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[Singing] High Notes

category: Music | course: Singing | difficulty:
1. What to Do

Now that you have a solid range of presumably more than one octave, it is time for you to get the high notes right and increase your range. High notes are usually more preferred in pop and rock songs than low ones, and people often label a singer as good or bad depending on how well (s)he can hit the high notes. While I don’t really agree with that, it is true that a bigger vocal range creates more possibilities and more varied songs. And it can really demonstrate your vocal abilities.

What to Do

Vocal exercises. Start from your lowest note and move to the top. Then start at the top and move to the lowest note. Usually, moving upwards is harder than going down, but you should be able to do both.

Also, we tend to look upwards and raise our larynx (too much) when singing high notes. Try to keep your face straight up, and your larynx at the same place. If that is difficult for you, it helps to imagine the sound traveling a little more downwards, or singing downwards. Make sure though that your vocal placement is still right.

Opening your jaw a bit more also helps with opening up the mouth and creating room for the higher notes. Don’t stress it too much though.

And last but not least, usually singers start to increase their volume and push more breath when singing high notes. While it helps most people to sing higher notes with lots of power, there’s actually less air needed to sing them. Therefore, if you want to sing powerful and punchy high notes, you need to contract your abs to control the air flow. If you just want high notes, you shouldn’t blast that much air.

What about falsetto? While falsetto is the highest you can go, much higher than your regular voice in most cases, I am going to discuss that in a later chapter. But, it follows these same rules to a certain extent, so practicing with falsetto is also a great idea.

And if you’re confident, you can start singing songs. Most songs include some high notes at least (in the chorus and bridge), but you could try singing songs that have high notes all the time if you think you can do it. If you can’t however, you shouldn’t, and you should keep practicing until you can.

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