Singing high notes happens to be an area of worry (or difficulty) for quite a few singers (especially the males). Generally, going low is not so much of an issue, as much as climbing high is. Also, with contemporary popular music showing a marked trend (or almost a bias, if I may say so) towards high-pitched stuff, it is but natural that singers will want to spend more time practicing or learning how to sing high notes effortlessly. Mentioned below are some tips, tricks, and suggestions that will surely aid you in singing high notes with ease, without straining your voice, or damaging your vocal cords.
Voice Warm up
This is a vital aspect of singing (and also of taking care of your vocal cords). Always warm up your voice before any singing practice session, recital, concert, competition, or audition. Conceptually, it is analogous to warming up your body before a strenuous gym workout. Directly hitting (or trying to hit) the high notes without any sort of warm up, will often cause your voice to become strained, hoarse, or raspy. Though this is often temporary, it is not good practice, and is definitely not healthy for your vocal cords in the long run. Humming a few bassy notes up and down an octave, or doing a few warm up vocal exercises is a good way of warming up before you actually get into your practice session.
Perform a variety of vocal exercises. Try to identify what your vocal range is. Once you do that, practice scales. Go up and down octaves. Practice with different vowel sounds such as 'aahs', 'oohs', 'eees', 'ohs', etc. It helps in perfecting your vowel pronunciation at different notes. It is always wise to practice singing lessons using a musical instrument as a reference. You can make use of a piano, keyboard, or a synthesizer for the same. Play high notes as well as low notes on the instrument, and try to follow them with your voice.
It is very important to understand how the voice works, in addition to the mechanics of singing. Singing should not happen from the throat alone. There are a lot many factors and aspects involved in the process of sound production which you must understand and learn. Some of them are:
- Correct posture
- Breathing techniques
- Use of the diaphragm
- Concept of chest voice, head voice, falsetto, etc.
- Role of the larynx
Here are a few other pointers that you can keep in mind while performing:
- If the problem is how to reach high notes, singing loudly is not the answer. Singing high notes does NOT mean singing loudly or shouting or screaming. Amateurs and beginners often make this mistake and it needs to be corrected before any serious vocal damage happens.
- As and when your vocal range improves or increases, so will your ability to sing high notes. It is not something that will happen overnight. Keep working at it. Practice within your comfortable vocal range, step up very gradually, and slowly, you will realize that the change has begun to take place.
- Finally, everyone has a unique voice and an individual vocal range. You are born with yours, so learn to make the best use of it. Not everyone can sing as high as Michael Jackson could. Understand this point and accept it.