Yes. You can. You definitely CAN learn to sing high notes.
It's a disappointing myth that most singers can't hit high notes. Many vocal teachers will tell you this, but don't listen. They are just plain wrong.
I am a classic example of a singer who increased my range by over an octave, just by a change in thinking, and a change in technique. And you can do the same...
But before I tell you how, let me tell you why you can't seem to hit those high notes at the moment.
There are three common reasons why you may be failing to make that jump into your high vocal range.
The main one, and most common, is you are breaking into falsetto.
This means---your are getting to a point in your range where your vocal chords can no longer hold together, and they are "breaking apart".
When this happens you will sound light and airy. Your tone has no depth and solidity to it. This is called "falsetto". Now while this can sound nice on occasions, you need to learn how to "shift gears" and move into your higher registers that will give your sound more power and depth.
The second reason that you may not be able to sign high is this: You are trying to force your voice. You are using extra musculature, and trying to force your voice as high as it can go. And you basically end up yelling the high notes.
This is no fun. I would know. I almost damaged my voice permanently doing this.
If this is you... be sure to keep reading. Not only will you fix this, but you will avoid having an operation on your vocal cords in the future.
And anyhow, when you do this, your tone sounds splatty and impure... otherwise... it sounds TERRIBLE!
The third common thing you may be doing is going into a very classical sounding head voice. If this is happening, you are managing to "zip up your vocal chords" thus moving into your head voice, but your resonance is making a big jump, so most of it ends up in your head.
Now this may be ok for a classical situation, but for anything more commercial, it will sound rather comical!
But don't fear, if this is you, you need to learn to blend your resonance so instead of all of it going into your head, you have a mixture of mouth and head resonance.... so you are singing in your mixed voice.
Ok, so those are the three categories. I personally, used to be a combination of no. 1 and 2.
Now. How do you learn to sing high notes?
There are techniques that will correct all three problems, so you will soon be singing beautiful high notes, with almost no effort at all!
To get an overview of how to hit high notes, click play on the video below and I'll take you through it.
As I’ve touched on already, if you want to know how to sing high notes, you must use your body more correctly for singing.
Was soon as you start inviting muscles into the singing process that don’t need to be there, your range will be limited.
Now, if you have been singing with bad habits, this is actually good news!
It means that once you let go of these habits you’ll have access to more vocal range.
Can you learn to sing higher?
Well, in my experience coaching many thousands of singers, most of us have more range to access.
The vast majority of singers are doing something that’s limiting their range. And also, there are exercises that will increase the flexibility in your vocal chords that will help you get higher notes. (Most on this in a bit).
When I reflect on my vocal coaching career I struggle to think of a single singer who has come to me who already has access to all of their range.
So is it possible to sing higher?
So what is your maximum vocal range? Well here are the factors that influence it the most.
Out of these three factors, we can have an influence over the 2nd and 3rd factors.
In other words, we can eliminate bad habits that are limiting our range.
And we can practice to increase the flexibility in our vocal chords.
In a moment we’ll get to some exercises to do this, but first let’s look at what is actually happening when you are singing higher notes.
When you are using your speaking voice, or singing in your lower registers, your vocal chords are nice and relaxed. And they are vibrating across their entire length.
When you begin to sing higher notes though, they get smaller.
A great way to think about it is by thinking about playing a guitar.
As you fret the string, the length of the vibrating string gets shorter. And as this happens the pitch of the note gets higher.
It’s the same with your vocal chords.
As you sing up your range your vocal chords will get smaller and smaller. So by the time you are singing your highest note, only a small part of your vocal chords are vibrating.
The thing that will limit your vocal range the most is pushing your voice.
Pushing is the exact opposite of knowing how to reach high notes!
When you push and strain to reach higher notes, you’re inviting all kinds of extra musculature that will get in the way of singing a high quality high note.
You’ll also end up with a very sore voice by doing this! And over the long term you can actually damage your voice if you’re pushing too hard.
The key is instead of pushing, you need to allow.
“Allow” is one of my favourite words when it comes to singing.
Great singing doesn’t need to take significant physical effort. Particularly when you’re looking to sing higher notes.
Let’s now look at a good exercise where you can practice “allowing” your vocal chords to make the adjustments needed to hit your high notes.
If you'd like to know how to sing high, the lip trill is a great exercise for discovering the limits of your upper range.
You’ve probably seen this exercise done by many singers. It’s great for warming up the voice, as well as honing your technique.
Check out the video below to watch a demonstration of the Lip Trill.
The idea that you want to have in your mind as you’re doing the lip trill is that as you’re going higher you’re allowing your chords to get smaller.
What’s really amazing is your brain has the ability to hear the note it wants to reach and then it will tell your vocal chords what size they need to be to get that note.
So practice and just allow this to happen as naturally as you can.
Another very effective mental idea you can use is this: When you’re about to sing up to a high note, just “think” to yourself that you’re letting go.
Let go and allow your vocal chords to make the adjustment and get smaller.
Master this and you will fully understand how to hit a high note.
One of the biggest hurdles to get over is the idea that because a note is high, it has to be hard.
Many singers have this belief. And it doesn’t serve them well, because it implies effort is needed.
In reality, to know how to sing high notes is about training yourself to “let go” and “allow”.
So dedicate some of your practice time to doing the lip trill with a focus on “allowing” your vocal chords to adjust and “letting go” of any tension you have.
Do this and you will increase your vocal range and be able to deliver exciting high notes to the audience.
The way you can learn to sing the high notes properly, is by practicing speech level singing exercises. These exercises are almost magic. The exercises are specifically designed to develop your mixed voice.
Your mixed voice is a vocal register that you can sing in with no strain. What's technically happening, is you are "zipping up" your vocal cords, AND *splitting* the resonance between your mouth and head.
When you sing in your *mixed voice* your voice will sound like your lower notes, except richer (the richness comes from your head resonance). The best part is it's so easy to hit the highest notes you can imagine in mixed voice.
You can get speech level singing lessons on this page. This is a wonderful singing instruction program and I recommend it highly. They are perfect if you want to learn to sing high notes.
Practice these exercises often and you will develop a strong, powerful voice, with plenty of range, and wonderful tone quality. If you are interested to learn to sing high notes easily and consistently, you will love the program.
I added over an octave to my voice using the exercises! Click here to learn more about the program.