for development in guitar and piano playing helped create some excellent skill development content for the publication.