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Range extension vs. Strength

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Annika
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Hey! Haven't been on this forum in a long time haha. But I'm back, and I was wondering, what is considered a good singing vocal range? Mine is C3-C7. However, C3 and C7 are extremes and not always perfectly easy to reach. But on most days I can reach them. Is this considered a good vocal range? I'm a young female singer, and I can't figure out what vocal type I am. I can reach all the notes for contralto, mezzo, and soprano, so what am I? :/ My voice has a generally light timbre especially when I reach above an E4. My voice changes completely when I get into head voice. In chest voice I sound pretty light too, not as heavy as a contralto, but I can easily reach an E3, which is somewhat low for a girl.

My whistle register is pretty easy to use too, and I didn't even discover it until recently. I've been able to control it more. (Actually, originally before I started working towards extending my range, it was E3-A5! I am quite pleased I was able to gain an octave and a few notes. :) )

So all this being said, should I be focusing on working on strengthening my voice/registers? Or should I be working further towards extending my range?

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"Good range" is a value judgment. I think range is personal choice for an artist. I think Frank Sinatra had better range than I do qualitively, but not quantitively.

 

With vocal fry and flageolet  I have over 4 octaves and can hit each note chromatically. I don't even know if I have 3 octaves that I would consider 'qualitively' useable most of the time like in an average song scenario. I have used 3 in actual songs, but it's very rare.

 

The sweet spot in my voice is between G#2 to maybe C5, with extensions into increasingly headier configurations up to about F#5 that I like in smaller amounts and softer or croakier notes going below. In absolutes  I've hit above C6  flageolet and below B1 in fry. But it's kind of just a party trick.

 

How much focus you put on quality versus quantity probably depends on your priorities, tastes, goals, and so forth. If you already think the quality of your range is awesome, you might spend more time on quantity and vice versa. The closer to the extremes I get, the less realistically I would regularly use it. I'd rather have my sweet spot sound fantastic or add a few more notes to it than have another 4 octaves of rarely useable noises.

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It al depends..for what im listening and the music im making my range is lower than i would like it to be..but if you can go C6 and C3 you are more than capable of singi g preety much everything

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In my opinion you should focus on the "strength" of your voice. But in that case "strength" mostly means that you should work on getting your resonance optimal for every note in your currente "core range" (where you feel comfortable). Range extension will usually come as a side effect of that. Once you are able to sing the notes in your tessitura perfectly and with ease, your voice can go into the higher and lower pitches a lot easier.

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I personally would always work on the strength and coordination of the voice and reflexes. The range will reach it's full extension automatically if you sing correctly. Your range has nothing to do with your being a Contralto,Mezzo or Soprano other than you would have the complete range of your voice type, many have range beyond their voice type. It is the qualities your voice has and the range your voice would most rest in naturally. In classical or opera many choose to stay only within the range of their voice type (except for exercises) to maintain the purity of and quality of the voice type and equal weighting. In regards to Mariah her whistle voice is isolated, that is she sings the rest in another mode and then switches to it. I know this is hard to hear on her recorded tracks because there is overdubbing and layering. I've not heard her sing a passage through to it and descend from it in her live performances nor on her recordings. There is nothing wrong with that, just pointing it out for people. An operatic coloratura would sing through and her lower registers would retain the same qualities graded throughout the registers, more of a big operatic chipmunkish sound of course fuller and not cartoony, but the quality is a matched quality which blends up to and down from the whistles and ballet of frills. 

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Also louder and softer aren't always louder and softer although it might seem like it to you. you lose quality, control and may damage your voice. First off don't ever compete on volumes with others, each instrument has it's own parameters. You need to learn YOUR LOUDEST, YOUR SOFTEST, YOUR DYNAMIC. You can be really loud and sound weak on recordings or live, likewise a less pushed full voice, full sound that is focused will sound bigger on a recording. In acoustic situations volume and projection are 2 very different things a smaller voice with good squillo with a vocalist that knows how to attack. aim the sound and throw it will be heard clearer and sound to the audience much louder and clearer than a loud person who's voice is spread, it just does not carry as far. If you naturally have a big voice and add the squillo, proper projection , those are the biggest voices..in a healthy way.

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I personally would always work on the strength and coordination of the voice and reflexes. The range will reach it's full extension automatically if you sing correctly. Your range has nothing to do with your being a Contralto,Mezzo or Soprano other than you would have the complete range of your voice type, many have range beyond their voice type. It is the qualities your voice has and the range your voice would most rest in naturally. In classical or opera many choose to stay only within the range of their voice type (except for exercises) to maintain the purity of and quality of the voice type and equal weighting. In regards to Mariah her whistle voice is isolated, that is she sings the rest in another mode and then switches to it. I know this is hard to hear on her recorded tracks because there is overdubbing and layering. I've not heard her sing a passage through to it and descend from it in her live performances nor on her recordings. There is nothing wrong with that, just pointing it out for people. An operatic coloratura would sing through and her lower registers would retain the same qualities graded throughout the registers, more of a big operatic chipmunkish sound of course fuller and not cartoony, but the quality is a matched quality which blends up to and down from the whistles and ballet of frills.

Well it's easy for a operatic coloratura soprano as their entire voice is chipmunk falsetto :) a completly diffrent deal if you are belting or singing in a grounded chestvoice high in the range to switch to whistle
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It's really up to you if you want more range or not. Your range seems totally adequate for most styles. When you say your head voice sounds completely different makes me think you are not able to maintain closure when transitioning from M1 to M2. If I were you I'd spend a lot of time connecting M1 to M2 so that it is not a perceptible change. Of course that may not matter depending on the syle of singing your going after.

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