Learn to Sing: Find Your Voice
Once you've warmed up, it's time to find out what your voice can do. In this video Adsrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley test their vocal ranges. The exercises below let you do the same.
Christine Bleakely and Adrian Chiles test their voice ranges
Your range is the span between the highest and lowest notes you can sing.
There are four main adult voice types - these are classified by their range:
- Female singing voices are either Soprano (high) or Alto (low)
- Male singing voices are either Tenor (high) or Bass (low)
To explore your range sing the note that comes most naturally to you. Gradually take the pitch up to the highest note you can sing without straining. Now take it all the way down to the very lowest note, again without straining. You can also try the above with a line from a song, raising or lowering the pitch each time you repeat it.
Try some of the exercises below. Start in the middle of your range and make sure that you are not straining - if it hurts, or feels uncomforatble, stop. Drink room temperature water throughout. Give yourself a break in-between each exercise.
Remember to listen to the sound you are making, there are audio clips below to help you find the right note.
As with a breathing warm up, there's no right or wrong number of times to repeat these exercises.
- Starting within the most comfortable range for you, slowly go up and down like a police siren, througout all your vocal range, with an 'ng' sound.
- Breathe as slowly as possible, and snatch a breath when you run out, trying to ensure an almost perfect, continuous line.
- You can do this exercise forever! But try different variations, like trying your lips buzzing together; try with your tongue trilling, or 'ooh'ing
- Start in the middle of your range with the note that feels most comfortable for you.
- Hum 'mm' with mouth closed, gradually opening the mouth until you're singing 'ah'.
- Do this over the count of 8. Try to feel the resonance on your lips and open up to a pure vowel sound.
- Move up to a note and hum - 'mm' turning into 'eh' (as in 'bed')
- Try a higher note with - 'mm' - 'ee'
- Then try a lower note - 'mm' - 'or' (as in 'door')
- And then lower again - 'mm' - 'ooh'
If you have access to a piano the first note in the above exercise is C, then D, E, D and C again.
- Start on a note that's comfortable for you, and slowly sing 'mee meh mah mor moo', all on the same note.
- Go up a note and sign it again. Repeat the phrase, going up a note each time.
- As you get higher, make sure the sound doesn't get lost in the back of your throat - remember to use your diaphragm, to avoid a weedy sound.
- Then try it on these different notes, making a tune: G - F - E - F - G - E
- Descending down the scale: F - E - D - E - F - D or E - D - C - D - E - C
- Go down as low as you can, but don't strain your voice.
- This time start around middle C for women, or an octave lower for men:
- Start at 'ah', then go up one step (semi-tone), and 'la', then up one stop on 'mah', then up one step on 'fah'.
- 1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2-1 or
- Repeat the exercise again from C, going through the vowels: 'ah', 'eh', 'ee', 'or', 'oo'. Feel your mouth opening into the vowel.
- Try the exercise again, this time jumping through the notes to build flexibility.
- Start at 'ah', then go up one step (semi-tone), and 'la', then up one step on 'mah', then up one step on 'fah'
- 1 - 3 - 2 - 4 - 3 - 5 - 4 - 2 - 1 or
- C - E - D - F - E - G - F - D - C