It is something all of us singers consider when putting together the performance of a song. Should we be adding in some high notes to show “what we can do” and impress the audience? I say if you have them all the time, then go for it. But if you are not consistent with your high notes, why should you put the stress on yourself and the audience of getting them done right? They will put your whole performance in jeopardy and it is not worth it.
Shania Twain said it recently on American Idol- “go with the note that is comfortable”.
I say, if you can only get something right 50% of the time, don’t risk it in your performance. The last thing you want to be worrying about in a stressful performance situation is whether or not you can reach your high note. And as an audience member it is one of the worst, most uncomfortable things you can put us through. No one wants to hear strain. —- So if you can’t do it don’t risk it.
Where you should be going for the high notes is in rehearsal and in your vocal warm ups. That I completely encourage. They are something that you need to practice in a healthy safe environment for your vocal chords. Once you really get them “in your body”, then you can start bringing them to the actual stage. And remember, often times when we sing out our nerves can get in the way of how well we perform. So your body really needs to have memorized the exact execution and success of those high notes before you take them out for a walk or you may find that your body will clam up due to nerves and cause you a “bad reach”.
Singing should never feel like a reach rather a rooted or anchored stretch.
When approaching a high note in your vocal practice, imagine that you have set an anchor down through the middle of your body straight into the earth that is heavy. This anchor is your muscle support, don’t let it go. Now open your mouth to sing and stretch your mind to make space around the height of your high note. You should be grounded in your sound but stretched through the back of your head, top of your head, through your upper palate, and straight through your eyes to let the space free to release your sound.
Also, practicing hitting your desired notes from different directions so that you are used to getting them out no matter what is a great strategy. Sing the note just below and then that note. Sing the note just above and then that note. Practice coming from the octave below, fifth below etc… In your vocalizing focus on getting up to that note well and then pass it getting up well to higher notes so that you know the note you want will be a sure thing every time, even in a performance.
Please check out a recent post I wrote on achieving success with your high notes.
We all love the wow factor of an incredible high note. But that is only for an Incredible one. No one wants to hear you screeching. Many times the safer choice of not adding in the high note is better. You want people to remember having an enjoyable experience watching you. Don’t fixate on the importance of particular notes. Overall you must have a good show with out any negative drama. Keep practicing!
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