My feed

to access all these features

From classical to pop, join the discussion on our Music forum.


Singing range help please

8 replies

Star555 · 04/12/2020 22:12

I've been asked to make a recording of myself singing What Child is This (assigned sheet music shown at left) which will be digitally combined with others' recordings to create a virtual choir. I'm not a trained singer, and my vocal range comfortably goes up to only the first A above middle C (i.e. A4 at 440 Hz). The range of the song feels too high for me, but can I transpose it to lower notes without sounding out of tune with the others? I cannot go down a full octave -- that would be far too low for me. Is there any "legal" interval I can go down by and still sound good? Thank you!

Singing range help please
Singing range help please
OP posts:
Thimbleberries · 04/12/2020 22:24

No, not really.

But the song only goes up to a Bb, a semi-tone above what you say is your comfortable not, so it shouldn't be too hard - that would be an unusually low range for a female singer really, even altos would normally go higher than that, so it might mean you are just a bit rusty at the top end. The piece has really a pretty low range already - the lower notes might be hard to do nicely if it were much lower.

Also, if it's meant to fit with the other song, or there is any accompaniment with it, etc, then changing the key would change all of that. If you were singing solo, you could transpose it to any key you wanted, but not as part of a choir.

You could ask if there was an alto or other harmony part that you could sing instead, that would be arranged to fit with this key (but wouldn't sound like the tune). But you couldn't sing the tune at any other interval other than an octave (and even then it might be odd, unless there were men also singing in that range)

Star555 · 04/12/2020 22:34

No, it goes up to a C on the second page. I can manage the first page perhaps but the second page ("This, this is" and later "Haste, haste to") is tough. I can vocally produce those high notes above A but not sustain a strong sound well enough to enunciate words to them.

OP posts:
TableCat · 04/12/2020 22:39

Hold the back of your mouth as if you are yawning and try and come down on the note. C above middle is not a massively high note for a woman.
I am a first soprano so am used to singing very high but when I had my singing lessons many years ago I was given the above advice and was able to add two whole notes to my upper range.

Star555 · 04/12/2020 22:48

Thanks for the suggestion. I find that I am tensing my jaw when I try the yawning idea -- is that okay? Shouldn't I try to keep my mouth/face relaxed?

OP posts:
Chaserxent · 06/01/2021 08:36

I hope you can do that. The immediate difficulty is the later success, before I also composed some songs and made them into ringtones. Good luck.

Chaserxent · 06/01/2021 08:39

This reply has been deleted

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

CoteDAzur · 29/04/2021 07:27

Another soprano here.

I find it highly unlikely that your vocal range doesn't naturally extend to that C, given that it is comfortably within the mezzo and even alto ranges. It is probably that you just don't know how to reach it.

Tips that helped me extend my upper range were:

  • breathe deep into your diaphragm before the high note

  • let your tongue & back of your throat fall

  • when standing up, push your hands down on both sides (which raises your chest) before the high note

  • imagine that you are above the high note and that you are reaching down for it

  • imagine that your voice will pass outside your back teeth and come to the front of your face as you sing the higher notes

After that, it's all about practice. Try doing 5-note scales on la-la-la, starting with the lower ABCDEDCBA, then BCDEFEDCB etc. Just give yourself the first note and don't pay attention to the note you reach. It's much easier to reach a high note gradually like this, and when you see that you can reach it, your apprehension dissipates and your body easily produces the sound Smile
footchewer · 01/10/2021 14:12

Hmm OP that C isn't particularly high for the vast majority of people. Even most men can hit it, if they use 'falsetto'. But only you know your voice, none of us does.

I wonder if it might be that you're only using part of your voice? Singers talk about different vocal 'registers' - 'chest voice' for low notes, and 'head voice' for high ones, in particular. Maybe you're only using your chest voice? Don't try and 'punch' your way up to the top notes - float them gently and quietly. It may feel strange and difficult to control at first, and there may be a very different sound up there, and there may be a tricky 'gear change' between the two sounds (ie. you have to choose which voice to use on medium-high notes). But once you've got used to it, you might find you've got twice the voice you thought you had!

Hope the recording went OK!

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.