PDA

View Full Version : Increasing Vocal Range (Chest Voice)



DanTelles
07-03-2008, 07:18 PM
Sooooo I really need to increase my vocal range, because right now it is horrendous. What are your guy's ideas and techniques for doing this because the way that I do it is too slow. (I get maybe a semi-tone or full-tone every few weeks or so.) Thanks a lot guys. =) Oh my range is a C2 (C 2 octaves below middle C on the piano.) to G4 (G above middle C on the piano.). And I would like to pull my chest voice to Tenor C if at all possible. Before I started working my voice my range was only C3 to C4. =( Any help at all is appreciated! =)

salukulady
07-03-2008, 10:46 PM
Relax, drop you jaw, open your chest breathe deep and sing. Stretching your vocal range can only be done with doing it. If your serious, find a voice coach, but give your body time to adjust. Sing beyond your rage, but don't force it.

DanTelles
07-03-2008, 11:09 PM
Relax, drop you jaw, open your chest breathe deep and sing. Stretching your vocal range can only be done with doing it. If your serious, find a voice coach, but give your body time to adjust. Sing beyond your rage, but don't force it.

Well how do I know what my max range is, or if there even is such a thing?

Plainsong
07-04-2008, 05:28 AM
You need to be vocalized properly by a teacher who is there and can hear you. What Salukulady said is all correct. How it works is that you stand at the piano while the teacher gives you positive encouragement to do just what she said, and the teacher starts with some arpegios, going higher and higher and higher, and probably higher than you ever thought you could do, and then back down again, lower, and lower, and lower than you ever thought you could do.

This is going to be well nigh impossible to do on your own. You need someone there to guide you on doing what Salukulady said. Otherwise, you'll just be hurting your vocal cords.

DanTelles
07-04-2008, 05:46 AM
You need to be vocalized properly by a teacher who is there and can hear you. What Salukulady said is all correct. How it works is that you stand at the piano while the teacher gives you positive encouragement to do just what she said, and the teacher starts with some arpegios, going higher and higher and higher, and probably higher than you ever thought you could do, and then back down again, lower, and lower, and lower than you ever thought you could do.

This is going to be well nigh impossible to do on your own. You need someone there to guide you on doing what Salukulady said. Otherwise, you'll just be hurting your vocal cords.

Well I do play Piano and I have done something with arpegios, I just run the 1st Minor 3rd Major 5th and Octave 1st and back down going up in semi-tones from my lowest pictch and then back down again. But I can see what you are saying, that makes sense. I just don't have the time to invest in a vocal coach. That's why I wondered if you had any home remedies. Thanks for the advice though! :)

Plainsong
07-04-2008, 06:13 PM
Yeah, there's no home remedy but to relax your body, sing from your legs, don't cave in your chest or crow neck your neck. Keep you body relaxed, drop that jaw, breathe from your legs up and push that air out as if blowing through a straw. It's like learning how to drive a manual transmission for the first time. :)

UKISOCIETY
07-07-2008, 02:41 AM
It might be a better idea to increase the quality of your head voice. That will also increase your range dramatically.

Quality head voice begins with good projection. Sing while standing. Fill your lungs by expanding your stomach below the rib cage. Open your mouth wide and let go. A good head voice will sound just like a chest voice, with practice.

deach
07-07-2008, 03:09 AM
It might be a better idea to increase the quality of your head voice. That will also increase your range dramatically.

Quality head voice begins with good projection. Sing while standing. Fill your lungs by expanding your stomach below the rib cage. Open your mouth wide and let go. A good head voice will sound just like a chest voice, with practice.

I am trying to decrease the voices in my head....

UKISOCIETY
07-07-2008, 08:39 AM
I am trying to decrease the voices in my head....

I bet there's quite an echo in there! :D:D:rolleyes:

Plainsong
07-07-2008, 10:07 AM
It's different for guys and girls, so I thought, but I thought guys generally didn't have head voice.... that head voice was falsetto, and that everything is all chest voice by default.

Not that it changes the technique of course.

This is why when you get to a certain level, it's better to have a teacher with your voice type. Any guys here with classical training, clue me in here, do guys have head voice??

I thought those who had true head voices, the male contraltos, altos and sopranos, were very rare.

Bflat
07-08-2008, 04:13 PM
Well, there is a lot to say here.

First, head and chest voices are a little imprecise but what it is all about is where your voice is resonating. If you think of it like an ukulele, the string vibrates and that makes the sound resonate inside the body of the instrument.

When you sing, your vocal chords vibrate but you can create resonance in two different parts of your body (at least that is the way we talk about it, the actual science is a little more complicated than that).

Anyway, hit a real deep note and you should be able to feel the resonance down in your throat and almost like its coming from your sternum.

As you move up, you can generally move that resonance up into your head. Try humming rather than singing and you can get a sense of what it means.

These two voices are like registers. If you have ever heard the way a clarinet jumps from its low register to its high register you know what this. As you go up your range you'll feel the jump. When most of us start singing, we usually cling to the chest voice like its a security blanket. It takes practice and technique to learn to use the head voice properly.

falsetto, is yet another register that is even higher than the head voice.

As others have said, a music teacher can help you figure this stuff out. If you want to try covering it by yourself, try the Dummies or Complete Idiots book on singing. Both cover this stuff really well.

I have a couple of questions for you but I'll put them in a separate post as this is getting long.

Bflat
07-08-2008, 04:24 PM
So the two questions.

1. Why are you unhappy with your range? C2 to G4 is two octaves and a bit. That is perfectly respectable.

2. Can you really hit C2? I'm sure you can get down there but what's it actually sound like? Do you have power and control down that low? Cause that's real low brother. I'm a baritone and I can force my voice down to Eb2 but I have very little volume at that level. It's up around G2 that my voice comes to life.

What I'm trying to say here is that range is about more than just hitting the notes. Your range is what you can sing comfortably, with power and, hopefully, with diction and intonation.

A final thought, from what you say, it sounds to me like you are a bass or a baritone and you want to sing tenor. It can be done. Sometimes. But it's a major project and that project will take work. and it will take a music teacher.

If you want to sing mostly pop songs, you could also get it by singing falsetto. It's a respectable technique and lots of pop singers do it.

Plainsong
07-09-2008, 02:06 AM
I have very little control of my chest voice past the Bb below C3. I mean, if I'm goofing around at home, fine, it's there and lower even. Put me in a situation where I HAVE to rely on it - nu-uh, no way. It cracks. But I'm a soprano and we're a dime a dozen. :)

I know how it works, especially as a clarinet player who switched to the instrument you always have with you, I just didn't know that it worked the same way for guys as it does girls.

Anyone interested in treating their voice like they treat their favorite uke, read Bflat's post. That pretty well describes what it's about. :)

DanTelles
07-14-2008, 07:49 AM
So the two questions.

1. Why are you unhappy with your range? C2 to G4 is two octaves and a bit. That is perfectly respectable.

2. Can you really hit C2? I'm sure you can get down there but what's it actually sound like? Do you have power and control down that low? Cause that's real low brother. I'm a baritone and I can force my voice down to Eb2 but I have very little volume at that level. It's up around G2 that my voice comes to life.

What I'm trying to say here is that range is about more than just hitting the notes. Your range is what you can sing comfortably, with power and, hopefully, with diction and intonation.

A final thought, from what you say, it sounds to me like you are a bass or a baritone and you want to sing tenor. It can be done. Sometimes. But it's a major project and that project will take work. and it will take a music teacher.

If you want to sing mostly pop songs, you could also get it by singing falsetto. It's a respectable technique and lots of pop singers do it.

Alright here goes lol

1.Because I don't want to be a bass, and all of the songs I want to sing are way out of my range. (Ozzy Osbourne, Aerosmith, Rick Astley, etc.)

2.I can hit it fine no cracking but I can't belt it. I can belt the Db just above it though so anything from the Db2 to G4 I can belt. And that G is only on a good day any other day I stop on the F# below it.

Plainsong
07-14-2008, 09:07 PM
I wouldn't recommend trying to train yourself up as a tenor.

It's your vocal chords, treat them right because they're the only ones you'll have.

To me it just sounds like, you got whatcha got. My first leading man in my first opera was a bass, and he had a great range too.

Get with a teacher who will listen to your needs but at the same time be honest about what it's safe to do.

DanTelles
07-15-2008, 06:03 AM
I wouldn't recommend trying to train yourself up as a tenor.

It's your vocal chords, treat them right because they're the only ones you'll have.

To me it just sounds like, you got whatcha got. My first leading man in my first opera was a bass, and he had a great range too.

Get with a teacher who will listen to your needs but at the same time be honest about what it's safe to do.

Do you still put on operas?

nmelcher
07-15-2008, 07:15 AM
In my relatively uninformed opinion, I'm pretty sure you could get more volume (and possibly) range if you sing and play while standing up instead of sitting down. Anyone know if what I'm thinking has merit to it?

DanTelles
07-15-2008, 08:32 AM
In my relatively uninformed opinion, I'm pretty sure you could get more volume (and possibly) range if you sing and play while standing up instead of sitting down. Anyone know if what I'm thinking has merit to it?

Yes it does because you're able to provide more air support which allows you to control more air the way you want it to as well as let you increase volume because of the strength of the air behind it.

Plainsong
07-15-2008, 03:06 PM
Do you still put on operas?

Not in a long time. My last performance was in '95. No, I'm not famous. :o

I had a singing part in a local community theater production last season, but somehow I don't think that counts. If there was such a thing as community opera, I'd probably get with a good vocal coach and be very happy doing that. Some communities do have that. Not in Helsinki though, but I'm very happy with the theater group I'm in. :)

I'd love to find a pro-am choir, but the ones that are of a caliber I'd be interested in are all male only. It's kind of weird actually. Equality is a big deal here, but when it comes to choirs it's all about "tradition." :rolleyes:

DanTelles
07-15-2008, 03:11 PM
Not in a long time. My last performance was in '95. No, I'm not famous. :o

I had a singing part in a local community theater production last season, but somehow I don't think that counts. If there was such a thing as community opera, I'd probably get with a good vocal coach and be very happy doing that. Some communities do have that. Not in Helsinki though, but I'm very happy with the theater group I'm in. :)

I'd love to find a pro-am choir, but the ones that are of a caliber I'd be interested in are all male only. It's kind of weird actually. Equality is a big deal here, but when it comes to choirs it's all about "tradition." :rolleyes:

Wow, tell me the next time you guys are putting on a Mozart piece and you are playing! Cuz I would totally come see you guys! (Don Giovanni, The Magic Flute, Le Nozze Di Figaro, etc.)

That's amazing that your community even has a theatre dedicated to classical productions. Quite neat for somebody like me who has maybe a local bar hahaha. My town has maybe 50k people in it lol

Bflat
07-15-2008, 03:55 PM
Alright here goes lol

1.Because I don't want to be a bass, and all of the songs I want to sing are way out of my range. (Ozzy Osbourne, Aerosmith, Rick Astley, etc.)

2.I can hit it fine no cracking but I can't belt it. I can belt the Db just above it though so anything from the Db2 to G4 I can belt. And that G is only on a good day any other day I stop on the F# below it.

Sounds familiar. You are exactly where I was when I started. I wanted to be a tenor so bad it hurt. It didn't happen. Eventually I learned to love the instrument I was given and started looking for baritones to emulate (Johnny Hartman is my model).

One of my first music teachers told me that my voice would certainly move up with training and he was right. When I first started I could go from D2 to E3. Now I can sing from Gb2 to Bb4 reliably and when warmed up I can just get that C5. That said, I never go above G4 when performing.

I don't know much about falsetto so I can't give you much practical advice about it except to say it is used all the time in the kind of music you like. Listen to Crazy Train, for example, Ozzy uses falsetto extensively on that tune.

Good luck.

DanTelles
07-15-2008, 04:22 PM
Sounds familiar. You are exactly where I was when I started. I wanted to be a tenor so bad it hurt. It didn't happen. Eventually I learned to love the instrument I was given and started looking for baritones to emulate (Johnny Hartman is my model).

One of my first music teachers told me that my voice would certainly move up with training and he was right. When I first started I could go from D2 to E3. Now I can sing from Gb2 to Bb4 reliably and when warmed up I can just get that C5. That said, I never go above G4 when performing.

I don't know much about falsetto so I can't give you much practical advice about it except to say it is used all the time in the kind of music you like. Listen to Crazy Train, for example, Ozzy uses falsetto extensively on that tune.

Good luck.

Well I really enjoy listening to people with low voices as well it just frustrates me that I can't sing everything I want to lol. Especially since I've been singing since January!

When I started my range was roughly C3-C4 now it's C2-G4 and I just hit the Ab above it today again so my voice is getting there, I just need to work it more.

I know a lot about falsetto/head voice and was actually debating for a while becoming a counter-tenor/contra-alto, just to have the range of a female voice as well as a male. And the song Crazy Train is in A, I'm pretty sure that Ozzy didn't use falsetto for that song but if he did what a strong head voice. I can sing fairly easily through that song using both Chest and Head, but I was wanting to do all those songs in Chest ya kno?

Plainsong
07-16-2008, 03:32 PM
Wow, tell me the next time you guys are putting on a Mozart piece and you are playing! Cuz I would totally come see you guys! (Don Giovanni, The Magic Flute, Le Nozze Di Figaro, etc.)

That's amazing that your community even has a theatre dedicated to classical productions. Quite neat for somebody like me who has maybe a local bar hahaha. My town has maybe 50k people in it lol


Cosi Fan Tutte. Despina FTW! :D

I wonder after all the damage done from this stupid infection, if I might not be a mezzo now. Similar range, and a darker voice. It happens.

Wait, I must not have worded it right. There is such a thing as community opera, and they usually put on much smaller productions, light operas that were made, even in the 1700s, to be more accessible to a general audience, and a lot of fun to do.

But we don't have that here in Helsinki. I'm part of a local theater group, not opera, just straight theater. We put on a production of Faust (not the opera!), and I had a small singing part simply because I wasn't afraid to open my mouth and belt something out. I wasn't shy about that. :)

If there was a decent pro-am choir looking for new members, I'd brush up on my skillz and audition until I got in, but until then, I'm happy doing theater.

In fact, theater is a challenge for me, because I've never acted without music before this. I have to work on movement and timing, which are things that came easy before. We have all skill levels in our group, from first time on a stage to people with multiple acting coaches for theater and camera work. The common factor is talent. The ones new to this have so much raw talent, and the old pros know how to use their talent, and everyone tries so hard, it's been a great experience.

I know some community theaters back home in US can be very much in their own little world and it can be tough to break into them because they'd rather give parts to people they know, but if you can find one and it's something that interests you, anyone can give it a try. It's one of those things that you could be good at and not even know you're good at it. And it certainly is fun!

DanTelles
07-16-2008, 04:27 PM
Hmmm that's really cool still. I would love to see a revival of the classical era of music someday including "real" opera and symphonic pieces. It would be great.

Plainsong
07-16-2008, 05:21 PM
What makes an opera real or fake? To me, it's the atonal pretentious crap that gets under my skin. I remember doing The Telephone - UGH! My entire memory of that was just one giant headache.

But otherwise, I don't think it has to be pre 1750 to be a proper opera. That's just my take.

Check out what some college programs are doing, there's plenty of light opera dug up from the vaults of history. Lots of fun stuff.

Bflat
07-17-2008, 04:18 AM
And the song Crazy Train is in A, I'm pretty sure that Ozzy didn't use falsetto for that song but if he did what a strong head voice. I can sing fairly easily through that song using both Chest and Head, but I was wanting to do all those songs in Chest ya kno?

Well, only his hair dresser knows for sure. To me it sounds like he is using falsetto to get the "I'm going off the rails in a crazy train" part. Listen and you can hear the change of register when he hits it. Then again, he might just really be pushing his head voice hard.

He doesn't scream much in that tune which is usually the giveaway. When a rock singer is screaming it's falsetto. Listen to Ian Gillan and, especially, Robert Plant for that. But falsetto doesn't have to be freakish, the greatest falsetto ever is probably Al Green and he never sounds like Barry Gibb if you know what I mean.

A couple of important points: head voice is not falsetto. Classical tenors sing in head voice a lot, they never sing in falsetto.

The key of a song by itself tells us nothing about how high or low it is. Dream a Little Dream of Me is in Eb and it is too high for me. I was singing Butterfly Nets the other day and it is C and felt low so I kicked it up to Eb and that is just right.

You're right about the high voice being better for rock. There was a band called The Crash Test Dummies a few years ago that had a bass singer but that is the only one I can think of.

It sounds like you are doing alright. There is a famous story about Elvis Presley that when he first started singing, he'd try and sing all the parts of a quartet himself. When you start, you want to sing everything. I used to try and sing all the parts of Papa Was a Rolling Stone by myself. If you keep singing, you'll find the niche that suits you best.

Bflat
07-17-2008, 04:32 AM
Cosi Fan Tutte. Despina FTW! :D

Love that. Great part. I'd cross dress to do a part like that (it wouldn't be very convincing though).


I wonder after all the damage done from this stupid infection, if I might not be a mezzo now. Similar range, and a darker voice. It happens.

Yikes. Sounds painful. I prefer mezzos myself (I'm married to one, though, so maybe I'm biased).

Plainsong
07-17-2008, 04:43 PM
And they think laryngitis is part of it, and they didn't have to try to scare me either. It's also a shame because I can do a kickin' Stevie Nicks right now. The only time when I have a rock girl's voice is precisely when I can't use it.

Sorry I was fuzzy on the male vocalist terminology. You're right, in classical, guys can go into the rafters and not be in falsetto. I just didn't know we used the same terminology. The high notes are so difficult it's all we can concentrate on. :)

This all makes me want to watch Diva on the Virge. :D

deach
07-17-2008, 04:51 PM
.... It's also a shame because I can do a kickin' Stevie Nicks right now.....

I want to hear!!!!

Plainsong
07-17-2008, 05:44 PM
Nice hair... Did you go to that site that's all the rage over at Somethingawful where you can add hair and makeup to your pic?

No, you can't hear, because laryngitis and singing isn't very good for the vocal chords. ;)