One of the most popular ways to show off your amazing voice and vocal skills is to hit high notes. When the melody reaches its climax, the large intervals will attract the audience’s gaze and admiration.
Yet, not everyone has natural talent, and reaching the peak is not easy. If you do not know how to handle it well, the larynx will sting and make a cracking sound.
How to sing high notes without straining the throat? Please follow these steps:
- Place your finger across the larynx and swallow.
- Feel its up and down movement.
- Start singing and be careful not to raise your throat.
- Add a sense of “yawny” to release stress.
Well, that sounds a bit confusing, right? We will analyze each step in detail!
Reason For Throat Tightness When Singing High Notes
When trying to raise the tone of their voice, many people often experience problems such as a tight throat or a burning sensation.
What is the cause of this condition?
Your vocal originates from the vocal cords. It is located in the larynx of your voice box, in your throat. When we sing, the brain is still trying to control the muscles subconsciously, like when we speak. Excessive control will strain the muscles and put pressure on the throat.
The vocal cords are the part that is constantly subjected to muscle tension along with air pressure every time you speak or sing. Their job is to withstand the impact breath to create a flow of air that emits sound.
If you have a habit of squeezing your throat while singing, it will pinch this part and make it harder for you to sing higher notes.
Another reason is that you do not prepare enough breath before performing. At that time, the body is forced to use other related muscles to support your voice and cause the larynx to tighten.
How To Relax Throat When Singing High Notes
The key to climax easily without putting pressure on your voice boxes is to control your breathing.
The larynx will gradually squeeze and constrict when you breathe and take your breath incorrectly. It affects the vocal cords located at the front of the throat, creating a feeling of heaviness and tightness. It makes the output sound thin and weak. They can even ruin your voice or cause a sore throat in the long run.
How do we remedy that situation? Follow these steps:
#1. Placing Your Fingers Across The Larynx
Take your thumb and first finger and gently wrap it around Adam’s apple or voice fold area. It would help if you kept this action throughout the exercise to get the best feel for the up and down movement of the pharynx.
#2. Feeling Its Movements
The best way to understand how throats work is to feel it. We can practice with two primary actions: swallowing and yawning.
First, try swallowing and humming a tune at the same time. You will find that quite tricky. That’s because swallowing puts strain on your throat area.
In contrast, yawning opens the throat area and allows the most air to enter. This feeling is exactly what you should practice.
One thing that you need to avoid when trying to lower your larynx is pushing down on the back of your tongue.
This action will create a feeling of tension in the muscles under the chin, causing strain. The right feel is when your tongue moves forward and stretches the space for the vocal cords to descend.
If feeling the drop and push down is too difficult for you, consider some of the following exercises:
- Open the space behind your tongue: Try dropping your tongue forward, inhale, and create space behind your tongue. You will feel your throat drop.
- Smell the aroma: Inhale slowly as if you were smelling your favorite food. At that time, your throat will open to allow the larynx to descend. Keep repeating this action over and over to get used to the feeling.
#3. Trying To Sing While Controlling Your Throat
It’s time to face your troubles. Take a high-pitched verse that you found difficult before to practice. If you still can’t think of the right song, try using the siren “eeh” or “ooh.”
While singing, try to feel the movement of the throat with your fingers. You wouldn’t want to raise it too much.
#4. Adding A Sense Of “Yawny” To Release Stress
If you still feel this is too difficult a task, we can apply a few tips.
To relieve tension in the throat area, add a slight “yawny” sensation. However, do not yawn as hard as it will put back pressure on the parts.
Practice yawning in the back of your throat without opening your mouth too wide. Repeat this action repeatedly to feel and understand the circle’s movement. While yawning, exhale by sighing, starting from the high note comfortably within your ability and working your way down.
This action is an excellent warm-up for the muscles.
Repeat this “yawn/sigh” movement over and over again. It will help reduce stress better. You can also add this “yawny” feeling while singing to make hitting high notes easier.
#5. Useful Tips For Singing High Notes
In addition to relaxing your throat, there are still many exciting tips that you can refer to when singing or humming. They will make your voice much more peaceful.
#6. Knowing Your Vocal Range
Before you sing, you should know how high your vocal range can be.
A person’s typical range falls between one and a half octaves to two octaves. Professionally trained singers can sing in three or even four octaves. The range of comfortable notes in your voice is called “tessitura.”
Typical vocal ranges include:
- Soprano: From middle C to high C.
- Mezzo-Soprano: Oscillating from an A below a mid C to an A above a high C.
- Countertenor/Contralto: This vocal range ranges from the F note below the mid C to the second F above the mid C.
- Tenor: From the B note below the middle C to the A above the middle C.
- Baritone: Ranges from the second G in the mid C to the F above the middle C.
- Bass: This vocal range ranges from the second E below the mid C to the E above the mid C.
For your vocal range, check out the following video.
#7. Practicing To Warm Up Your Vocal Folds
Professional singers usually warm up before performing. This action relaxes the vocal cords to hit high notes more easily. You can follow some simple exercises below to relax your body.
- Practice breathing exercises so you can relax: Please seal your lips gently. Then, take a deep breath in through your nose and exhale slowly. Repeat this technique until you can control your breathing.
- Use lip trilling technique: Press your lips loosely. Release air through a specific stream. You should see your lips vibrate and make a raspberry sound. Start practicing with the “h” sound and move on to the “b” sound when you’ve mastered it. This exercise will help strengthen your control over your breathing.
- Stretch your vocal folds with a “siren”: Round your mouth into an “o” sound and inhale. Then, make a “woo” sound as you exhale. Repeat this 2-3 times and keep the bass steady. Once you’ve mastered it, increase the pitch.
- To warm up the higher notes, do a two-octave chord. Start singing the low-pitched “me” sound and sing it up. Reverse and go down the scale as you sing the “ee.” Continually go up and down while extending the range.
#8. Keeping Good Vocal Hygiene
To have a good performance, you need to be in good health. Your diet will significantly affect your sound.
- You should drink hot drinks like herbal tea or lemonade with honey. It will help widen the vocal cords. Don’t drink cold drinks because it causes your palate to constrict.
- Avoid consuming milk and dairy products because it creates mucus around your throat.
- Limit your consumption of antihistamines, alcohol, or caffeine. These drinks can be dehydrating.
- You must not smoke.
#9. Checking Your Posture
Keeping your singing posture correct will help the sound come out more transparent and better. It also saves you from putting too much strain on your muscles.
- Before singing, massage your jaw and face. Place your hand just below the cheek and gently massage. Do this a few times.
- You should also relax your muscles by rolling your neck and shoulders. Slowly rotate your neck from side to side until it stretches. Then move your shoulders gently and slowly from back to front.
- Good posture while singing is chest raised and shoulders down or slightly back. Keep the rest of your body relaxed, especially your knees and hands.
- Try to keep your chin low, parallel to the floor, and slightly tucked in. A common mistake when hitting high notes is trying to bring your chin forward. This pose, in contrast, creates pressure on your throat.
#10. Using Your Three Voices
There are three ways to sing that you can use to sing high notes. These include chest voice, head voice, and mixed voice.
- The chest voice
It is your primary voice, coming from the diaphragm and the thicker and shorter vocal folds. The sound here is usually the strongest and most dense so that singers will focus their notes here.
You may feel your chest vibrate when you speak or sing in your chest voice. The technique of singing high notes in your chest voice is called “belt.” The sound produced is often powerful, resonant, and full of energy.
- Head voice
Its other name is falsetto. This vocal uses thinner and longer vocal folds, so it’s easier to hit notes. Try practicing speaking in a high-pitched voice. If you feel the back of your neck vibrate, that’s your falsetto.
- Mixed voices
A mixed voice is a combination of both chest voice and falsetto. It helps you reach higher peaks but at the same time gives you more energy. Those who master this technique can control their vocal range and notes.
#11. Aiming For The Second-Highest Note
If you can’t aim for the highest note, try the second-highest note. Singing is like a psychological battle. Too much fear and stress will cause you to fail the performance.
Performing and reaching heights like real artists is one of the most common dreams. Even though we can’t have a natural talent like them, we can still practice.
One of the best methods is controlling your breathing and voice so as not to put pressure on your throat. In addition, you also need to pay attention to factors such as posture, health, and vocal range.
We hope that this article has helped you to know the techniques and exercises needed to hit the high notes. Things can be difficult at first, but keep practicing, and you will see your progress.