How can I sing high notes smoothly with my head voice? Video

Question:

“How can I sing high notes smoothly with my head voice? I can sing a very powerful E6 with vibrato and all, and my high mix is also very good but when sustaining higher tones say at C6 and above, I struggle to sustain vibrato and keep it sounding strong and not weak. Are there any vocal exercises I can do to amend this?”

Answer:

That sounds already really great right there. You’re practically approaching Queen of the Night territory already.

Without knowing whether you had classical training and are singing classical style, I hesitate to give a generic answer.

But since this is a forum I shall do it anyway… hopefully this helps — you, or someone else.

First of all:

Congratulations. You are singing (high five).

You are singing high notes (2nd high five).

You are singing high notes fairly effortlessly, and even with vibrato, which means your voice seems to be fairly free at least at the onset, to even be able to produce its vibrato in the first place (3rd high five).

Now.

Here are a few tips to extend your range and to sustain high notes more effortlessly:

1) Maintain the lift behind the upper molars (inner smile), or even intensify it, as you go “up”. — Yawn before and during the high note/s. Actually ideally always have that feeling of the beginning of a yawn in the back of your mouth and throat. It helps keep it open. As my former voice teacher used to say: “Have the feeling as if a boiled egg could slide down your throat without it touching the sides.”

 (I couldn’t eat boiled eggs for a month, because it gave me such a gag reflex. You’re welcome.)

2) Make SURE your “motor” is working. Do a bunch of “ssss”, sustained, quick, rhythmical, for as long as you can hold your breath—variety is important to strengthen your breath support—your abdominals and intercostals which support your diaphragm.

 Once that is in place, your throat opens into that yawn and inner smile more easily, and high notes are way more comfortable and natural.

3) MOST IMPORTANT TIP: You know how trees have roots under ground as long and wide as the tree you see above ground? You know how skyscrapers have strong basements? You know where I’m going? YES! You MUST think “low” as you go “high.” And not just think it: Practice actually going low. I have my students stand, bend their knees, and reach up with one hand. That hand is the voice. Now I have them sing an effortless and playful siren JUST with the momentum of their body. No head allowed. No beautiful sounds. I don’t care about beautiful sounds right then. When the hand (voice) is high, the knees are bent. When the hand swings downward, the knees straighten somewhat. Arm and hand (voice) go back up as—and only if—the momentum of your legs bending the knees again propels your voice up again. And so on. Once it becomes automatic, you can slow it down a bit, or leave out the hand part.

Eventually you want to be able to do the whole thing—high notes and all—without the knee bending and arm- swinging bit. Doing that in a recital COULD give you a poor review.

Hope this helps. Have fun, be well and sing yourself well!

And if you want to treat yourself to the full Basics for any singer click on the links below. These 7 steps are the foundation for a healthy happy voice – yours!

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