Increasing the vocal range and hitting high notes is the ultimate goal of every singer. But how to sing high notes without straining?
Practicing the proper vocal techniques and exercises is the right way to have a higher voice. Among these exercises, the lip trill is a typical one. It’s straightforward and effective, and every singer can do it as a daily practice.
Today, let’s learn how to do lip trill and other singing exercises to sing higher without straining.
Vocal Exercises That Help You Sing High Notes Without Straining
Many people tend to push their voices when they want to hit a high note. However, straining your vocal cords won’t help you sing higher but may lead to a cracking voice.
To perform with a higher pitch, you need a lot of proper practice. The following correct vocal techniques and exercises can help you extend your vocal range to sing higher.
The lip trill is a simple but efficient vocal exercise for expanding your voice limitation. So, with this exercise, you will find it easier to reach a high note that you can’t perform with your voice.
Here are the instructions to do a lip trill.
- Close your mouth and gently press two fingers on both cheeks so that your lips get slightly stretched.
- Let air blow through your lips so that they flap together. You should keep them moving with a stable vibration.
- While your lips are flapping, make an “uh” sound.
- Choose a low note of your range, such as C3 for men or G3 for women. Then, sing it with the “uh” sound.
- Continue going up higher until you reach the highest note. Then chant the reverse, from the highest note to the starting point.
When you do the lip trill, remember to keep your lips buzz when you make sounds.
At first, you may not go from the lowest to the highest note in one motion. But don’t worry, you will make progress after practicing several times.
The “ooh” siren
After the lip trill, you can try to hit the highest part of your voice without straining with this “ooh” siren. You will feel no tension at all as your vocal cords stay relaxed. The instructions for doing an “ooh” siren are as follows.
- Take a breath and say “ooh,” like when you say the word “Ooze.”
- Choose a low note of your range and sing with an “ooh” as you do in the first step.
- Go to higher notes to do a vocal siren until you belt out the highest one, then go down to the starting note.
- Practice until you make the siren smoothly from your lowest to the highest notes you can reach without pushing your voice.
The “ee” siren
This exercise helps you to find the suitable vocal that you use for singing. You can try to do the “ee” siren exercise with the following steps.
- Say “ee” like you are pronouncing the word “eat.”
- Pick a low note that you can perform comfortably and sing “ee” with a longer sound.
- Continue singing “ee” for higher notes until you hit the highest one possible. After that, sing the reverse siren, start with the highest note, and end with the lowest.
Once you get used to this task, you can try singing in some semitones higher and stop when feeling any strain.
Relax your tongue
You may be unaware that you are straining your tongue when singing. You will tend to move your tongue up or down when singing a note. But if you sing with the wrong tongue position, you will produce squeezed sounds.
The following exercise will help you get rid of tongue tension while singing.
- Choose a song that you find hard to handle.
- Stay in the correct singing posture with your thumb placed under your chin.
- Belt out the chosen song while feeling the movement of your tongue muscle with your thumb.
If you feel a push from the tongue muscle on your thumb, you are tensing this muscle. Belt out again and try to keep that muscle inactive.
Stop tensing your larynx
You will strain your vocal cords if you elevate your larynx too high when hitting a high note. To stop tensing your larynx, you can practice this exercise.
- Slightly wrap your larynx with your thumb and index finger.
- Sing a difficult song or do the “ooh” vocal siren with high notes.
- Feel the movement of your larynx while singing. It’s a good sign if the voice box stays still or moves a little bit.
- If your larynx goes up high, you are putting strain on it. You can relax by acting like you are about to yawn and sing again.
You can learn more about larynx relaxing techniques via this video:
In the video, the instructor explains to you about the larynx and how it moves. After that, she provides some exercises to relax and control the larynx.
How To Sing High Notes Male
The vocal exercises listed above are for every singer. But when it comes to high notes, there are some things to keep in mind for male vocalists.
Men’s common mistakes when dealing with high notes
Here are the top five mistakes many men make when they try to sing higher.
Use air excessively
You need to take more air into your lungs to sing better. But the amount of air used to sing high and low notes are different.
Contrary to popular belief, high notes require less air than low notes. Many male vocalists use too much air to sing higher. Excessive air will cause more tension on your vocal cords and hurt them.
Yell or scream
This mistake is common with most beginner or amateur singers. As they haven’t known the correct singing techniques, they tend to scream to reach high notes.
Screaming spoils not only your song but also your voice. If you feel hurt after trying to belt out a higher tune, you are doing it in the wrong way. Stop screaming or yelling to perform difficult songs if you want to have a good voice.
Sing with falsetto or mixed voice
To handle high notes well, you should use a head voice. But men often switch to falsetto or mixed voice when singing difficult passages. As a result, the sounds produced are weak and lack fullness.
Use riffs and licks to skip the high note
Many male singers have a beautiful natural voice, but they don’t take professional singing lessons. Therefore, they don’t know the right way to reach high notes. They often skip them by riffs and licks as a stylistic choice.
However, riffs and licks can’t help you to hit high notes. They only gloss over your incompetence in handling difficult songs.
Believe that vocal range is not extendible
This belief is another thing that limits men from singing higher. They think that everyone has a specific vocal range, and it’s not extendible.
However, the fact is that you can expand your vocal range by practicing properly. Your voice can get much higher than the initial range.
Tips for men to sing higher
Here are two ways to solve your high note issues and help you sing better.
Take proper vocal training
It may sound cliché, but proper vocal training is the most practical way to sing higher. Men tend to put needless tensions on their vocal cords while singing. It requires the right techniques to remove these tensions.
Vocal training will show you the correct breathing techniques and vocal placements. Thereby, you can produce round vocal sounds and handle high notes better.
Build your vocal muscles
Your vocal cords are a type of muscle in your body. Singing higher means you put more vocal weights on your vocal cords.
Therefore, it’s necessary to train these muscles to make them stronger and more flexible. You should look for a coach that can help you to develop the right vocal muscles.
How To Sing High Notes Female
Women have less difficulty than men in dealing with high notes. But they get other problems when they want to sing higher. Let’s look at some issues with women’s voices and tips for female singers to hit high notes effectively.
Some high note issues of women
Below are some problems that many women encounter when they sing high-pitched songs.
Don’t know the demanded voice of the music style
If female singers learn from classical teachers, they will get into the habit of using head voices for every music style.
However, head voice is more suitable for classical music like opera. For other styles like pop, head voice will make the song sound airy and floaty.
Don’t dare to sing more powerful
Some women still keep the opinion that female singers should sing beautifully and softly. So, they are afraid of making their singing more powerful. It’s this fright that prevents them from hitting higher notes.
They worry that singing like that will hurt their voice or make them sound bad. Thus, women don’t dare to take the challenge to improve their voices.
Lack of self-confidence
A lot of female singers are not confident in their voices. They don’t believe that they can hit high notes. Thus, they refuse to make attempts and attend training to sing higher.
Tips for women to belt out high notes
You are clear about the singing issues of women. Let’s move on with some efficient methods to help women extend their voice limitation.
Focus on the specific music style
You can’t apply what you learn in a classical singing course in any music style. It’s better to choose yours.
Choose a style that suits you and focus on developing it. For instance, if you intend to become a pop singer, you need to follow pop singing training.
Strengthen the voice
To get a higher voice pitch, you’d better belt out with more power. So, don’t be afraid to strengthen your vocal muscles to have a powerful voice.
You should temporarily ignore how you sound when reaching a high note. The first goal is to hit it, then relax and make it more beautiful later.
Accept new challenges
It’s wrong to think that singing is only natural talent. You can improve your vocal ability, and you should believe that you can do it. Thus, challenge yourself with a new target of high notes and be confident that you can make it.
When you have enough self-confidence and proper training, you will reach your goal.
Above is our ultimate guide to singing high notes without straining. If you perform with too much vocal tension, your vocal health will get affected. So, it’s essential to do proper vocal exercises to sing higher in a healthy way.
We hope that this post is helpful on your way to conquering difficult songs.
Thank you for reading!