Topic: Finding Your Vocal Range
Your vocal range is everything in between the lowest and highest notes+ you can sing. The average person can sing about 2 octaves.
There are many ways to find your range, here are a few exercises to help:
Exercise 1: Using the 5 note scale we went over last week, sing up and down the scale using your vowel sounds (ah, eh, ee, oh, oo). Once you are done the first scale, move up one tone and repeat the scale. Do this until you reach notes that begin feeling uncomfortable. Once you have found your highest note, go backwards from C playing the 5 note octaves backwards to help find your lowest note.
Exercise 2: You can also sing along with the Chromatic scale. This scale can help you pinpoint down to the exact tones (or semi-tones) at each end of your range… This one also doesn’t require in depth knowledge of the major scales - as it hits all 12 tones in every scale. If you’re not very familiar with major scales I would suggest this exercise.
Exercise 3: You can also sing full 8 note scales (octaves like C to C) – this commonly sung as Do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, do. Then just continue going up (and down) the scales until you are no longer comfortable.
- Remember as you sing your scales to focus on opening your mouth wide and rounding/putting emphasis on your vowels. If notes feel difficult to hit, try changing your vowel sound. Using these rounded vowels will help the tone and quality of your voice as you hit those notes, especially the higher ones.***
- Don’t sing first thing in the morning, let your voice and body warm up first. Don’t eat or drink anything cold right before singing, and stop singing if you feel any discomfort.
- You know you have hit your vocal limit if: You cannot hit the note, your voice cracks, you feel tension in your neck, throat, tongue, etc., you feel discomfort or pain, or if you really struggle to hit the note.
Not set in stone, but this will give you an idea of general vocal range classifications:
*** Watch the chorus in the video below and notice how she keeps her jaw open wider and softens some words by making them end in a vowel (ex: “stronguh” instead of “stronger.”) These are methods that can help you hit higher notes easier, as mentioned above
Bonus for Fun!
This guy holds the world record for the widest vocal range/most octaves (10)!
HOMEWORK: See if you can work out your vocal range