Wanting to Safely Expand Your Vocal Range? 6 Essential Tips to Check Out
For many vocal musicians, expanding your vocal range is a top priority. This could be for a variety of reasons, including wanting to step out of your comfort zone, grow as a musician or hoping to branch out into new genres. Whatever your inspiration is for wanting to attempt this feat, there are a few key tips you should consider first and foremost. When you are taking face to face or online music lessons, your instructor will probably share this information with you, but it never hurts to be prepared in advance!
Below are Music House’s six best tips for expanding your vocal range:
#1.) Know Your Current Capabilities
If you desire to grow and learn, first you have to have a good grasp of where you currently are. Determining your current vocal range includes taking a closer look at the vocal technique, abilities, and limitations you already have. This will help to provide you with a baseline to work with. From there, determine both your highest and lowest notes, and then set goals. Are you wanting to sing higher? Lower? A little of both? Are you trying to move a whole octave? When working with an instructor for your face to face or online music lessons, they can assist you with these elements as well.
#2.) Warm Up Properly
If you have ever tried to rehearse or sing while your muscles are tense, you understand just how counterproductive that can be. Not only can it put a limit on your vocal ability, but it can also lead to damage or strain. This is especially true if you are trying to reach a very high or very low note.
To mitigate this, be sure to warm up properly by running through a few scales and other vocal exercises. Don’t just do your vocal warm ups, however! While these are very important, warming up includes taking the time to relax your whole body. Add in some shoulder shrugs, neck stretches, and head rolls to help relieve tension in your upper body. If you are going to be standing all of rehearsal, properly stretch your legs as well and remember not to lock your knees.
#3.) Always Use Good Posture
If you have been involved in choir or vocal training for any length of time, you probably have heard your instructor tell you countless times to fix your posture. This isn’t just a tactic to help you look better while up on the stage during a performance, but is also vital for maintaining proper technique. When you have good posture, you give your vocals more power and strength. This is an absolute must if you want to expand your vocal range.
As far as posture goes, make sure that you are standing up straight with your shoulders back while opening up underneath your collarbone. Stand with your knees slightly bent and shoulder width apart. Unless you are holding a microphone or have sheet music in your booklet, it is best practice to stand with your arms relaxed at your sides. For help with your posture, taking face to face or online music lessons can be extremely beneficial.
#4.) Practice Patience
As a musician, you are probably well aware by now that growth and change don’t happen overnight. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is your ability to make drastic changes to your vocal range. By having patience throughout the process and staying dedicated to your practice, the results will surely come.
Another key thing to remember is that everyone has their own limitations and abilities. Even with your best effort, you may not be able to move a whole octave or to hit that crazy high note, even while using your falsetto. However, you can still make progress and reach your goals of expanding your range!
#5.) Don’t Push Too Hard
To go off the point made above, it’s vital that you don’t push yourself too hard or overdo it. This can lead to some serious vocal strain or even cause an injury. Just like a dedicated athlete, if you try too hard to lift something outside of your range, you could wind up hurting yourself. That being said, if you find yourself hurting during practice, then stop. Singing through the pain could lead to long term consequences. Don’t feel guilty or be too hard on yourself if you need to take a break and rest for a few days. Everyone deserves time off to heal, rest, and recover.
#6.) Focus on Your Vocal Health
There is a lot of talk about needing to maintain and properly care for one’s physical instrument, such as a guitar or piano, but don’t overlook your instrument: your voice. Focusing on your vocal health is no different than keeping a piano stored properly or using great care to replace the strings on a guitar. When you use your voice all day to talk, laugh, and carry on, it can be easy to put your vocal health on the back burner.
Here are a few ways you can take better care of your voice:
- Don’t smoke cigarettes or vape
- If you are an adult, don’t drink alcohol or only do so in extreme moderation
- Get proper rest at night, sleeping 7-9 hours nightly
- Stay hydrated by drinking at least 64 ounces of water each day
- Don’t whisper or yell often, as this creates a strain on your vocal chords
- Avoid extremely spicy or acidic foods
Having a healthy voice will play a huge role in your ability to expand your vocal range. Plus, it’ll allow you to be a better singer in general!
Take Lessons on Music House
While these tips are great, it can’t replace the true, one on one coaching experience you’ll get when working with a vocal instructor. If you are interested in taking face to face or online music lessons, then get in contact with us today! Our extremely talented and knowledgeable instructors are there to help you with all of your vocal goals and are there to assist you in becoming the very best you can be.