Sing High Notes with Ease – 5 Steps

sing high notes
Berklee College of Music’s Voice Department Chair and Professor, Anne Peckham told Singdaptive how singers can tap into their high notes in the healthiest and easiest way possible.

Here are 5 things to consider when you want to sing high notes like your idols:

1. Honour your own voice

Everyone has a unique voice and a unique physical set up. Problems can arise when singers have a particular sound that they identify with strongly and want to imitate.

Part of the delicate process of learning to sing is to focus on the unique qualities of one’s own instrument.

The goal is to develop an authentic sound, rather than try to mimic a sound (or high notes) that your voice isn’t set up to make.

2. Experiment with bright sounds

A belt quality can be hard on singers who don’t have the skills to support that sound or produce it freely.

One of the keys to developing an easy belt is to introduce and habituate (by practicing) a forward resonating tone.

If singing (including singing high notes) makes you hoarse and/or hurts, it is not being produced correctly.

The best way to learn to belt or sing with a belt mix is to work with a teacher skilled in contemporary vocal pedagogy.

Don’t be afraid of the bright tones, be patient, and work with a skilled vocal teacher.

3. Find alternatives with less impact

Learn to use your upper register, even if it is not your preferred performing range. Strengthening upper register helps nurture the whole voice. You need two registers to find a mix—upper and lower.

Both need to be functional to find a mixed sound. As an example, listen to Ann Wilson from Heart – one of the best female rock vocalists I’ve ever heard.

She has a strong upper range, singing high notes with an edgy rock sound that doesn’t sound classical or lofty. Her sound bright and focused, and most importantly, free sounding.

In the song, ‘Alone’ seen in the video below (performed by Ann Wilson), you can hear how the song starts low then goes up into a high belty sound.

Notice the brightness and the freedom with which she approaches the highest tones.


4. Slide your way to high notes with vocal freedom

All voices should have access to the upper register, whether it is used in performance, or in only in practice.

Developing upper register nurtures the whole voice, improves tone quality, helps create ease, develops confidence, and encourages healthy voice production.

Lip and tongue trills help increase awareness of the vibrations of your voice and assist in forward placement.

Adding these sounds to glides of a 5th, and free full-range sirens will help access upper register.

Slides are also an effective warm up that gently stretch your vocal muscles before singing, increasing blood flow to the vocal muscles, allowing them warm up and become flexible and responsive for singing.

5. Riffing to increase agility

Riffing patterns that are commonly used in R&B and pop music are great for developing flexibility and agility, and it can help lift singers out of a heavy, pressed tone.

Quick movement requires freedom in production and it is tough to sing fast moving patterns with a heavy tone production.

Add some fast patterns to every practice session to help balance the qualities of simultaneous energy and relaxation, which are key to singing well.

Pentatonic patterns, minor scales, or riff-based vocal exercises, can be liberating and help create skills that are an important part of contemporary vocal styles.

These different patterns are not only musically interesting, and applicable to contemporary music styles, they also require flexibility.

0 replies on “Sing High Notes with Ease – 5 Steps”