Exploring your vocal range is one of the most important things you can know about yourself as a singer. Learning your range can help you:
- Understand how low or high you can sing
- Find your voice type (bass, tenor, soprano, etc.)
- Learn where your weak spots are
- Measure your progress in voice training
- Choose the right songs for your voice
What is vocal range?
On Brionn’s Instagram page, she has a post that states, “Your voice is as unique as your fingerprint.” And it’s true! According to School of Rock, your voice is unique because it comes from your anatomy. Vocal cords are folds in the throat tissue that vibrate together to create sound. The vocal cords themselves, along with the shape and size of your resonance chambers, determine the quality of your sound and the expanse of your range. Vocal range is a measurement of distance from the lowest note to the highest note that a person can sing (i.e., an octave). In other words, vocal range is the number of octaves your voice can reach.
So, what are some best practices for discovering and learning what your range is?
Don’t pick songs that are too extreme for your voice.
Take small steps between what you can do and what you want to do. If you’re comfortable in Adele-range songs, don’t jump to an Ariana Grande sky-high hit. Find something in-between the two that lets you explore without overextending your vocal cords.
Take it slow.
Don’t rush into a range extension exercise without warming your voice up first. Vocal warm-ups can make your practice sessions more efficient.
You can’t expand your vocal range without first knowing what your range is.
Spend some time determining where you feel comfortable. A lot of new singers find it helpful to describe their range using popular singers. For example, alto singers may gravitate toward Adele songs, sopranos may favor Ariana Grande songs, and so on. Find a singer whose catalogue you feel like you can slay, and then use that as a guide for your range!
Don’t hold yourself back.
It’s easier said than done, of course. But you won’t know what you can do and what to work on if you don’t fully try. Many singers have a much bigger range than they initially think they do.
Only work on your range for 30 minutes at a time. Pushing your voice beyond its limits, even carefully, can cause damage. Don’t overwork your vocal cords!
If you’re serious about learning how to sing, it’s always best to work with a professional. Brionn Warner is a local vocal instructor who offers private singing lessons online or in person for ages 5 and up at any level. Visit https://brionnwarnermusic.com/services/ to learn more about voice lessons with Brionn Warner Music.