Understand what a high belt actually is —a high belt is singing in your head voice with the power of your chest voice.
Every voice has 3 vocal registers: Chest, mixed, and head voice. Chest voice is the lower notes in your voice where you naturally speak — you could speak/sing here with ease.
To identify your chest voice, place your hand on your chest when you’re speaking or singing. You will notice a vibration in your chest when you’re in your chest voice. It’s easy to sing loud in your chest voice.
When you sing higher, you will gradually approach your mixed register. When untrained, it’s where your voice starts feeling tension and you can feel that you have to do something different to sing here than you normally do when you’re in your speaking voice.
To identify mixed voice, place your hand on your throat when you’re singing. You wil notice a vibration in your throat when your in mixed voice.
Most belting of high notes occur in your mixed register which is typically the most difficult to master register of your voice!
Why? Because the vibration is felt in your throat, many untrained vocalists think that they must also project or push from their throat to get higher notes to ring loud and clear in their mixed register…but that’s INCORRECT and will damage your voice in the long run.
As you keep singing higher, you may notice a lot of the weight behind your voice is no longer present. You might even feel a little buzzing behind your nose and face. That’s your head voice.
Now that you know how to identify your registers. These 3 steps will help make belting high notes much easier!
1. Build Vocal Strength
You won’t belt properly or safely without some basic vocal strength. Vocal strength refers to power and stamina. Basic vocal strength comes from singing and practicing vocal technique. Singing incorrectly can cause vocal damage and will limit your power and stamina. Practicing how to sing correctly eases strain and will make you a stronger vocalist. I teach a vocal system that builds your vocal strength safely and permanently.
My vocal coaching sessions are tailored to the needs of the voice of each student…but what every student masters with my program is how to breathe from their diaphragm, how to project from their diaphragm, and vocal placement. You can learn more about getting lessons with me and book a free consultation at calendly.com/indieartistschool.
The next step after building your vocal strength is learning how to —
2. SUPPORT YOUR NOTES
Some people call this the point of appoggio — which is an italian term which means support. It’s just a fancy way of saying rely on your breath support to project notes instead of your throat and chest.
A good way to isolate your diaphragm is to laugh with your hand on your belly. Notice how the lower part of your belly jumps outward when you project the sound HA.
A good breath support vocal exercise to use is what I like to call, “The Sprinkler” exercise.
3. USE CORRECT VOCAL PLACEMENT
Remember when I said that BELTING high notes is singing head voice notes with the power and strength of your chest voice? The way to get that power is with the right vocal exercises.
Here are a couple vocal exercises I use with my students for learning how to belt high notes. Now before you keep reading…don’t judge me for loving farm animals, haha!
*Warm up your voice before beginning the following exercises. If you are straining or feel any pain — stop*
BELTING EXERCISE #1 The Bah’s
You want to start this exercise on the note when your voice would normally feel tension during a normal vocal exercise (if you were to try to sing this note in your chest voice, your voice would crack) — this is the BRIDGE of your voice. The bridge of your voice is where your voice is transitioning from chest into mixed voice and also occurs again when you transition from mixed to head voice.
Take the sound BAH and sing it on a major arpeggio. The arpeggio is a major chord broken up into the 1st, 3rd, 5th and octave of a scale.You can gradually change the speed.
Doing this exercise slower will improve your stamina and vocal strength. Doing this exercise faster will improve your pitch accuracy when singing notes a far distance apart. EITHER way is helpful.
BELTING EXERCISE #2 The Neighs
Start this exercise where you would normally sing in your head voice. This exercise takes a lot of breath support. If you find it difficult go back to the sprinkler exercise.
How to do it: Belt NEIGH on a 5 note major scale. Your goal is to get that ‘AYE’ sound as brassy as you can. Take your time on this one — sing each note for 1 count and hold the last note of the scale for 4 counts at a slow tempo 40–60BPM.
Step 1: Strengthen your voice — by doing regular warm ups and vocal exercises while practicing proper technique.
Step 2: Support your notes — ‘the point of apoggio’ this is when you make sure that you’re belly goes out when you sing a note — like when you laugh and say hahaha.
Step 3: Use correct vocal placement by practicing the correct vocal exercises for belting — the bah’s, the neighs!
Well you guys, until next time…have a wonderful day!
Kristal Cherelle-Indie Artist School