How To Sing Those High Notes.
Posted 03 April 2011 - 01:59 AM
This is going to sound weird which is exactly what he told me, but once you master this it will feel natural and you won't have to think about it, it will just happen sub-conciously as you start to sing. You can feel free to move around on stage as you please once you master this as long as you keep posture correct from the waist up you should be fine.
1)First lesson in singing is POSTURE. Stand up straight, feet squarely under you, feet shoulder width apart. Feet angled comfortably and balance a bit on your toes just a bit within your shoes,(it might help with shoes off as your learning, your heel should be slightly off the ground, just slightly.) This gives your voice energy. Shoulders pulled back slightly, but not so much as you look unnatural in a mirror. (Note: Do this while looking at yourself in a mirror.) At this point you should feel a bit awkward and unnatural as you've probably never done this before which is good, but on stage or when performing it will be totally normal as no one in the audience focuses on these things. Once you have your stance correct go to the next section below. Which will finish the proper posture stance and also cover an important topic called proper BREATH.
2)BREATHING. This is the part most people mess up on. Most people just try to take a deep breath and their chest fills up and their shoulders raise. WRONG. If you're looking in the mirror and you do this and your shoulders raise this is putting a LOT of strain on your neck muscles which is what we don't want, but just a little bit is ok. Now to properly take in a deep breath... take in a breath as deep as you can so that your chest cavity is completely open without raising or moving your shoulders. (Like trying to look buff lol) then breathe in even more as you open your diaphram. To open your diaphram you will have to push out your belly a bit, yes you will feel fat, but trust me this doesn't matter when you want to sing well and hit notes you've never hit before. If you're doing this correctly you should feel a pull on your abs and most definitely some muscles in your back. (Yes this takes work and is actually a workout after an hour or so of singing.) Once you have a full breath by the instructions I just wrote, let it out, but as you let it out keep your correct POSTURE and CHEST CAVITY OPEN and SHOULDERS BACK. You can now relax your abs, but your back muscles should still be slightly pulling if you're keeping correct POSTURE. Keep your hands relaxed at your sides.
3)If you're not already confused...prepare to be. (Teaching this without being there in person is hard.) Next is the THROAT and MOUTH and JAW area.
When you sing, you should not sing from your throat, if you do you will hurt your voice and it will begin to sound raspy after a while. Your throat should be relaxed. Also as you sing you may notice your lower jaw getting sore like you're jutting it out. This is bad as this means your putting strain on your THROAT which is wrong. Relax your jaw, your throat, and as you are doing this check your POSTURE again as it has probably gone out again and check that your chest cavity is OPEN. No slouching. Ok, now this will sound weird as well, inside your mouth on the roof part of your mouth if you stick your finger back and feel the soft fleshy part on top (don't gag yourself...unless you want to I guess lol.) this is called the soft palate. If you concentrate you can control the movement of your soft palate. To hit those high notes you will have to use all the techniques I stated above and you will have to RAISE YOUR SOFT PALATE. This is the absolute hardest part. If you strain your jaw or your throat while raising your soft palate...it's ok for now, but continue to train yourself to relax your throat and jaw while raising the soft palate. Try controlling your soft palate and feel it with your finger as you do it so you're familiar with it. Raising the soft palate opens the airways for singing and breath. Also opening your eyes more than normal and raising your eyebrows helps tremendously.This is what I was taught and it really works. Just watch some pro singers on video, watch their expressions. When going for the high notes your mouth must be OPEN. If this is your first time trying this lesson it will feel really weird. Just trust me, my instructor has a Bachelors in Choral teaching and he told me the same thing.
You may also notice how open your mouth is when you sing. When you want those high notes, try to keep your mouth tall. Not wide as in the sound of the letter "E" but tall as in the sound of the word "Aw" Your tongue should be relaxed slightly behind your lower teeth. When I say your mouth should be open I mean freaken' open!
Ok Ready? POSTURE, BREATHING TECHNIQUE, Soft Palate raised. Relaxed. Don't be afraid. If you're afraid it just will not work. Everyone sounds like crap the first time so it's ok. Pick your favorite tune with some high notes in the vocals. Pick an easy one. When I was learning I practiced singing not only in choir and with my instructor but also while listening to the bands Breaking Benjamin and The Fray. This also will help with screaming the right way. Screaming the wrong way will absolutely ruin your voice in time. (Screaming is a topic all on its own which I will discuss later when I learn it correctly.) Remember don't force your voice from your throat, but from the diaphram with your abs. You should be pushing pretty hard and if you start to sweat after about 15 min of practicing then that is a good thing. Ok that is all I can think of at the moment. I will look through my notes and update this when I can as this is just off the top of my head.
All of this I have said applies to all singing in general. And above all..put your heart into it, if your heart isn't into the song you're singing either because you've practiced it so many times or you don't like it, your voice will go flat and you won't even notice it, (but the audience will) If you're not into it, the audience won't be into it either. Always try to relate to the song you're singing with all your heart and mind and don't be afraid. Mistakes will be made and you can't be afraid of them. Work on your mistakes. Think of it this way, "At least you've got the guts to go after singing."
Edit: I Forgot to mention as you begin to sing and practice more and more and try those higher octaves don't raise your head and chin up. Keep your chin level as if you're just standing normal. I mess up on this a lot too. It just happens and sometimes I have to remind myself. Raising your head puts strain on your vocal chords. Also, as you sing always push with your diaphram, never your throat! This means your abs will be working and when you're done for the day they should be sore lol. Also warming up your vocal chords is essential. It's just like trying to lift weights without warming up or going on a cross-country run without warming up and stretching. The same applies to your vocal chords. Warm them up. For those of you who know, use solfege, Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La, Ti, Do, while saying all the vowel sounds tall as in the words "Aw, eh, oh, oooo, and go up and down softly and more loudly gradually in whole steps on a set of piano keys. On the word "Ti" the "i" sounds like the letter name of the letter "e" but you should sing it with a mix of "eh" and "eee" so your if you're doing it right your lips should be puckered a bit. For singing in general, always try to make your vowels in your words tall and not wide which for beginners will feel quite awkward so don't worry it is quite natural. For those of you who don't know how to do a warmup by solfege...Softly start talking to yourself in normal tone and gradually get louder and then go to extremely high pitches and work your way down to as low as your voice goes and do this for a period of at least 5 minutes. Yes you may sound ridiculous, but this is really how a warmup is done. Take care of your voice! If you've been talking a lot make sure to drink plenty of water!!!
I wish the best of luck to those of you who put this to good use.
I hope to learn vibrato soon, as that is the hardest for me to learn. But when I do or if any one else here knows how please post it here.
I tried to make this as simple as possible as I am no teacher, but this is how it's done. If you ever aspire to be even better, go to a university where they have music majors in voice.
Posted 03 April 2011 - 11:17 AM
and if your are doing it right you will develop a good six pack, and i had a great one when i was 12 years old
Posted 03 April 2011 - 05:02 PM
Posted 03 April 2011 - 05:30 PM
my fav tenor is bochelli, what an amazing voice that man has !
Posted 10 May 2011 - 04:12 PM
Now for screaming.
Well, there's only really one way to do it. Just do it. You will know if you're doing it right if when you scream your throat does not hurt. A scream should not hurt your throat at all except for maybe a slight scratchiness. Just apply all the same techniques and scream all the way through your range and try different octaves and styles until you find your scream. Do this somewhere where no one will hear you lol as you will sound like some psycho lunatic. Everyone has a unique scream. Take Billy Talent and Breaking Benjamin and Linkin Park's lead vocalist Chester Bennington for example. Each has a unique scream.
You can't be afraid of judgement. You just can't be afraid. You have to just do it and do it right while using the techniques I learned above. In all honesty I first learned how to start screaming while high, drunk, and depressed. That is probably bad advice, but hey it did it for me. I do not in any way say the use of drugs or getting drunk is ok. Especially for kids. If you're an adult, it's your choice and your consequence if you so choose.
Next, up in the singing tutorial I will go over some finer elements of singing such as vocal dynamics, timing of breath, and continuation of singing through long phrases with deep and proper breathing. I will also discuss vocal singing in a more artistic form as a way of getting your audience engaged. Where to sing with a forced hushed tone for emotional effect, a whisper, a sudden scream, crescendo's, decrescendo's, I will give the whole artistic works in the next couple of posts of this tutorial. It will take me some time to get it written up in a way for someone who doesn't understand music theory to be able to understand these finer artistic forms of singing, so be patient.
Feel free to Private Message me anytime or send me an email at email@example.com if you need further help or guidance. I will do my best to help you through written word. Just for your info, people usually pay a lot of money for lessons like this, but I'm generous and am willing to give it for free. Music is important to me and I feel that everyone should have a chance to experience it.
Best of Luck to you!
Posted 03 October 2011 - 10:32 AM
Don't continue here until you have a firm grasp of proper technique above okay guys? Technique is very important.
Let's begin with the question below.
"What do you mean artistic effect?"
Well think of it this way. If you were to sing a line from a song, it's not going to be exciting or engaging if you just sing it without really meaning it in your heart. If you're scared the viewers WILL know.
Here's a line from the song "Not Alone," We'll keep it simple and the line will be, "You are not alone." For simplicity we are going to use simple voice with this one right now. No screaming okay? If you haven't heard the line sung before then be creative with it and spend a few minutes with your eyes closed imagining how it should be sung and how it should sound in your head right now.
Now if you sing "You are not alone" in a flat monotonous tone, it will not be pretty at all, nor if you keep it the same pitch (how high or low a note is) throughout the line.
So let's try this. Lets discuss the significance of the words in the short line.
On the word "You" I believe it has significance. It is the subject of the song, it means the people who are suffering. "...are not..." are less significant. "...alone" is a significant word therefore it should have some dynamic effect.
*(What is dynamic effect?) Dynamic effect is the difference in volumes throughout a phrase or phrases. Crescendo meaning to gradually get louder and decrescendo meaning to gradually get softer.)
Ok now that we have the significance of each word measured out and what they mean. Lets sort the line out into a singable, interesting phrase.
"You" -- With your abs pushing hard and proper support in your back sing "You" with a FORCED loud tone. The sound of the "ou" after the "Y" should be a mix between a long vowel of the letter 'O' and a short vowel of the letter 'u' Keep the "Yuh" on the "Y" short and emphasize the "ou"
If you are breathing right you should NOT suddenly chop off the end of the phrase with no air coming out. Keep breathing through to the next words which are "...are not..."
"...are not..." should be sung with a quiet, hushed, but forced tone with energy. Keeping the abdominal support and back support no matter how quiet you sing these two words. Keep the vowels TALL... this is very important! We don't want to sound like little kids. Continue breath through these words to the last word, "...alone"
"...alone" This word has two pitches the way I hear it in my head. The letter 'A' should be sung very tall and with a short vowel sound. 'A' should also have a higher pitch that is one whole step higher than 'lone' They dynamic of this word should also be slightly greater than "...are not..." but much less than "You"
The dynamic of "...alone" will also decrescendo extremely shortly and quickly. Although the opposite sounds just as well. A very, very fast crescendo to a head-voice scream will sound amazing as well. When you hold out the word (...alone) for a few counts you should not hold out on any part of the word except the long vowel of the letter 'o' At the end on the letter 'n' don't emphasize the 'n' sound or hold out for very long on the 'n' sound at all. It isn't pretty or attractive to hold out an 'n' sound at the end of any word, so don't do it.
As you end the phrase, don't chop off the sound by suddenly closing your glottis. Breath through the end for a "smooth" closure. This phrase should be sung with one breath only.
"You are not alone"
Very technical and confusing write up of a dynamic phrase. Questions? Please ask. email is now Issho.Hiroyuki@live.com
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