"How can I sing (and perform) with more confidence when I have a lot of high notes in a song?"
I often hear this question in lessons. And in the past, I've given quite a few tips about various ways to approach high notes.
Here is a return look at How to Sing High Notes with the E-Stretch Exercise. Working on all aspects of your range using good technical exercises is, of course important. The E-stretch is a fun and playful way to move from the bottom to the very top in one joyful, sliding motion.
And for another unusual approach to the upper range, here is the video demonstration of "How Can I Sing High Notes Softly?"
But for TODAY´S VIDEO... (see above) HOW CAN I SING HIGH NOTES?
This is a type of information that you will not see very often. So I thought I would share it with you, as yet another very intriguing tool for a singer... -
Today´s tip has to do with the powerful use of hand gestures that can help you to remember a good physical/technical feeling. I suggest that you have a look at the video at the top of the page and then read on...
For those who feel that the words in the video float by too quickly, here are the words with a little more explanation:
1. Watch my right hand move up for the the lyrics "mountain top." Then it comes down again for the approach to the upper note.
2. That downward hand motion prepares me in a subtle way for the upper notes that are coming - "and tell the news..."
3. For the final long held high note, (on the word, "away") I make a quick downward motion with my hand and then slowly smooth the air to help keep that note suspended and moving slowly and easily toward the end of the phrase.
So why should you care about all this subtle hand motion?
These kinds of motions (that you can practice in your rehearsals) are both expressive and very practical. For the audience, they emphasize a feeling. But for you, they will remind you of several physical needs when you sing in the upper range:
1. The hand comes down as you move into a high note because the shoulders must stay down and your larynx must not rise.
2. The fingers smooth the air as you hold a long note so that you can keep the breath flowing very smoothly through out the note.
ARE WE AWARE OF THESE THINGS?
Many singers do these things without us even realizing that they are helping themselves in practical and long-practiced ways. Next time you watch a singer on video or live, observe their hand gestures.
Above and on the right, - you see a picture of me (quite a few years ago!) - at a point in a song where I needed a lot of power. My arms are up so that I can get a deeper breath (by opening up my back). Holding up my arms up also allows me to look bigger!
Do YOU have to do these things?
No, not at all. And some of this is very unconscious and occurs only after you have been singing for long time.
I am telling you about it today, because these are little-known things that can be quite helpful to a singer when used with expression and intention. And one day, if not now, you may want to think about ways to increase your vocal ease during a performance.
Do I make these gestures on purpose to help with technique? Sometimes. Mostly, they are just there from having used them for many years, both in rehearsal and in performance.
What you do not want to see when a singer is singing a high note, are raised shoulders and a stretched neck. You may see a singer raise his or her arms for the final exciting climax to a song. But the shoulders should remain down. And the body should look powerful and solid.
I wish you great singing and stellar high notes!
SPECIAL NOTE! if you are Over Forty and love to sing... here's something for you! - Singing After Forty - The Power Of The Mature Singer!
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