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How Can I (a bass) Sing Higher Notes?

I am 15, and in show choir. I thought I did pretty good with my BASS singing voice, but I soon found out in high school, you need more ranges than just BASS. I need help increasing my vocal range so it sounds GOOD when I hit a higher note. Thank you for your time. ~ Kyler

Hey Kyler,

It’s pretty typical for HS basses to struggle with their upper range and 99% of the time it’s because they’re simply pushing too hard to sing that high.

In order for your voice to open up and allow you to sing higher, a handful of different things have to happen.

1. You have to sing on a steady flow of air.
Often times, as we ascend in pitch, we push out more air trying to control the sound and force it out, OR we pull back because we’re not sure whether or not we’re going to hit it, usually causing somewhat of a breathy sound. Both of these coordinations lead to failure because we have to sing on a steady flow of air in order for us to maintain vocal balance. Check out the video on this page for more info on that.

2. You should create balance in the voice through vocal release.
Because your airflow has been inconsistent (I assume), you’ve likely gotten in the habit of using muscles you don’t need to use while singing. These muscles include the tongue and muscles in the throat. Check out this article on Releasing Vocal Tension for more information on how to release these muscles while singing.

3. Rely on space to create the sound, not effort.
Many singers (especially guy singers… hey, I can say that b/c I am one) try way too hard to control the sound. The reality is, singing should be completely effortless. Even when singing louder, we can be 100% tension free if we learn to utilize resonance space while singing. This space is beneficial for singing louder, but also just for releasing tension in the voice regardless. You can find out more about resonance space by watching this video.

Now individually, these things will help release your voice slightly so that you can sing a little higher with less effort. But learn to balance all of them at the same time, and your voice will open up significantly.

A small disclaimer though, it may take a little bit of time for this to happen, so be sure to be patient and persistent with it, because you’re going to have to get past some of the older habits you have in how you approach high notes.

Anyway, I hope this helps and wish you the best of luck in developing your upper range.

Vocal Coach Ken Taylor

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