How To Sing High Notes – How To Sing Higher
By: Aaron Anastasi
If you’re feeling frustrated about your singing range and wish you knew how to sing higher and really want to sing high notes this is your article. In this article you’ll learn three things:
- The difference between head voice and falsetto
- How to get the most out of your falsetto tone
- A vocal exercise that will immediately extend your range so you can sing higher
Singing higher notes seems to be most singers’ goal, so I wanted to give you some quick little insights that you can apply right away that should help you to do just that.
Let me first start by saying that the best way to go about being a better singer is to regularly do vocal exercises, and that probably doesn’t surprise you, since the same is true for just about anything that you want to be better at. Just like the muscles in the body need to be exercised, so the voice, which is made up of muscles itself, needs to be warmed up and exercised in order to function at its peak ability. But before we get into specific exercises, it will help if I give you some idea about the difference between head voice and falsetto.
Head Voice and Falsetto
Your head voice is all the notes in your upper register, all of the higher notes that you can sing at full volume. The reason it’s called your ‘head voice’ is because the notes are primarily resonating, bouncing around, in your head and sinus cavity when you sing. Your head voice can blend with your chest voice—the lower part of your voice where the sound is heavier, thicker, where the sound resonates primarily in your chest cavity—creating a kind of middle voice. This is often the goal of most singers, to have one wide blended range, consisting of both the head and chest voice.
Your falsetto is the highest, lightest notes that you can sing. It is characterized by an airy, breathy tone and is considered to be your false voice. Unlike the head voice, the falsetto cannot blend with the chest voice.
Your falsetto is primarily a protective mechanism. That is it’s actual function and purpose. You see, when you reach the highest notes that you are currently able to support, in your head voice, instead of causing strain or damage to your vocal folds, reaching any higher note, your voice flips into falsetto.
In your head voice, your vocal cords (also called vocal folds) are touching and vibrating. But in falsetto your vocal cords separate, in order to protect themselves from harm, and the rush of air coming from your lung catches the sides of the cord, while most of the air passes through the middle. This is why your falsetto sounds so airy.
Getting the Most Out of Your Falsetto
For this reason, your falsetto is much weaker than your head voice. But you can do exercises that will strengthen it, which is great. Many singers today use their falsetto as a stylistic sound, like Coldplay, One Republic and Five For Fighting.
Even better than that, though, every note that you can sing in falsetto, you can work to sing in your head voice. This will take work and specific exercises to make that happen, but it’s possible and is the ideal for most singers. That way you can sing all your higher notes with power and strength but still use your falsetto for style and dynamic variety.
Vocal Range Extending Exercise
But, you may ask, what kind of exercise specifically? There are a ton of different ones out there. How do you know which ones are right, and particularly, which exercises will help increase your range and help you to sing higher notes?
Most vocal exercises include more drawn out notes that follow some sort of ascending scale, and this a good thing and will be helpful for vocal strength, stamina and ultimately sustained tone. But one good way to sing higher notes and work on the notes in you upper head voice and into your falsetto is to sing staccato, short, quick notes instead of the longer drawn out notes when doing your voice exercises.
Instead of Ahh, ahh, ahh, ahh, ahh, ahh, with extended, sustained sounds, use Tee, tee, tee, tee, tee, tee instead, shooting out short spurts of breath on each note.
This trick should help you to hit higher notes and work toward being able to more consistently sing those higher notes with some practice and patience.
I hope that helps, and thanks for reading!