So, you're having trouble with a high note in a song or an aria. It seems a bridge too far. Here's a way to span it. Let the high note be the 10th of an arpeggio, the third—major or minor—above the octave. Take the arpeggio on a favorable vowel or the vowel of the high note, two choices. Try both. Let rhythm—release—be your guide. Keep the energy constant as you ascend, and make no effort at all to secure the high note, no additional work, no additional pulling or pushing...anywhere. Let the poor note alone. It's had enough assault. Let the note do what it will, break, crack, find a lighter adjustment, splatter, whatever. These are not failures, these are data points, information. Continue in your non-doing until the high note consistently does what you like, or something quite unlike what you like. Now put the note in the context of the musical phrase. Do not make any additional effort at all. Steady is the key. What does it teach you? Perhaps the notes beneath have been too energized. Perhaps your rigor has made that note the problem that it is. At any rate, dear friends, learn. And keep those arpeggiii to the 10th in your quiver. Good luck.
This post was written by Alan Bowers