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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.