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How to Sing High Notes Without Shouting?

For beginners who are trying to get better at singing, hitting high notes is a common difficulty. The first instinct is to shout, yell, and strain your voice, but it is very harmful to your vocal cords.

If that’s what you’re currently doing, you should stop immediately.

Instead, follow this step by step guide to singing high notes without shouting:

  1. Relax your face and body
  2. Have a correct singing posture
  3. Warm-up before you sing
  4. Breathe correctly
  5. Do range expanding vocal exercises
  6. Stay hydrated
  7. Understand your voice type

Relax your face and body

One of the biggest culprits that make you shout when singing high notes is that your face and body are tense. You need to relax so that your muscles can do their job more easily. If you’re tense because of nervousness, familiarize yourself more with the song. That way, you know exactly when the high notes are coming so that you’re well prepared for them.

Here are the exact steps you can take to relax your face muscles:

  • Softly touch your chin with 2 fingers, and place your thumb underneath your chin. Slowly massage the area, while switching from clockwise to anti-clockwise periodically.
  • Open your mouth and eyes as far as you can, hold for a few seconds. Then scrunch up your face as much as possible and hold it for a few seconds. Repeat for a few times.
  • Do a big yawn, and while your mouth is open, move your lower jaw from side to side. Place your fingers on the spots where your upper and lower jaws meet, near your ears. You should feel a slight dip.

Taking deep breaths can help to calm your body. Also, if you’re standing still for too long, try to shake up a little bit or move around slightly. That certainly helps in relaxing your whole body. Usually, it’s quite noticeable for the singer when the neck is tense, so keep that in mind. If you feel that, stop singing, relax, and try again.

Have a correct singing posture

Having the correct singing posture is very important, as standing incorrectly can affect your airflow and have a negative effect on your voice.

If you’re standing in the correct singing posture every single time, it’ll become second nature to you. When that happens, you’re one step closer to be able to sing higher notes without shouting.

Here’s how to have a correct singing posture in a nutshell:

  • Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, with one foot slightly in front of the other. This ensures you’re in a balanced stance.
  • Slightly bend your knees, and your legs should be rather relaxed.
  • Keep your body straight while relaxed. When you breathe, your diaphragm should be able to expand and contract freely.
  • Keep both of your arms at your sides. Your hands should be open and relaxed. Leave a slight gap between your hands and your body, and stay relaxed.
  • For your chest, keep it high, and your shoulders should be down and relaxed.
  • Keep your head straight, looking straight ahead, and have your chin parallel to the ground. Lean your chin slightly backward, so that your neck is actually straight.

Warm-up before you sing

Like sports, you should always warm-up before you sing. Warming up ensures your muscles are ready for singing. Without doing this step, you risk injuring your vocal cords when trying to sing high notes.

There are many warm-up drills, some of them are:

  • Hum up and down the scale
  • Lip buzz
  • Jaw loosening
  • Vocal sirens

Other than the vocal warm-ups mentioned above, you may also want to stretch your body and loosen your body. Especially when you just woke up, or have been sitting down for a while.

Breathe correctly

Many beginner singers will shout when singing high notes because they thought singing louder can help them reach higher notes. But that’s actually not true.

To sing higher notes, you don’t need to push more air, but rather faster air. In order to sing higher notes without shouting, you’ll need to focus on controlling air movement. This can be achieved by doing some breathing exercises.

  • Place your hand slightly above your stomach. This is where your diaphragm is.
  • Take a deep breath. Your diaphragm should expand, not contract.
  • Now release the air slowly by making an “s” sound. Try to release the air as slow as possible, until you run out of air.
  • Repeat the above steps a few times.

Do range expanding vocal exercises

There are many exercises that you can do to expand your vocal range, enabling you to sing higher notes without shouting. Here are some effective and proven range-expanding exercises:

  1. Sing ascending and descending scales. Go through your entire vocal range. When you comfortable, expand the range 1 note at a time. Start with the “ah”, then move on to other vowels.
  2. Same as step 1, but with arpeggios.
  3. Hum ascending and descending sweeps. This is similar to the sound of a siren. Start from the lowest note and sweep to the highest note, and vice versa.

Stay hydrated

If your throat and mouth feel dry, they probably are. Staying hydrated is crucial in singing, especially when you’re trying to expand your range and sing high notes. For singing, try to avoid caffeine and dairy and just drink water instead. This is because caffeine and dairy are known to drying out tissues and thickening the mucus in your throat.

Women should drink around 1.6 liters per day, while men around 2 liters. That may sound like a lot, but if you try drinking the recommended amount, you’ll notice a huge difference. However, don’t drink too much water just before a performance, spread it out throughout your day. If you feel dehydrated and you’re about to perform, take small sips. Otherwise, you risk getting bloating and gassiness.

Understand your voice type

There are 4 basic voice types:

  1. Soprano: High female or boy
  2. Alto: Low female or boy
  3. Tenor: High adult male
  4. Bass: Low adult male

Everyone is born different, and so your vocal range may not be as high as you want it to be. By understanding your natural vocal range, you can choose your songs more wisely to suit your voice. Consider changing the key of the song if it’s too high.

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