Find Your Vocal Range

Lisa Popeil Teaches How to Find One's Vocal Range

This is an excerpt from Lisa Popeil’s new book: Sing at the Top of Your Game. Lisa is one of the most respected and accomplished vocal coaches in the world. In her book she shares her wisdom on singing technique and making it in the Music Industry. You’ll also find a singing range tool at the end of the article!

Beware of Vocal Range Snake Oil!

There is no magical way to get past your DNA when it comes to vocal range. In other words, your genetic code has set some boundaries around high and low notes.

Having said that, it is possible to access your full range more easily than you currently do – including your high notes.

Let’s imagine that your vocal range is easily findable (with a slight possibility of adding a few notes at the top using vocal fold stretching exercises), then a good vocal coach can provide techniques to help you sing and perform the notes at the extreme edges of your range with control and safety.

For now, it is enough to just become aware of all of the notes you can sing (your absolute range) so that you can begin to work on all of the notes of your range when you practice your singing.

Find Your Range

Are you ready to discover your unique range? It’s not that difficult to discover your lowest and highest possible notes if you know a few tricks. Don’t worry if the sound is not very good; we’re simply interested in learning which notes your vocal folds can produce.

Exercise: Finding Your Lowest Note

Sing on the vowel “aw” (rhymes with “dog”), descending gradually to your lowest audible note. Make sure your lips are rounded, tilt your head down slightly, then point your chin downwards, which will allow your voice-box to descend as well. These actions should allow you to get the most sound out of your very lowest notes.

Your lowest note will be the lowest sound that you can make that has an identifiable pitch.

Finding Your Highest Note

Try a light lip trill (or tongue trill), going up in pitch. Aim for your highest possible notes. It’s very important to pull your lower belly (navel and below) gradually IN as the notes get higher. That will help your vocal folds produce higher notes. (For breathing, don’t forget to relax your lower belly completely.)

As you get to the top of your range, if you feel your neck tensing, try the “point-over”. Take one hand with a pointing index finger, and raise your hand and same shoulder UP then forward toward the floor as you ascend the notes. Feel free to bend forward slightly. This action of lifting your shoulder and bending forward should allow your highest possible notes to come out clearly and easily.

A Range Tool from Singing Carrots

We at Singdaptive really like this tool to find your vocal range.

​​Singing Carrots’ range test leads to a page helping singers to find songs in their range.

Singing Carrots have put together a quick and effective range finding tool that is simple to use on any device. This is an intelligent web app which listens to your voice and then displays your range.

This leads to another feature many singers will find invaluable: a search page to find songs in your range with filtering options for gender, difficulty and genre – all of this is free to use so go and try this out today.

A Final Word…

I hope you’ll consider it a priority to:

1) know your absolute range (which instrumentalist doesn’t know which notes can be played on their instrument?) and

2) work to increase your familiarity and control of all your notes. You never know when those notes might come in handy!

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