Singing should be as natural as talking.
Think about it… Your speaking voice is smooth and connected, never requiring strain, and always seeming natural. That’s how it should be even when belting out vocals. You need a balanced vocal mechanism. That means having:
- Proper Vocal Cord Closure – no air leaking out when making a sound
- A Level Larynx – making sure it doesn’t rise too high
How do you achieve this?
I know, I know…this isn’t the magic bullet you’re hoping for…
(but wait… because I do have a shortcut to success I share below)
Breathing and vocal exercises are key to being able to hit the notes you want without strain.
By doing these exercises you help to strengthen your vocal cords and work more efficiently when it sings.
Steady air flow is very important when singing higher. It may seem weird, but it’s true.
Not Too Much Though
That doesn’t mean you should force too much air through your body – that has the opposite effect of what you want: added resistance and pressure.
Contrary to what you might think, you actually need less air to hit high notes, not more.
Straining or breathing to heavily will cause your larynx to go higher and your voice to crack – we’ve all been there when trying to belt out those high notes.
But You Still Want Enough
On the opposite end of the spectrum, too little air won’t give you enough power.
You need to learn how to work your diaphragm when breathing. You should feel your stomach rise, then your chest.
Stand up tall and straight then try saying “ha” a few times in short, powerful bursts.
That’s the feeling of breathing and speaking with a supported voice.
Another way to avoid using your throat (as opposed to your stomach) when singing is to push your stomach out (so it sticks out more). It’ll help you fill your lungs with air and use your diaphragm.
All About The Mix
So if you don’t want to use too much breath, and not use your throat as much, but kind of use it, and not your chest, but also kind of from there…..
What do you do??
You need to learn to use your mix voice (which is a voice that combines your head register/voice, with your chest register/voice – hence, mix voice).
When you’re practicing it’s a good idea to start your vocal runs or exercises in your middle range, and gradually move higher and higher.
Also, try singing the word “yawn” in a high register.
Take note of the position of your mouth when you begin to say the word in each vocal range you use.
That position is exactly how you need to position your mouth to hit that particular note.
Warm tea or liquid can help relax your throat and vocal cords, so try to keep some handy when practicing.
And remember – it’s not all about reaching higher and higher and straining your voice when you’re trying to hit high notes.
So avoid this tendency at all costs when you’re practicing.
Some Breathing Exercises to Try
In case you didn’t know, using staccato (short, accented notes) makes it easier to hit high notes.
Unfortunately most songs are sung in legato (melodic and long phrases that tie together).
So with this exercise you’ll start by doing staccato notes and gradually transition to legato, all while moving higher along the vocal register (i.e. using higher notes/pitches).
What to Do:
- You’ll be singing the words one-two-three-four-five-four-three-two-one up and down a musical scale
- Start with staccato (short bursts)
- Once you’re getting good with hitting high staccato notes, start making them more legato (flowing together)
- Once you’re comfortable there, move up higher in pitch.
Of course, this requires a lot of practice time and work. No one said it would be easy But once you do this over and over again, you’ll notice a big improvement in your ability to hit higher notes.
But who wants to wait forever? We wanna reach higher notes now, am I right?!