On the first session with a new student at my Sing Like a Star Studios, I always ask them “What would you most like to improve about your voice?”. Almost everyone says that singing high notes with power is among their primary objectives. Almost everyone who sings could use some assistance in learning how to sing high notes more easily, more freely, and more powerfully. Why are high notes more challenging or difficult to sing than low notes?
To sing high notes better, first you need to change your mindset regarding the idea that they are more challenging or difficult. High notes are not harder to sing- they are just different. In fact, if you are singing them correctly, high notes are easier to sing because they require less breath pressure if they are approached correctly.
So eliminate the concept that singing higher is singing harder, or that it has to be more difficult. It’s just different!
So many singers come to me in frustration, feeling that they must be untalented because they can’t sing high notes like their favorite artist. I tell them that talent has nothing to do with it. But training has everything to do with it. Just as an athlete will perform better if they are working with a coach who is a specialist, so will a singer. It’s all about opposing muscle groups, and training those groups to work together in a coordinated way. One set of muscles controls the shortening and thickening action of the vocal cords that is the position while singing in chest voice, and another group encourages the lengthening and thinning process that should occur when singing higher notes. They just need to learn to coordinate smoothly.
Singers often try to hold on to the feeling that they have in the chest voice, (the short and thick condition of the cords) because they feel more secure. After all, that is where we speak, laugh, shout and express emotion. However, holding on to that feeling or coordination for too long while trying to singer higher creates strain and sounds like yelling. So you have to let go (but not too much) into a different coordination as you ascend in pitch. I call that “coordinated release”. If you let go too much, you will flip into an airy, breathy, falsetto kind of sound. If you don’t let go enough, you will experience strain. It has to be a smooth transition, training and coordinated by vocal exercises that will develop good vocal technique.
Singing high notes can and should be easy with the right vocal training and technique!
I wish you all the best as you reach for your dreams! Tricia Grey, MM
At Sing Like a Star Studios you can learn the vocal technique of the stars. If you don’t live near Atlanta, you can take voice lessons with Skype. Please visit our website at www.singlikeastar.com and click on the GET STARTED tab to register for a professional vocal evaluation and consultation.