Strengthening a Male singer’s upper range

Weekly Teaching Tip – August 27, 2012

Question: My male amateur student would like to sing the bridge of ‘Every Breath You Take’ beginning with the words: ‘since you’ve gone’ in the key of G major with the connected voice. I got him into a lighter mix. What can I do to make him feel the stronger mix and sound similar to Sting in his live recordings?

My student does not like the feeling and the sound of his voice on this part. In my opinion it sounds pretty good but could get stronger.

Would ‘nae’ or any pharyngial help?

Answer: I would do two things; 1st, I would move the key higher all the way to Bb so that he is singing way above his bridge. Then once he is comfortable there and getting a good connection start moving the key down in half steps gradually until you are back to G. When he finally gets back to the G it should feel quite easy and actually feel low to him since he has become used to it in the higher key. The key of G will now feel thicker and heavier and he will like it better, plus he won’t be reaching up for the high notes, but pulling down so it will actually sound better than it did before. This can be done in one lesson. It doesn’t need to be a terribly long process.

2nd, you can use “nay, nay” with a bit of ‘nasty’ sound to improve the cord closure, and also try “gee, gee” with a little bit of ‘dopey’ sound to help the larynx stay a bit deeper as well.

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