“Singing provides a true sense of lightheartedness. If I sing when I am alone, I feel wonderful. It's freedom.” - Andrea Bocelli
Whether you’re a singer or just dream of being one, you need to work on your singing, often with the help of a coach or teacher, to get better at it. Of course, you may also want to work on your singing when your teacher isn’t there.
There are exercises that you can do to help.
Most people will have some experience singing, even if it was just at school when they were younger. Most of us love a bit of a sing-song.
However, when it comes to hitting those low notes, things can get a little tricky. In some cases, trickier than hitting those high notes. There are different voice types so how we reach those low notes will be different for each singer. Singing low notes may seem difficult, but it’s not impossible.
In this article, we'll look at low notes, how to use your chest voice to reach them, how you should warm up before singing low notes, and how you can use vocal fry to sing lower.
Low Notes, the Foundation of Singing
It should be noted that the low notes make up the foundation of our voice. The longer a vocal cord, the higher the note it produces through the tension in it. Make sure not to overdo it when trying to hit any notes.
To hit the high notes, you have to be able to hit the low notes.
By knowing where you are, you can know where you’re going.
It’s a good idea to work out your voice type before attempting to broaden your vocal range. Deeper voices are more common in a larger vocal tract and can be made by vibrating the vocal cords more slowly. Of course, you can also work on this.
Again, it’s important to work out the kind of voice that you have. A vocal coach can help you with this. Before you start singing, you need to know which notes are in your range. However, as strange as it may seem, it can be harder to hit lower notes than higher notes.
Using Your Chest Voice to Hit Low Notes
When singing low notes, you should be using your chest voice. You just need to know-how.
The main difference between producing your head voice and your chest voice is how you breathe. Your chest voice is closer to your natural voice. It also restricts the airflow less as it passes from the lungs and out your mouth whereas a head voice is achieved through restricting the airflow.
The chest voice will resonate in your whole body. Of course, with a chest voice, it’s far more difficult to reach the higher notes. To reach lower notes, some people will use the mixed voice.
Do you find it easier to sing low notes in your chest voice?
Warming Up to Sing Low Notes
Like most strenuous activities, you need to warm up first. If you don’t, you run the risk of injury or feeling sore afterwards. Warming up can also reduce stress and relax the muscles involved in singing.
Stand up straight, take a deep breath, and repeat a few times. This will also prepare your voice and whether you’re an experienced singer or a novice, you should have a rigorous warm-up routine.
Once you’re warmed up, you can start working on your voice, your vocal cords, and reaching lower notes. Focus on practising with scales. Recite your scales from the high notes to the lowest notes you can manage.
This action will help relax your vocal cords and get you used to downward runs. Warming up doesn’t just involve working on scales.
You can also warm up with your mouth closed and humming until you reach the lowest note in your range. Go chromatically and you’ll get there.
Are you familiar with vocal fry?
Reaching Low Notes with Vocal Fry
Vocal fry is a curious phenomenon. It can help you reach lower notes, too.
It involves tensing the vocal cords which will make your voice crackle when singing lower notes. Vocal fry usually occurs around two octaves lower than your speaking voice.
Tips for Singing Low Notes
Whether you’re an experienced singer or just starting out, singing low notes is something that every singer has to manage.
Don’t forget that low notes can be more difficult to produce than high notes. Don’t get discouraged and always work within your vocal range and according to your voice type.
Relax your throat and sing with your throat open. The larynx controls our voice so take care of it. You can also massage your throat (and, by extension, your larynx) to aid relaxation. Don’t forget to listen to your body, too!
Listening to Your Body
This might be the least technical of our tips but it’s also the most important. To learn how to sing low notes better, you need to listen to your body. We all have our limits and we have to respect them. Every voice is different, especially when it comes to hitting the lowest notes.
Make sure that you take breaks, especially if your throat feels sore. Not everyone has the physiology to reach certain low notes, but everyone has a lower limit that they can reach with a bit of work. Through warming up, breathing exercises, and practise, you can reach your limit.
If you're interested in learning more about how to sing, expand your vocal range, or music theory, consider getting in touch with one of the many talented and experienced private tutors on the Superprof website.
You can enjoy face-to-face, online, or group tutorials with each type of tutoring having pros and cons that you'll need to consider before you hire a tutor.
A one-on-one tutor can offer very effective tutoring as they can tailor the lessons and teaching approach to the student. While this bespoke service tends to cost a premium, face-to-face tutoring is often the most cost-effective type of tutoring out there since every minute of every session will be spent focusing on the only student in the class.
Group tutoring is a good way to learn for those on a budget as you can share the cost of the tutor's time and expertise with the other students in the session. If you plan on singing in a group, it'd also be a good idea to get your singing lessons in a group as you'll want to have the experience of singing and harmonising with others.
If you can't find any suitable or available tutors in your local area, consider broadening your search to include tutors all over the UK and around the world offering online private tutorials. As long as you have a webcam, microphone, and a decent internet connection, you can learn using video conferencing software.
Don't forget that a lot of the tutors on the Superprof website will offer the first lesson or session for free. You can try a few different tutors out before choosing the one that's right for you and how you like to learn. Nobody learns to sing overnight so it's a good idea to find tutors that you get on well with as you'll probably be spending quite a lot of time with them.
It's always a good idea to make a list of what you're looking for in a tutor before you start your search and also considering what you can afford or are willing to pay. From there, you can look for tutors who meet these criteria and start getting in touch to chat about what you'll need from them and organising a free session if they offer them.
If you're not really sure about what you want or need, then discuss it with your tutor. After all, they're the experts and will probably have a lot of good ideas about how they can help improve your singing.
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