How to Sing Higher Notes
Let's face it most singers want to increase their range and sing higher. Unfortunately many find that sustaining those higher notes or singing lots of them in one song can be very tricky. Don't worry though because you can increase your effectiveness to sing those notes.
So, how do you do it without straining your vocal chords?
What is first important to understand is tessitura which basically means your comfortable range (it is also used to describe the range that is most frequent within any given piece). Generally you should be aiming to sing songs that are within this range – or moving them into a more comfortable key.
Now what you need to do is expand the range of your tessitura. This is where the work comes in as you will need to work on it frequently to gradually get higher. Too much singing out of your natural tessitura runs the risk of straining your vocal chords.
The key here is to provide adequate breath support so you can sing from your throat. This means making sure you involve all your breathing muscles i.e. the abdominals, diaphragm, intercostal and spinal. You should inhale fully expanding your midsection and keep expanded as you exhale reducing only your abdominals. This allows you to control the breathing rate in a much more controlled fashion.
Having sorted out your breathing you can then work on your head voice (upper resonance). You should imagine the sounds working their way out of the top of your head, reaching higher as the notes go higher with your breath pushing it upwards. The roof of your mouth and your sinuses should be resonating as you keep your mouth vertically tall but horizontally narrow.
It is very important not to force your voice. First try the yawn slide by inhaling with your mouth in a yawning position. Now, exhale making either a "hee" or "hoo" sound working from the top of your range sliding down to the bottom. Each time you try to start one note higher. Now try the vocal siren where you work from bottom to top while humming. You want to be working on your breath support and as this gets better you should be able to go up and down a few times on one breath.
If you work on these exercises and particularly concentrate on increasing your breathing support you can indeed sing higher.
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