How can we improve our vocal range? This is one of the most asked questions singers ask. Everyone wants to have a huge vocal range, both for stylistic purposes and for increasing the overall capabilities of our voice. Singers like Mariah Carey, Freddie Mercury, and many others have built their carriers not only thanks to the immense artistic talents they are gifted with but also thanks to the huge possibilities that their vocal range allowed to have, to experiment as much as they wanted. Said that this doesn’t mean that big vocal range = great singer. It is important to remember that singers are artists and that everyone contributes to the cause in its best way. Most of the time, the best and most memorable songs and performances are unique thanks to the interpretation of the artist and the feelings that they can transmit to the audience. Not always a big vocal range is required to make art, but of course, it helps a lot.
Before you proceed with the following steps it is best if you have a look our article “WHAT IS YOUR VOCAL RANGE Learn how to increase it and discover what your Voice Type is!”, so that you’ll have a complete understanding of what are the elements you need to know before you start increasing your vocal range.
SO, HOW DO WE INCREASE THE VOCAL RANGE?
A good singing technique will surely help you to improve your overall voice, these are some of the main tips and exercises that will allow you to free your voice correctly and expand the limits of your range.
1. KEEP YOUR VOICE HEALTHY.
It seems obvious but many singers, when they want to expand their vocal range, don’t think about all the bad habits they have that interfere with their singing progress. Keep your voice hydrated and follow these steps to maintain it in the best condition possible:
2. MAINTAIN A GOOD POSTURE.
Stand straight, relaxed shoulders and neck muscles, and face looking straight in front of you. Keep your arms relaxed hanging down the sides of your body and keep your feet shoulders-width apart distributing your weight on both legs evenly.
A good breathing technique is the engine of our voice. Improve your technique to sustain all the notes of your vocal range properly. Start getting used to take good, deep breaths filling the lower part of your lungs first (belly slightly out when you inhale) without raising your shoulders and exhale gently letting the diaphragm work properly.
Once you mastered the correct body posture and perfect breathing technique, start warming up your voice with lip rolls, humming exercises and vocalises like in the following videos from our Youtube channel. Find all the singing exercises in the DOWNLOAD PAGE.
Once you downloaded our exercises you can start training your voice in the best way! First of all, remember to practice the low notes as well as the high notes. Good singing is not only hitting high notes but sounding great on all the range, low notes included. They may seem easier to practice but it is important to do that in the right way, without pushing too much the larynx down and trying not to “flip” to a vocal fry too soon. Vocal fry is a good way to keep the vocal cords safe but try to have a full, connected and clear sound as low as you can, without having a too breathy voice as well.
To extend your voice on the highest part of your range remember to use small (not breathy) short sounds, we recommend exercises with the Staccato technique, using sounds like “Bah Bah Bah” or “Gna Gna Gna” (Gna sound like in the Italian word “Consegna”, listen to the right pronunciation here). “Ng” sounds (like in the word “Sing”) will help you find the correct resonating space helping your voice shift from a chest resonation area to a higher nasal/head one. Twang and Cry exercises are recommended. When you will sing open vowels remember to drop your chin (jaw) softly to maximise the projection of the sound.
Have a look at these singing methods we highly recommend!
Use short staccato sounds, this will allow you to sing high notes without engaging too much the muscles of your neck nor your tongue, and without pushing your voice too much. Work on that small portion of vocal cords as precisely as you can, keeping in mind that the higher you go, the higher the resonating area will be. This means that to achieve the high notes in the extremes of your vocal range you will have to disengage the chest voice resonation, let the larynx shift to a higher head register and feel the new sounds resonate up to the top of your head. You will never be able to reach that part of your range if you try to push your chest voice too high, you may in fact cause vocal fatigue, engage neck muscles and you won’t let the larynx work properly.
Work on this part of your range a few times a week without overdoing. You have to build it slowly letting your voice get used to it. The vocal range doesn’t grow overnight, it takes time to gain new vocal elasticity and it is very important to let the voice rest between each session of this kind of training.
Do relaxation and cool-down exercises every time you sing. This will help your voice go back to a relaxed and stress free situation. Cool-down your voice every time you worked on the extremes of your vocal range, especially if you pushed your voice a bit (we never recommend that) or if you feel tired.
Use one of our many warm-up exercises here:
Keep track of your improvements by taking notes of which sounds you are singing every time. Once you feel comfortable singing your new high/low note, pass to the semitone above or below. Make it stronger and work on the quality of your voice in that new note. Do not rush, it may take many weeks for a new semitone to be effectively part of your vocal range.
This video will help you keep track of your improvements.
Beware of the promises of many vocal coaches (especially online singing teachers and YouTubers) that guarantee a huge vocal increment of your vocal range in one day. As we said in point #7, it may take weeks and months for a single new semitone or tone to be fully part of your vocal range. Never, ever rush things, baby steps always best. We always recommend you to attend singing lessons with a professional vocal coach that can guide you step by step in your vocal journey.
Check this article that will help you choose the perfect singing teacher for you!
Have a look at these singing methods we highly recommend!