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HollyK

New to learning about proper technique/registers

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Hello,

I was wondering if I could get some advice about what range I should be singing in and how to tell which register I'm in. I'm a 27 year old woman; I've been singing my whole life (mostly in private, occasional church choir and school talent show) but recently began to pay more attention to technical aspects. I've done some online reading about techniques like opening the throat, lowering the larynx, and how to switch into head voice, things like that, but I'm still confused about what that actually feels like. I plan to take a few professional lessons when I'm at a point where I can afford it.Using a pitch monitoring app, I found that my natural comfortable speaking pitch is from B3-E4, average C4. Right now I can comfortably sing A3-C5 with extremes at F3 and D5. My best sound is probably F4-B4. I have a light, sweet-sounding, almost childlike quality to my voice, with a similar tone to Jodi Benson as the Little Mermaid. I can easily sing the song Part of Your World in her range, but have trouble going higher than that. I'm not sure how to develop my registers. I recently figured out how to produce bell-like ringing tones with a slight operatic quality while feeling the roof of my mouth vibrate (in the range of F#4 to C5), which I feel like is head voice and is different in quality than when I'm feeling vibrations in my lower throat near my chest. I can sing up to A4, sometimes B4 in what feels like the chest register and the same tonal quality as my lower notes. I only recently began to be able to sing B4-D5 in "head voice" without straining or airiness. I would love to increase my range but I'm not sure whether to focus more on developing the lower or upper range. I've read that even contralto voices are expected to be able to reach D5 or F5 but I have trouble with those notes, and I have nowhere near the vocal weight of Adele for example. I can sing Taylor Swift's usual range fairly well but I have a lighter tone to my voice than she does. I have mostly thought I was more of an alto range singer because of my difficulty with high notes, but I also struggle with having any resonance below A3 to B3. I have also recently paid more attention to diaphragm breathing and I'm improving my breath control. 

I would greatly appreciate any thoughts about what range I should focus on, and how to develop my head voice and mixed voice. Thank you!

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Hello HollyK :)

I am confused as well, but can answer one of your points: I am in the alto part of a choir (for some months but we've sung LOTS of songs), and the highest note I've seen (couldn't sing that one yet :D ) was F5. It was only in one song. In most songs, the highest is A4 or B4 in some. The lowest was G3, but only in one song.

 

When I started, my head voice didn't exist. I am not sure if I started singing the first song one scale lower or in chest voice. Anyhow, I can't remember how, next week I had found my head voice and started developing. First I was very happy with E4. Now I can trust up to C5 with previous warm-up. In training with scales I got G5, but that's not a real note for me yet, not something I could use in a song, just some screeching. :D I have hopes that I'll be able to incorporate F5 in my singing since that seems to be a relatively normal note for a female...but it will take some time.

 

I personally don't believe in Timbre in relation to Range. My voice is low and was the lowest at school as well, but my timbre is light in the high notes. It is not light in the low notes because they are low. We can add to this that soprano girls singing E4 might be using much more Chest than me, or I don't know why, but I feel like a Soprano singing E4, if you understand what I mean. :D

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Thank you! That makes a lot of sense. With some practice, i can now go up to an F5 and extend it a few seconds. I figured out the mechanism by imitating my dog's bark, haha. I can even go up to A5 but it doesn't sound musical up there at this point. Those higher notes are loud and piercing, and if I want to sing softly, I can only go up to about B4. I would still only use up to C5 or D5 in a song, and I've found that I don't particularly like tones higher than that even in super talented professional singers. I think it's best just to work on the range I would actually want to hear in a song. I think sometimes people get caught up in impressive ranges, but the best parts to focus on are strength and clarity of tone in a usable range. 

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