As singers, we’re always working to improve our vocal range and to hit our high notes with confidence. In this video, Tara and Coach Sharmayne share their favorite drills for expanding your vocal range. These tips are unorthodox, but they really work!

Drill #1 – The Piano Lift

Using the “Zee Zaa Zee” warmup demonstrated at the 1:25 mark of this video, we’re going to add in a prop! Using either a piano, heavy desk or table, try to lift the object just prior to singing the high note (“za”). Pick something heavy enough that you can’t easily lift it, but give it an honest attempt! Be sure to lift from your legs and not from your back. When you are trying to lift the object, you’ll notice your power must come from the bottom up; from the legs, through core, into the arms and torso. This frees up tension from your vocal tension because you’re energy is now focused on the lift! This mental trick forces your core to engage which is exactly what you need to hit those high notes with power and grace. This also helps your mouth and face get “bigger” and more open, which is another important component of singing high notes.

Drill #2 – The Air Pump

Using the same philosophy here, you’re going to pretend that you’re using a tough-to-push air pump (as if you were pumping a bike tire or ball). Pretending that there is actual resistance, push down on the fake pump, engaging the arms and core. This is another great trick that will force your core to engage, helping to deliver more power and intensity to your high notes.

Drill #3 – The Partner Push

The same principles apply from drill #2,  but this time you’re going to use a partner! The singer and partner grasp hands and hip level with the singer’s hands on bottom and the partner’s hands on top. The singer will attempt to pull up while the partner provides solid resistance (without pulling their arms down) when performing the same “Zee Zaa Zee” drill. This resistance forces the arms, body and core to engage!

Try each of these drills to see which one gives you your “lightbulb” moment for engaging the full body and core!