How to Expand Your Vocal Range Safely
Are you wondering if it’s possible to expand your vocal range? Or whether you can learn to gradually sing out of your range?
The answer is yes – but you need to approach it correctly. Here’s what you need to know about expanding your vocal range safely.
While it’s true that everyone’s vocal range is different, and some people are naturally able to sing higher or lower than others, that doesn’t mean that you can’t expand your own range. So, the good news is that you are not stuck with the vocal range you have right now. You can actually increase your vocal range – but you need to do it in a way that is safe for your voice.
Working with a qualified voice coach is the best way to expand your vocal range. They will be able to assess your current vocal range and create a bespoke plan to help you gradually improve your range in a way that is safe for your voice. However, in this article, I will share some tips that you can use to start expanding your vocal range safely on your own.
What is Vocal Range?
It is essential that you start by understanding what this term means. Your vocal range is the range of notes you can sing comfortably, from the lowest to the highest. Generally, well-trained singers have learned to sing across a broader range than untrained singers, and they do so through a combination of techniques and regular vocal exercises.
The vocal range is measured in octaves, which is the distance between two notes. The average untrained person has a vocal range of about 2 octaves, while legendary vocalists like Axl Rose have sung notes spanning 6 octaves.
As we have hinted above, you can add a few octaves to your vocal range by following some simple steps and using the proper techniques.
Tips for Expanding Your Vocal Range Safely
Identify Your Current Vocal Range
Before knowing where you are going, it is essential to understand where you currently stand. Before you figure out your current vocal range, it is vital to note that it is not the lowest or highest note you can sing, but rather the range of notes you can comfortably and consistently sing without any strain.
One way to find your vocal range is by singing with a piano or other musical instruments. If you don’t have one, you can download a keyboard app to help you with this. Find the middle C (C4) on the piano and sing along with it from left to right. After you are done, identify your most comfortable note and proceed to the next note above or below it until you find the highest or lowest note that feels natural for you to sing.
Use a Vocal Warm-Up Routine
Just like any other muscles in your body, your vocal cords need to be warmed up before you start singing. This is because singing puts a lot of strain on your vocal cords; if they are not adequately warmed up, you risk damaging them.
There are many different vocal warm-up exercises that you can do. A simple one is to hum for a few minutes before you start singing. The main goal of these exercises is to get your vocal cords moving and to increase the blood flow to them, and this will help prevent strain on your vocal cords when you start singing.
Breathe With Your Diaphragm
One of the main reasons why people can’t sing with a broader range is that they don’t know how to control their breath. When you take a breath, ensure that you are breathing with your diaphragm, not your chest.
To do this, put one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest. As you breathe in, ensure your stomach expands, not your chest. This might feel a bit strange at first, but it will become natural with practice.
When you learn to control your breath, you will be able to sing for a more extended period without running out of breath. This will allow you to explore a broader range.
Do Regular Vocal Exercises
Doing vocal exercises regularly is one of the best ways to expand your vocal range. You could spend up to 30 minutes a day doing these exercises or break them down into shorter sessions throughout the day; either way, try to ensure you don’t miss a day.
Some of the vocal exercises that you can do include:
- Lip rolls: Start by closing your lips and then blowing air through them without making any sound. Inhale again for 3 seconds and use the lip rolls’ technique to exhale. After a few sessions, you can engage your vocal cords by producing a comfortable note as you lip roll.
- Sirens: Start at the lowest note that you can comfortably sing, then slide up to the highest note in your range while making an “ooh” sound.
- Lastly, try to hit your desired note for a short period. Repeat a few times and gradually increase the duration that you hold the note.
These are just a few tips to get you started on your own journey to expanding your vocal range. Remember to be patient and consistent with your practice. You can also consult a vocal coach to help you with this process. With time and dedication, you will be surprised at how much your range will improve.