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Singing a phrase on high notes?

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haver26
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Hello singers,

My question is about a certain phrase, but actually realtes to a bigger question. I have a low voice, and although I can sing high notes in full voice, anything above Eb4 just sounds bad and too loud and like yelling, and too nasal and not deep, and I don't have control over those notes. If I try to reduce volume, I risk flipping/breaking.

So the phrase I want to sing is on E4 (named 'phrase-1'), and it's even more difficult because the vowels change on the note. So I recorded something so you can tell me what you think, and since it's not in English I just sang the vowels. After a few seconds I sing it a semi tone higher, and then low on E3 so that you can see I'm not a monster (;

The second track in the following link, named 'ex-1', is just an exercise on these notes and a little bit higher

Please listen:

https://soundcloud.com/haveri-1/sets/phrase-on-high-notes

Please tell me what you think I should do. Maybe just practice over and over and eventually it will sound good? Or shoud I work on bridging and using my mix on these notes, even though it's not considered high at all?

Thanks in advance!

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I've been through exactly what you are describing. You definitely don't want to just keep practicing it with the problems present - if you practice a yelly sound over and over again it just gets harder to break from that and your progress will slow down. You need to relearn how to approach that range preferably under the instruction of a teacher. However it's not exactly a matter of bridging or mixing in this particular range it's a matter of belting correctly.

it involves learning how to warm up properly, engage active diaphragmatic support, correct posture, release excess tension in the neck, jaw, throat, chin, shoulders, and chest, engage firm cord closure, lift the soft palate, and shift to head resonance without releasing from full voice.

If your training is not working on all of those concepts it is incomplete and that's why you're having issues above the E4.

I have been just recently starting to overcome a big habit of yelling for powerful high notes so I know what you're going through. The way to fix this is to train with a great coach who knows how to carry the full voice high without making you yell for it or just saying that it can't be done and that you have to bridge into a lighter sound at the E4 because you're a baritone. That's not true and when you go to perform after training with these kinds of coaches you'll just end up yelling anyways because the bridging to head voice or a light mix doesn't give you enough power and then in the moment the only way you know how to get enough intensity is to yell incorrectly. You don't wanna do that. So the best thing is to just be taught how to extend the full voice correctly.

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Thank you for you detailed answer Owen

It's good to know that I'm not the only one who has been struggling with this problem. My teacher indeed doesn't work with me on all the things you mentioned.

Can you please tell me what you think of the demo I uploaded, except it just sounds bad?

And can you elaborte a little on lifting the soft palate and shifting to head resonance without releasing from full voice? I'm sure it's hard to do without a teacher, but just so that I know what I should expect from a teacher so that I know they train me correctly

Thanks a lot in advance!

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Thank you for you detailed answer Owen

It's good to know that I'm not the only one who has been struggling with this problem. My teacher indeed doesn't work with me on all the things you mentioned.

Can you please tell me what you think of the demo I uploaded, except it just sounds bad?

And can you elaborte a little on lifting the soft palate and shifting to head resonance without releasing from full voice? I'm sure it's hard to do without a teacher, but just so that I know what I should expect from a teacher so that I know they train me correctly

Thanks a lot in advance!

hey there all you need to do for the palate to lift and the shift to happen is change the vowel slightly and make sure you have a good solid clear vowel to begin with.You can just start on an ah and slightly change the vowel to an uh or oh as you get to the last note just slightly. Also if you want you can try to as you begin the scale feel like you are about to laugh or cry/ pout, though i like the beginning of a laugh better. just try it see what happens. Do not let go to falsetto do not yell just remember to keep it consistent through the scale ... good luck

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Thank you for you detailed answer Owen

It's good to know that I'm not the only one who has been struggling with this problem. My teacher indeed doesn't work with me on all the things you mentioned.

Can you please tell me what you think of the demo I uploaded, except it just sounds bad?

And can you elaborte a little on lifting the soft palate and shifting to head resonance without releasing from full voice? I'm sure it's hard to do without a teacher, but just so that I know what I should expect from a teacher so that I know they train me correctly

It was actually hard to tell from the demo because the sound is distorted, so because of that it actually sounded pretty normal to me, but my vocal ear is still developing and I can't quite hear vocal subtleties in a distorted recording yet.

I could tell more from how you described it in text, which is rare, but what you explained just matched right up with the same problems I've had in the past so that's why I was able to "get it"

I'm still working on the resonance shift so I'm not an expert at it, but I do know that out of all vocal technique concepts it's one of the most crucial to have a teacher to show you and work with you on. It's likely that your teacher knows a way to teach a similar thing, whether it's by vowel modification, or lifting the soft palate, or lowering the larynx, or creating a yawn sensation in the throat, or thinking of aiming the sound up and back in the head, or a million other possible references - they're all different ways of trying to explain the same thing. It's best if a teacher can teach you it through a bunch of these things so it's more likely for something to click with you individually, but if they are only teaching one approach for it, it will probably still help you if you pay close attention to how they explain and demonstrate it.

To elaborate in text would just confuse you, it is a concept that just needs to be showed by the teacher and then tried by the student and then corrected by the teacher and so on until it clicks with and the student finds the right sound and sensation.

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  • 2 weeks later...

An off note can be easily picked out of a song. If you are giving a concert, that means that for an hour or more you have to be consistently on key. Even established singers will hit an occasional off note, and most times it is not because of a lack of talent. Many times when a singer sings off key it is because their voice gives way. This happens because of many things. If you want to sing in tune consistently, it is important that you stretch your vocal chords before performing. Simple exercises, such as do re me fa so la de do, help a lot. Warm up your voice before you sing. This will help avoid your voice cracking, or weakening.

How to Learn To Sing On Your Own

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