“Music is the greatest communication in the world. Even if people don't understand the language that you're singing in, they still know good music when they hear it.” - Lou Rawls
Learning to sing involves a lot of work. We all have vocal cords, but that doesn’t mean we all have a beautiful voice. Anyone can sing out of key in a high pitch, but hitting high notes is challenging.
According to a report by VOICE, 4.5% of Europeans participate in singing. This goes to show that there’s an interest in singing and singing teachers have never been more useful. But first, consider learning about your voice.
When it comes to hitting high notes, you need to first learn how to sing. Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals of singing, you can start working on broadening your vocal range. To learn how to sing high notes, there are a few errors you’ll want to avoid.
Here are our top 10 errors to avoid when trying to sing high notes.
Don’t Overexert Yourself
It might seem obvious, but you need to sing within the range of your abilities. Singing, and singing well, can be a humbling experience. You have to realise that it won’t always be possible to hit the notes you want to hit.
Some people will push themselves to reach notes that are impossible for them to reach. Big mistake. In addition to exhausting your vocal cords, you’ll also risk injuring yourself and being able to practise less.
Be patient, practise, warm-up before each session, and don’t overdo it.
Singing is an exercise for your vocal cords and like with any other type of exercise, you need to stay hydrated!
Hydration can make singing and reaching high notes much easier. Drinking water is great for your vocal cords and can help you avoid vocal fatigue.
Don’t Imitate Others
Do you have a favourite singer who’d you’d like to sing like?
Unfortunately, this mightn’t be possible given your vocal range or voice type. Everyone’s voice is unique.
Some singers can be tempted to imitate their favourite singers. They forget about the limits of their voice, especially when it comes to singing high notes.
Imitation isn’t the solution. Instead, you need to work within the confines of your voice. Furthermore, originality is an important part of singing, especially for singers.
Sing in Key
Our voice type dictates the notes we can reach, but we also have to hit those notes once we get up there. There are a lot of people who’ll try and hit high notes for the sake of it and be out of key or sing with a strained and unpleasing voice.
You may have to adapt to your voice type and range. When trying to reach high notes, you have to accept your limitations. Again, don’t overdo it or force yourself to reach notes that you can’t reach.
When you start learning to sing, what you choose to sing is also really important. Different songs can be useful for different techniques, which is why you’ll want to try a variety of different songs.
Not only will it show you which high notes you can reach, but it’ll also help you to better understand the limits of your voice. Similarly, special arrangements of songs can help you sing songs you like even if certain versions aren’t suited to your voice type or vocal range.
Trying a new style might also reveal talents you didn’t know you had. Similarly, a difficult song can challenge you and give you something to practise.
How many times have you been unable to reach a note because you were out of breath?
Your breathing is what allows you to sing so you need to get it right. While some people seem to find singing as easy as breathing, others can find it hard to breathe correctly when they sing.
Controlling your breathing will help you to have the breath you need to hit the right notes, but this can take a lot of practice. You also need to think about when to pause to take a breath while also staying in rhythm.
Try working out where the pauses are in some of your favourite songs before trying to sing them. Properly breathing will make your singing much better.
Use Your Head Voice for the High Notes
Singing is a complicated discipline, but don’t get discouraged. However, when it comes to singing high notes, a lot of people make the mistake of singing with their chest voice.
You don’t need to yell to sing effectively. If anything, this will just tire you out, result in vocal fatigue, and discourage you. As we’ve already said, sing within the range of your abilities.
There’s a difference between yelling and belting. Belting won’t strain your vocal cords as much, for one.
Lifting Your Head
This is one of the most common mistakes with singers. Whether you’re singing in front of a crowd of thousands or just practising, as a note is higher, it feels instinctive to look upwards as we do it.
However, this can be problematic as raising your head can tense your vocal cords making singing more difficult. It’s a good idea to either look straight ahead or even look slightly downwards. It’s easier to sing when you’re not straining.
You’ll quickly start to see the benefits.
If you’re working with a vocal coach or practising on your own, you need to open your mouth. This might seem obvious, but a lot of singers make the mistake of slightly closing their mouths when they try to sing higher notes. Articulation is a fundamental part of singing well.
Closing your mouth and forcing the words between your lips will lead to unpleasing results and you won’t be able to sing to the best of your ability. Your mouth plays an important role in modulating the sounds you produce so allow it to do that.
Open your mouth as this will give the sound more space to work with and will help you to sing more clearly and be more versatile in your singing.
Can you sing well if you’re not enjoying yourself?
A mastery of singing won’t cut it if you’re not having fun. All the very best singers have a passion for it and love what they do so make sure you also enjoy yourself when you sing.
Singing, first and foremost, needs to be fun. If you’re performing and not enjoying it, the audience will be the first to notice so remember to relax and it’ll be easier to hit the high notes.
While impeccable vocal technique helps, you’ll be far less likely to make mistakes if you’re relaxed.
Why not get in touch with a private tutor to help you?
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.
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