|Originally published: August 11, 2020|
Singer Weekly on Socials
When is it OK to Change the Key?
If a song is a bit too high or too low for you, you can change its key so the range fits more comfortably with your voice, but should you? Well, yes and no. If you are in a stage production, it is not common practice to change key for a singer. In fact, the singers are cast in their roles based, in part, on having the right voice type to sound great singing the show’s songs in the original keys.
If, however, you are singing in a concert, at an event or fronting a band, then by all means, change the keys to suit your voice! There is no rule that you have to sing songs in the same key as the recording or published sheet music. If you understand music theory well enough to do your own transposing, that’s great! If not, you can always ask another musician to transpose for you. There are a few considerations, however, before you start transposing.
Always consider both the high notes as well as the low notes when changing key. By shifting the whole song into a lower key, the high notes may become more manageable, but the luscious low notes might be impossible. Furthermore, changing key can change the whole energy of a song, which – unless you want to re-imagine the song – may mean that it just doesn’t sound right post-key change. To avoid this, ensure that the new key lets you sing with the right amount of intensity.
|To learn more about how you can change the key of your song, upgrade to premium and take Matthew’s lesson Changing The Key|
Singers Dealing with Stress
Read this article by Jaime Babbitt about how stress affects the voice, and what to do about it.
Check out this Insta-Live chat with one of Singdaptive’s founders, Kevin Alexander, as he discusses important audio secrets for singers!
Kathy Alexander is VP of Curriculum for Singdaptive. She was a staff writer for 6 years at VoiceCouncil Magazine and works for the University of Victoria as a practicum supervisor. Kathy is also a singer, vocal coach and choir director. Career highlights include guest appearances in Europe with Quannah Parker jazz fusion band in Norway, and back on the West Coast with Vision TV’s Let’s Sing Again, The Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra and the Victoria International Jazz Festival.