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Have you ever tried to sing a song that you love only to realize that it’s too low or too high for you? How to increase vocal range is one of the most common things vocalists come to me for. Trust me I get it! Having a wider vocal range gives you more variety in song choices and it opens you up to be a more versatile singer with the music you create as well. So today we’re going to talk about how to increase your vocal range in these 8 steps.

1. Identify your vocal range

The first thing you need to do is identify the lowest note you can sing and the highest — comfortably and clearly. This will also help you learn what type of voice you have.

The notes are based on a standard piano the human voice typically spans between octaves 1–6…and 7 for super high whistle singers. The same note repeats a total of 8 times on the keyboard. When you identify the highest and lowest notes of your voice, they will be identified with the note value and the octave they are in. For example, an A3-A5 is a two-octave range.

A good way to find your lowest note is by first doing a vocal warm-up and then proceed to sing a descending scale as low as you can go, you’re going to want to do this slowly.

The next thing you’re going to do is slowly see how high you can go. It’s usually best to start a little above the middle of your range and gradually move up.

2. Take care of your voice by always doing these 3 things:

Get good rest — your body is your instrument. Being tired is one of the most common causes of vocal fatigue, and lack of focus which can cause damage to your voice…simply because you’re not being present enough to notice that you’re hurting yourself.
Drink plenty of water — a hydrated throat is a healthy throat! Not only does this help with preventing you from coughing (which can cause your voice to become sore), but it can help you balance the acidity in your stomach. Which can cause issues in the long run if it’s not in check. Issues like acid reflux and gerd can severely damage your voice when the acid erodes your esophagus.
Treat your voice — Don’t wait for your voice to disappear before you notice something is wrong. Treat your voice at the first sign of strain or sore throat or any kind of vocal damage.
Learn more about vocal health: The Singers Arsenal podcast episode-Vocal Health

3. Make your vocal regimen a daily habit — I go into greater detail on my podcast in the vocal regimen episode but essentially I explain these three things. You want to make sure that you always start with a vocal warm up, then do your vocal exercises, and follow them with a vocal cool down.

4. Practice proper technique Your voice needs the training to not only become stronger, but more flexible and fluid. That comes from you learning how to relax your tongue, throat, and shoulders as well and learning where you should feel pressure when you’re singing. Proper technique is not just something you learn and memorize…it’s something you train your body to feel. With private lessons, I can see and hear what issues you have and create a customized lesson plan with vocal exercises that help you address those problems.

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5. Gradually challenge yourself in your vocal exercises

Push yourself just beyond your comfort zone. Do this carefully and slowly, over time you will find that it’s less uncomfortable for you to do. But right when things get comfortable again…it’s time to push yourself again!

6. Set small goals

Instead of saying, I want to increase my range by an octave. Just aim for a half step. You can do this by expanding your vocal exercises to the next note higher and the next note lower. It’s one of the simplest ways to be sure you’re not only increasing how high you can sing but how low as well. All together your range has greater potential to grow in both directions both lower and higher with a commitment to these steps.

7. Change vowel shapes

Sometimes the reason a note is hard to sing is that you might be using a vowel sound that is more difficult to project in that part of your voice.

If you can’t sing it on an Ahhh try an EE or an Oo. Once you can do it in one vowel, challenge yourself to sing that same note with another vowel sound. This will make sure that you can actually use this note when it comes up in a song no matter word or sound you’re singing!

8. Be patient with the process

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Building vocal skill enough to increase your range looks like a logarithmic graph — where it takes a lot more effort initially, but you end up getting a higher reward for your effort in the beginning then growth continues more slowly over time.

So, what does that mean? It means you’ll make the largest strides in the beginning when you first learn proper vocal training and will need to consistently put in work to continue to make progress. But that first challenge is the hardest.

  • For experienced/trained singers it can take several months to increase their range by a half note in either direction be it lower or higher.
  • For new vocalists who have a limited range due to not knowing how to sing properly, you can see increases of even 4half notes or more in the span of 2 months just by having effective vocal training for the first time.

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So remember these 8 steps to increase your vocal range.

1. Identify your range
2. Take care of your voice
3. Make your vocal regimen a daily habit
4. Practice proper technique
5. Gradually challenge yourself in your vocal exercises
6. Set small goals
7. Change vowel shapes
8. Be patient with the process

Well you guys, until next time…have a wonderful day!

Kristal Cherelle, Indie Artist School