Jump to content

Help with high notes?

Rate this topic


Blameitonthevodka
 Share

Recommended Posts

Anyone have any tips on how to sing high notes? Anything is helpful! My biggest problem I think is the anxiety of trying to hit the note, often my larynx will shoot up, I think when I do hit the notes that I don't have the proper placement. I know there's something about the muscles under the chin hindering this. Any advice is much appreciated! As weird as it sounds, one thing that has helped me a lot is curling my top lip not sure why but it seems to add some resonance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let the note go up, not the larynx. Sounds cryptic, I know.

And now, for some more counter-intuitive advice, when doing a "high" note, don't think high. Think "small." The note lives high, not the larynx.

The note lives "small," involving less fold tissue, not more.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How high are we talking about? Cause the larynx will inevitably rise as you go upwards, you just have to take care that it's not too much.

I see that the concept of placing the vowels and keeping an open throat has helped a lot of people but apparently not me. These two little things may mean too many different things to different people. If it means the right thing to you then you're set, if not then you're getting into trouble. I find that trying to get a relaxed throat and modified vowels instead helped me much more. Even if it is essentially the same thing for experienced singers.

Another thing that has helped is not knowing which note I'm hitting. I could be trying to hit an A4 by listening it from a piano and I would strain. Then I would just hear a random A4 in a song without being aware of how high it is and I would hit it much easier.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It would be great to know the notes you are trying to hit for sure, and the lyrics specifically. Which songs are you thinking? Vowel tuning can get you so many places and release notes well and so working on the lyrics can help.

However, you could be battling with a larynx that always wants to raise, which I find needs a mulit faceted approach to resolve. The first part is to fully discover your head register and achieve it with a steady larynx and relaxed approach, as a healthy head voice helps strong high notes to feel lifted.

Sounds like Wee, Woo or Woof with a hooty quality can help greatly, coming from the top register down. Then taking these sounds from the bottom register through to the top on a long scale ensuring you can easily transition to the top register without a raising larynx. Keeping the very hooty quality and, if needed, a forward lip position. You will sound hollow and heady which is the aim but at least you will be encouraging good coordination through the vocal registers on very light cord closure and lower intensity. It's much easier that way and you can definitely build on this in time and increase intensity using sounds like Muh Buh etc.

You may find that you can add some hooty quality directly to the lyrics to get the larynx to stabilise and make it work whilst preserving stylistic integrity. I've done it many times in the past and just passed myself off as Michael MacDonald! :)

As always there are many ways to skin a cat. Try it out and keep us posted!

CJ

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It would be great to know the notes you are trying to hit for sure, and the lyrics specifically. Which songs are you thinking? Vowel tuning can get you so many places and release notes well and so working on the lyrics can help.

However, you could be battling with a larynx that always wants to raise, which I find needs a mulit faceted approach to resolve. The first part is to fully discover your head register and achieve it with a steady larynx and relaxed approach, as a healthy head voice helps strong high notes to feel lifted.

Sounds like Wee, Woo or Woof with a hooty quality can help greatly, coming from the top register down. Then taking these sounds from the bottom register through to the top on a long scale ensuring you can easily transition to the top register without a raising larynx. Keeping the very hooty quality and, if needed, a forward lip position. You will sound hollow and heady which is the aim but at least you will be encouraging good coordination through the vocal registers on very light cord closure and lower intensity. It's much easier that way and you can definitely build on this in time and increase intensity using sounds like Muh Buh etc.

You may find that you can add some hooty quality directly to the lyrics to get the larynx to stabilise and make it work whilst preserving stylistic integrity. I've done it many times in the past and just passed myself off as Michael MacDonald! :)

As always there are many ways to skin a cat. Try it out and keep us posted!

CJ

i am totally with chris on this as an approach that takes time but works "gradual wonders."

explore that hoot, explore the resonance and freedom that comes from using narrow head voice oriented vowels like oo, ee, with a detached falsetto. it will very likely feel like you are inhaling the tone.

in time, (be patient) you'll be able to add more fold closure and arrive at a "witchy" sounding voice which marks the beginning of the mixed voice.

change your mental perception of high notes to diffuse your anxiety.

picture a high note as something to lift off of to take down rather than something you shoot up for. . don't associate them with going up to them, or reaching up for them, or pushing up for them.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another thing, quit thinking of notes as high or low, but "sideways." When a person plays a high note on a piano or guitar do they reach "high"? No, the pianist reaches to the right. The guitarist moves to another string on a fret not too far away from where the lower note was. Don't "reach" the note. Get the note bu adjusting where you "hand" is on the keyboard or fretboard.

Sure, that sounds like corny imagery. So what? The "reaching high" thing hasn't been working all that well, either, right? So what makes the "reaching high" imagery still valuable and the reaching to the right or moving laterally on a fretboard not valid?

Singing is mental. (that sounds familiar ... where have I heard that before?)

:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anyone have any tips on how to sing high notes?

Yeah, there is one perfect tip.....

find a vocal coаch!

_________________

Хочу петь как Мэрайя Керри и Тони Брэкстон, а пою как унитаз - водосливер!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Which coach? What kind of vocal coach?

What???? Seeking instruction to learn to do something?

I don't know....may be there's some problem in understanding each other(I am not an expert of english), but your answers to my post look a bit strange to me. The only thing I meant is to find a good teacher of singing.

Isn't a vocal coach the same as a teacher of singing? Here I don't know. The dictionary shows such a translation.

Seeking instruction to learn to do something?

What do you mean? what instructins?

From my experience I remember I also asked in forums how to sing high notes but the answers only confused me more.

Too old school!!!

Sorry for my chinese grammar and the words which are probably not used in modern english anymore :o:lol:;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've seen some differences in definition, here and there. A teacher teaches the basics of singing, a coach teaches a particular genre of singing.

Still, just the generic advice of get a coach may not always be exact or precise enough. The teachers we know of in this forum have had students that started with another teacher or singer training system and that previous experience did not get them where they want to go.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been working on it and honestly the most helpful tip I've heard is to "lean into the note" now I can hit some of the notes I've been working but they sound pretty head-voicy and not too 'powerful', then I again I try to sing kind of quiet so the neighbors don't complain, maybe adding some more volume would help in the note?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been working on it and honestly the most helpful tip I've heard is to "lean into the note" now I can hit some of the notes I've been working but they sound pretty head-voicy and not too 'powerful', then I again I try to sing kind of quiet so the neighbors don't complain, maybe adding some more volume would help in the note?

Yes, lean into it like you mean it. Holding back to avoid bothering the neighbors is going to give you tension that will cripple you. Prince, in a song about dancing, said, "shake it like you just don't care."

Apply that to singing. Let the volume come forth, like you just don't care. If they have not actually complained, well, then, give them something to complain about. Sounds like you have been holding back because of "what might be."

Let it out and see what "really happens."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah, that explains why I have no shame. I live in my own house on 1/4 acre lot. I can do what I want. And only the fool-hardy come to the door. I am tall and scary looking and my dog (in the avatar) looks like a timberwolf with a sound to match.

:D

But when I first started opening the volume in my upper end, that was in Dallas, living in a condo with neighbors on the other side of the wall. They were newlyweds and I had no choice but to hear their conubial bliss. So, they had no choice but to hear "The Immigrant Song."

:lol: :lol:

As neighbors, we never complained to each other. I used to rib the husband a little bit because he looked like Matthew Perry, the actor from "Friends."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrator

Ah, that explains why I have no shame. I live in my own house on 1/4 acre lot. I can do what I want. And only the fool-hardy come to the door. I am tall and scary looking and my dog (in the avatar) looks like a timberwolf with a sound to match.

:D

But when I first started opening the volume in my upper end, that was in Dallas, living in a condo with neighbors on the other side of the wall. They were newlyweds and I had no choice but to hear their conubial bliss. So, they had no choice but to hear "The Immigrant Song."

:lol: :lol:

As neighbors, we never complained to each other. I used to rib the husband a little bit because he looked like Matthew Perry, the actor from "Friends."

THIS ONE almost brought tears to my eyes >> "But when I first started opening the volume in my upper end, that was in Dallas, living in a condo with neighbors on the other side of the wall. They were newlyweds and I had no choice but to hear their conubial bliss. So, they had no choice but to hear "The Immigrant Song."

:lol: :lol: "

Ron, you're a trip, but I love it :lol::lol:

Which brings me to the property aspect and size of ones home... I, too, live on a large parcel of property in a rural area and my living room which is also my studio, is huge and acoustically PERFECT ! As such, when our band would get together to "jam" we usually went "full bore".... (It's a wonder I'm not deaf). I know that some of my neighbors didn't care, but I'm positive that the neighbors on the other side of my home probably came close to having coronaries ! They never did, and probably never will, like my music (genre), but still never complained...

Oh, I mention this in past tense, unfortunately, as due to our lovely economy that I keep hearing about, our guitarist was transferred to Pittsburgh, Pa. (his full time job), and now we very rarely get to "jam"... :mad:

Nonetheless, I'm hoping that this will all change and SOON !!! Of course, we still practice on occasion, but it just isn't the same :(

So yes >>> "Let it out and see what "really happens." "

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^ Thanks, Adolph, and it really is a true story. I have only learned how to crystallize it in to succinct images, like song-writing.

"Oh Darling, I love you"

"Wa aaa aaa a ah! We come from the land of the ice and snow where the midnight sun and the hot springs glow", with kind of a Jack Black feel to it, like he did in "School of Rock."

I think most people here that are afraid to sing in their apartments are more afraid of reprisals, such as harsh critique, rather than actual citations for making too much noise or sound. Fear of harsh review.

Well, any student is going to make odd noises. Professional singers hit bum notes. On songs they wrote themselves.

Do you really, really want me to link again that video of the making the recording of "We Are Stars" Ronnie crashes a note twice in a row. On a song he wrote in his own voice. In a room full of other professionals.

What every one needs is a bit of the spirit of RJD in himself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think they can, just makes things a lot easier if you modify vowels. Generally speaking, open vowels become more closed and closed become more open (look up closed and open vowels). Although it's not quite as black and white as that and it's individual, work out what shades work for you. I find that AA/EH/AH I modify towards OH (hot) or OUH (book) as I get higher. Nothing really changes at my mouth level, it's further back, I feel a narrowing sensation, like pairing down the sound so it doesn't get to big and shouty.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

phil,

lately i force myself to call them "throat shape modifications." everytime i see the word "vowel" in a book or whatever, i substitute with the term "throat shape."

so in my mind, i can sense widening and narrowing apart from speech.

one thing i learned today is starting with a tall, "ee" can morph into an nice powerful "oo."

i'm into "oo's." lol!!!!!

it just seems lately using various shades of "oo" has a way of cutting through to the higher notes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...