How To Sing High Notes
Learning how to sing high notes takes patience, perseverance and the right approach. Since 2010, Bohemian Vocal Studio has been helping singing students all around the world learn how to sing higher notes and release strain from their voices. Synonymous with GREAT singing and building a POWERFUL range, BVS reaches students all around the world with professional singing lessons online via Skype, and an ever growing presence as one of the premier ROCK singing channels on YouTube.
With these five easy steps, I’m going to SHOW you how to sing high notes so you can learn how to sing higher than ever before! Remember, a singing voice is only as powerful as the foundation that it is build on, so make sure you sign up for my free foundations short courses and truly set the standard you hope to achieve with your singing. Let me show you how to sing high notes without straining with these five easy steps:
Step 1 – Build your foundation
You were expecing this one, right? Without a proper foundation to lay the groundwork of your powerful singing technique upon, you won’t ever be able to reach high notes. The very first thing you need to do to reach high notes is look at your foundation. Are you setting up your posture correctly? Are you use appoggio singing technique? Are you singing with resonance? Lets get that posture in order:
Posture 101 – A healthy singing posture allows you to sing powerfully without strain by taking charge of your breathing from the diaphragm rather than contraction of the ribs. A healthy posture for singing looks a little something like this:
- Head up
- Shoulders back
- Chin Parallel with the floor
- Ribs out
This last point is especially important, and is known as appoggio singing technique. Taking this widened rib position in your posture allows YOU to be in complete control of your breathing no matter HOW high you sing.
Step 2 – Vocal Placement
Vocal placement is often overlooked by vocal coaches with a somewhat high natural ranges – this is no fault with their coaching methods, it’s quite simply a singing technique that some singers do naturally, while other voices need to train vocal placement. I often find baritones and lower voice types like my own are struggling with their voices due mainly to improper placement – so make sure you PLACE your frequencies and allow your voice to resonate in the most efficient manner. It might be easier if I just show you this one:
Step 3 – Mixed voice singing
Learning how to develop your mix voice is an intrinsic skill that will build over time, but often requires special training when you first start singing. This is something that more seasoned, or older singers may have some trouble with later in their singing careers as their musculature changes and they don’t alter their singing approach – this is an easy fix with the right training. Middle voice is a direct coordination between your chest voice and head voice musculature, and is like a ‘balance’ in the centre of your two main registers. This is another one that might be easier just to SHOW you:
Step 4 – Tune your vowels
Vowel tuning is one of those “Tomato, TomAto, Potato, PotAto” singing techniques where you’ll find different singing coaches and singing gurus out their arguing their perspective until they’re blue in the face – when really it’s such a SIMPLE singing technique that is very easy to develop. The most common and basic approach to vowel tuning is called vowel modification – in short, changing the character/soud of your vowel as you ascend to make the best use of your resonance. Sure, this is a great way to learn how to tune your vowel, but is it REALLY developing the right musculature and understanding of vowel tuning to let you sing ANY song and how to sing high notes easily? Hardly.
The reason why vowel modification ‘works’ is because this subtle change in your vowel sound leads to a change in the tongue root and soft palate, in essense, widening or narrowing your vocal tract without you even realising. I feel it’s more important to understand the actual musculature of your vocal tract and how to narrow your vowel in a VERY precise and deliberate manner rather than a clumsy change of vowel.
A physically tuned vowel is also much more practical in a “song” sense, in that you simply sing your practical vowel sound (AH/AA/OO/EE/EH) and then make subtle changes in your musculature and ‘tune’ your resonance as you sing the song, rather than mangling your words with clumsy vowel modifications.
Now, this is simply what has worked best for me as a singer and professional vocal coach. I’ve also had alot of luck with some students who lean towards a heavier sound by showing them first the vowel modification approach, then making subtle changes to their tuning over time – it really depends on the student, and how well your coach can explain the very delicate mechanics behind your vocal tract width. Learning how to TUNE your vowel rather than MODIFY your vowel is one of the best tips singing high notes I wish I was shown from day one as a beginner singer!
Have you been modifying your vowels without really understanding WHY or HOW it happens? Then this video is for you my friend:
Step 5 – Release your registers
This goes hand in hand with breath support in singing. Yes, there really IS such a thing as too much support, or improper support. Breath support in singing isn’t a “switch” that you turn on at will, it’s actually a fluid and ever changing aspect of your voice that you need to develop precise control over to sing effectively, especially if you want to learn how to sing high notes. Most students are taught to release their vocal registers by training a lip trill – but as they progress in range and technique, they overlook this important exercise simply because it wasn’t explained to them properly. The purpose of a lip trill is to a) moderate your air flow, and b) to release your vocal registers. As you practice your lip trill, it’s important that you’re not trying to sing ‘heavy’ or ‘full’ – the purpose of this exercise is to make a direction connection between your chest voice and head voice, however light, so that you can then build on this coordination over time and turn it into a powerful MIDDLE register. Remember, your voice is only as strong as the foundation it is built upon!
When you piece together these five steps for learning how to sing high notes, you’ll end up with a powerful and expansive vocal range that will allow you to sing higher than ever before, effortlessly! Check out the below video for a practical tutorial on coordinating your techniques so that you can learn how to sing ANY song, no matter how high! Singing high notes without straining should be a very easy and natural process, so make sure you learn how to reach high notes the right way before trying to BELT high notes – use those mixed voice exercises I showed you above to learn how to reach high notes with more power and no strain.
The TOP voice coach
Since opening in 2010, Bohemian Vocal Studio has steadily grown into one of the most highly respected online singing studios in the world and reaches students from Russia to Australia, New York to Hong Kong and everywhere in between every week! With a lifetime of experience coaching students of all levels, from touring professionals to absolute beginners – no voice type or accent is too difficult to train. You can learn how to sing high notes today with Kegan at Bohemian Vocal Studio by booking a Skype session in the online booking calendar and locking in the time of your choosing, along with learning:
- How to sing in mix voice
- How to sing ANY song
- How to tune your vowels
- The key to consonants
- The secret to a POWERFUL middle range
- How to shape your vowels (fix your singing accent instantly!)
- Control your registers
- Build a killer singing tone
- SO much more!
Feel free to leave any questions or feedback 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.