If your singing is suffering from weak high notes, don’t be discouraged; there’s hope for you! Whether you want a fuller head voice or an explosive mixed voice, there’s one area of voice training that can’t be overlooked: vocal edge exercises.
What are Vocal Edge Exercises?
Vocal edge exercises train the “edges” of your vocal cords to come together in the most precise way. In other words, edge exercises train a proper vocal onset.
Think of voices that sound breathy or squeezy, both are examples of bad vocal edge. If your high notes are weak, then there are likely some issues with your vocal onsets in your upper range.
Examples of Vocal Edge Exercises
Gentle Vocal Fry. Try humming a scale starting with a gentle, rumbly vocal fry and slowly go from the fry sound to a clear tone quality. This exercise helps coordinate a precise vocal cord closure, free from breathiness and over-squeezing.
Open Vowel Staccato. Think of the sound people make when a concept suddenly makes sense… “ohhh.” Contrast this to the sound of Santa Claus going “ho ho ho.” Try doing a scale with a choppy “oh” without starting breathy or slamming the vocal cords together. This exercise helps develop more precision with how you bring your vocal cords together to make a sound.
How does this create stronger high notes?
The voice is most resonant and strong when it is relaxed and vibrating efficiently. Eliminating breathiness and over-squeezing allows your vocal cords to produce all of the rich harmonics that make a voice sound strong. Additionally, a better vocal edge technique gives you more control over compression, which will allow you to thicken your vocal cords for even more power.
Remember, you can’t build a strong voice on a bad foundation. The better your vocal cords come together to vibrate, the stronger your high notes will be!
Benny Meza is a Master Associate at Brett Manning Studios in Nashville, TN. He’s taught over 7,000 vocal lessons and has worked with clients from Warner Music, RCA, Universal Music Group, and many others.
For a complete vocal workout on edge exercises, with demonstrations and scales for you to practice, buy Mastering Mix today!