Magic Techinque to Increase Your Vocal Range

I had lunch today with my friend Sam Lynn. Sam has a baby due in the next 2 weeks and his schedule is insane. It was a sacrifice for him to fit me in and I greatly appreciated it.

Sam and I talked about all the things you’d expect: what his life looks like with a kid on the way and what my life looks like in the job hunt mode. I talked to Sam specifically about the challenges I’ve experienced with my voice and after listening to where I’m struggling he said,

You want to increase your vocal range.

Yes! I know every tip and trick about breath support and opening your throat (I’ve been doing tons of research lately), but what’s the secret magic technique to give myself a better vocal range? Sam offered me the following:

Excellent Advice for Improving Vocal Range:

If you wanted to slam dunk a basketball you’d need to work to condition your muscles and increase your skill level over time. Your voice also works by using muscles and the only way to make it stronger is through practice.

Now what would happen if everyday you just went out and tried to dunk? You’d fail and get frustrated. But if you practice jumping just a little bit higher each day, you’ll improve.

If you vocalize on a scale regularly you will improve your voice and increase your range. It takes time to get better, but you will get there bit by bit.

The Short Answer:

There is no magic technique. A lot about singing, like tone quality and pitch control, can be improved with proper technique, but vocal range can only be increased through good old-fashioned effort.

This was very encouraging to me. It meant I’ve already been doing what it takes: practicing regularly and building my vocal muscles.

Sam, thank you for the tips and tricks. We are praying for your family and your schedule.

Bonus Tip:

Drew offered up a great vocal tip in my comments.

Essentially, he says to practice with headphones or in-ear monitors and really listen to your voice. You’ll notice what you need to change in a new way than just listening to yourself sing acoustically.

What do you do to sing better?

15 Responses to “Magic Techinque to Increase Your Vocal Range”


  1. 1 mandythompson August 23, 2007 at 6:27 pm

    ooohh! good stuff!
    and i sing more to sing better.
    and there’s always our trusty “Fisherman’s Friend” lozenges to keep the vocal chords medicated. 🙂

  2. 2 tam August 23, 2007 at 9:48 pm

    I’ve sat under Tim Carson (founder of Vocal Artistry) twice now. He has some great techniques too. I use in ears at church and they are not forgiving. it really challenges and pushes you when you hear yourself that raw. i really disturb myself at times =o

    great post…scales, here i come!

  3. 3 tam August 24, 2007 at 12:12 am

    had to put you in my blog roll. being the wife of a worship pastor i have a heart for other WL too…like our friend mandy..what’s up girl!

  4. 5 James August 24, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    ‘Tis true indeed, that practicing to a scale strengthens and increases your scale. On a entirely practical note, I always find the a few mouthfuls of a warm tea with honey a few minutes before singing helps wash away that Sunday morning tightness…

  5. 6 worship1 September 26, 2007 at 4:51 pm

    I’m a believer in singing scales to strenghten your instrument, but I have to tell you that I’ve been singing scales for 40 years and singing scales never improved my range until I recognized and changed the bad singing techniques I had been taught. If you’re singing incorrectly you can’t improve your range.

    About 10 years ago I came across a great method that changed my life, saved my voice and added 2 octaves to my range literally over night. Now, I know this sounds like I’m ‘selling’ something so I have purposely left out any links for that reason.

    Speech Level Singing or SLS has been used by trained professional vocalists to correct bad technique and improve range. Some names include, Elton John, Michael Jackson, Anita Baker, Natalie Cole, Bett Midler, Marty Goetz, Cheri Keaggy, Morgan Cryar, Mark Kibble(Take 6), to name a few.

    Go ahead and type Speech Level Singing into your search engine. Look for Seth Riggs, (the guy behind the technique) and Brett Manning,(great teacher and example of SLS)… You don’t have to go to them because they have brought their technique to you through books and other materials. I used a book with CD’s and spent under $50 with amazing results.

    …. let me know if you have tried or decide to try SLS. I’m very interested to hear what results you have.

    Singing stronger, higher and better than ever at 50 years old!!!
    Cosima

  6. 7 Billy Chia September 26, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    Cosima,
    I ran across Brett Manning’s site a few days before I found your site. I noticed you have montazied links on your site to his. This is brilliant and in fact I might even put some here on my blog. He is amazing.

    True Story:
    Just like you I experienced a 2 octave range increase overnight by using Brett’s technique. I haven’t even ordered the CD yet but did this by simply putting into practice the free tips the Brett has on his site. The crazy part is this was last night!

    I woke up this morning and started singing to my wife I was so excited. She noticed the improvement as well.

    I now realize the information in this post here is a little misleading. I am hoping to do a new series where I will talk about my journey to singing better and talk about how Brett and others helped me.

  7. 8 worship1 September 26, 2007 at 6:24 pm

    Sounds great Billy! I totally identify with your excitement. I was floored when I sang 2 octaves above my “normal” range. The exercises really do work and it doesn’t take years of tedious practice either.

    Please, send out a shout when you start that series. Can’t wait to hear of your vocal journey.

    Blessings

  8. 9 nicole October 14, 2007 at 1:33 am

    I also stumbled across Bretts site last nighty and it was fantastic , i also got a 2 octave range increase , can’t wait to buy the cd .

  9. 10 Daniel Watterson January 28, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    Hi there,
    thankyou for publishing this.

    I had a question re: your advice from Drew. When you say to put on headphones, as an alternative to hearing yourself acoustically, do you mean:

    1. Your voice is played back through the headphones so that you hear your own sound reproduced (which I know can sound different and revealing if you’ve ever recorded your voice and played it back)

    OR

    2. Nothing is played back through the headphones. Rather the headphones cut out the accoustic sound so that you hear your sound internalised. This I suppose might similarly emphasise certain aspects of the voice or vocal technique otherwise obscured.

    So yeah, just curious which you meant.

  10. 11 Billy Chia January 28, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    Daniel,
    I use in ear monitors to sing on Sunday. I can tell you these make a HUGE difference in my voice. When you are listening to a floor monitor you don’t hear yourself as well you are hearing a blend of your voice from the monitor and all of the other noise.

    I would go for option #1. Even if you don’t have in ears it’s great to record your voice to a separate track so you can listen to your singing by itself.

  11. 12 scott January 30, 2008 at 12:51 am

    I have Brett Manning’s cds but my range barley increased and definatly didnt get two octaves overnight. Im wondering what I am doing wrong. He seems likehe knows what he is talking about but none of it seemed to work.

  12. 13 Billy Chia January 30, 2008 at 10:18 am

    Scott,
    Hmmm…I have been using Seth Rigg’s “Singing for the Stars” and it has done wonders for my voice.

    I also practice a lot – some weeks over an hour every day. I have found that even 15 min. every day is better than 3 hours once a week.

    With all that said, I’ve been developing my voice since I wrote this post (about 5 months ago) and I still have a long way to go.

    Much like playing guitar, or basketball – the right technique helps a lot but there’s no substitute for hard work over a long period of time.

  13. 14 char June 30, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    well i was just wondering if you can do anythink to help improve your singing faster how do you exercise your volco muscles

  14. 15 jordan August 7, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    I am late to comment…

    I just always order my pants two sizes two small. Gained 3/4 of an octave overnight. Should i not be doing this?


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