Things like ‘I can’t increase vocal range’ are just not true…
To increase vocal range, you just need the right tools, it’s not something you’re stuck with. While we’re on this topic, let me tell you about some other misconceptions…
Here’s another short and sweet post on some interesting points. This one is focusing on five misconceptions about the voice, but I’ve left the more controversial misconceptions for longer posts.
1. I’m stuck with the range I’ve got = WRONG
Range is NOT static – Many insist that the range you have is the range you are stuck with, and that you cannot increase your range – end of. This is simply not true. Singing is a matter of improving the co-ordination of your voice as an instrument, from your vocal cords through to your vocal tract and everything else… but that’s ALL stuff you have already. It’s not a question of strength as much as it a question of ‘balance’ and muscle co-ordination. Since starting to study effective vocal technique my useable vocal range has increased by over an octave and a half, all with quality, and adding to that daily. The same result can be achieved with any singer over time.
2. I struggle with the high notes, I must be an alto/bass = WRONG
Range does not determine voice type – You may know that the bass guitar is an octave lower than the guitar, but they share LOTS of notes in common with one another. Common notes do not make a bass into a guitar, nor vice versa, they sound different. Likewise, many male singers with large ranges can hit soprano notes. This does not make them sopranoes. Similarly, sopranoes share notes with tenors. This doesn’t make them tenors. Similarly, just because you struggle with high notes doesn’t mean you are (necessarily) a lower type of voice. Voice type is not determined by range but the specific mechanics of a person’s voice, as these are distinctly different in the separate voice types. You can absolutely increase vocal range from where you currently are, you just need the right tools to experience it.
3. That guy/girl can sing so loud! They must be amazing singers = WRONG
Loudness does not reflect skill – We are all impressed by loud singers. And confidence in (good) singing is a big part of that. However, as we looked at in the explanation in the beginner course on the engine of the voice, loudness can come about not because of skill, but because of a lack of skill. Many singers cannot help but be excessively loud at the top of their range because they lack the balance to control that co-ordination. Now, skilled singers can and should be able achieve a high volume and a true forte in their voice, but volume alone does not reflect skill.
4. I can rely on the microphone and sound engineer to fix my voice = WRONG
Microphones cannot replace correct singing technique – In the same way that a guitar amp reproduces what is going on at the guitar and can complement what is going on at the guitar, a microphone reproduces and complements what the voice is doing… but it cannot compensate for weaknesses in the voice. Don’t think that autotune can fix something where you need to increase vocal range or improve your technique. There is simply no substitute for having good vocal technique and a balanced vocal ability.
5. Wow! That artist sounds amazing on the album, they must sound that way all the time = WRONG
The tape recorder doesn’t lie, but albums do – What we hear inside our own head when we sing is not what the audience hears. When we sing we need to record ourselves and listen back to hear the truth. However, when we listen to produced vocals on an album, we are NOT hearing the truth. We are hearing vast amounts of compression, multiple takes spliced together, and professional mastering on a singer’s voice, that masks and hides many of the problems we might hear in our own voices when we record one-take at home. The message is, we need to record ourselves to hear what we really sound like, but we cannot trust this same principle when listening to recorded albums. Don’t think that your favourite artist sounds that good with perfect pitching and nuance all the time – albums lie. Here’s a video to prove it to you.
Learn More: Related Articles
If you want to learn more about voice and recording, you can find out more by visiting these related articles:
Recorded vs Live Performance: Which is harder?
Recording Studio on a Budget
How to Sing When Recording
Vocal Comping to Get the Best Vocal Take
Live vs Recorded Vocals: Our own double standards