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Adding Distortion to High Notes

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Right now, here's what's working best for me, even though there seems to be days where it hard for me:

Let the sound resonate in your head and out of your throat. Get that ring going from the twang but use the slight yawn so that there is a good mix of low overtones as well. Resonate instead of push.

Now, as you go up in pitch, do these 3 things: Very gradually increase the yawn, very gradually open your mouth and very gradually increase support by moving your bodyweight down a bit (f.ex. bending very slightly at the knees and crunching your abs very slightly - as you get better, you can do this more with internal muscles so it won't be as visible). Never ever let go your resonant ring in your head and your twangy overtones.

This is to put you in the very best position to put distortion of top of your notes. To add distortion, it often helps me to try to "move the sound backwards in my throat" and increase support very slightly and "think intense" - but with as little or no squeeze on your vocal cords as possible.

And remember that the purpose of increasing support is to DECREASE the rate of AIR going out of your mouth, so singing in this style will feel very similar to singing while holding your breath. Monitor yourself and check that there is mostly HEAT going out of your mouth and not really "wind". And when you add distortion to your sound, especially on high notes, it can feel like moving your sound backwards in your throat is like putting a plug into a hole - the hole that your air goes out of the mouth (the hole being the back of your throat) - essentially stuffing that hole so the air is cut of completely (or 99%). I hope you're following.

See if this gets you on track.

Btw. in that song in your link, the singer doesn't seem to go above his passagio, so that stuff is a bit easier than if he were to try to take that sound of his slightly higher, maybe just below the tenor C.


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Thanks so much jon, I read what you said and tried to give it my best shot. Would you say I am lacking in support?


Not bad, man. I would say, try to sing it again but constantly try to RELEASE as many muscles in your throat as you can while still maintaining that sound. It's hard to hear, but it sounds a bit like you're constricting a bit. Does it hurt your throat when you do this? Finally, doing a LOT of fundamental vocal training should help you, slowly but surely.

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It doesn't hurt my throat, and I have recently been following a lot of Eric Arcenaux videos which are on basics so that should help hopefully. "Releasing" and relaxing does seem to help as well.

And Owen, I have heard that too but I also do intense screaming (Listen here:

) and have never had any problems at all, despite always hearing that 'screaming is bad'.

It is still a valid point that I have difficulty with high notes, so I'll have extra difficulty doing this, but I think my high notes have gotten much better: http://soundcloud.com/tmusician/maria/s-dNvVV

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You say it doesn't hurt to sing like that. Really? You're very lucky :D When I try to sing with that type of distortion it ruins me. I do the odd distortion here and there but not for most of a song like a great band like Rise Against calls for.

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