Increase Lower Singing Range

singing range increase vocal rangeThis will focus on increasing lower singing range as there is already a lot written about how to increase vocal range at the higher end. In particular, we will look at using your chest voice to add lower notes.

The chest voice is what you use when speaking normally. Did you know that the way you speak can tell you a lot about your singing voice?

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Speaking Voice with Sounds

First of all, let’s look at your speaking voice. Start by making a few different sounds such as laughing, yawning, sighing and so on. When you do this, use a pitch pipe or piano and match the sounds you make to the nearest pitch.

Do the same thing again when speaking in mono-syllables like mm-hmm, aha, uh-huh etc. After doing this a few times, you should be able to find your average pitch for these types of sounds.

Speaking Voice with Sentences

Next, say a few sentences with proper words and use the piano or pitch pipe to match what you say to the nearest pitch. If you’re not sure what to say, just read something from a book or magazine. Anything will do. Do this a few times to establish the average pitch for you when you are actually talking properly using sentences.

Ideally the pitch will be the same as when you were making sounds and using mono-syllables. However, more often than not though, people speak at a lower pitch than what is natural for their voice, which isn’t healthy.

Find Your Comfortable Lower Pitch

Now let’s find your lowest pitch when speaking in monosyllables but not so low that you sound gravelly. Sounding gravelly is known as vocal fry which isn’t something you want to do a lot of. As a rule of thumb, your speaking pitch should be around four steps above the vocal fry or gravelly level.

Find Your Comfortable Higher Pitch

Read a paragraph aloud from a book or magazine and see how high you can go. Be aware of the pitch where your voice is the most comfortable and where it’s straining.

By now you should be more aware of your singing range and importantly what is comfortable for you and what is a strain.

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Chest Voice

The way to find your chest voice is as follows.  Put your hand on your upper chest with fingers and thumb on your collarbones.  Using a sound such as ‘hoo’ or ‘hee’, descend from your higher pitch down to your lower pitch. As you do this, you should feel a vibration in your chest as you slide down through your chest voice.

Now that you’ve identified your chest voice, use that pitch as the starting point for the next exercises.

How to Increase Singing Range

Three techniques to help you increase vocal range at the lower end:

The first exercise is the fifth slide. Use puckered vibrating lips or a sound such as ‘vaw’ to sing and slide down five steps. For example G-C or so-do. When descending, your mouth should be closing slightly more than at the starting point. For repetitions, start a half-step down each time.

The second exercise involves singing an octave scale up and back. Do this with either puckered vibrating lips or the ‘vaw’ sound. Be sure to open your mouth more when ascending and close it more when descending.

Visualizing is always good so try and imagine your tone is on a road with the low notes near to you and the high notes far away. As you ascend the scale, you could even move your hand or hands towards the notes and then back again.

The third exercise is the arpeggio. Using a vowel sound like ‘oo’ or ‘ah’ and sing do-mi-so-do-so-mi-do. Once you feel comfortable, go a half-step lower and so on.

Doing these vocal exercises regularly will enable to you increase your lower singing range without damaging your voice.