3 Ways To Ruin Your Range

3 Ways To Ruin Your Range
Although tone is the most important thing, it is important to keep both ends of your range in shape with a healthy lifestyle and mindful practice -says Mark De-Lisser.

When coaching singers, I say that your range can work like goal posts. They may work so much to extend their range upwards that they neglect their lower range. They may find they cannot sing low anymore.

We often wake up with a lower voice. How about work on your lower range then and there?

To remedy this, we work on both ends of their range. This is particularly important for sopranos.

We often wake up with a lower voice. How about work on your lower range then and there? Enjoy the resonance of your morning voice before slowly working upwards. Don’t neglect the bottom end.

Remember, if you are belting your way through a 2-hour function gig, your larynx is in a raised position. Bring it back to neutral by gently vocalising descending scales after the gig.

Here are the top 3 things that can ruin your range:

1) Bad Audio at a Live Gig

Technique is important, and you may think you are able to withstand a long gig, but without decent monitoring you are at risk.

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If you cannot get good monitoring, don’t do the gig! Get serious! You cannot cut through like a drummer, or turn up like a guitarist.

In ear monitors will allow you to mix your own sound. This is the best way to preserve your voice.

2) Dehydration

Hydration is so important. Forget the 2 litres a day rule and just drink as much as you can! Hydration should be a lifestyle.

I have seen singers perform a whole set without water by their side and struggle.

You may have to go to the toilet more often but it won’t kill you! The voice has to lubricate itself. The more water in your body, the quicker and easier it will be for this to happen.

Woman having a neck massage

Massage is also a useful tool to remove signs of any stress in a singer’s life

3) Tension

So many singers come to me for help after ruining their voice. I find they often have lots of tension across their shoulders and neck. I use Alexander Technique to balance the body and rid tension.

Massage is also a useful tool to remove signs of any stress in their lives.

Tension especially affects high notes. Try to release as much tension throughout your entire body to make sure your high notes are free and easy.


Mark De-Lisser

Mark De-Lisser is a vocal coach, vocal arranger, choir leader and vocal producer who has worked with some of the top vocal talent in contemporary music today including Jessie J, Olly Murs and Beverly Knight. Mark has taught at many recognized music institutions and held several high profile TV roles. Mark leads the renowned ACM Gospel Choir and Singology community choirs across London. He is now a published choral arranger and author with Sing Out: Pop Songs for Today’s Choirs, and 100 Ways to Inspire Your Choir. Find out more on Mark’s website.


  • Amo Green

    Alexander Technique ? – Anyone Know What That Is ?

  • Interesting topic, thanks for your contribution Mark!

    1. FYI… there is a typo in that top quote… just thought you should know.

    2. “If you can’t get good monitoring, don’t do the gig”? In my opinion that is not useful advise because it is not practical. Apart from the fact that artists work very hard to get their gigs, regardless of the facilities, to tell a venue owner who invited you to perform, your band mates and in effect, the audience that your not going to do the gig because you don’t have “good monitoring” would be make you immediately appear to be arrogant, and more importantly, would damage your reputation with the club, bandmates and audience resulting in future problems that far out weigh a momentary inconvenience of not having “good monitoring”.

    In addition to that, singer’s need to be responsible for their monitoring. While it may not be completely in their control, owning a personal monitor system, such as the one that TC-Helicon offers, will empower the singer to be able to take control over their sound. And if I am not mistaken, isn’t that one of the main points of TC-Helicon anyways? Wouldn’t it be better advise, especially on this web site to recommend that singers invest in a personal monitoring system, such as the VoiceSolo FX150, then learn how it works and take control over their monitoring?

    You can purchase the VoiceSolo FX150 here, at http://www.TheVocalGearStore.com.
    https://youtu.be/qtUNPL96Lj0

    3. There are many ways that someone could “ruin their range”. I believe the following are prevalent and need to be tended to.

    – The lack of proper vocal training, which would produce the kind of strength and coordination required to have endurance during a full show and in general at all times. This comes from working out the musculature and developing muscle memory and motor skills that can ONLY be trained by either singing a lot… in a healthy way, and/or training with a world class vocal training program that actually delivers to singers what they need. One such program is, http://www.TheFourPillarsofSinging.com. And yes, that is my program, but that doesn’t change the fact that it does exactly that. You don’t have to take my word for it, you can read the 200+ 5-star reviews of the program on the web site here: http://www.thefourpillarsofsinging.com/reviews/

    … I sat and tried to ponder what else it might be that could destroy someone’s range… perhaps smoking? Other then that… the main thing people need to get serious about is training, proper techniques.

    Amo, The Alexander Technique is a methodology for freeing the voice through posture. It has some merit, but it by no means is going to fix most problems singer’s come across. It is very benign and is a nice supplemental pursuit, but in in all honestly, it doesn’t do a whole lot for your singing. You could get more posture benefit for your singing by taking yoga classes frankly.

  • Amo, The Alexander Technique is a methodology for freeing the voice through posture. It has some merit, but it by no means is going to fix most problems singer’s come across. It is very benign and is a nice supplemental pursuit, but in in all honestly, it doesn’t do a whole lot for your singing. You could get more posture benefit for your singing by taking yoga classes frankly. http://www.TheFourPillarsofSinging.com. Contact me personally on my contact page and I’ll offer you a great deal on The Four Pillars of Singing as well as make some recommendations regarding the best vocal gear you can invest in for your singing. I own about 90% of the TC-Helicon gear, as well as their competitors and can give you some first hand, real feedback on what to purchase.

    https://youtu.be/6_boW5E4h4E

  • Kathy Coneys Alexander

    http://www.alexandertechnique.com check out this link to find out more about Alexander Technique. It is a way of eliminating tension in your body through by studying and re-training yourself in posture, movement and balance. It applies to all areas of your life, and is not specifically meant for singers. Many musicians swear by it. I knew a woman who taught Alexander technique at the music school where I studied, and there was something very peaceful and graceful about the way she moved. Many musicians who suffer from tension-related ailments such as carpal tunnel or repetitive stress or other painful conditions use Alexander Technique to overcome their problem and continue playing music.

  • Kathy Coneys Alexander

    I just hate to think of a singer forcing and straining to be heard over the instruments at a gig because of an inadequate sound set-up or the acoustics of the space. Singers, please be proactive so you don’t find yourself in that situation.

  • Freya Astrella

    It’s a fact of life for so many gigging singers. I was victim to this myself and totally gave up gigging as a result :-( It’s difficult for singers to tell their band to turn down without seeming like a diva.

  • ?… Freya, you gave up gigging because you were a “victim” of bandmates not understanding and failing to appreciate your need to be able to hear yourself sing when you perform? Why not ask them to turn down and work on a solution, to include purchasing in-ear monitors or a personal monitor system such as the TC-Helicon FX-150?

    Shouldn’t singers try to reason with their bandmates and/or at least get a personal monitoring solution in place to address the issue, instead of feeling like a victim and then giving up? What am I missing here?

    Respectfully,
    http://www.TheVocalistStudio.com

    https://youtu.be/tx8cdUeU0xI

  • Ruth Ratliff

    In-ear monitors definitely can save your voice, especially if you gig with overly enthusiastic drummers or loud brass players!

  • Good response Ruth.