The “VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul” concert aired last night, featuring performances by Kelly Clarkson, Mary J. Blige and Florence Welch, as well as a special tribute to the late Amy Winehouse. In a generation of auto-tune and computer-generated beats, these powerful ladies are a great reminder of the vocal talent that’s still around.
Taking voice lessons and finding out your own vocal range can be an exciting process – but if you’re ready to take it the next level (literally), you’ll need to keep some things in mind. Most of all, don’t strain your voice! Some people just aren’t cut out for Mariah Carey’s range, and the last thing you want to do is end up with an injury (we all know about Adele‘s struggles).
Take it slowly, and listen to your body. Here’s a safe exercise to try from Singingcoachtips.org that is worth the read:
1) Take a few minutes to do a vocal warm up with some rudimentary singing basics. For example, you can try humming through ascending arpeggios. The point is to warm up and go as high as you can for your vocal range — but don’t strain yourself!
2) Try to develop a clear sense of the high note you want to reach and make sure you’re setting a realistic initial goal. Ensure that this note is within the achievable range of your singing voice.
3) Start by singing the note that is an octave below it. Then, breathe deeply into your diaphragm and back, simultaneously dropping your inner jaw. You will then want to raise your soft palette without also dropping your tongue or raising your larynx. It will get easier with practice and this sort of thing definitely helps you to learn to sing better.
4) Get your voice high up in your head (above your eye sockets, near your forehead). It helps to visualize the top of your head as being large and hollow. Sing the high note with gentle but solid support from your lower body. It might feel like you’re yelling, but this is a good way to improve your singing voice.
5) Even though your voice feels like it’s up in your head, it actually starts its rise in your diaphragm. When you’re singing, your voice will reverberate in your skull first. Then it will be projected outwards.
6) Spend the time practicing singing the two notes an octave apart. Proceed ahead when you manage to achieve a rich tone for your high note.
Readers, what other tips do you have for singing high notes? Leave a comment below! Like these posts? Sign up to receive daily updates right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe.
Image courtesy of Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Vh1