Increasing Range

Question: Is it physically possible to stretch our voice range through singing exercises?
Answer: Yes, definitely. Personally I have very tight muscles in my body. I am not limber at all. In fact, I have often joked that I think I am at least 3 inches taller than my muscles and tendons! I can’t even come close to touching the ground when I bend over without bending my knees. However, I know that if I did yoga or some other kind of stretching on a regular basis, eventually I would be able to touch the floor. The same is true with your vocal folds. Regularly stretching and exercising your vocal folds will definitely add greater flexibility and even strength to the vocal folds and the voice. With greater flexibility comes greater range.
Your vocal cords are similar to rubber bands. If the vocal cords are “stretchy” you will be able to get higher pitches. If they are stiff it will be much more difficult to get higher pitches and there is a greater chance for strain and abuse. regular warming up, working out and stretching will help create greater flexibility in the voice and as a result greater range.
Good vocal technique is also very important in creating greater vocal range. There are different groups of muscles that should work together when you are singing, similar to sprockets on a bicycle. By using a bigger sprocket on the front and a larger one on the back, or vice-versa you get different strengths and intensities. The same is true in your vocal apparatus. If the coordination of these muscles is correct the singer can properly adjust the muscles and develop much more range and control. You would tire yourself out riding on a bike in only one gear all of the time. You use a lighter combination for hills and a heavier combination for power. This is also very true for the voice. Properly balancing and coordinating the muscles in your voice will cause much more ease, less strain and greater flexibility, control and range which leads to better singers and more successful performances!

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