To sing high notes, do we need to use more
air or less? Watch this video to find out how the answer can make a huge difference
in your ability to sing high notes successfully. Hi, I’m Chuck Gilmore with Power To Sing.
When you sing high notes, do you tend to sing louder as you sing higher and higher? I used
to do the same thing. Unfortunately that means we’re also creating excessive air pressure
which causes us to strain and pinch the high notes. Here’s what happens. When we sing higher
the vocal cords thin, stretch and increase in tension. Because of the thinning, there’s
less tissue mass. I compare it to the stretching of a rubber band. On the low notes, the vocal
cords start out thicker and heavier. As the pitch goes up, the vocal cords stretch longer,
which also helps reduce the overall mass or weight of the vocal cords, similar to this
rubber band. With less weight or mass in the vocal cords, we don’t need as much air to
get them to work. But because we tend to sing louder as we sing higher, we press more air
against the vocal cords. The vocal cords tighten and tense in order to hold the increased amount
of air back so they can create more volume. The tight vocal cords, under increased breath
pressure, tends to cause the external muscles to tighten, which causes the vocal cords to
feel squeezed. So we sing louder, hoping to keep the vocal cords working, which causes
more breath pressure, more squeeze and —you see the problem. Let me demonstrate singing
with too much volume- too much air pressure. At the end of the song, “Why, God?” from Miss
Saigon, it goes something like this. Why God, why this face? Why such beauty in this place?
I liked my memories as they were. But now I leave remembering her. Just her! I admit
I was also pulling my chest voice as I was singing louder, but you could hear the increased
volume increasing tension. Let me try it with less volume and as a result, less air pressure.
Why, God, why this face? Why such beauty in this place. I liked my memories as they were.
But now I leave remembering her. Just her! Just her! Just her! Just her! Just her! Just
her! That’s the high C. I’m not pushing- and I’m not driving it hard. I backed off a little
on the volume and on how much air I’m pushing and because of the condition of the vocal
cords, there was plenty of penetrating volume in that sound. What’s the solution? Use less
air, not more. Sing the higher notes with less push of air and volume. When you sing
the high notes, the high pitch causes your voice to soar up and over into the listener’s
ear. This is why a singer singing high notes without a microphone can be heard over the
orchestra. Decreased loudness will decrease the amount of air pressure against the vocal
cords. This will improve your ability to sing the high notes without straining or reaching.
This is part of good breath control. Over time, you can increase volume as your skill
increases. This takes time and correct technique. Singing too loud with too much breath pressure
on high notes is often characteristic of the pulled chest-high larynx vocal type. Do you
know your vocal type? I’m not talking about whether you are soprano, alto, tenor or bass.
Your vocal type is what you tend to do when you sing. Now visit PowerToSing.com and take
the vocal test which I call the Power Test. Take the quiz and discover your vocal type.
Then visit the Knowledge Center and learn about your vocal type. Download the free exercises
for your vocal type and begin improving your voice today. I’m Chuck Gilmore with Power
To Sing. You can sing higher with beauty, confidence and power. I’ll see you inside
the next video.