How to hit high notes chest voice
The idea that you can ‘sing higher in chest voice’ is somewhat of a flawed concept – depending on how you treat your registers. If you’re treating your voice as a direct separation of “head” and “chest”, then sure, maybe that’s a way to think about it – but if you’re using your voice in the correct manner and managing your middle break by singing in mix, or middle voice, then you actually need to sing in a heavier mix to achieve a beefier sound rather than simply ‘singing higher in chest’.
Your register is directly linked to the amount of pressure you are creating, along with the pitch that you are singing at. If we look at this in a purely scientific manner, then it can be broken up in three ways:
- Register = Pitch + Pressure
- Pitch = Register + Pressure
- Pressure = Pitch + Register
So, if you increase your air pressure (not air flow, but air PRESSURE), and you sing a specific pitch – then your register will err on the side of chest voice, by nature of the above equations. Now, if we look at it in a more pragmatic way, basically, the more you ‘pull down’ with your support, the closer your register will slide towards chest voice, rather than making you actually sing higher in chest voice.
The first thing you need to do is develop proper PLACEMENT. Correct voice placement in singing is the ‘make or break’ aspect that few beginners, and even some seasoned singers sometimes overlook or fail to understand correctly. In short, vocal placement refers to the creation of a specific band of frequencies, along with limiting any excess or uneccesary frequencies so that your voice is ‘placed’ in the correct position throughout your vocal tract. While it’s not possible to physically, or literally ‘move’ your voice to any specific place in your body, it IS possible to encourage your voice to resonate in a specific manner while honing your frequencies to a manageble band and intensity. Here’s a super simple tutorial I’ve created to help you develop placement in your voice:
So, the idea of vocal placement in singing is not to ‘boost’ your frequencies, but instead LIMIT the unnecessary frequencies which are thick and ‘weighing down’ the voice. When you’ve learned how to build your placement in the right way, the next step you need to take is developing MIX, or a MIDDLE coordination.
Middle voice is another concept that will highly benefit those of you with a more ‘visual’ bent for learning, but in essence really is a physical and scientific explanation of your vocal chord coordination – it’s neither CHEST, nor HEAD – but in the direct “Middle” of the two rather than a “MIX” as some people may say.
The important thing with building your mix is to understand that a ‘FULL’ voice is not necessarily the product of chest voice – and here we’ll get to the nature of your question above, “How to sing higher in chest voice” – in actual fact, a powerfully built and robust middle voice coordination will give you the full TONE of chest voice, WITHOUT the need for pushing, straining or a disconnected high range. With middle voice, your entire range will connect and buzz with a full and powerful resonance. Here’s another tutorial I’ve put together to help your build your mix:
I like to think of ‘chest voice’ as full-length vocal chords, and ‘head voice’ as fully-shortened vocal chords – then, middle voice as the connecting position between the two, which can either lean towards a ‘heady’ sound or a ‘chesty’ sound without physically locking you into either the chest voice or head voice coordination.
To sing higher in chest voice, you first need to build your foundation – so I suggest checking out my complimentary foundations short courses first, then continuing to build your placement until it becomes natural. When you’ve built your foundation and a healthy placement, then you can start building your middle voice into a powerful resonance machine that can be used to sing with the full and powerful TONE of chest voice, without actually being locked into the chest coordination.
Are you ready to power up your voice and unleash your inner mix? You can book a session with me today and I’ll SHOW you how to do it like a pro!
Feel free to leave any feedback or questions below!
Kegan DeBoheme is Bohemian Vocal Studio’s resident vocal coach and voice expert. He teaches professional singing and voice technique to students all around the world and enjoys providing tutorials like this one on how to improve your voice.