When we answered how you can know the type of singer you are, we discussed how voices have different ranges and what each range means. We mentioned how some people have voices that range across two or more different types, while some are just limited to one.
However, just because you have a Soprano voice, doesn’t mean you can’t sing Alto, or perhaps tenor voice. One common question people ask singing tutors is how to increase vocal range as a female.
There is a simple answer to this; practice. However, what do you practice? How do you practice and how much time does it take?
Here, we will try to answer how women can increase their vocal range and sing a more diverse set of songs.
Before you embark on the journey towards expanding your vocal range, it is important that you pace yourself by recognizing some hard truths. Vocal cords are very sensitive and can get torn if not taken care of or pushed beyond the limit.
Singers often target vocal ranges that are well beyond what their cords are actually capable of, and try to achieve those results quickly. This can result in permanent or long-lasting damage to your cords, effectively ruining your hopes and dreams.
When targeting a vocal range, make sure it isn’t far off from your original notes. Take baby steps.
Now comes the hard part; exercising. Unfortunately, this becomes harder to do as you age. Harder, not impossible. Women over 30 might find that they have to practice more to expand their vocal range compared to younger girls.
So, here are 3 exercises you should do regularly.
The lip trill is a very safe and effective exercise that women can do in order to expand their vocal range. The idea here is to close your vocal cords, thus letting them relax. It’s only when you make a sound that they vibrate, effectively increasing the vibration threshold they can bear.
Also known as the ‘lip bubble’, you close your mouth and make a buzz and flap sound, as if you were imitating a train or a plane. As you make the noise, you will feel your vocal cords vibrate, with those vibrations reaching all the way down to your chest.
Try to make sure your voice doesn’t break as you do it.
You can try out different tones, as long as your lips flop together as you make the sound. It should be a ‘bubbly’ sound. Start from G3 and move up or down, as you please. Here is a sample scale that you can sing to practice.
This is a 5-note exercise that can help you really expand your vocal cords. It’s as simple as saying “Gee.” There are two distinct advantages of this exercise; the “G” and the “ee” sound. Where the “G” contracts the vocal cords, letting them rest, the “ee” sound stretches them.
When you’re tired of Gee, move to Goo. However, in our experience Gee yields much faster results.
The consonant and vowel combination lets you hit high and low notes very easily, without resulting in a falsetto. Here is a scale that women can follow to practice better.
This exercise has been given preference by many a music teacher. While very silly, this is an excellent choice of exercise if you’re looking to expand your voice range. This is perhaps the only time you’re allowed to be a little brat!
Just exclaim “nay!” like you’re whining about something. Put some feel into it and you’ll feel your vocal cords fold and stretch quickly. And since you’re making an “ay” sound, not an “aa” sound, there is no risk of you damaging your vocal cords.
When you say “nay”, try to make the sound as nasal as possible. Make sure you say nay, not “nyeh.” The more irritating you are, the better it is for your vocal cords. Here is a scale women can follow to get a better idea of what we’re talking about.
Getting the most out of any exercise, be it at the gym or your vocal training sessions which demand that you do the exercises correctly, one surefire way of doing so is by having an experienced friend or a professional oversee you.
30 Day Singer offers a wide range of teachers and online courses to help you train your voice, and perhaps answer first-hand how women can increase their vocal ranges safely and quickly!
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