Can You Learn to Sing Higher? Or Is It Just What You are Born With?
Who does not want to sing higher?
I have been teaching singing lessons for over a decade. I have never met anyone who said they did not want to increase their vocal range.
Students would usually ask if they could ever sing higher or was it something that was fixed.
Let me answer that question for you today.
Can you increase your vocal range?
With proper training and time, we can sing higher and lower than our current range.
Our range can increase at both ends but the increase is usually on the upper end of our voice.
Our voice is made of tissues, bone, ligaments, tendons and muscles. Much like the rest of our body, the more we train our voice, the stronger it gets.
Let me explain how the voice works to help us sing different pitches so you understand how to increase your range.
Our voice box (larynx) is made of cartilages that can move in different directions.
The two main cartilages of the larynx are the thyroid cartilage and the cricoid cartilage.
Our vocal cords (vocal folds) are inside of our larynx.
Vocal folds are muscles that can stretch and contract.
When we sing low notes/pitches, our vocal folds become shorter and thicker. They also move lower in the larynx.
When we sing high notes/pitches, our vocal folds become longer and thinner. They also move higher in the larynx.
When we sing low notes/pitches, our larynx moves slightly lower down our neck.
When we sing high notes/pitches, our larynx moves slightly higher up our neck.
All of these movements are controlled by ligaments, tendons and muscles inside and around the larynx.
The more we train our voice, the stronger and more flexible, those ligaments, tendons and muscles will be. That means our vocal folds can get longer and stay stretched for longer periods of time. When that happens, we can sing higher, and sing higher for longer periods of time.
How to increase your range safely
Increasing your range should not be the main goal of your singing journey.
Instead, focus on building a solid foundation by practicing correct vocal technique using the Open Throat Concept. Focus on making your throat feel good when you are singing, before you focus on making your voice sound nice/sing higher.
If you support your voice with adequate internal and external posture, your range will increase naturally. It should be a positive side effect rather than the end goal.
Taking your focus away from increasing your range will also prevent you from being frustrated because you are not seeing the progress you expect. Otherwise, this can lead to performance anxiety in the form of self consciousness. When that happens, your throat will tighten up. Singing higher will become difficult.
Be mastery-focused rather than performance-focused. Being mastery-focused means you focus on mastering a technique over a period of time - making progress gradually rather than being perfect right now.
Singing will be more fun this way because you have a growth mindset.
Is there a limit to how high and low you can sing?
Unfortunately, there will be a ceiling that you hit where you can no longer sing higher or lower.
Everybody’s voice is different because we have different skull size, neck length, face shape, tongue length, vocal folds length, vocal folds thickness, laryngeal agility etc.
There will be a limit to how low/high you can sing because your vocal folds would have reached their minimum/maximum length.
There are techniques that will extend your range way beyond your natural vocal range. These techniques usually involve belting and blending different voice qualities such as twang and falsetto.
Through consistent training in the correct vocal technique, you can definitely increase your vocal range and express your emotions through high and low pitches with freedom and ease.
If you want to know where to start, download my free ebook below:
FREE Ebook: How to Go From Shower to Stage
Discover the 3-step system to gain control of your voice and sing with confidence in public (even if you only ever sing in the shower)
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