Everyone is gifted with their unique voice and vocal range. However, having a perfect pitch is not something everyone is born with. And it’s perfectly okay if you’re not blessed in this faculty, you can become better with practice.
Working on your singing voice requires coordination, balance, and following the right exercises. Whether you’re a seasoned performer or a starter, there’s always room for improvement.
Let us help you with that!
Is it Possible to Expand your Vocal Range?
The answer is a resounding yes! But it won’t happen overnight, this depends on how developed and trained your vocal cords are. You must be consistent with your vocal range exercises and have the patience to wait for your progress.
If you’ve been practicing singing for a while, you’ll notice that you’re able to hit a broader range of pitches as you follow your daily training routine.
There may be cases where you might not be able to hit that high note immediately, but you’ll be able to make your voice stronger as you practice. So even if you feel discouraged at times, focus on the bright side and you’ll get there!
Why Taking Care of Your Vocal Cords is Important?
Before we get right on to business, it’s important to put in mind that properly taking care of your vocal cords is the key to your singing career.
Practicing is good, but you should never abuse your voice. Even Maria Carey who is widely known for her five-octave vocal range attested that being under constant pressure makes her voice screw up.
Keeping your vocal cords healthy will allow you to exercise at full range and sing in tuneful sound. So, make sure you take breaks from time to time!
How to Expand Your Vocal Range?
We know you’ve been worried about your performance lately. Here are some helpful tips for you to develop and expand your range!
Find Your Vocal Range
You need to know your current range. Your vocal range is the highest and lowest notes you can consistently sing with ease. To determine your range, you simply need to hover over a piano or download a digital version.
A common method is attaching note names with their octave number on the keyboard. Once you locate the middle “C” which is called C4, follow the keys downwards and sing along until you familiarize the numbering system.
An octave lower than C4 is C3, an octave higher than C4 is C5, and so on. Once you’ve found your vocal range, you can start working on it!
Know Your Vocal Type
Each individual has a unique voice characterized by a few distinct similarities. On average, a male’s vocal range lies between 1.4 to 2 octaves while for women, their average vocal range depends on their vocal type. Take a look within each category below to know which type of voice you have.
Three Male Voices:
Tenor is the highest vocal type for males which usually ranges from C3 to B4. If you belong in this category you typically have a good ability to control your head voice which allows you to sing notes that are classified as female category effortlessly. A well-known vocalist in this category is Stevie Wonder.
The comfortable range for this category is between a tenor and bass which range from G2 to G4. This vocal type is characterized by weightiness and is quite common among males. Julian Marsh of 42nd Street is a good example of a deep baritone voice.
Bass is the lowest voice type for males and is quite rare. If you have a bass vocal type, you would have a bold, booming voice which is between D2 and E4. Leonard Cohen is one of the most famous bass singers. You’d be a good candidate for dark characters in operatic music if you fall under this category
Three Female Voices:
The soprano is the highest voice type for females which ranges from C4 to C6. Women who sing this voice have light and bright voice types. Ellie Goulding, for instance, is a famous soprano.
Majority of females fall under mezzo-soprano. The usual range for this voice type is between G3 to A5. If you’re under this category you would have a strong middle voice and a weaker head voice than a soprano.
We’ve gone through the highest and the middle category. Now, we’re on the lowest voice type which is between E3 to F5. This voice is closer to Tenor and is rather rare in females. You would have a full volume and luscious lower note if you belong in this category. Some famous performers who are contraltos are Annie Lenox and Amy Winehouse.
Keep Your Vocal Health in Check
When you’re a busy vocalist, you easily forget to take good care of yourself. Especially, when your performance date draws near! Here are a few things you can do to maintain your vocal health:
- Get enough sleep – Make sure you sleep at least 7 hours at night!
- Stay hydrated – Drink at least half a gallon of water per day.
- Get rid of your sore throat immediately – Gargle warm salt water routinely to prevent sore throats, avoid menthol cough drops as these tend to dry out your throat.
You should also avoid the following when you’re about to sing:
- Throat irritants such as spicy and sour foods.
- Cold foods and drinks
- Food that can severely dry out your throat like coffee, alcohol, and juices.
We’re not saying you should totally avoid all these things, but you should do so when you have a performance or practice coming up. Singing through heavy mucus or dry throat puts pressure on your vocal cords.
Train Your Voice Properly
Learn proper techniques, avoid overusing your voice, and eat a healthy diet!
Maintain a disciplined practice schedule but also sustain a good interval of rest. When practicing; remember to keep an open throat, breath through your diaphragm, stand straight, and fully utilize your breath support.
Also, when singing outside your vocal range, avoid forcing air through the throat. This can restrict air flow and result in a breathy sound. Finally, start at the top note to prevent heavy strain on your voice.
Do not Cram When Preparing for a Performance or an Audition
Avoid cramming and pace yourself by breaking your exercises into smaller ones. Do not attempt to get a one-day-a-week practice for 5 hours, this will strain your vocal cords. Instead, you should exercise your voice each day for at least 30 to 45 minutes and gradually improve your skill and stamina.
As you progress, you should be able to extend the difficulty of vocal skill and the duration as well.
There’s no shortcut to improving your vocal range! You need to have patience and consistency to get there. While having the spirit to move forward is great, you should not overdo it. It’s a bad idea to sing through a strained voice. Make sure to have plenty of rest!
Remember, patience is the key. A slow pace is fine as long as you’re consistent!
We hope these tips will be helpful in your future endeavor. Feel free to share your thoughts!