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I am confused about my range, registers... and other things

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DevilSauron
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Hi, I am new here and I hope I am not breaking the forum rules by such questions :)

So, I am 17 years old male who really likes singing but I am curre tly confused about many things. When I was a child (11-14 years maybe), I sang in a choir and I probably had one of the highest voices (so I was classified as boy soprano), but I stopped attending the choir around the age of 13/14. However, I didn't stop singing and I sang songs that I liked. I haven't  really thought about such things as voice ranges until now though. By the way, classmates keep telling me that I have unnaturally high speaking voice.

I have decided to join school choir few weeks ago and, to my surprise, not only I was classified as a tenor, but also I was told that my highest note they wanted me to sing - G4 - is higher than most tenors have. Well, as I've "tested" my vocal range (without any technique, warm up or so) few days before joining the choir, I was expecting they'll tell me I am a (high) baritone. So about my voice range (C4 is middle C I hope) - my absolute minimum is probably F2, but I usually can't sing comfortably below C3, my absolute maximum is A4, but I usually can't sing it comfortably (and sometimes I can't just sing it, for example when I've sung in this height for a long time - for example now :lol:), so  I suppose G4 is my "reasonable" maximum. Another strange thing is my falsetto. I have good-sounding falsetto, but the problem is that my falsetto maximum is C5, so I usually don't need to use it, as I can sing with my "normal" voice. I really like to practice singing in my boundaries, so I often try to sing around F2 and G/A4 (which leads to temporary (I hope) unability to sing A4 and sore throat. And I don't hear any registry changes, my voice sounds the same to me in every height (I can't hear any head voice or things like that)...

So my questions are:

Am I right when I think I am probably a baritone?

Can I damage my voice by singing in my range boundaries?

Is there a hope that I'll be able to extend my range to more "tenor" height (notes A4, B4, C5), for example when I start to attend a singing teacher (I think of that, but not just because of extending range, but because I simply want to practice my voice, as people tell me I have beautiful voice...)

Similar question, but about falsetto - Can I extend my falestto above C5, for example F5?

Even if such things are possible (I am definitely not sure), I understand it would be long and challenging. :)

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Hey Sauron, I am not vocal teacher but I will tell you some things I wish I knew when I was 17. Your voice is not fully adjusted so it may lower over time do not be discouraged. Train your chest register patiently, if you can only sing to G4 then only sing to G4 daily. Train your chest register 80% of the time and also do not forget falsetto training. Exercise your falsetto the other 20% of the time up and down the range and try and give it "resonance" and not just a weak breathy sound.

Long and challenging that is for sure - be patient and remember that if you get that G4 perfect, easy, resonant... then A4 will come. After A4 then maybe B4, and even C5. 

Last thing to reiterate the point of this post; someone can do 100 exercises rushed and sloppy and forced and never to improve. Another guy can do 1 exercise perfectly, patiently, and with comfort and his voice will grow. It is not about the exercises, it is about how you do them.
 

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all things being considered, tenor is c3 to c5. What differs is the weight and tone of the voice, such as helden, leggiero, etc.

And tenors do have to get through the passagio, usually no later than f4.

Bursting bubbles, it's what I do ....

 

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I think you're  too young and since you are a new student to singing its too early to classify yourself in a classical fach..I wouldn't worry about damaging make sure you warm up and you will be fine, you will also extend your range with time and training.  You will definitely be able to extend your falsetto with the right practice and persistence

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I suppose will try to find good singing teacher then... By saying "tenor height", I don't really hope I'll be able to sing as a real tenor (c5), for I would say that when one isn't "born" with that voice, he just cannot learn to sing it no matter how hard he tries. But the thing is, I like many kinds of music (not only classical music, but also metal for example) and with my current voice range, there are many songs I just can't sing (especially rock and metal songs) , because they are higher than my current range...

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It sounds like the people you have been talking to do not understand the voice or have even consulted classical sources. The thing I wrote about tenors, even light tenors transitioning no later than F4 was not me just making something up. I have read that in a number of classical sources. So, the idea that you should be able to sing with the same configuration as your speaking voice up to G4 is erroneous.

In addition, tenor, like any other fach, is not just a range of notes but a timbre or sound quality. There are a number of people here who may have the timbre and even most of the range of a baritone who can sing tenor-ranged songs. So, if you do find a teacher, find one who is willing to teaching bridging the passagio.

And so, let go of tenor or baritone thing as far as any music outside of an opera you may be cast in. Phil Anselmo of Pantera is a bass when he speaks but he can sing as high as any tenor. To paraphrase fellow member Jens, it is not really what you are born with but how you use it that matters.

You want to sing metal? Train for that. You want to sing opera? Train for that. And find someone besides a school choir coach for that. In fact, I would question who it is that tells you that a tenor should reach a G4 in what I must assume you to mean the same fold and resonant configuration as you might normally speak,

Here's a surprise. You do not sing like you speak, though you might share some timbre between the two. Such as Brian Johnson.

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3 minutes ago, ronws said:

It sounds like the people you have been talking to do not understand the voice or have even consulted classical sources. The thing I wrote about tenors, even light tenors transitioning no later than F4 was not me just making something up. I have read that in a number of classical sources. So, the idea that you should be able to sing with the same configuration as your speaking voice up to G4 is erroneous.

In addition, tenor, like any other fach, is not just a range of notes but a timbre or sound quality. There are a number of people here who may have the timbre and even most of the range of a baritone who can sing tenor-ranged songs. So, if you do find a teacher, find one who is willing to teaching bridging the passagio.

And so, let go of tenor or baritone thing as far as any music outside of an opera you may be cast in. Phil Anselmo of Pantera is a bass when he speaks but he can sing as high as any tenor. To paraphrase fellow member Jens, it is not really what you are born with but how you use it that matters.

You want to sing metal? Train for that. You want to sing opera? Train for that. And find someone besides a school choir coach for that. In fact, I would question who it is that tells you that a tenor should reach a G4 in what I must assume you to mean the same fold and resonant configuration as you might normally speak,

Here's a surprise. You do not sing like you speak, though you might share some timbre between the two. Such as Brian Johnson.

I understood. I haven't said that I was told tenor should reach G4 in normal modal voice (I hope that's the right word). I was told that the very thing that I can reach G4 without problems is not really common there, so I suppose they (choir leader) meant that with my age, I am one of the "higher" "tenors" in the choir... I don't know when my passagio occurs, but I would say it's around E4, I am not sure though.

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Look, the voice is capable of doing amazing things. You can build a range of 4 or 5 octaves if you wanted to. Despite being a tenor, baritone, baritenor, pepsitenor, whatever... you can definitely get range to spare. There are some guys here who can talk from experience, like Jens, Manolito, Geno, Dan.. they have crazy ranges and sing awesome, and they all started from a different "base" voice, with different colors and weights. 
So don't worry about range really and just try to find all you can do with your voice. You can definitely get a boomy C5+ with training, but maybe at first it will be a wimpy headvoice, barely holding on, who knows. Or maybe your voice is strong and once you get the coordination you might blow roofs right away, but first you need the guidance ( be it books, a teacher, a program like 4Pillars, for example ) to explore your voice.

I hope I was helpful, man :)

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11 hours ago, DevilSauron said:

I understood. I haven't said that I was told tenor should reach G4 in normal modal voice (I hope that's the right word). I was told that the very thing that I can reach G4 without problems is not really common there, so I suppose they (choir leader) meant that with my age, I am one of the "higher" "tenors" in the choir... I don't know when my passagio occurs, but I would say it's around E4, I am not sure though.

Then I misunderstood. Anyway, find a teacher who can teach you to bridge early and without notice. People can get green with envy when you have the one voice thing.

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8 hours ago, ronws said:

Then I misunderstood. Anyway, find a teacher who can teach you to bridge early and without notice. People can get green with envy when you have the one voice thing.

I doubt I (or anyone, really) has it, I think I just can't determine my registers yet...

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On 24. 12. 2015 at 4:05 AM, Xamedhi said:

Look, the voice is capable of doing amazing things. You can build a range of 4 or 5 octaves if you wanted to. Despite being a tenor, baritone, baritenor, pepsitenor, whatever... you can definitely get range to spare. There are some guys here who can talk from experience, like Jens, Manolito, Geno, Dan.. they have crazy ranges and sing awesome, and they all started from a different "base" voice, with different colors and weights. 
So don't worry about range really and just try to find all you can do with your voice. You can definitely get a boomy C5+ with training, but maybe at first it will be a wimpy headvoice, barely holding on, who knows. Or maybe your voice is strong and once you get the coordination you might blow roofs right away, but first you need the guidance ( be it books, a teacher, a program like 4Pillars, for example ) to explore your voice.

I hope I was helpful, man :)

Well, it would be amazing to have range of 4 octaves, but I doubt it's possible (for me). I feel that every teacher would say it's not possible... Because if it is possible, why do professional (opera) singers sing just with their own fach without any hope for singing songs outside of their natural range?

EDIT: The thing is, when I sing A#4 (my absolute non-falsetto maximum note, but only when I am ready to sing it) and try to get up one semitone up to B4, I feel sudden sting of pain in my throat, so I am not sure whether I can physically overcome this limit with training...

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     I am 50+ years old, I had no training F#4 was my limit without switching to Falsetto(and that sucked). This last year I received Roberts "four Pillars of Singing". There are things to do to change HOW you sing to sing those notes above your break. Training not only teaches you how to make those sounds but strengthens muscles and coordinations so you can.

    Opera looks for a particular sound in a particular range for a particular reason. That is why SOME opera singer stay within a certain range and the reason for distinction between singer types: Tenor, Baritone, Bass ...... you also have divisions within those ranges, Dramatic, Leggiero .......  They use distict sound characteristics to represent and distinguish characters. Range is not the issue Sound quality within a particular range is.

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48 minutes ago, DevilSauron said:

Well, it would be amazing to have range of 4 octaves, but I doubt it's possible (for me). I feel that every teacher would say it's not possible... Because if it is possible, why do professional (opera) singers sing just with their own fach without any hope for singing songs outside of their natural range?

EDIT: The thing is, when I sing A#4 (my absolute non-falsetto maximum note, but only when I am ready to sing it) and try to get up one semitone up to B4, I feel sudden sting of pain in my throat, so I am not sure whether I can physically overcome this limit with training...

 

Operasinging is a very extreme style. The things it's not about singing 1,2,3 or 4 octaves but rather you need to be able to sing over an orchestra without amplification. Taking that into consideration 2 octaves is alot, operasingers usually span alot more range then 2 octaves but the extremes are more extra "Room" for the moneynotes to sound good.

also most types of operasinging is outside of what is "natural" heck for the larger roles you have singers who trained 20+ years just to handle it. If it was natural anyone could sing opera right off the bat, on the contrary opera is one of the styles wich requires the most training.

Also you are Young,range Will expand When your voice settles(25+) and when your technique gets stronger. Range is rarely a problem for a trained singer, musicality getting the desired timbre control and consistency or just plain sounding good is alot harder.

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20 minutes ago, Jens said:

 

Operasinging is a very extreme style. The things it's not about singing 1,2,3 or 4 octaves but rather you need to be able to sing over an orchestra without amplification. Taking that into consideration 2 octaves is alot, operasingers usually span alot more range then 2 octaves but the extremes are more extra "Room" for the moneynotes to sound good.

also most types of operasinging is outside of what is "natural" heck for the larger roles you have singers who trained 20+ years just to handle it. If it was natural anyone could sing opera right off the bat, on the contrary opera is one of the styles wich requires the most training.

Also you are Young,range Will expand When your voice settles(25+) and when your technique gets stronger. Range is rarely a problem for a trained singer, musicality getting the desired timbre control and consistency or just plain sounding good is alot harder.

Yeah everyone tells me that my voice will settle, but the problem is that they say I'll probably have even lower voice than now. I understand that I won't be opera tenor :-D, but I really hope I'll be able to sing songs I like, and that often means singing around C5, that's why I even asked if I'll be able to overcome that limit...

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5 minutes ago, DevilSauron said:

Yeah everyone tells me that my voice will settle, but the problem is that they say I'll probably have even lower voice than now. I understand that I won't be opera tenor :-D, but I really hope I'll be able to sing songs I like, and that often means singing around C5, that's why I even asked if I'll be able to overcome that limit...

If you practice with a good teacher and good technique, you can absolutely get to that point.

Don't think of it as a limit, it's just another note that need to be worked on in your entire range. You can practice to go up into the 8th octave if you want, the limit is only set by yourself.

The main thing is that you practice and practice correctly. A 1-on-1 private lessons with a good teacher is great for your training, but if you don't practice outside of those weekly lessons, your progress will be much slower. 10 minutes here and there will add up each day, then you'll realize a few months from then you've made good progress.

Experiment with your voice. When you're singing or vocalizing, it shouldn't hurt. Otherwise, try out different sounds with your voice.

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4 minutes ago, DevilSauron said:

Yeah everyone tells me that my voice will settle, but the problem is that they say I'll probably have even lower voice than now. I understand that I won't be opera tenor :-D, but I really hope I'll be able to sing songs I like, and that often means singing around C5, that's why I even asked if I'll be able to overcome that limit...

Your voice Will become bigger and youll be able to sing both lower and higher. Thats atleast what happend to My voice, but i had great coaches who helped me.

Singing highnotes or lownotes is a skill you can develop and work on through technique. As people have said here, many guys here who have trained for a long while with technique Will have crazy ranges regardless IF your voice is low high or like My voice deadcenter medium.

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13 minutes ago, Jabroni said:

If you practice with a good teacher and good technique, you can absolutely get to that point.

Don't think of it as a limit, it's just another note that need to be worked on in your entire range. You can practice to go up into the 8th octave if you want, the limit is only set by yourself.

The main thing is that you practice and practice correctly. A 1-on-1 private lessons with a good teacher is great for your training, but if you don't practice outside of those weekly lessons, your progress will be much slower. 10 minutes here and there will add up each day, then you'll realize a few months from then you've made good progress.

Experiment with your voice. When you're singing or vocalizing, it shouldn't hurt. Otherwise, try out different sounds with your voice.

I know, but as I said, it hurts only when I try to reach a note definitely out of my normal non-falsetto range (B4). If it is really possible to learn to sing it (and without any pain), I hope I'll be able to find a good teacher here where I live :)

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21 minutes ago, DevilSauron said:

I know, but as I said, it hurts only when I try to reach a note definitely out of my normal non-falsetto range (B4). If it is really possible to learn to sing it (and without any pain), I hope I'll be able to find a good teacher here where I live :)

When your technique improves that Will change

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25 minutes ago, DevilSauron said:

I know, but as I said, it hurts only when I try to reach a note definitely out of my normal non-falsetto range (B4). If it is really possible to learn to sing it (and without any pain), I hope I'll be able to find a good teacher here where I live :)

If it hurts, then your technique is incorrect. I'm not sure exactly what you're doing wrong, since without an audio sample it's just a guess, but you're probably trying to yell the note. This is a common mistake to make until you train proper technique.

It definitely is possible. Hook yourself up with a good teacher and a good study at home program, dedicate yourself to training the proper technique and you can absolutely sing whatever you want to sing.

EDIT: Sounds like Jens and I are saying the same thing, we just keep volleying back and forth :)

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Devil,

Lurking is ok, but if all you do is lurk and watch youtube videos, you will never get to where you want to go. You have to train. You have to  make a commitment to working out. It is a lifestyle. Until you decide to commit to the lifestyle of training and singing regularly, it won't happen for you. There are no "secret tips" your going to read or see on YouTube that are going to make a big difference for you. 

You have to train... get a coach to help you... but make sure that it is a good one, that knows what they are doing... I HIGHLY recommend you reach out to someone here to be safe. Myself or others that are capable. And get a training program... not just a book, but a program that gives you content and instructions on how to practice and rain. That is the reality of what you are asking for.

When I was 17... I practiced 1 to 2 hours every night for about four years... and I still practice today.

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13 minutes ago, Robert Lunte said:

Devil,

Lurking is ok, but if all you do is lurk and watch youtube videos, you will never get to where you want to go. You have to train. You have to  make a commitment to working out. It is a lifestyle. Until you decide to commit to the lifestyle of training and singing regularly, it won't happen for you. There are no "secret tips" your going to read or see on YouTube that are going to make a big difference for you. 

You have to train... get a coach to help you... but make sure that it is a good one, that knows what they are doing... I HIGHLY recommend you reach out to someone here to be safe. Myself or others that are capable. And get a training program... not just a book, but a program that gives you content and instructions on how to practice and rain. That is the reality of what you are asking for.

When I was 17... I practiced 1 to 2 hours every night for about four years... and I still practice today.

I understand and I will find a teacher. I meant it that I'll be here, but I probably won't be much helpful to this community so until I get better, I'll just read this forum without actively posting new things (unless in threads like this one) .-)

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You probably haven't discovered the coordinations and sensations that WILL let you sing above your passaggio. I sang with poor fold adduction between C3-G4 for about 4 years, and when I discovered how to adduct my folds more, or to keep my larynx "holding on" I could sing in a matter of a month, songs that had up to C5 and D5.... I sounded bad, and inconsistent, but I never damaged myself or anything... it has just been developing over time.

Add me on Skype as Gorehax if you'd like, I'm always happy to help in any way I can, man. :) 

Also, I'd really recommend you to get one lesson at least with Robert or any other coach in here, that can teach you HOW to do high notes without any pain, and with relative ease. With ONE lesson you can discover and learn soooo much stuff.  Just clarify to them before hand what do you need in that lesson, and what your concerns are.

Also, if you could upload audio files for us to know how you sound and what you are doing it would be helpful :P 

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8 hours ago, Robert Lunte said:

Devil,

Lurking is ok, but if all you do is lurk and watch youtube videos, you will never get to where you want to go. You have to train. You have to  make a commitment to working out. It is a lifestyle. Until you decide to commit to the lifestyle of training and singing regularly, it won't happen for you. There are no "secret tips" your going to read or see on YouTube that are going to make a big difference for you. 

You have to train... get a coach to help you... but make sure that it is a good one, that knows what they are doing... I HIGHLY recommend you reach out to someone here to be safe. Myself or others that are capable. And get a training program... not just a book, but a program that gives you content and instructions on how to practice and rain. That is the reality of what you are asking for.

When I was 17... I practiced 1 to 2 hours every night for about four years... and I still practice today.

This is some of the best advice you will get.  I did exactly what you did when I started around 16 and only just now am doing it the right way with a vocal coach, and guess what?  I have three years of some really terrible habits to undo where as if I'd have just started with a coach off the bat I would have saved myself years of frustration. :)  Good luck man, and be smart about practicing.  Get a teacher. 

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Hello DevilSauron :) Together with getting a teacher, rejoining a choir could be good for you. At least, in the choir where I am, I can see that the choir was a springboard for some of the people there (only a few), who later went to Conservatory and obtained an official music profession. Plus boys are always needed in choirs! :) 

C4 is Middle C.

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