How to Sing High Notes ~ 3 Rules for Baritones Who Strain on High Notes

By January 2, 2015BLOG, Singing Tips
Alan Currens, How to Sing High Notes, Mannequin the Band

Andrea Bocelli is the perfect example of what I’ll be talking about most today… Relax! High notes should be effortless, not forced or strained:)

If you are reading this, you are likely a baritone who is tired of blowing out your voice singing higher than an F or G… or some similar range. You might be singing primarily in your chest voice… using the throat to texture your vocals. Then, when it’s time to cross up into tenor notes, you just push harder and louder, sometimes hitting your notes powerfully and cleanly while other times screeching out unwelcome sounds or even hearing your voice “crack”. Using your head voice will eliminate the screeching and cracking and give you the control you want. Then, compressing your air can provide that texture you seek.

Steve Perry (right), while eventually tiring out his voice by reportedly using alcohol while touring relentlessly for over a decade, sang with an effortless ease and never lost his voice at live shows. For over a decade! Performing on a schedule I have NEVER come close to booking. Good technique for a rocker!

How to Sing High Notes

3 Rules for Baritones Who Strain on High Notes

THE NUMBER ONE RULE is to stay relaxed. Your body, your voice mechanism and yes, even your mind! This all starts and stops in your mind, so if you can’t get the mind set to become second nature, you’ll always revert to the old habits when you get lost in a performance… when breath runs short or when your voice begins to get tired. You MUST remain relaxed.

When you start singing in your high range, if you feel any strain what so ever in your throat, don’t go any higher. Drop down to the highest note that you can comfortably sing. Work on that range until you are 100% ccomfortable and slowly work up till you can comfortably hit the notes you want. Remember, however, there IS a limit to your range. Pushing to far to fast can damage your throat, so proceed with caution. Realize you are human and make the most of what you can make work the best ~

Do not PUSH or POWER your higher notes. If you have to yell or scream to hit those notes, no one is going to enjoy listening. Keep your voice under control at all times, and not only will you sound better you’ll be able to sing without fatigue.

THE NUMBER TWO RULE – Remember to switch to your head voice, the higher you go. As the notes get higher, the sound wave you are creating will get shorter (closer together) and so will not need much air compression to power. So when you get up to those higher notes, think “the Higher the Quieter”.  Just picture an upside down cone. The higher up you go, the less you should project… the lower you go the more air you’ll need to avoid being sharp or flat.

THE NUMBER THREE RULE – and this one is most important. Record yourself and then listen to it. A lot. You’ll hear the sharps, the flats, the straining, etc. And when you hit those relaxed, beautiful high notes, you’ll recognize them and remember what it felt like. That muscle memory is your key to eliminating the old, bad habits that lead to straining your voice.

I hope this helps! Let us know your tips. What has worked for you. What are the resources online or offline that you found most helpful. These tips work for me, but there might be someone reading our blog who could use more or different advice! Email me directly at: alan@mannequintheband.com

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