The best way to increase your range is to change the way you think about your voice -says Mark Baxter.
The best way to change the way you think is to imagine it like a guitar. Now, you don’t have to play guitar to get this – just watch this:
The guitar obviously has six strings and each is a different pitch. The lowest string is thick, while the highest string is thin.
That is exactly like your vocal folds: They have to thin to sing or produce a high note, and thicken to produce or sing a low note.
We singers tend to get stuck in single behaviors. That would be the equivalent of a one-string guitar.
If I were to sing my example and stay on one string, you’d hear on the high notes how choked off the string is. It is a nasty sound.
There is no more room for it to vibrate.
It is the same sound we produce when we choke off our folds and we not allow them to thin down. To go across the range, is to allow your folds to thin down proportionately as they get higher in pitch just like the strings on a guitar.
As I sing higher, my folds get thinner, and my body feels just as comfortable accessing all those notes because I am allowing what is going on inside to do the work, not the external muscles.
I can play a high note on the thick string of a guitar by playing on a fret that will shorten this very thin string. I can also play that same pitch on a higher string. There is a difference in tone, but both are options available to me.
Not only is there melodic range, but there will be dynamic range and tonal options as you explore your full range.
It will improve your artistic choices if you explore your instrument with all of this in mind.
Think differently and you’ll sing better.
Mark Baxter has worked as a coach with Aerosmith, Journey, Goo Goo Dolls — and many others. He is the author of The Rock-n-Roll Singer’s Survival, creator of The Singer’s Toolbox instructional DVD, Sing Like an Idol instructional CD. Mark operates vocal studios in New York, Boston, Los Angeles and online via Skype. Visit his website: VoiceLesson