Music Teacher | Vocal Coach | Co-founder of Singdaptive
Singer-songwriter | Producer
We asked Singdaptive instructors what advice they have on singing within your own vocal range. Today, we hear from singer, author, vocal coach, choir director, and Singdaptive co-founder, Kathy Alexander. Also, singer/songwriter and producer, Jermaine Jones, shares on singing songs within your vocal range.
Tips from The Team Transcript: First of all, I just have to say: there are some singing situations where you are expected to not change your key. For example, you may be a soloist singing a piece of repertoire with a choir backing you, or singing in a musical theater role – changing the key really isn’t an option. And so, if a song was really out of your range, then you wouldn’t take that on that song in those situations.
However, if you’re singing cover music and you want to do a song where the original key is too high for you, then absolutely: you can still do that song, you just have to change the key. Whatever artist recorded that song, you can bet they put the song in the perfect key to highlight all the wonderful parts of their voice. So why wouldn’t you do the same thing?
So yes, you can sing any song, and what matters is where those powerful notes sit in your relative vocal range. It’s actually less about the absolute pitch of those notes. So, if that’s right in the spot where you want to go into head voice but you’re using a mix and it allows you to get a powerful chest dominant mix sound right on that note, then put the whole song in the key that makes that note sit right there in your vocal range.
Tips from The Team Transcript: Well, the way I can tell if a song is within my vocal range is I listen to the song and I try to find the very highest note in that song. Then I try to identify the lowest note. And I got to be able to sing both of those notes very comfortably, without any strain, without any kind of influence outside of just warming up.
If I can hit these notes well, then the song is within my range. If I can’t, and the note is too high, I will either abandon the song altogether, or I will ask to take the song down by a half step or maybe a whole step, to bring it into my range. But remember to check that bottom note too. If the lower note is now taken down by another whole step, you need to check to see if you can sing that note as well. That’s how you can tell whether or not a song is within your vocal range.
The Singdaptive Team feature a collection of contributions of thoughts from Singdaptive founders, instructors and currated vocal experts.
Janine Le Clair
Gregory A. Barker