The Myth of Expanding Range

I know lots of people promise they can expand your range by an octave, or any number of notes — but lots of people also promise you will get rich if you forward an email. They’re totally pulling one over on you. 

Your range can’t be expanded. 

The truth is that your full vocal range exists in its entirety already. Like Dorothy, you had the power to sing those notes all along. You don’t have to stretch, expand, or hope for it to get any bigger because it’s actually already pretty huge. As an adult female, you have a full 3-octave range at Eb. You probably have more than that, but every female has at least that much. That’s a lot! 

Here’s what that range sounds like on the piano:

It is possible you’ve never sung all those notes in your range, but they ARE there. Kind of like those ruby slippers Dorothy had on her feet the whole time.

When you work with a coach, you learn how to access the more difficult parts of your range, like the extremities. You work on transitioning from comfortable parts of your range into more challenging parts. It’s kind of like running. Well, actually, I guess I should say it’s kind of like how I imagine running to be — as like, a sport or recreation or whatever it is to people. (I don’t run unless I’m being chased by a bear, or something horrible is happening behind me). But runners don’t just wake up one day and run a marathon. Olympic athletes don’t just step into an arena and have amazing skills; they are born with full capability to run that marathon, or throw that shot put.

Those athletes train to be able to do it well and to do it efficiently and without pain or passing out. Training doesn’t add distance or strength to their capabilities, it helps them to be able to use their innate strength and endurance more efficiently to achieve their goals. That’s how it is with singing. We train to make those notes easier to access. You can sing them any old day of the week but it doesn’t mean they’re going to be pretty. And you also may not even have the confidence to TRY singing them and therefore may BELIEVE you can’t sing them, but you can. 

With training, you can not only hit those notes, but you learn how to sing them easier, prettier, and with more confidence. Just like with physical work. You train to lift heavier, go longer, run faster. This is physical work, too. That’s what practice is all about. 

Like I said, every female has the same range: three octaves at Eb. And every female also has the same vocal breaks in the voice. This is all with the Basic sound (or classical, legit voice). When it comes to belt and mix, there are no breaks at all. With mix, you have the same range you have with Basic, but without the breaks. With belt, you have about two of those three octaves, sometimes more, also without the breaks. 

Two of the major factors that make upper and lower notes hard to reach are confidence that you can do it, and knowledge of how to do it safely and easily.

So, when you find yourself in a position of believing you “can’t” sing a certain note, remind yourself that you actually can and then find a coach to show you how. 

Hi there. I’m a coach, and I can show you how!