14 Dec How to Sing Higher in 1 Week: Vocal Techniques for Better Range
If you are looking to improve your vocal technique and capacity by bringing your range sky-high, there are several tried-and-true techniques that will get you started in the right direction.
These singing tips will help to awaken the common muscles needed to sing songs with a better pitch, while also familiarizing you with a broader spectrum of notes not so commonly sung. This will build a stronger overall base from which to launch your magnificent voice, and will ultimately help you to achieve greater control.
Through dedication, discipline, improving your vocal technique, and knowing the right course of action to take, you will earn much better control, and the ability to breeze through songs you once thought untouchable and sound more and more like a good professional singer—without the need for singing lessons.
There are essentially two major components of the singer’s voice. The first of these is called the “head voice” and for some, they may be referring to a falsetto, though they are not quite the same. This all depends on your singing style and how good you are, but the head voice is basically the higher pitched voice you have to really force out while accompanying Freddy Mercury on your favorite Queen track.
At the other end of the vocal spectrum, you have is what is known as your “chest voice.” The chest voice is the more comfortable—and normally more baritone—sounds you produce with less force, remaining able to take in regular breaths. The chest voice is the voice you normally speak in. For some, this may be the feeling of singing along with Josh Turner; for others, it could more closely resemble Adele.
When training to increase the high end of your range, the head voice must be specifically targeted. In order to get to the head voice, you must first have excellent control of your chest voice. The head voice tends to be harder to control; therefore, though it is what needs more conditioning, this cannot be easily accomplished if the chest voice is not first thoroughly mastered. You can’t build a house from the top down, as they say.
In order to harness and exploit the full ability of your body and really challenge the capacity of your overall voice, you must train each of these characteristics to work in unison.
When attempting to increase your vocal range, the first piece of the puzzle is conditioning your chest voice. You should generally start by moving your voice up a series of scales beginning in an octave range that is comfortable for you. Complete the first few chords, moving upward in range toward your less-comfortable zone.
Keeping your throat muscles relaxed and your tongue pressed flat to maximize the opening of your throat, amplify your voice as much as possible. Be sure to push and control air movements with your diaphragm, and again, keep the throat relaxed.
When you reach a high enough point in your scales, you will hit a point where you cannot produce clean sound using your diaphragm any longer—this is the passageway between voices and the upper range of the chest voice.
Work upward through the scales a few times to your natural break, thoroughly warming up the lower end of your vocal range.
When training the head voice, you will again start out with scales. Starting at the top of your range pick a scale working from top to bottom (as in, from highest note to lowest within the scale) and moving down wardin full chords for each scale.
You will more than likely notice some weak spots where your voice seems more difficult to push out, or the sound simply is not amplified as much. This does not always occur at the top or bottom of a person’s range so much as it is unique to each individual.
Training your voice will be slightly different than it is for anybody else, which is why you must take charge of your training and iron out your own limiting facets bringing yourself up to maximum potential.
Again, by working the scales over and over, the weak points will begin to sound cleaner, and far less noticeable.
Blending the Two
Training each voice resembles is like “pushing” from the extremes of your range toward the middle. By starting with your lower range moving upward, and then moving to your upper range moving down, you will be effectively smoothing your vocal power from each end, eventually blending the hitch between voices in the middle.
By moving the voice up and down over its natural breaking point or passagio, you will begin to hear your voices blending more seamlessly together. This is exactly what you want.
There are specific exercises you can do for this exact purpose. Many vocal exercises simply take the tack of moving the voice consistently through unfamiliar or lesser used notes and ranges, thereby reinforcing any weaknesses or unfamiliarity.
Sliding is a bit like reciting a normal scale, with no audible transition between notes. Supposing you are starting with a ‘C’ chord, you will sing the notes consecutively from lower C downward through the scale in one, smooth, sliding tone.
Example of Vocal Slides
Using the slide method, keep moving again through the scales, much as you did in the above tasks while maintaining power and sound quality.
What we are attempting to do here is to keep the throat from closing or pinching up while transitioning from the chest voice to the head voice. This can be difficult at first as it is a natural reaction for the muscles to want to clench up.But, over time, you will develop a feel for it.
There is no right direction in which to do a vocal slide. You can perform them from the top down or vice-versa and have the freedom to slide up and down the scales as many times as you want to.
The more you do it the more familiar you will become with using a wider set of notes and the better muscle memory you will have for both diaphragm and throat control.
Focusing the Mask
While learning to strengthen your head voice, it may be difficult at first to focus where your sound is coming from, and how the air in your lungs is put to work in the right sort of way.
You need to make sure that when you are vocalizing in your upper range you are not omitting a breathy—or airy—sound, but rather bright, powerful, quality notes.
The way to do this is by learning to focus the sound resonation into the area behind your eyes, nose, and cheeks, also known as “the mask.”
By forcing your air into this part of your face, you are essentially filling a sound chamber, enabling great amplification and sustainability.
Focusing Your Mask
Intermittent flexing of the soft palate in the roof of the mouth is a great way to condition the transition between the two voices. When using your head voice, you should think of it as using the part of your nasal cavity above your cheekbones and behind the nose. The soft palate acts as a switch between the two voices, responsible for choosing whether to fill the nasal caverns with sound for belting or let it out through the mouth for a much deeper sound.
By practicing, you will be able to control your palate with more precision, creating clarity of voice and providing excellent amplification. You will also gain a higher understanding of how to create succinct, clear, projection by learning about chord closure, and proper throat control.
Without properly closed chords, your head voice will not be nearly as powerful as it could be and is sure to sound much quieter. And without resonating your voice properly, it will sound windy, as it won’t have anything resisting it.
Throughout all of these exercises and regimens, an important thing to remember is that while you’re busy learning the proper way to flex some of your muscles, you are also trying to relax others. Proper muscle use is a two-way street in the singing business.
You must know the difference between using the correct muscles in your throat versus straining your neck and jaw in a futile attempt to reproduce noise to a discernible level.
Straining causes way more fatigue than singing properly does and can shorten the lifespan of your voice for the evening, even sending you off with a nasty headache. You want to have all of your power coming from the right places, and to get to where you are just easily managing the fine adjustments of your voice using your muscles.
Increasing vocal range is slightly different from man to woman, so make sure to research how to do these exercises accordingly. Though basically the same, some coaches will have tips and tricks available that have worked for them, so keep an eye out for what works for you.
Keeping in mind that there is a multitude of learning strategies out there, the ones we’ve mentioned above are designed primarily for increasing your overall head voice and high-note power and capabilities.
Keep working these techniques again and again and, with the right amount of commitment, you will begin to see improvement. Like anything worth its salt, this will take hard work but, once you get it down, the payoff is huge—and you will never forget how to do it.
Lastly, it is of utmost importance you not be afraid to practice—instead, learn to love to sing! A big snag of many rising stars is their shyness about singing loudly; however, if you really want to be a phenomenal singer, you must do it all the way. Once you get over your jitters, it will be much easier than you thought—you might even love it.