“What I would really want is to be able to sing BUT sing in a higher key consistently. Alot of people always comment and talk about expanding your range and it seems to me they are talking about hitting higher notes NOT SINGING IN A HIGHER KEY.”
Agree in part with postings that singing consistently in a higher pitch CAN be same a few notes in a higher pitch. But these can also be different.
One of several ways to attain higher notes is to force-strain the vocal cords, upper vocal tract muscles, and placing sounds through the upper roof of the mouth (bony). The difficulty here is the continuous strain, but one can get terrific screaming types of sounds, for such desired effects. Sharp highs too, as the bony roof of upper mouth doesn’t dampen sounds. E.g. screaming for help gets terrific highs.
It is also possible to create a lesser strained, more melodic high, using resonance to replicate some of same sharpness, if so desired. This involves in part by keeping the larynx low and placing some sounds through the back of the throat to the nasal-pharynx cavity, so head resonance occurs more easily. Because the vocal cords and throat are also more relaxed in this technique, the cords-throat can also sing higher pitch. Because this uses more resonance, cords and upper vocal tract muscles don’t have to work as hard for volume.
The SongBirdTree Youtube videos above are the Best I’ve seen. Her swallowing tip temporarily forces the larynx to drop, and this opens up the back of the throat more, which in great part, enables the highs to be transmitted more out the mouth AND the nasal-pharynx. Yet, I think there are better methods still. Alan Greene’s book describes exercises to keep the larynx low. My personal opinion is that posture changes will facilitate keeping the larynx low, and facilitate for the soft pallet to drop, such that the high sounds are additionally transmitted through the back of mouth, up through the nasal pharynx, for greater resonance.
Lastly, I’m uncertain of the initial question, as it relates to tone style. It may be necessary change the mix. For example, “The Lion Sleeps at Night”, it is possible to sing this using a full voice with on-pitch highs, but somehow, the bass just doesn’t sound right. What one wants to do is to use resonance on highs, reduce lows, and use mic appropriately.
In short, singing highs consistently is sometimes same as reaching for highs, and change mix to create desired tone effects as well.