Ask Angela – Vocal Power Question

Q: Stronger Notes Higher In My Range

“I am having a hard time hitting the higher notes with any power. My voice seems to get really weak when I go for the high notes when I need to sound more like a Diva.”
Katheryne S.

A: Hi Katheryne!

It sounds like you are disconnected from your diaphragm support. In order to be able to call upon power on your higher notes we need to start from the beginning of the 5 Point Singing System. Point 1 is Breathing and it is the foundation of great singing. The direction of the Singer’s Breath is air in / tummy out, or a feeling of expansion in what I call your “tank.” (This is explained in detail in the video tutorial “Singer’s Breath” in the manual.) Frequency of breath is important as well, as breath is what helps support and give power to your notes. Point 2, Diaphragm Support, is the second part of finding power in your upper mid-range where you want to sound more powerful and not weak. The relationship of these two points is the secret to great pitch, power and emotion. Here is an exercise to help you find your power.

The “Hey” Exercise – How To Find Your Power

I often refer to the big powerful notes as “Calling Voice”. (See page 31 in The 5 Point Singing System manual). If you were across a busy street from your friend and you wanted to call out to get their attention, what would you do? In my experience, I would take a really big breath, a Singer’s Breath, then I would pull my diaphragm/abdominal wall back towards my backbone quickly and purposefully and “call,” “HEY”. The relationship of the big breath and the big “pull” to the backbone is like “Heimlich Maneuvering” the note out with a big force.

Hitting the Gas Pedal

The throat isn’t really engaged and acts like an open highway for the sound to pass through. I think of the breath in as my fuel, the diaphragm “pull” as the gas pedal and the open throat as the highway. Hitting a big powerful note is like going up a big hill in a car, you need fuel in the tank, to hit the gas pedal, then you’ll power up the highway to the destination. When all these things align, you can access your power. To fix your lack of power issues in the song you are working on, do the following:

  • Identify where in your song you want to be able to call upon your power (the word/note in the phrase)
  • Breathe as close to this big note as possible. If you are going for power, the size of the breath you put in your “tank” will be substantial
  • When you get to the note that you want power on, “pull” your diaphragm back to your backbone to support it and “call” it out with the power you want (like the “Hey” exercise). This will keep you in the right Placement (Point 3)
  • Experiment with the speed/force of the “pull” to get the level of power you need.

Keep in mind that not enough diaphragm support or “pull” on the word will make the note flat, or under pitch, or it may make you “flip” into the lighter airier sound that I call Mask Placement (Point 3). Conversely, if you give the note too much support, you may shoot it sharp, or above the pitch. The main thing is to get connected to that diaphragm support.

Good luck!

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2016-12-03T01:57:28+00:00

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