Many singers wonder how to sing high notes with power and richness. The notes that fall within speaking voice range are easy to sing, but higher notes are notoriously difficult for beginners.
If you’d like to learn how to sing high notes without compromising your vocal quality, use these tips to get started:
How to Sing High Notes
Finding Your Upper Limit
You can find the upper limit of your vocal range by singing progressively higher notes until you can no longer sing comfortably. The highest note you can sing without straining is the top note on your natural vocal range.
Use a guitar, organ, or other properly tuned instrument to help you identify the notes in your range. Play a note, then match your voice to it. Keep doing this until you reach the top of your range.
Any notes above the top of your vocal range will require some practice. The goal is to learn how to sing high notes with good vocal control and without straining your voice.
How to Sing High Notes: Spanning Your Vocal Break
As you reach the top of your range, you will notice that there is a point where your voice changes in quality. The deeper notes are sung in your “chest voice”, which is close to your regular speaking voice. This is the voice that resonates deep in your throat or chest.
At some point, your voice will shift to a lighter, airier sound that reverberates in the top of your throat or back of your mouth. Some people describe this voice as nasal, but that’s not accurate. This higher, thinner voice is known as the “head voice”, because it resonates higher in your head.
The point where this switch occurs is known as your vocal break. Beginning singers find it difficult to sing notes immediately above and below this break, but with some practice, you can learn to bridge this break and sing most songs seamlessly.
How to Sing High Notes: Improving Your Head Voice
There are two major steps you can take to improve the quality of your head voice. First, you’ll need to develop your "mixed voice", which is a combination of your chest and head voices.
The mixed voice is the result of practice; most people don’t come by it naturally, but experienced singers incorporate it so smoothly that it’s impossible to tell when they switch from chest voice to head voice.
To strengthen your mixed voice, you need to sing the notes around your vocal break. As you sing progressively higher, you should practice using a bit less of your chest voice and a bit more of your head voice. You can practice this skill by paying attention to where each note resonates in your throat and mouth, and putting slightly more emphasis on the “head” notes as you go along.
Over time, you will learn to place the notes where you want, making the transition from chest to head voice very smooth.
How to Sing High Notes: Breath and Diaphragm Support
The second part of singing higher notes with ease is learning to use your breathing and diaphragm to support the high notes. Without breath and diaphragm support, your head voice will sound thin and reedy. With breath and diaphragm support, it will sound rich and strong like your chest voice.
Practice rationing your voice as you exhale a note, not letting it out too fast. This will help you sustain high notes and give them just the right amount of breath support.
Your diaphragm is the muscle in your stomach area that flexes when you laugh or exhale sharply. Practice flexing it as you sing to give extra support to your high notes for a more powerful sound.
With your full vocal range and the power of your breath and diaphragm behind you, you’ll soon learn how to sing high notes like a pro – and how to belt out money notes your audience will never forget!