The best exercise for singing high notes is easy, fun, and feels great! There are many things that can help you sing awesome high notes, but the best place to start is with the simple lip trill.
The key to finding your amazing high notes is to remove any tensions and restrictions that you may have developed while working at becoming a better singer. Sometimes the very things we do to try to “help” our voices actually only end up causing tension that interferes with free and natural singing. The lip trill, when done correctly and regularly, can really help set your voice free from top to bottom while helping to eliminate the breaks as well. Your range will expand, both on the high end and the low end.
Another great benefit of the lip trill is that it helps connect your voice to your breath. You can’t do a proper lip trill without connecting to the body for support, rather than using the muscles of the throat, so it is very beneficial in teaching the right muscles to work while helping the muscles that should be relaxed to relax. You want your throat, tongue, and jaw to feel completely relaxed when you sing, and the body to be engaged in supporting the breath that will carry the beautiful sound you make when you sing. Your voice should sail as freely when you sing as it does on the lip trills.
Ideally, you should start your morning with some lip trills so that you properly warm up and set your voice before you even speak. Once you have used your voice in the morning without warming up with lip trills at least, it is very difficult to release tension that you pick up by making sound before warming up. These exercises can be done quietly and easily, so that even the least morning person will be able to handle them.
To do the exercise, you will first want to relax your tongue. If you don’t relax the base of tongue, you will engage your swallowing muscles when you make the sound, creating tension that will make you sound a bit like Kermit the Frog. So take a little time and release the tension from the base of your tongue. Next allow your jaw to go slack. Keep you teeth apart, and don’t bite down when you begin the trill. The tip of your tongue should be resting against the back of your front, bottom teeth. Your diaphragm will engage once you start the sound because you have removed tension from the throat, tongue, and jaw, which are muscles that we often default to using. This causes lots of problems like vocal fatigue, tension, loss of range, pitch problems, and many others. The lip trill exercise will really help you find your best high notes and develop great breath support.
So relax your tongue, jaw, and throat. Keeping teeth apart, trill your lips as if you are making a sound like a child makes when playing with toy cars. Start the sound in your comfortable range, then gently stretch throughout your entire range on a siren sound. You can practice your songs on lip trills as well to reduce tension and increase range.
You can see a video demonstration here.
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