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How to Improve Your Singing - Bridge the Gap Between Your Lower and Higher Notes

Everyone with a voice and the inclination is able to sing - and able to sing well. So sometimes when you're singing, you get to a point in your voice where it kind of flips and it changes sound and it changes strength. And that's what makes us think that we can't sing high notes. If you were to sing out a low note and then squeak, a high note, like a mouse- even if you don’t like the sound - you can sing high notes. Now think about when you’re singing a song and the pitch changes from low to high. If you get that feeling of the sound being very weak your voice cracking, it’s because you’ve reached the middle section of your voice. Not because you can't sing high notes. If you weren’t able to reach high notes, your voice wouldn’t crack, it would just disappear.

Understanding how your voice works

Think of your vocal range as a spectrum, with your low pitches and high pitches on opposite ends.

We have four vocal registers:

  1. Vocal Fry: Vocal fry sits at the lowest end of your vocal range; it sounds like a creaking door.

  2. The Chest Register: This is where our speaking voice resides, for most of us. It tends to be the most comfortable part of the voice to sing in, for most people.

  3. Head register is the ‘singy’, ‘choir-like’ sound

  4. Whistle/falsetto is right at the top - the very high notes.

What identifies the different registers is not only the sound, but also the physiological make up of the vocal cords when vocalising in each register. In fry, your vocal cords are loose and ‘rattle’ irregularly. In the other registers your vocal cords pulsate more regularly and change in thickness. Your vocal range is the variety of lower, middle and high pitches that you can sing easily. Rather than being physically low or high, those names relate to the frequencies of the pitch. When you imagine the notes to sit on the same level and stretch out side to side, instead of low to high, you will be less likely to ‘reach’ for the sounds at the extreme ends of the spectrum.

Watch how the vocal cords work in this video:

This, along with the changes in resonance and where the sounds are made, are what create the different sounds in our singing voice. When we get to grips with how our voice work it’s much easier for us to work with our voice, rather than trying to force it to do something it wasn’t designed to do. In this article I will explain how you can blend your registers to create a smoother tone and a strong, powerful singing voice

For the purposes of this article, we will stick to the blending of the chest and head voices, which is where register blending typically begins. Picture your vocal range as a gradient in your body, where your lower pitches reside in your chest register and your higher pitches reside in your head. Using imagery like this will hep you to grasp the concepts and develop a seamless blend between your vocal registers.

Follow this video for more understanding of the four vocal registers and resonance:

Unlocking Resonance

Resonance is the heart of great singing, and understanding how it works can be transformative to your progress as a singer.

Resonance can be understood as the different places where sound is made inside our bodies. When you think of your entire body as an instrument, much like a guitar, you can understand how the different parts of your body work together to create the beautiful sounds - and the less beautiful sounds - that we hear when we sing. Put simply, your voice echoes in the various ‘chambers’ in your body, vibrating at different speeds, to literally create music!

In music, listening is even more important than playing or singing. When you listen to your voice you can literally tune in to what it’s doing and how the sounds are being made. When you also lock in with the physical feeling of producing sound, you can become one with your voice and start to make magic.

When in chest voice, you will hear lower notes and feel the sound resonates from your chest area. As you transition to head voice, the frequencies increase and the resonance shifts upwards, vibrating in your head and face. You can train your ears to discern these nuances relatively quickly and associate the feelings with the sounds you are creating.

Establish and Maintain Vocal Control

Vocal control is the key to seamlessly transitioning between registers. This involves fine-tuning your pitch, volume, and timbre.

Picture a control panel with sliders for pitch, volume, and timbre. In chest voice, you can adjust the pitch slider lower and the volume higher. Most people try to for e high notes by pushing or squeezing their throats to reach the notes. This is the exact opposite of what you need to do, to sing high notes safely. When you transition into head voice, raise the pitch slider, slightly lower the volume and reduce the amount of air you use to produce the sound. Remember to tilt your chin downwards ever so slightly to avoid lifting your head and causing tension. This will help to maintain vocal control and avoid vocal cracks and breaks. When you practise this regularly you will find that you willl develop a smoother, more pleasant sounding vocal tone and timbre.

Energy over Effort

The biggest mistake that most people make when they sing is that they put far too much effort into singing. Many of us believe that pushing and forcing sound is the key to powerful singing, but in fact, the opposite is true. Bring energy into your singing by holding an ‘inner’ smile. Remember how much you love singing and convey the message in the lyrics through your emotional connection to the story.

Follow this tutorial to learn how to blend your chest and head registers so that you can sing through your middle range and reach your high notes:

Practice, Patience, and Perseverance

In your journey to a stronger singing voice, remember that practice is your greatest ally. Consider your practice sessions as your stairway to mastery. With each step, you gain a deeper understanding of your voice, resonances, and controls.

Practice is just like a physical workout. Just as athletes hone their bodies, you're honing your instrument. Feel the progress in your muscles, in the way your energy flows with ease.

Your voice is a canvas, and each session adds a new stroke of colour and depth to your instrument. Your development as a singer to blend is a masterpiece in the making.

Ultimately, blending your vocal registers is not just a technical feat; it's a transformation of your voice into a mesmerising, versatile, and expressive instrument. Your unique voice becomes your signature, captivating your audience and taking them on a journey of emotion and sound. So, embark on this vocal odyssey, and let the beauty of your voice shine like never before.

Traditional singing lessons are the best way to learn but if you feel restricted by time and/or budget, Singing Genius hub could be perfect for you. Singing Genius is the newest way to enjoy personalised, flexible voice training at an affordable price. A combination of on-demand weekly singing lessons and interactive live voice coaching with me, you will receive individual attention and guidance to suit YOUR needs.

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