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How to Hit High Notes When Singing

I want to talk a little about hitting high notes in full voice or belting high notes.

I never thought I'd ever write this post about hitting high notes.

I have been trained to Mix or in the SLS tradition for many years, and I was taught to mix or transition to head voice in order to hit the high notes.

I'm 45 years old and have been singing professionally for 15 years. And today, I am very sure when I say this about singing high notes...

In pop singing for male/female and classical singing for male, singers should hit high notes in full voice, no mixing or switching to head voice.

In essence, Mix or head voice is nothing more than a fuller falsetto - it is not full voice, real voice, belt voice, or whatever you want to call it.

Why So Much Confusion about how to hit high notes?

There was kind of a movement in the late 20 century with vocal training that builds the mixed voice for the singers to sing everything. 

The mixed voice has the vocal quality that is not as intense as full voice, and not as weak as falsetto.

The key leader of that vocal movement is arguably the founder of Speech Level Singing(SLS) - Seth Riggs.

From my observation, the reason why SLS gained popularity was that traditional vocal training stopped producing voices that able to hit high notes without straining in full voice.

Many singers who are disappointed with wasted years and money with traditional vocal training adopted the mixed voice approach to singing.

However, the fact that traditional vocal training stopped producing great voices didn't mean that the overall approach is wrong - the problems lie in the details and intricacy of training routines.

wikipedia.com

Countless singers who made the switch to Mix singing are hitting high notes with this "heady" and softer Mix voice, which is still different than full voice (chest voice, modal voice, or whatever you want to call it.)

So, what now? What is the right way to hit high notes?

The answer is training the full voice like how it was done traditionally, just do it correctly. 

There is a way to hit a high C without switching - I can do it now after training with a master teacher who doesn't mix.

You don't have to mix to hit the notes - although you can, as mix is a kind of vocal quality for stylistic choices, but you don't have to.

Right now, there are basically 2 major singing schools teaching the opposite methodology - those from the SLS school and those that trains the full voice like the traditional school.

If you want to train your voice to hit high notes in full voice, you shouldn't study with a Mix or SLS singing teacher.

Check out my top recommended online training program here to build a stronger voice to hit high notes:

My Confession about Mix singing and vocal training

2020 is a big year for me as a singer as I decided to take a major pivot in my vocal training.

I switched from Mix singing to full voice training, and I'm seeing great results.

I'm able to sing major tenor arias like Nessun Dorma and La Donna e Mobile.

These are songs I could not finish singing prior to this year, because I could not hit the high notes in full operatic voice.

But, now I can, which speaks volumes as to the better approach to train my high notes.

I feel really bad for saying this, but SLS and Mix could not get me to sing those big songs, and I trained my Mix properly for about 6 years with the help of a master teacher.

This teaches me, "Never underestimate how wrong you can be!"

I'm 45 years old and have been training my voice for over 27 years.

I'm still training my voice and always will be. How about you?


Happy singing,

Rex

Rex
 

I am a professional singer and vocal coach in Taipei, Taiwan. I have been studying the art of singing for over 20 years. I dedicated my life to helping singers progress and excel in their singing skills, as well as inspire them to reach their fullest potential as performers.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 6 comments
Menachem elkayam - July 14, 2020

Hi Rex,
So I’m looking for a good solid training program.
Now I see that you recommend Robert lunte’s.
But when I scrolled down, i see that you recommend for beginners the 30daysinger program.
Is it ok (being a beginner) to just go with Robert lunte’s program Or being that I’m a beginner, I should go with 30daysinger?
In other words, is Robert Lunte ok to start with Evan for beginners?
I really dont want to pay for both programs!!
Thanks in advance!!

Reply
    Rex - July 14, 2020

    Menachem,

    Robert’s singing program is very intense and complete in terms of lectures and training routines. If you are planning to take your voice to a very professional level, and you are serious about building a strong voice, then yes, you can invest a one-time fee for this program. The training materials are rich enough to last you a lifetime.

    On the other hand, if you are a beginner still unsure of how to start training your voice, then 30 Day Singer will be a good choice, because it’s very easy to follow the day-by-day training routines and lessons, and the teaching is very solid and high-quality. I really like it for beginners who are looking to start training.

    Hope this helps!

    Rex

    Reply
      Menachem elkayam - July 14, 2020

      Thanks for the quick reply!!
      Actually, truth is that I’m not such a beginner.
      I took some lessons last summer and now I recently (2 months ago) started taking voice lessons again with another teacher.
      But I’m not sure if I’m considered a beginner or not, that’s why I asked.
      Robert lunte’s program looks really good.
      I’m just wondering if it’ll be clear enough for me without having to do something like 30daysinger.
      When you say that it’s better to start with 30daysinger for beginners, is that because Robert Lunte isn’t a clear/easy to understand program?
      Or is it that Robert’s program is clear and easy to understand just more advanced?

      Or is Robert

      Reply
        Rex - July 15, 2020

        Menachem,

        It sounds to me that you are ready for Robert’s singing program. Robert’s singing course is very clear and detailed. It’s just that for a fresh beginner with no prior vocal training experience, I was a little worried that you would be overwhelmed by everything that is available on Robert’s training platform, but that’s obviously not the case with you. Robert’s training program is great for students for all levels. It is much more serious and intensive, and I would recommended to anyone who is passionate about singing and determine to train their voices to a high level.

        Hope this helps!

        Rex

        Reply
Toni - July 24, 2020

Wow. It’s very interesting to hear of this discovery of yours. I never got warm with the SLS-mixing-method. I wanted to sing strong and powerful like my favorite singers. It seems to me SLS teaching is really inadequate for that purpose. They can teach you to sing high and very effortlessly, but not REALLY strong like – I don’t know – Pavarotti. While SLS can produce great singers, I just don’t like to secretly bridge into falsetto and fool myself (or the listener) into thinking the sound I produce is the “real thing”. Classic voice building methods are just the best, no need to reinvent them.

Maybe now you would like to consider Ken Tamplins singing course for a review. He detests SLS 😀 (but I would not recommend that course, though…)

I’m happy for your progress 🙂

P.S.: I recommend keep on carefully stretching/thinning out those vocal folds (without bridging into falsetto of course) to build a strong “Full voice”-voice. Preferably with a straw phonation device (straw in a bottle with some water) – which is the most efficient and safe way to do this. With it, I now can reach an E5 in full voice without straining (although I do not plan on singing that high ever).

Reply
    Rex - July 24, 2020

    Toni,

    Those are really great insights! I think you are spot on, but it’s very hard to do without a very good teacher to guide you.

    “P.S.: I recommend keep on carefully stretching/thinning out those vocal folds (without bridging into falsetto of course) to build a strong “Full voice”-voice. Preferably with a straw phonation device (straw in a bottle with some water) – which is the most efficient and safe way to do this. With it, I now can reach an E5 in full voice without straining (although I do not plan on singing that high ever).”

    Rex

    Reply

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