“Singing is like a celebration of oxygen.” - Bjork
Singing takes a lot of work but that doesn't mean that people aren't interested in it. To learn how to sing, you’ll also need to master your tessitura, chest voice, harmonies, and plenty of other aspects of your voice.
Are you ready to learn how to sing?
Singing is a great way to learn more about yourself. Whether you’re a tenor, bass, soprano, baritone, or alto, you might want to learn how to broaden your vocal range to include more high notes.
Increasing your vocal range isn’t impossible. However, you’ll have to work on your vocal cords, your breathing, music theory, and vocal technique.
Not sure how to get started?
Here’s our guide.
Preparing Your Body to Sing High Notes
Before you start singing high notes, you should be fully aware of what your body is capable of. It might seem obvious, but not everyone takes this into account before they start trying to sing high notes. After all, we’re all different, especially in terms of vocal range, voice type, and vocal cords.
The longer our vocal cords are, the deeper our voices will be. There are different types of voice. Generally, the voice types are divided into male and female voices.
There are 4 female voice types:
There are three male voice types:
It can be useful to know what voice type you are. Unfortunately, that’s not all.
You also need to listen to your body. You can’t force your vocal cords to reach high notes as this can lead to vocal fatigue and limit your vocal abilities in the long term.
If you want to sing an Ariana Grande song, you’ll also probably want to use your head voice rather than your chest voice. Listen to your body when you’re working on reaching higher notes.
Your head voice is the notes you produce on the higher end of your vocal range. This is the range above your spoken voice. When speaking using your head voice, you’ll sound a lot like a cartoon character. With training, you can achieve a powerful head voice.
It’s important that you work on your head voice and reaching higher notes progressively. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
You have to breathe correctly to sing well and reach higher notes. After all, you can’t sing at all if you’re not breathing and to get the most out of your voice, how you breathe will play an important role.
Breathing can also help you to relax. Stress can also negatively impact your singing and breathing can be used to manage this. Take a deep breath before you start singing.
Why not massage your face and jaw?
You’ll be using these muscles a lot so it’s a good idea to ensure that they’re not tense. Use the palms of your hands to gently massage your jaw and cheeks. Now you’re in a better position to try and tackle those higher notes.
Warming Up to Sing High Notes
Any singer worth their salt will warm up before taking to the stage. You need to prepare your whole body before you start singing. To sing in key and reach those high notes, you have to be ready.
So how do you get ready?
By training! Here’s how to warm up before you start singing.
Firstly, when you sing high notes, properly opening your mouth is important. Sometimes, singers wrongly think that closing their mouths will help them reach these higher notes, but this stops them from clearly articulating the lyrics and can reduce the airflow from their lungs.
Similarly, as the notes are higher, we tend to think we should raise our heads when we sing high notes. However, this can put tension in your throat and make singing higher notes harder. Keep your chin down or just straight ahead.
Give it a try!
If you warm up, make sure that you’re hydrated. A lot of singers like warm water for hydrating their vocal cords before they sing. Hydration is hugely important when singing, especially when trying to reach high notes.
Have you thought about your lips?
Make sure you warm them up, too. Blow raspberries through them to make them vibrate and your voice will be more stable. Increase the pitch progressively and warm up your vocal cords at the same time.
There are also dedicated warm-ups for your vocal cords. Take a deep breath and make an “ooh” sound. This can help you stretch your vocal cords.
You can also sing scales, starting at a low note and progressing to the top of your range. Don’t overdo it; your vocal range will increase with practice. Be patient when you work on your singing.
Exercises to Sing Higher Notes
Through practice, you can extend the boundaries of your vocal range. The human voice, with a bit of work, can be trained to hit more notes.
Are you familiar with vocal twang?
Twang is a way of singing that can increase the clarity and focus of your voice. It’s the technique we use to pronounce the end of words like “swing”. Practise saying that sound to get better at it.
Any of the words that have this sound will work, too. You’ll feel the resonance in your nose and higher notes will be easier to hit.
Secondly, you can also warm up by singing a low note and working upwards to the higher notes. Make sure that you control your breathing as you do this. This process will take time.
Like any self-respecting singer, you have to master your breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing can make your singing more powerful and make hitting high notes easier.
So how do you do this?
It’s very simple.
When you breathe in, your stomach will expand outwards. Place your palm on your belly and focus on it. Just the simple act of thinking about it will help.
When your vocal cords are tense, you can also loosen them up by pronouncing a “g” sound. This will help stabilise your voice and you can try diaphragmatic breathing again.
Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list, but here are a few things you can do:
- Don’t sing when you’ve got a sore throat.
- Start with simple songs that you like.
- Never give up!
Ready to work on increasing your vocal range?
Now you should know a little more about reaching those high notes.
If you're interested in learning more about how to sing, expand your vocal range, or music theory, consider getting in touch with one of the many talented and experienced private tutors on the Superprof website.
You can enjoy face-to-face, online, or group tutorials with each type of tutoring having pros and cons that you'll need to consider before you hire a tutor.
A one-on-one tutor can offer very effective tutoring as they can tailor the lessons and teaching approach to the student. While this bespoke service tends to cost a premium, face-to-face tutoring is often the most cost-effective type of tutoring out there since every minute of every session will be spent focusing on the only student in the class.
Group tutoring is a good way to learn for those on a budget as you can share the cost of the tutor's time and expertise with the other students in the session. If you plan on singing in a group, it'd also be a good idea to get your singing lessons in a group as you'll want to have the experience of singing and harmonising with others.
If you can't find any suitable or available tutors in your local area, consider broadening your search to include tutors all over the UK and around the world offering online private tutorials. As long as you have a webcam, microphone, and a decent internet connection, you can learn using video conferencing software.
Don't forget that a lot of the tutors on the Superprof website will offer the first lesson or session for free. You can try a few different tutors out before choosing the one that's right for you and how you like to learn. Nobody learns to sing overnight so it's a good idea to find tutors that you get on well with as you'll probably be spending quite a lot of time with them.
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