Singing high notes consistently and without any special effort is key to becoming a better singer. But for most of us, our voice cracks when we go too high and it seems impossible. I’m here to tell you it is very possible, no matter who you are.
While it is true that everyone’s voice is unique and that some people have a much easier time hitting high notes than others, even someone with a naturally very low voice can learn to sing high notes. Moreover, they can learn to do so without any more effort than singing lower notes or even than just speaking.
If you’ve been struggling with high pitch singing, here are some tips and exercises that will get your voice into those higher octaves.
Learn How To Sing High Notes
Before we begin, I want to stress the importance of warming up. You need to warm up your voice every time you sing. This is especially true when you are working on higher notes. If you do not warm up properly, you risk causing damage to your voice. Here are some warm-up exercises to follow.
Relax and “Let Go”
The key to singing high notes is surprisingly simple: you just need to relax and let it happen. Most people push their voice and really force it when they sing high notes. This works, but it decreases the quality of your voice and also wears it out more quickly.
Instead you want to relax and let your brain and vocal cords handle everything on their own. They’re very good at it. To hit high notes, your vocal cords need to shorten and the easiest way to do that is to let your brain handle it.
Since you’re working on singing higher, I’m going to assume you have the basics down. By that I mean: you know how to stand properly, how to breathe and how to position your mouth and tongue. If not, head here for tips or here for help on finding singing lessons.
Now that you’re breathing properly and your facial muscles are relaxed, you’re ready to sing some high notes. The easiest way to do this is to think about letting go. As you sing your notes, simply think to yourself that you’re letting go. Your brain will take over from there and shorten your vocal cords for you. There is no need to force them to shorten.
Here are some exercises to practice this.
The Lip Trill
The lip trill is a great exercise to help you practice singing in a higher pitch. Basically, you blow air through your lips to make them vibrate, then begin humming while doing that. Keep trilling your lips for a bit, then slowly go higher. As you increase the pitch, think to yourself that you are letting go and allow your brain to take over and shorten your vocal cords.
I know this probably sounds a bit confusing, but here is a great video that demonstrates this technique and also talks about letting go.
Mmming and Aahhhhing
This is another great exercise. Begin by making an “mmmmmm” sound and make sure to project it forward and not just hold it in the back of your head. Keep your voice toward the bottom of your range.
Still at the bottom of your vocal range, open your mouth and switch from the “mmmmmm” sound to an “aahhhh” sound, while maintaining the same resonance.
Now move higher up the scale, switching from “mmmmm” to “aahhhh” for each note. Once you get to the higher notes, try not to focus on the notes and how high they sound, but on the resonance in your head. Remember to tell yourself to let go.
The first few times you do these exercises, they may seem difficult. Keep practicing and pretty soon, you will be able to sing high notes without straining. They will come out effortlessly, just like speaking.