Contrary Thinking while Singing High Notes
Many aspiring singers, before taking professional vocal training are confident that they can produce high notes by shouting arbitrarily. But to their great disappointment, they find that their capability to hit high notes has disappeared after training for some time. It becomes difficult for them to produce the high notes, leading them to suspect that they don’t have the inherent capacity to produce high notes.
At this point most of the students decide for themselves that they belong to a low-voice group, like a baritone. First thing to note here is that even if you are in the low-voice group, it doesn’t mean that you cannot produce a high note. Of course it is true that the highest notes of a low-voice group singer may not be as high as a tenor or a soprano who belong to the high-voice register group. When all is said and done the problem of high note singing is still present whether you belong to a high or a low voice group. This problem of singing high notes in different voice groups is tricky and complicated and occurs in the advanced stages of vocal training.
A lot of intricate and baffling methods have been followed so far in singing high notes. But my experience with students and understanding them while teaching how to sing high notes, a proven method of mental thinking has been found to be very effective in singing high notes.
A student is trained in mid and low voice-register in the beginning stages of vocal training. The mental method of ‘contrary thinking’ is put to effect with the yawning action done to open up the oropharyngeal cavity, which will solve the resonance problem. The importance of nasal and head resonance should not be overlooked when singing low and mid tones even though the key resonance is established in the chest and oropharyngeal cavities. So, it is important to ‘think’ about the high-tone placement, linking them with the nasal and head resonance when singing the low and mid tones. Here the effort is put solely on the mind, meaning that when singing low and mid tones, the tones should also be ‘mentally placed’ in the nasal and head cavities.
As the tone gets higher, the feeling of the head and nasal resonance will become intense. The thinking and feeling of the nasal and head resonance should be preserved throughout the practice of low and mid tones. This method of contrary thinking i.e. thinking of the high note when singing low notes, will make your low note singing more sharp and penetrating with a lively effect and metallic quality. Most important, it will help you to make that link from the low and mid voice register to the high voice register easier and smoother.
This contrary thinking method is not limited to low note singing, but can be applied to high note singing too. We should not only reinforce the pulling force of the laryngopharynx wall and the vocal cords while singing high notes, but also prepare our mind to think about the down and backward forcing point. Here the down and backward thinking helps to maintain a steady and balanced throat and posterior pharyngeal wall. A mixed resonant effect is created because of the contrary thinking method by not discounting the oropharyngeal resonance when singing high notes. This paves the way for a smoother evolution from the low tones to higher tones.
The problem of singing high notes can be solved by the ‘thinking low while singing high and thinking high while singing low’ method of contrary thinking.