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What vocal excercises can I do to increase my range

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vbtudor
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i everyone

firstly Iwould like to thank Dr Ria Keen for putting me onto this site - I have been looking around for the past half hour and it is great from what I can see.

I have a question (why else would I be on a forum)

My range is rather limited. I tried the Per Bristow method to try and increaseit - it did wonders for the power in and depth my voice but nothing for my range (if anything my range is 2 notes less than when I started - perhaps thats just me)

Anyway does anyone have any straightforward exercises I can be working on to increase my range. I can work on it a few hours a day if need be, but I am like a rudderless ship at present

Thanks in advance and good luck to everyone

Vince

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Hi,

i can only use assumption because i obviously havent heard your voice but i would say that if you have a limited vocal range its probably because your only using chest voice (lower voice) when singing. this would mean that as you go for higher notes you reach a point where you either end up with a strained shouty sound (known as pulling up chest voice" or your voice "flips" or "breaks" into an airy, breathy not very powerful sound (known as falsetto).

the Per Bristow method as far as i know is very much focused on relaxing muscle tensions, which is a good thing, this might mean that it stopped you from pulling up chest voice which could be conceived as being not able to sing as high as before. if this is the case its not so much its robbed you of a couple of higher notes, its more that its stopped you from trying to access them the wrong, strained way.

i dont know if your in this category but sometimes when a singer has only ever experienced using chest voice and pulling it up it can be useful to use falsetto as a means of experiencing high notes with no tension and a sense of muscular release. its not supposed to be the finished product , so to speak but try imitating a girls voice (try an impression of you wife, mother, sister-whoever) now take that sound up as high as you can- i bet you can get pretty high with it? and i bet it felt pretty easy to produce?

now instead of a airy, weak , girly sound its possible to sing those same high pitches with a similar sense of ease but with a full, powerful sound. how do you do this? with specific exercises. what are those exercises? well personally i would recommend trying out "mixed" voice techniques such as speech level singing (SLS), singing success (SS), or books/CDs by teachers like Roger Love or Thomas Appell. of course there are plenty of other techniques to try, some of which have similar concepts and others that take a different path altogether. do some research and experimentation. have a couple of lessons with a few different techniques/ teachers or if you really cant afford that try getting some vocal technique training books/cds to experiment with. some can be picked up for very little to not much money such as "set your voice free" by Roger Love, "singing for the stars" by Seth Riggs, "raise your voice" by Jaimie Vendera, "can you sing high C without straining" by Thomas Appell.

hope that helps

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My range is rather limited. I tried the Per Bristow method to try and increaseit - it did wonders for the power in and depth my voice but nothing for my range (if anything my range is 2 notes less than when I started - perhaps thats just me)

Vince

Vince: Just for our reference, what is your current range? Use middle C as a reference point.

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  • 1 month later...

I am newbie here, but i will add my 2cents. I've been trying out Brett Mannings Singing Success and it really does a good job of adding a strong head voice to your disposal, which means you get a new big range to add to your existing one. Ofcourse there maybe other good methods but i am not aware of them yet. Do check as much of them out to find out what suits you the best. Singing Success is working for me but it doesnt mean it will work for you.

Good Luck, man

Fahim.

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  • 3 weeks later...

HIYA VINCE,

YOU ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO LEARN TO BRIDGE YOUR CHEST VOICE INTO YOUR HEAD VOICE IN AN INPERCEPTIBLE MANNER. IT TAKES TIME AND A LOT OF EXERCISES, BUT IT CAN BE DONE. CHECK OUT ROB LUNTE'S PROGRAM. MOST FOLKS DON'T AGREE WITH ME, BUT I FEEL IT ALSO REQUIRES A MENTAL "REACHING" FOR THE NOTES.

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hey mate.

Text won't solve anything. Let us hear you.

What are you after in your voice? What are your challanges? You see Centre says the copy paste answer of SLS, while that might not be what you need. You might actually be pulling head :P What I mean by that is that people can aswell break from too few chest as too much chest. Furthermore, blending isn't the endgoal.

It's not cse you can blend that your automaticly finished, it's just a start. Getting past the breaks is one.

Two is doing it in different ways. You can take more chest voice up to have a powerful sound, or you might allready be taking an improper coordination up which might cause strain [which is what people call pulling up chest, infact it's a misnumeron and what you should understand under it is simply "not a balanced coordination"].

Don't be focused on notes either. It's more of a question how you can do the notes, then how much really. I know people that sound great with one and a half octave.

Whatever your difficulty is, tackle it with focus. sit down in front of a piano, or stand up with a pitchpipe, and monitor the notes below your problem area. What shifts do you feel, what could you do differently with the vowel, your support, your mouthposition, your larynx, ... that could make a change for the beter. Do you feel like your holding on too much, or do you feel your letting go too much at a certain point. Take note of such things and experiment to do things differently. It's all in the doing!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hope this helps.

If you can't figure it out I'm willing to meet you over skype shorty to give you a few directions that might give you some material to experiment and practise with.

Good luck!

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  • 1 month later...

If you have some understanding of vocal practice, I would recommend getting "Singing Success" (by Brett Manning) and "Vocal Asylum" (by James Lugo).

Ever since I began singing I've wanted to be a tenor. But all my vocal coaches told me: "no, you are a basso and you can't sing higher than this in fullvoice". But that isn't true. If you want to do it - you CAN do it. It will take time and devotion, but it sure can be done. I've had 2 years of professional education in musical theatre, where I learnt a lot about performing and practice routines for my voice as a basso/baritone. Then I stumbled over Jamie Venderas program "Raise Your Voice" and a completly different opinion in what can be done with your voice. Through it I discovered Lugos program, and after a few months of practice I went from a strained G above middle C to a tenor high C in fullvoice (a chesty belt, but you have to thin out the tone a bit to get that high).

Right now I'm doing Vocal Asylym practice along with Singing Success, where VA gives you a chesty belt and a "rock/metal voice" and SS gives you more chord closure and smooth transitions between registers. I might add that I've extended my falsetto/head register quite a bit too.

I think it's important that you have a basic understanding of the voice before attempting all excercises on your own. I would strongly suggest reading "Complete Vocal Technique" (by Cathrine Sadolin) and the above mentioned "Raise Your Voice", and taking a few lessons by a vocal coach is great to set you on the right track. For me the key to unlocking my upper range was using twang. Vocal Asylum teaches you how to do it, but Lugo doesn't say that it's called twang. Learning about the voice and vocal practice can be frustrating because people have different names for the same things, and in some cases different opinions in what can be done too. Remember that you have to listen to your body, because done wrong some excercises can probably damage your voice. It should never hurt when you sing. And don't give up too fast - extending your range takes time. And range extension should not be the only goal with vocal practice, there is a lot you can do with your voice besides just extending the range!

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Im surprised noone said sirens. In fact, and those in the know here might tell you that I'm completely wrong here, I even like to tilt my head far back and do sirens, to make it impossible to use the external muscles. Seems to bring me up a few semi-notes immediately.

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  • Administrator

These are all great responses... everyone seems to be dead on and I think it reflects well a community of knowledge and experience here. I agree with the following:

1. can we hear your voice first, thats going to be insightful.

2. You absolutely, positively have to get it on with bridging and opening up your head voice, thats a certainty.

3. Brett Manning, James Lugo and my system are all good for that, "increasing range". I suppose other systems are as well as increasing range I would think is pretty fundamental requirement for any student singer and thus for any training system.

4. Although twang mode has not much to do with range, (other then it can greatly assist with bridging the passagio), it is important for completing the full mission... in other words... you need to learn to bridge to the head voice to get range... you do that by training bridging techniques, but that is not the end of the story... once your into your head voice, if your natural attractor state is to fall into falsetto mode in your head voice, you will need to practice twang configurations...

The gang here knows what Im talking about... stick around and stay tuned in, you'll get it!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here are some thoughts that have not been offered yet:

1) The muscles of the larynx which stretch the vocal process are activated based on what note you are thinking. So, the beginning of the ability to sing higher is to begin to _think_ higher notes :-)

2) Along with #1 is removing the 'overwork' which is so common amongst singers. Singing freely and well in the higher ranges of the voice require that the laryngeal musculature be brought into dynamic balance with the breath energy. At least for a while, back off on your dynamics a couple notches, and (if you keep the tone clear,) you will discover freedom and ease of vocal production, that will lead to higher notes for you.

3) Sing vowels that will ring in your high voice. When resonance is good, singing is easier. Play around with darkening/brightening vowels until you find the particular colors of them that really ring. The vowels to start with are EE and OO, since the transition to upper voice is _lower_ for them than for other vowels.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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