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Do you want to take your singing to the next level?

Singing higher is usually at the top of the goal list for singers. If you’re one of them, you are often unsure how to extend your vocal range.

The range has two primary elements, the physical and the acoustic, and both need to be balanced to create vocal freedom.

In this episode, John will discuss the following:

  • The two primary elements of the range
  • Best tips to improve your singing
  • Exercises to safely and consistently reach your upper register

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Understanding the Vocal Range Elements 

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced singer, your vocal range can always be improved. With the right techniques, you can increase the range of notes you can sing easily and clearly. To do this, you must focus on two primary elements: physical awareness and acoustics.

Let’s delve deeper into how these elements combine to give you a greater range while making singing easier. 

The Physical Side of Singing 

The physical side of singing refers to the breath, muscles, and vocal folds that are used when you sing.

In order to extend your range, it is important that you learn how to use them correctly. This means understanding proper breathing techniques and engaging the right muscles in order for your vocal cords to vibrate at the desired frequency.

It also involves learning how posture can affect your sound quality and range. With proper training, you can learn how to use these physical aspects to achieve a better vocal range. 

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The Acoustic Side of Singing 

The acoustics of singing play an even more crucial role in increasing vocal range than physical awareness does.

Well-tuned vowels create powerful resonance in the voice that makes singing much easier by providing energy and strength to the sound without needing extra muscle tension from the singer. This helps boost volume and power while requiring less effort from the singer overall – all essential aspects for increasing vocal range!

Additionally, properly resonated vowels create a stronger mix of head and chest voice which gives access to higher notes safely and efficiently. To get started on improving your vowel sounds, consider working with a professional vocal coach!

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Strategies to Improve Your Vocal Range 

While having a wider range isn’t something that can be achieved overnight, there are other strategies you can use to make it easier.

Let’s look at how you can gradually do vocal range extension. 

1. Warm Up Right 

Before practicing any vocal exercises, you must warm up your voice. Warming up will help prevent any muscle strain and ensure that you’re employing proper singing techniques.

To warm up your voice, start with some basics. Try humming scales in different octaves of singing along with a piano or metronome. This will loosen up your muscles and get them ready for more advanced exercises.

2. Vocal Registers

One of the most important skills any singer needs to learn is how to use their voice in different registers. To do this, you need to understand the physical mechanics behind how your voice works and what muscles you need to use.

Lower Register 

Your lower register is where you will generally produce a more powerful, fuller sound. To access it, you will need to engage your vocal cords and ensure that they are making maximum contact with each other. This will give you a thicker tone that projects well, which makes it ideal for louder songs or sections. 

When singing in your lower register, be sure not to strain your throat too much – this can lead to a scratchy or forced sound. Instead, focus on using diaphragmatic breathing techniques so that you can project powerfully without causing any damage to your vocal cords. 

Higher Register 

Your higher register is typically lighter and thinner than your lower register. To access it, you will need to stretch and thin out your vocal folds so that there is less surface contact between them when vibrating. This gives a more airy quality to the sound, which is great for quieter songs or sections as well as harmonies. 

It’s important not to rush into using power when singing in the higher register as it can cause strain on the vocal cords if done too soon or too strongly. So, start by practicing softer tones before gradually building up as needed. Additionally, try focusing on keeping a consistent airflow throughout the notes so that they come out evenly and don’t waver too much from one note to another.  

3. Vocal Cord

When you sing higher notes, your vocal cords don’t actually act like they’re being fretted. Instead, they get longer! That’s counterintuitive since, on a piano, a longer string will give you a lower note.

So what makes it different for singing? 

As your vocal cords get longer, they also become thinner and experience more tension. This offsets the lengthening of the strings and gives you a higher pitch instead of a lower one. In other words, there’s more than one factor at play when it comes to singing high notes – length isn’t the only thing that matters. 

When adding muscle to the vocal cords, it’s important to do it gradually, as overworking these muscles can cause strain or injury. Here are tips for doing it:

  • Start by making gentle sounds with your voice. This will help give you access to a higher register without putting too much strain on your vocal cords.
  • Try doing exercises designed specifically to strengthen your vocal cords, such as humming or lip trills. 
  • Make sure to take breaks between practices and perform proper warm-ups before beginning any sort of exercise routine for your voice. This will help prevent any undue strain on the vocal cords so that you can keep practicing safely! 

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4. Vocal Resonance Exercises 

Having trouble with the thin tone, nasal singing, or harsh vocals? Chances are it could be due to subpar resonance caused by incorrect shaping of your throat and mouth while singing! 

Resonance occurs when your vocal cords produce sound waves that are enhanced by the shape of your throat and mouth. When you open up your throat and mouth correctly, you create an airway for the sound to travel through without being muffled or distorted. 

The good news is that all these issues can be improved with these tips:

  • Proper breathing techniques 
  • Doing exercises that involve “opening up” our throats, such as humming or lip trills.
  • Drop down into vowels correctly while keeping an open jaw.

By improving your resonance, you can achieve a fuller tone with less effort. It also leads to less strain on the vocal cords while singing higher notes which prevents fatigue during long performances.

5. Control Your Larynx

Have you ever wanted to sound like Patrick from SpongeBob or Yogi Bear? Or perhaps you want to be able to extend the upper range of your voice. If so, here’s for you!

The larynx is commonly known as the voice box or Adam’s apple. It is an organ located in the throat that produces sound when air from the lungs passes through its vocal cords.

The vocal cords vibrate at different frequencies, creating a few notes that help us produce sounds in speech and music alike. The larynx also has muscles that can move up and down, which also affects our vocal range and pitch. 

When you sing higher notes, your natural tendency is for your larynxes to want to pull up because of a hardwired “shouting mechanism.” However, this can cause strain on our throats and cause a “dopey” sound. Low larynx exercises help counter this natural tendency by helping us keep our larynges low while still producing quality sound. 

6. Tune Your Voice

Have you ever wanted your singing voice to stand out in a mix? To have that power and presence without having to strain or shout? Well, tuning your voice is the key.

Tuning your vocal range is all about having the right balance between pushing and pulling back.

Here’s a thing:

If you start to open up and sing in your voice more but begin to feel strained, it’s time to take a step back. That is not going to help you get more volume. Instead, it will result in less efficient sound production and make it difficult for your voice to cut through the music. 

A well-tuned voice should contain lots of upper harmonic content with higher frequencies than before. Just as an engineer boosts frequency components of an instrument when mixing a song, singers can do the same with their voices.

7. Hire a Voice Teacher 

A good teacher will teach you proper vocal technique and challenge and encourage you to grow in your vocal ability. If it’s possible financially, commit to taking at least six months’ worth of lessons with the same instructor before changing teachers. 

Keep in touch with John Henny if you want to have consistent guidance over a period of time. This will help ensure that you both are able to build trust with each other and improve your voice. You can also read the “Beginning Singing” book by John. Additionally, make sure that you integrate vocal health into your practice.

Level-Up Your Voice

Extending vocal range is not an overnight process. It requires patience and dedication. However, with some practice using these strategies above, anyone can learn how to expand their range quickly and easily. This results in beautiful vocals! 

Whether it’s through warm-ups, vowel registers, resonance practices, or lessons with a professional teacher, all of these combined methods will help strengthen both low and high notes. And such, leading eventually to superior quality vocals overall!

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