No matter where you start in singing – as a complete beginner or as someone that can already put a few notes together – singing high pitch is always a challenge. Don’t be discouraged: everyone goes through this problem.
Singing teachers always put their singing students through vocalization exercises to see where they are. Inevitably, singing high pitch is the really tricky part. When you move from one note to the next, you have to reset your voice and hearing to accommodate.
Visualizing high notes
One trick that really helps when singing high pitch is to visualize how notes in a certain chord progress. This is more complicated when you are asked to sing a song with shifting volume, tempo, and chords – but that’s a different issue.
Juggling all these difficulties can be very confusing at first. In effect, the singer has to learn how to project in terms of volume and notes – not easy. But mastering these skills is what singing is all about. And it makes all the difference when it comes to getting up on stage and grabbing people’s attention.
If you’re starting out on this – don’t give up too soon! Those high notes might seem impossibly high the first few times, or your voice reaches them but sounds horrible. That’s normal at the start. Remember to take things step by step. Don’t push too hard or too fast. For this, nothing beats some professional coaching or a good method that can bring you gradually up to the notes you want to reach.
There’s an old joke that says, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall? – Practice, lots of practice.” This is probably the only way to start consistently hitting the right high notes with a natural voice – and then start adding effect, arpeggios and the like. Keeping imagining where you want the voice to go.
Remember that singing uses muscles, and those muscles have to be exercised. Again and again. And before you rush into screaming, you should absolutely start trying to sing high notes but at a lower, softer volume. You will be surprised at how emotional singing high notes can be if you take it easy on volume at first.
Singing high notes in public
Once you start hitting those notes, why not try your voice in different formats? Ask to sit in with a local band or singer-songwriter on occasion. Spend some time with a choir (a great experience). Are there any studios that could do with some backing singers? This will expose you to different styles and singing techniques.
But remember, you will make mistakes occasionally. Don’t let people know. You might obsess about the effect you want to reach; the audience wants to be entertained or moved – these are two different things.
But once your session or gig is over, do take time to reflect on what went wrong, and try and improve it for the next time. Singing high notes is not a one-step process; you get there and stay there by doing it again and again.
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