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Best Ways to Increase Range? Whistle Voice Question as well

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Gsoul82
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I've done a search, and I can't seem to find any topic like this.

I've been classified as a high baritone. My range is currently E2/D2 to G5. The lower part of my range used to be higher, but I was able to lower it a bit with some fry exercise. Head voice cuts off at B5 and flips into falsetto, which cuts off at G5. Though, I can actually turn on my Falsetto around C4 if I wish. If I really try, (without straining) I can hit G5#, but it magically cuts off before A6 as if there's a barrier there.

I've been interested in developing whistle voice, because it would be another trick in my bag. I read somewhere that the easiest way to get into it seems to be yawning into an "Ah". Unfortunately, it hasn't seemed to have gotten any easier to do after 2 weeks of consistent practice. It feels like I have been able to do it correctly, because I know there's a difference between doing this and screeching, but I have actually made the "flute sound" several times. I've been using a vocal analyzer that displays the notes I'm hitting. When I try to do it, hitting G5 is easier. I have gotten it to go up to C6 consistently a few times, but it's as if it just jumps from G5 to up there, and if I manage to stabilize what I'm doing, it will hold steady at C6 until I stop. It did register an F6 twice, but I'll disregard that, because it's only been twice. Mind you, the C6 and F6 were very faint. I've put a lot of time into researching this, so I know it's really a matter of letting a tiny amount of air pass through when the cords are just about fully zipped up. Am I going about this correctly?

If I can increase falsetto up to C6, of course I won't just stop doing everything because I made it up there, but I'd be pretty content.

So, what are the best ways to do this? I've done scales for a few years, and it's improved quality, but not really range. They have helped somewhat at the bottom of my voice, but I've been doing them a lot longer at the top, and they haven't gotten me anywhere. I've tried to go with lip trills. Hasn't made any difference either. I feel like there's all this basic information out there about this topic, but what can I do that will actually get me results?

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0-value post:

I guess I'm just as confused as ever about these classifications.

My range is D2 to D5 and E6 is my highest note (unusable of course). I've been told I'm a baritone too.

... I don't really care to know what vocal type I am, I feel it does not have any practical use whatsoever.

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0-value post:

I guess I'm just as confused as ever about these classifications.

My range is D2 to D5 and E6 is my highest note (unusable of course). I've been told I'm a baritone too.

... I don't really care to know what vocal type I am, I feel it does not have any practical use whatsoever.

Well, I mean, it is what it is, but it's kind of cool to know. For one thing, it makes it a bit easier to know whose songs would be easier for you to sing note-for-note. I just brought it up, because it gives those in-the-know a good idea of how my voice is set up.

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The best way to increase range, to my experience, is to do slides with different vocal setups. In practice this means just making sounds all throughout the day without strain, and with a focus on actually feeling how the sound is made. Ie. I do the monkey sound from Zen of Screaming still, even though I stopped doing the program three years ago.

And yes, my colleagues have gotten used to it.

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I like Khassera's answer but I would also say it really depends on what you want to do. What do you plan to do with whistle tone, if you get it?

As far as your description of high baritone, it depends on whom you ask. In the media site, there are articles, including one from a recognized voice expert who used a classical definition of voices based on the lowest sound you can generate. And even a high tenor can croak out an E2 if his shoe laces are untied. As long as you don't mind low volume. So, don't worry if you are high tenor, low soprano, high baritone, second tenor, bari-tenor, or whatever. Some voices have more "weight" in them than others. Different voices have different "centers" of operation. Neither of those is a range limit.

Our very own Jens speaks kind of low and was first typed by some "coach" as a basso-baritone. And he could whistle in the 7th and 8th octave. It was a neat stunt, for a while. But not all that usable for the heavy metal he prefers.

I don't have a whistle. I can go full voice to C6 but I don't do it every day. However, I can do repeated A5's without wearing out, as is necessary in "Child in Time" and that was good enough for me.

And who cares, in the end?

Then, again, like you, I spent some time (a little while, just to see what there was to be had) chasing range and that's okay, too. And I have the range that I want for the songs I want to sing. I don't need a whistle sound or range just to say that I have one. I just need to sing the songs I want to sing with accurate pitch and intended feeling conveyed to the listener.

Anyway, like Khassera said, the object should be to make what you can do endurable. If what you are doing leaves you hoarse or without a voice or damaged, stop it. Either give it up or find a coach or person that is really good at the sound you are trying to get.

Which is not to say that you should try stuff that you don't normally do. I sing Boston stuff for fun but I am not that interested in doing covers or tributes of their songs.

It's good to stretch but don't be afraid to celebrate the gains you have made. And a number of the notes you list in your range are already higher than a large percentage of the population, including professional singers who have been paid to sing longer than you have been alive.

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I like Khassera's answer but I would also say it really depends on what you want to do. What do you plan to do with whistle tone, if you get it?

As far as your description of high baritone, it depends on whom you ask. In the media site, there are articles, including one from a recognized voice expert who used a classical definition of voices based on the lowest sound you can generate. And even a high tenor can croak out an E2 if his shoe laces are untied. As long as you don't mind low volume. So, don't worry if you are high tenor, low soprano, high baritone, second tenor, bari-tenor, or whatever. Some voices have more "weight" in them than others. Different voices have different "centers" of operation. Neither of those is a range limit.

Our very own Jens speaks kind of low and was first typed by some "coach" as a basso-baritone. And he could whistle in the 7th and 8th octave. It was a neat stunt, for a while. But not all that usable for the heavy metal he prefers.

I don't have a whistle. I can go full voice to C6 but I don't do it every day. However, I can do repeated A5's without wearing out, as is necessary in "Child in Time" and that was good enough for me.

And who cares, in the end?

Then, again, like you, I spent some time (a little while, just to see what there was to be had) chasing range and that's okay, too. And I have the range that I want for the songs I want to sing. I don't need a whistle sound or range just to say that I have one. I just need to sing the songs I want to sing with accurate pitch and intended feeling conveyed to the listener.

Anyway, like Khassera said, the object should be to make what you can do endurable. If what you are doing leaves you hoarse or without a voice or damaged, stop it. Either give it up or find a coach or person that is really good at the sound you are trying to get.

Which is not to say that you should try stuff that you don't normally do. I sing Boston stuff for fun but I am not that interested in doing covers or tributes of their songs.

It's good to stretch but don't be afraid to celebrate the gains you have made. And a number of the notes you list in your range are already higher than a large percentage of the population, including professional singers who have been paid to sing longer than you have been alive.

Good post. When I posted range, what I meant was the space I could sing actual words in. As far as making sounds goes, I can go well below that E2.

I've been studying this for a while, and I've seen Jens and Manolito on a couple of other forums. Perhaps he'll find a place for that. I guess that's how a lot of people find their influences; they find artists who do certain things that others don't do.

For me, luckily, some of the most talented singers in my choice genre of R&B make use of whistle voice. Mariah Carey is probably the most famous example. It's a beautiful way to accent a song. And, as for range, there are certain singers who I like to take techniques from, but it's hard to do what they do at times when they've got almost one more octave than me.

One example of the stuff I'd like to do can be seen in this video at 2:10 and 2:20.

I was lucky enough to have a great voice coach in my family, so I received training for him for some years. I can do things now I never thought I could do. By working with him, I got to develop things before I thought to develop them.

I see what you're saying about being happy with your range, but I hold myself to a certain standard. Basically, I'm the type of guy who wants the ability to make as many different sounds as I can possibly can. Like I've said, my main thing would have to be R&B, but I was classically trained for a couple of years, and I don't shy away from studying other music genres to see what type of techniques they use. I like what I can do already, but I want more, and I know I can get there.

The great thing about having a coach for some time is that you learn what to do and what not to do. I learned the difference between vocal fatigue and strain. So, I'm able to practice stuff safely.

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Well, that makes sense and I was going to ask if you were wanting to do stuff similar to Mariah Carey but I did not want to offend.

Me, I also sing along with Heart, matching Anne note of note and I have a light timbre, so I can get away with it. And when I would sing the soundtrack of Jesus Christ, Superstar, I would also sing the part of Mary of Magdalene. It was easier for me to do that than the part of Caiaphas.

So, does the coach in your family have any ideas on how to do this?

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That's alright. I probably wouldn't do exactly what she does, but like I said, it's a trick I can add to my belt. Getting up there isn't so hard with what I'm doing now. What I'm trying to find out is if there's a better way to go about it, and how I should be training this. I can explain to anyone how I'm accessing it if they want to learn that much. And no, my music instructor doesn't know. This seems to be the most technical forum I've been on though, so somebody's gotta know.

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I've been interested in developing whistle voice, because it would be another trick in my bag. I read somewhere that the easiest way to get into it seems to be yawning into an "Ah". Unfortunately, it hasn't seemed to have gotten any easier to do after 2 weeks of consistent practice. It feels like I have been able to do it correctly, because I know there's a difference between doing this and screeching, but I have actually made the "flute sound" several times. I've been using a vocal analyzer that displays the notes I'm hitting. When I try to do it, hitting G5 is easier. I have gotten it to go up to C6 consistently a few times, but it's as if it just jumps from G5 to up there, and if I manage to stabilize what I'm doing, it will hold steady at C6 until I stop. It did register an F6 twice, but I'll disregard that, because it's only been twice. Mind you, the C6 and F6 were very faint. I've put a lot of time into researching this, so I know it's really a matter of letting a tiny amount of air pass through when the cords are just about fully zipped up. Am I doing this correctly?

What you are needing to add is vowel or resonance adjustment that aligns a resonance with a harmonic. There are several ways to go about exploring that. You mention that you have access to voice analysis software. Use that to determine which harmonic of your sung tones on G5 and C6 is most emphasized, and which resonance of the vowel they are aligning with.

In the very high part of the voice there are 4 strong resonances that can be aligning. They are there when you are singing lower notes, too, and not too difficult to find using those lower notes. The resonances can be moved up or down in frequency more or less, as follows...

Resonance 1, due to formant 1, is the lower vowel resonance. It varies from 240 to 850 Hz, depending on the vowel.

Resonance 2, due to Formant 2, is the upper vowel resonance, and can be varied from about 600 to 2400 Hz by choosing different vowels This resonance is highest for ee and lowest for oo. See the chart below for an example alignment of some vowels.

Average vowel formants ( from wikipedia and other sources) in ascending order by F1. Note: Your particular voice may have different tunings for these resonances, so some experimentation and analysis of your own tunings may be needed.

Vowel (IPA) Formant F1 Formant F2 word example

y 235 Hz 2100 Hz rounded lip ee, french u as in 'tu'

i 240 Hz 2400 Hz ee as in 'beet' or 'fleece'

u 250 Hz 595 Hz oo, as in English 'too'

ɯ 300 Hz 1390 Hz like u, but lips not rounded

o 360 Hz 640 Hz First vowel in American English 'boat' or 'though'

ø 370 Hz 1900 Hz 'eh' as in 'bet', but with lips rounded

e 390 Hz 2300 Hz vowel in English word 'face'

ÊŠ 440 Hz 1020 Hz u as in English 'foot' or 'put'

ɤ 460 Hz 1310 Hz like 'o' but lips not rounded

É” 500 Hz 700 Hz British 'ough' as in 'thought'

Å“ 585 Hz 1710 Hz 'eh' as in 'bet', with lips rounded, but darker

ʌ 600 Hz 1170 Hz 'uh' in American English 'strut'

É› 610 Hz 1900 Hz 'eh' as in 'dress' or 'bet'

É’ 700 Hz 760 Hz British o as in 'lot', or American English ough in 'thought'

É‘ 750 Hz 940 Hz 'ah' as in American English 'father', also the o in 'not'

æ 820 Hz 1530 Hz 'a' as in American English 'cat', 'hat', 'fat'

a 850 Hz 1610 Hz bright 'ah', as in Italian and Spanish. Scottish English 'father'

Here is the same list, in ascending order by F2

u 250 Hz 595 Hz oo, as in English 'too'

o 360 Hz 640 Hz First vowel in American English 'boat' or 'though'

É” 500 Hz 700 Hz British 'ough' as in 'thought'

É’ 700 Hz 760 Hz British o as in 'lot', or American English ough in 'thought'

É‘ 750 Hz 940 Hz 'ah' as in American English 'father', also the o in 'not' and 'hot'

ÊŠ 440 Hz 1020 Hz u as in English 'foot' or 'put'

ʌ 600 Hz 1170 Hz 'uh' in American English 'strut'

ɤ 460 Hz 1310 Hz like 'o' but lips not rounded

ɯ 300 Hz 1390 Hz like u, but lips not rounded

æ 820 Hz 1530 Hz 'a' as in American English 'cat', 'hat', 'fat'

a 850 Hz 1610 Hz bright 'ah', as in Italian and Spanish.

Å“ 585 Hz 1710 Hz 'eh' as in 'bet', with lips rounded, but darker

ø 370 Hz 1900 Hz 'eh' as in 'bet', but with lips rounded

É› 610 Hz 1900 Hz 'eh' as in 'dress' or 'bet'

y 235 Hz 2100 Hz rounded lip ee, french u as in 'tu'

e 390 Hz 2300 Hz vowel in English word 'face'

i 240 Hz 2400 Hz ee as in 'beet' or 'fleece'

Resonance 3, due to Formant 3, is mostly controlled by the tongue tip position and lip rounding. When the tip is touching the back of the lower teeth, its frequency will be just above the F2 for ee. As the tip is retracted, the frequency lowers, and can be found as low as 2000 Hz for the English vowel 'er',

The singer's formant cluster, if present, will be a wide resonance area centering on 2800 to 3500, depending on the voice. It's frequency can not be moved much, but the cluster can be widened/flattened (I.e., when using pharyngeal voice) or narrowed/intensified by pharynx dilation.

Looking at your 'skip' example, the first 4 harmonics of G5 are at these frequencies:

Fundamental. 784

2nd harmonic. 1568

3rd harmonic. 2352

4th harmonic. 3136

The same harmonics of C6 are:

Fundamental. 1046

2nd. 2092

3rd. 3138

4th. 4184

Looking at these frequencies, the skip you are seeing could be because you are singing a vowel that aligns well with those two notes, but not any of those between.

For example, using the fundamentals of the two notes, a vowel with an F1 of 784 and an F2 of 1046 would resonate strongly on both those notes.

Using the Madde voice synthesizer ( free on the internet, runs under windows) we can hear what vowel works that way, a sort of hollow ah, by having the synth produce a G3 fundamental. Madde also confirms for us that G5 and C6 align as we want.

Recording:

http://api.ning.com:80/files/8W5ARlmXvRm7uzpfBtMqBe*Ua5HVmkhopkFCrM6-EgibAzBTQ-nVitwQDJIscRIiRGu4Im9lEKHrGy9ghAG44vN0tfYgAiJP/madde_example_for_G5_and_C6_equalized.mp3

I made this recording with Madde, with 8 harmonics, and F1 at 784 and F2 at 1046, the fundamentals of G5 and C6.

The notes produced start at G3, and progress to C4, G4, C5, G5 and C6. I have equalized the volume so things are more easily heard. Without the equalization, the lower notes are quite soft when compared with the last 2.

Singing in the presence of strong resonance alignment helps the vocal bands to vibrate more easily. A little bit of planning on what vowel to sing in flageolet (whistle) range for the particular notes you intend to sing will help a lot.

For example, with the same resonance strategy that works for the G5 & C6, you could do the following:

G#5 - 831 Hz sing slightly brighter ah,

A5 - 880 Hz drop jaw and widen mouth to raise F1. This is is the last F1 alignment as you go up

Bb5- 932 Hz switch to F2 alignments, and use É‘ as in 'not' or 'hot'

B5 - 988 Hz front the Bb5 vowel very slightly

C6 - 1046 Hz uh as in 'foot' or 'put' but slightly darker, or hollow ah as in G5 with F1 alignment- less optimal.

C#6- 1109Hz uh as in 'strut' but slightly darker

D6 - 1175 Hz uh as in 'strut'

D#6 1244.5 Hz a vowel between uh as in 'strut' and 'oh' unrounded

E6 1381.5 Hz slightly rounded 'oo'

F6 1397 Hz unrounded 'oo'

F#6 1480 Hz no good English vowel alignment.

G6 1568 Hz bright 'ae' as in 'cat, hat'

A6 1760 Hz a shade of lip-rounded 'eh'. Determine by experiment.

Bb6 1864 Hz a shade of lip-rounded 'eh', less rounding. Determine by experiment.

C7 2093 Hz rounded lip ee, french u as in 'tu'

D7 2349 Hz less rounded lip ee, or a vowel between 'a' of 'face' and 'ee' in 'beet'

E7 2637 Hz Above F2 tuning, Play around with tongue tip position to tune F3.

Above G6, the frequency of the fundamentals will require that some experimentation of vowel choice, jaw and lip position to determine the very best match.

I hope this is helpful.

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Good post. When I posted range, what I meant was the space I could sing actual words in. As far as making sounds goes, I can go well below that E2.

I've been studying this for a while, and I've seen Jens and Manolito on a couple of other forums. Perhaps he'll find a place for that. I guess that's how a lot of people find their influences; they find artists who do certain things that others don't do.

For me, luckily, some of the most talented singers in my choice genre of R&B make use of whistle voice. Mariah Carey is probably the most famous example. It's a beautiful way to accent a song. And, as for range, there are certain singers who I like to take techniques from, but it's hard to do what they do at times when they've got almost one more octave than me.

One example of the stuff I'd like to do can be seen in this video at 2:10 and 2:20.

I was lucky enough to have a great voice coach in my family, so I received training for him for some years. I can do things now I never thought I could do. By working with him, I got to develop things before I thought to develop them.

I see what you're saying about being happy with your range, but I hold myself to a certain standard. Basically, I'm the type of guy who wants the ability to make as many different sounds as I can possibly can. Like I've said, my main thing would have to be R&B, but I was classically trained for a couple of years, and I don't shy away from studying other music genres to see what type of techniques they use. I like what I can do already, but I want more, and I know I can get there.

The great thing about having a coach for some time is that you learn what to do and what not to do. I learned the difference between vocal fatigue and strain. So, I'm able to practice stuff safely.

The problem with whistlevoice is it's very unstable register, some people have this easy from the get go and can Apply it in live situations.

Ive seen Mano do this very impressive.

Other people(like me) need to train huge ammounts of time just to get it and maintain it, and an even bigger ammount to be able to produce it in a live situation.

So ask yourself this are you willing to put in that time and sacrifice otherparts of your voice to get this Down? I spent alot of time on this and the Only use ive had for it was so i could say i had a 6 octave range online. If i didn't focus on this id probably be 30% better singer overall

Also the Guy in the clip is using head/falsetto and not whistlevoice. So if you want what he's using it's all in the headvoice.

For whistlevoice just train the Woop woop light headvoicesound for some months and whistle will be alot easyer cheers

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@Steven

Nice post indeed. :)

However, the formant/harmonic relations are only very minor when it comes to the cause of registration.

Titze proposed a relation (in theory), and it has been shown to affect a tiny bit when done in a controlled setting. But others like Sundberg couldn't find any reactions when done naturally.

For instance the F1/H2 or the F2/H3-4 relations we see and analyze in the spectogram are sometimes even not only the product of vowel change. Ex. You can sing all vowels in sequence with only a F0 in dominance if you keep a low adduction.

In short, the formant/harmonic relations are a by-product, not the cause of the many phonations. :)

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Steven - excellent post. That's a great F1/F2 map of all the vowels with the english explanations. I'm going to keep that for reference. I can see now why Dante's exercise using the bright Italian "ah" can sail through the passagio easier than "ah" as in "father", where I have to modify more heavily toward "uh".

Jens - great advice about whistle voice. I've not yet spent time on this but have gone up to F6 in just normal practicing a few times. I doubt it was whistle voice - seemed just an extension of my G5 to C6 range - no different configuration that I could feel. But there are many more improvements I need in the G4 to G5 range. And my target repertoire doesn't require whistle voice, so I'm not sure I'll ever spend time on it.

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"Helpful" is understatement. Amazing post. I'd always seen some video exercises where they were emphasizing certain vowels, and until now, I had no idea why. I've been trying to do different make different shapes with my mouth while trying to get up there. Perhaps, I changed the sound I was making and that's how it happened. This is really surprising.

I appreciate that incredibly informative post.

You're one of the people I wanted to hear from the most. I understand that you may not have much use for it with what you do, but I know I've got use for this.

How do you know that's falsetto and not whistle? I'm not saying you're wrong, I just don't know how you can tell it isn't.

That video was just something I found a while ago. I've seen lots of other performances of people using it before coming to the conclusion that it's something that I wanted to develop. And, I do know they were using that and not something else.

And where can I see this "woop woop" exercise you speak of? I can't seem to find it anywhere.

So it does at least appear to have a small part in this.

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He can tell it's not whistle and it is headvoice because of the quality of the sound. It is a bit thicker than what a whistle would sound like.

I guess I could see that.

I have actually seen several performances where it's done, including some of Manolito's vids, so I do recognize that I want to learn that.

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It's about the soundcolor but also the range, train your headvoice/falsetto to be able to do what he did in the clip.

There are many guys who have head/falsetto registers who sound hauntingly similar to whistle but still isnt.

Also as i said you can add me on skype if you want i can when i have time show you one exercise that works and is not time consuming that will get you to whistle if you keep at it and youve got a trained headvoice. cheers

skype:Jensviktorjohansson

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It's about the soundcolor but also the range, train your headvoice/falsetto to be able to do what he did in the clip.

There are many guys who have head/falsetto registers who sound hauntingly similar to whistle but still isnt.

skype:Jensviktorjohansson

Jens: Does your clip represent the 'hauntingly similar', or actual whistle voice? It was not apparent from the context.

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GSoul82:

I just though of one other thing to offer. You may have noticed how the sequence of notes I used in the Madde synthesis (from the G3 to the G6) all have harmonics that align with resonances on the initial vowel. This makes the note sequence a very useful one for developing the legato connection across that 2.5 octave range via the up and down arpeggio.

Since they share the resonance profile, you can also begin lower in the scale, at C3, and also G2 to make it a 4 octave arpeggio.

I hope this is helpful.

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@Steven

Nice post indeed. :)

However, the formant/harmonic relations are only very minor when it comes to the cause of registration.

Titze proposed a relation (in theory), and it has been shown to affect a tiny bit when done in a controlled setting. But others like Sundberg couldn't find any reactions when done naturally.

For instance the F1/H2 or the F2/H3-4 relations we see and analyze in the spectogram are sometimes even not only the product of vowel change. Ex. You can sing all vowels in sequence with only a F0 in dominance if you keep a low adduction.

In short, the formant/harmonic relations are a by-product, not the cause of the many phonations. :)

Hi, Martin H.

I was not responding to the question about whether a tone is falsetto or whistle voice, but rather the problem of phonation discontinuity experienced by the writer, and to provide a vowel-based strategy to help make the connection.

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It's about the soundcolor but also the range, train your headvoice/falsetto to be able to do what he did in the clip.

There are many guys who have head/falsetto registers who sound hauntingly similar to whistle but still isnt.

Also as i said you can add me on skype if you want i can when i have time show you one exercise that works and is not time consuming that will get you to whistle if you keep at it and youve got a trained headvoice. cheers

skype:Jensviktorjohansson

I'm definitely taking you up on that. Big thank you to you.

That takes care of the whistle register stuff. Anyone have anything else to add about range?

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gsoul,

i had no intention of being rude. sorry if you took that way.

it's just that we get a lot of posts on the forum where the person says things like "i've been exercising over 6 years now, had 4 teachers, and i haven't seen any improvement."

you stated that you did scales for a few years.........if you did scales with any regularity for a few years...you should have gained range.

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gsoul,

i had no intention of being rude. sorry if you took that way.

it's just that we get a lot of posts on the forum where the person says things like "i've been exercising over 6 years now, had 4 teachers, and i haven't seen any improvement."

you stated that you did scales for a few years.........if you did scales with any regularity for a few years...you should have gained range.

I did gain range, but it was at the start of things. After about a year, nothing changed. I then figured out how to add more to the bottom of my range. That was the reason I mentioned that stuff, but apparently I wasn't clear enough. I only brought up the coach thing to let people know I'm not really brand new to this. I probably should have named this, "How to add notes to the top of your range" for it to be more to the point.

For somebody to say they practiced for 6 years and have nothing, it sounds like a trolling attempt.

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range is another confusing term....there's range as in "let's see, how high can i go with my voice?" and there's usable range...

what notes can you sing consistently well with rich full resonance....

big difference.

if you gain a 1/2 note of usable range that to me is a major accomplishment.

when you can sit (for example) on an a4, or hold on to an a4, not just tap it every once in a while, or crescendo and decrescendo then you are really building range.

rob lunte did a nice video on this topic below:

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