My thoughts...Wisdom from over the years

How can I increase my vocal Range: Part 1

Posted in: Blog, tip of the week ♦ Monday, February 27th, 2012, 10:34 am ♦ No Comments on How can I increase my vocal Range: Part 1

How can I increase my own range, or for that matter the range of my worship team or choir. This is a common issue as most people would love to sing more notes in better form then they currently do. Divas like Mariah Carey or the late Minnie Ripperton may come to mind for many women. Steve Green, or any of the “Three Tenors” may come to mind for many men. Is it possible to extend your own range to such en extent?

Well, although most of us are stuck with more average ranges than the above mentioned exceptions, over the years I have experienced this phenomenon: as soon as someone starts to learn how to sing properly, their range increases. Most of my students have ended up extending their range no less than an octave. How does this happen? I believe that two reasons are largely responsible for the change; elimination of fear and accumulation of proper technique.

1. Be sure to worship together as a team.
Most people are very fearful of all but about an octave (max!) of their range. Why is this? Simply stated, people are the most comfortable with their speaking voice range. All day long and for their entire lives they have been exercising this part of their range and most people can use this part of their range pretty efficiently and without much strain. So it follows rather naturally then, that most people will find this range comfortable to sing in. The minute they move beyond this very comfortable and well used part of their range they begin to “panic” as they start to feel a different sensation then they’re used to and most of the time they begin to tense up making it difficult to sing. At this point they generally conclude that they have reached the end of their range.

This of course is rarely a true indication of the extent of their range, however it does demonstrate to me where they are most comfortable singing and therefore how far they have worked their voice. My job at that point is to try to push them farther and here’s how I do it. The first thing is to simply introduce them to the other notes available in their range. Many of them go kicking and screaming, but they go! Once they’ve experienced the new territory, the fear starts to dissipate and they become more comfortable with themselves in the new range. Many times they are also quite impressed with themselves! So the first order of the day is to TRY! Try some new notes, a couple higher, a couple lower all the while making sure to keep proper vocal technique.


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