I'm a male hobbyist singer, probably somwhere between baritone and tenor.

I cannot seem to produce any sound above a #C5. I'm not talking about singing in full voice, just to squeak out anything, falsetto, headvoice, whistle, flageolet. Not on any vowel, not in lip rolls, hum, ng-sound, nothing. It seems like there is an absolutely hard ceiling there. If I look at youtube videos like this one:

it seems that one should be able to produce notes above #C5 at least in a quiet manner.
Here the guy is going to a bB5!! I can speak in a "mickey mouse tone", apparently that's falsetto, but that will be in the range around F4 to bB4. So maybe I cannot pass my second bridge?

Any tips on what I could practice to at least be able to silently squeak out those notes? I think if I can get the basic vocal coordination down, I can practice to have a fuller tone with vowels etc.

  • 1
    Is #C5 the C# above Middle C or the C# above the C above Middle C? I've seen conflicting standards regarding this, and I'd like to know which standard you use.
    – Dekkadeci
    Commented Dec 28, 2021 at 14:54
  • 1
    If middle C is C4 (like the marked key here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C_(musical_note)#/media/…) then I mean C#5, so one octave + 1 semitone above middle C. Or 8th fret high E string on a guitar. I think it's the C# one semitone above tenor high C. Since tenors sing the high C in full voice, it should be possible to go much higher in falsetto, or am I wrong?
    – jiggy
    Commented Dec 29, 2021 at 12:55

1 Answer 1


Though I'm now in my 60s & well past my prime for a good top-end, I was a pro session singer for many years in my youth.

I also had a hard-stop beyond which I could not sing. I could do the same note in full voice or in falsetto, but that was my brick wall top note.
Don't sweat it.

You might gain a tone or two if you're not yet fully warmed over a period of weeks not hours*, when you are well settled into your full capability, but don't ever push it.

*Don't consider mumbling along to the radio, or singing half an hour a day in the shower will ever fully warm your voice. This takes work.

  • So you simply had/have no flageolet register?
    – jiggy
    Commented Dec 30, 2021 at 11:58
  • 1
    Nope. Never did, ever. I can hit it in full voice or I can't hit it, switching voice gains nothing. Brick wall. I did used to have three & a half octaves of useful range, though I've lost a fair bit off the top end of that gradually over the past 20 years or so. Have a listen to someone like Elton John playing live recently - it happens to us all eventually. [If you want figures, I had D2 to A♯5, if I got my numbers right, nearly 2 octaves down from middle C & nearly 2 above it.]
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Dec 30, 2021 at 12:08

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