Every singer wants to increase their vocal range, and hitting the high notes is the most impressive feat of all. However, no one is born with the ability to sing high notes to perfection! The vocal cords require exercise, like other muscles, to become strong. Start by learning how to relax your muscles. Then warm up your voice and practice specific exercises to help you increase your range.
Part 1 of 3: Relax Your Muscles
Step 1. Breathe slowly and relaxed to release tension
Your breathing needs to be relaxed to hit the high notes; otherwise, that tension will go directly to your voice. Take a normal breath and then exhale. Keep your breathing slow and even.
Relax your shoulders, neck, and chest as you continue to breathe. This will help you release tension in those areas
Step 2. Massage the muscles of the face and jaw to release tension in the jaw
Put the heels of your hands on each side of your face, just below your cheekbones. Push them gently towards the cheeks and then slowly move them down towards the jaw. Let the mouth open a little. Repeat this step several times.
Step 3. Do some circular movements with your neck and shoulders to loosen the muscles
Slowly turn your neck from side to side. Once you feel that the neck is stretched, rock your shoulders gently and slowly, back and forth. Then, let your arms dangle at your sides.
Try to keep your arms loose while you practice. Avoid the urge to clench your fist or tense your arm muscles when trying to hit high notes
Part 2 of 3: Warming up your voice
Step 1. Drink a glass of warm water to relax your throat muscles
This also helps hydrate your vocal cords, allowing you to reach higher registers. Add honey to the water to reduce or prevent throat swelling.
Don't drink ice water, caffeine, or milk before warming up your voice. These fluids can have a negative effect on your singing voice
Step 2. Vibrate lips to warm them
Bring both lips together without exerting pressure. It releases the air through the mouth in a constant stream, so that the lips vibrate and make a trumpet sound. Do this with “h” sounds, keeping a steady voice as you blow the air out.
Once you can, try the “b” sound. Then continue to do so, but go up and down the scales
Step 3. Stretch the vocal cords with "mermaids"
Round your mouth into an "o" position and inhale. It helps to imagine that you are sucking on spaghetti! When you exhale, make a steady "woo" sound, and repeat it 2 to 3 times.
Then start going up and down the ladder as you go
Step 4. Do two octave scales to warm up to get to the higher notes
Starting with a low pitch, sing a "me" sound as you move up the scale. Reverse and scale down as you sing a "ii" sound. Keep going, up and down, increasing your rank each time.
- Once you feel loose enough, switch to an "oo" sound and repeat.
- During the warm-up, don't force your voice to go higher than is comfortable for you. This can really decrease your range over time.
Part 3 of 3: Developing Your Rank
Step 1. Breathe from your abdomen for a louder sound
As a singer, you've probably heard this advice countless times. However, it is important! It helps you reach and sustain the high notes, and it helps you relax your muscles.
- When you inhale, the stomach should rise first, followed by the chest.
- If you're having trouble doing this, try placing your hand on your abdomen as you breathe. It will remind you to focus on breathing from that area.
Step 2. Start in the middle of your range and sing louder
This may be the continuation of the “oo” and “ii” sounds that you used in the warm-up. Once your voice manages to reach the range you want, open up those vowel sounds to a sound more like "oh" and "uh."
As you practice this over time, you will notice that the higher notes become easier to hit
Step 3. Experiment with vowel sounds
Each voice has certain vowels that work best when singing high notes. Others are more difficult to reach. You should experiment to determine which vowels work and sound best for you. Once you have an idea of which vowel works best, modify it (gradually) as you move up the scale.
For example, you may have a hard time prolonging an "i", but you can easily come up with a short "i". You could modify a long "i" as in "food" by singing "food" (with a short "i"), and subtly adjust it to "food" as you go higher
Step 4. Start putting a consonant in front of the vowels
The consonants, like a hard "g" can help you improve the closing of the strings. After practicing with the vowels for a while, put a hard “g” in front of the vowels. This will help you sustain a consistent sound and keep your vocal cords constantly vibrating.
- It also works on consonants like "m" and "n" in front of vowels.
- Vocal cord closure is when the vocal cords come together to create a sound. If they are not “closed” completely, it is difficult to maintain a constant air flow.
Step 5. Sing the name "Gian" on high notes to get your mouth in position
When rehearsing, never hesitate to sing the word "Gian" on one of those notes in your upper range. When you sing this word, your mouth and throat will be positioned exactly in the right place to hit the high notes. This is a practical trick to help you get used to the correct mouth position, however, do not do it in your presentations!
Step 6. Keep the sounds soft and connected
The constant airflow allows you to reach and sustain the high notes. As you work on your range, keep your breath in a constant flow. Work on making soft, connected sounds.
- Think of the entire phrase that includes the high note, and then sustain your voice continuously from the beginning. This connects the high note with the previous notes.
- Forcing air out on certain notes can strain your throat and voice.
Step 7. Chill after each session to avoid injury
Singing in high notes is hard on the vocal cords. To keep those muscles working properly, cool them down after you're done. To do these, make a subtle hum while making an "m" sound. Go up and down the scale as you do it.
Focus on how the sound feels when it comes out of the lips. It will vibrate and tickle you a bit
- Don't be discouraged if you can't do it right away!
- Avoid straining your voice. This can cause irreparable damage.
- Practice every day. You will not improve if you do not practice your singing voice; in fact, it could even get worse.
- Start with a simple song that doesn't strain your voice. This will warm up the vocal cords for more difficult songs and tones.
- Don't sing when you have a sore throat. You are more likely to decrease your range rather than increase it if you try.
- If you have a sore throat, stop singing and rest.
- Make sure to warm up your voice for the best results and to avoid injury.