Judy Rodman - All Things Vocal Blog

Training & insights for stage and studio singers, speakers, vocal coaches and producers from professional vocal coach and author of "Power, Path & Performance" vocal training method.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Well Behaved High Notes Are More Lovable

No matter what style of music you sing, from quiet alternative to heavy metal, there is a basic "etiquette" that your high notes should follow to be accepted and loved. It's like the stuff we learned in kindergarten. You, as the owner and operator of your high notes, are responsible to ensure they behave:
  1. No pushing... If you are a reader of this blog, you probably know how much I advise against this. Too much air pressure will sabotage the character of your high notes... they'll be pitchy and icky sounding... and may cause harm!
  2. Share the load... High notes need to be supported with adequate breath so they will not leave the brunt of the phrase to the other notes. Chickening out is no way to develop the beauty or control of your highs.
  3. Play nicely with others... notes, that is... If your high notes poke out of the rest of the phrase, all of a sudden loud and shrill due to incorrect set up and follow through, the jarring sound will be heard and felt with disdain (unfortunately too common in soprano sections of choirs and choruses.)
  4. Know when to use your inside or outside voice... If there is a crescendo or decrescendo appropriate to the music or directed by your leader, learn to control your high notes enough so they appropriately obey.
  5. Play a lot... You can't expect your high notes to behave if they never get to play. Do vocal range and control exercises to make them feel confident.
Now, go out and play nice.

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