Sing Higher Notes Without Straining
Learning to sing higher notes without straining can seem a little daunting at first – but with the right approach to healthy singing, you really can sing higher notes with ease and build a POWERFUL vocal range.
First of all, we need to talk about diaphragmatic breathing – the foundation of any healthy singing approach. To breathe properly for singing, you need to set up a strong posture and engage your diaphragm rather than breathing ‘from your chest’ like you most likely do when you speak. Try it yourself by standing straight and tall, and then breathe as though you are ‘breathing through a straw’, low and quick – can you feel the sensation lower in your abdomen? Congratulations, that’s an engaged diaphragm! I’ve put together a practical short course on this breathing foundation here at Bohemian Vocal Studio – it’s free to sign up to.
Next, we need to talk about resonance and vowels. I’ve you’ve completed my Foundations Short Courses, then you might be wondering about vowel sounds and how we turn that ‘buzz’ into an actual sound. Here, I’ll show you how it’s done in this super simple tutorial:
When you’ve mastered the mechanics behind your vowels, it’s time to look at tuning them for your higher range and extending your resonance into your higher registers.
It might seem a little tricky at first, but tuning your vowels so you can sing higher notes without straining is pretty straightforward when you have the right information upfront – so here goes!
How to tune your vowels
The most efficient way to tune your vowels and make the best use of your resonance is to develop control over the tongue root, soft palate and of course learn how to release your registers. Obviously, this requires proper training and finesse, so make sure you book a session with me if you’re having trouble tuning your vowel.
The simplest way to tune your vowel, albeit somewhat too general to rely on in the long run, is vowel modification, the concept of altering the nature of your vowel to allow a change in resonance and access to your higher range while resonating fully. This is the most basic way of tuning your vowel and really won’t show you the mechanism BEHIND this tuning, but for now, if you’re simply trying to get past your first vocal break and you’re having trouble learning how to connect chest voice and head voice, this is the easiest way.
Basically, the “AH” vowel becomes “OH” at your first break, and the “EE” vowel becomes “EH” at your first break – now, I’m only talking a subtle amount, only enough to allow a shift in your resonance, not an ACTUAL change in the vowel. The more you do this, the better understanding you’ll gain in connecting your registers and increasing your range.
The next step beyond vowel modification is to learn the actual mechanism behind the vowel tuning, which I’ll show you how to do with your unique voice and individual resonance when you book a Skype session with me, but for now, here’s a simple tutorial on tuning your vowel:
Don’t forget your foundation!
A singing voice is only as powerful and strong as the ground it is laid upon, so make sure you build a STRONG foundation with proper posture, breath support, resonance, placement and the right vowel shapes before trying to tune your vowels and extend your range. Remember, proper posture starts with:
- Head up
- Shoulders back
- Chin level with the floor
- Ribs out
You should be setting up your posture in this manner EVERY TIME you sing, and it’s something that I’ve continued to do having sung for almost 20 years now – a strong foundation equals a strong voice.
Are you ready to take your voice NEXT LEVEL and really power up that vocal range and access those highs that have been just out of reach for so long? You can book a session with me today here at Bohemian Vocal Studio.
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.