A properly open mouth shape is going to help you sing high notes with ease. In the above picture my mouth is wide open. I am grinning from ear to ear as I attempt to upstage my violinist. This is a great mouth shape for poking fun at your instrumentalist buddies. While it IS an open mouth, it is totally the wrong shape for singing your high notes.
When singing in your upper range, you need to open your mouth vertically. You want a vertically open mouth shape with relaxed cheeks, jaw, and neck muscles.
In the picture above, I am singing a fairly high note in an opera aria. Notice that my mouth is wide open in more of an up and down way than it is when I was smiling. Also see that my cheeks, neck and jaw are relaxed. In the picture below, I am singing with a rock band. Once again I am singing a high note (Yes I sing a lot of high notes)! I was singing a very different style of music but notice that my mouth shape remains the same.
Here is a photo of one of my lovely voice students, singing an extremely high note with perfect vocal technique at a rehearsal for the Opera La Boheme. Yes she was 9 years old at the time, and if you practice really hard you can be amazing like her! Notice how relaxed her face is.
As you practice with this technique you will notice that as the notes go even higher, your mouth will need to open even more. The open mouthed shape is also the way you will want to sing the vowel “ah”. I love this open shape for the vowel “ah” in the high, middle and low range. This does not mean that you need to sing with your mouth this wide open all the time. Your jaw joint will get worn out if you sing every note with this extreme shape. For the middle and low range on all words and vowels that are not based on “ah”, you can let your mouth take a more comfortable open and relaxed shape.
In the picture above, my mouth is slightly more closed while singing in my lower range. My face, neck and jaw are comfortable and relaxed.
Remember that this is general advice, your singing voice is unique. The specific tools that will help you reach your vocal best will be as individual as you are! Give new ideas a fair try. You may need to attempt a new approach a few times before getting it just right. Keep those ideas that help you and pass on by any tips that may not apply. Singing should never hurt your throat or cause hoarseness.
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about your specific voice. I am also happy to offer you a free trial voice lesson, where I can give you personalized feedback and advice.
I hope this helps you to sing high notes with ease.
Looking for a voice teacher? Contact Christina for a free trial lesson (909) 969-3856