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Tove Lo at sommarkrysset, 2014, by Daniel Ahs Karlsson, under CC BY 3.0

You know you’ve been attempting “Heroes,” by Alesso in the shower lately! How could you not want to belt out that memorable hook? But chances are, if you’ve sung it in the key Tove Lo does, you’ve also become quickly frustrated by the high notes in the chorus. If you want to sound less like a zero and more like a hero on this unforgiving song, we can coach you here in this Hard Songs To Sing post. Let’s listen first!

Why Is This Song Hard?

1. The Chorus Is High.

If you’re a classical singer, it’s probably not a big deal, but the Eb5 is not an easy note for the average pop singer to hit comfortably.

2. The Chorus Is Relentless.

“We could be heroes, we could be heroes, we could be heroes, we could be…” Get the idea? Those high notes repeat over and over again, so it’s not just high; it’s also exhausting.

3. The Chorus Requires You To Blend Registers Well

Unless you just have a freakishly high belt (on an “OOH” vowel, which tends to be tough to belt), you’re going to have to shift back and forth between registers convincingly.

Instant Gratification

The easiest modification you can use for this song is the one Tove Lo herself uses. Listen carefully to the word Heroes in the chorus, and you’ll hear that she modifies the “OH” sound at the end of the word to an “OOH” sound. This modification has a number of uses. Not only will the narrower “OOH” sound keep the word out of your throat, but it’ll also be easier to do a controlled vocal ornament on, as narrower vowels tend to be a little easer to maneuver than more open ones. Best of all, the “OOH” sound will help you more seamlessly transition into the head-voice “OOH” she sings right after the word. Because “OOH” is a headier, lighter vowel, it also lightens up the belt mix a little bit and makes the transition into head voice less jarring.

Not-So-Instant Gratification

Find Your Head Voice

If you’re primarily a belter, you’ll need to find your head voice. Try sighing down from the top of your voice. [soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/189877023?secret_token=s-rDF6P” params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
You shouldn’t feel any throat tension at all. Now try sighing on an “OOH” sound, since that’s the vowel you’ll need for the song. [soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/189876895?secret_token=s-T2Tpm” params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
If that doesn’t seem to be doing the trick you can also try imitating a siren. moving from low to high and back down. Don’t attempt any particular pitch until you’re comfortable finding this area of your voice. Once finding it isn’t an issue, you can start adding pitches, singing on an “OOH” until you reach the Eb5 you’ll need for “Heroes.” In head voice, this note shouldn’t be that difficult.

Learn To Blend Your Registers

Arpeggiate on “NO NO NO.” [soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/189877195?secret_token=s-LmhMg” params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
As you belt higher and higher, begin to narrow the “OH” to more of an “OOH” sound. If you aren’t yet comfortable doing a belt mix up to a B4, you can work toward that goal over time. Once you pass that note, begin to lighten up into more of a head mix.

Hope that tutorial helped! If you have a hard song you’d like us to include in our Hard To Sing Songs collection, let us know in the comments below!

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