Singing, perhaps more than any talent, is perceived as a field for only those who are naturally gifted. Yes, having a wide vocal pitch helps. But lest we forget, singing is also a game for those who are passionate and work hard for it. Even the foremost naturally gifted singers will struggle on the stage if they don’t regularly practice from a very young age, and continue to practice throughout their careers. Natural talent isn’t the be all and end all and it is possible to improve your vocal pitch.
This article is a guide to some easy steps that you can take, and some effective exercises that you can incorporate to your daily singing routine, to improve your vocal pitch!
Evaluate Your Current Vocal Range
Before you can even start to improve your vocal pitch, it's important to evaluate your current vocal range. The vocal range is the range between the lowest and highest note that you can sing consistently. If you are not sure how to identify your vocal range, here are two easy ways you can do it:
With an Online App or Website
You can determine your natural vocal range on several apps and websites. The experts at https://musicaroo.com/ explain that each platform will have their methods, but generally you will be instructed to record a song for at least 30 seconds up to around 3 minutes. The app will calculate your median frequencies and tell you your natural vocal range.
With a Piano
Pinpointing your range on the piano numbering system works the same as well. You can use either your physical piano or a keyboard app. A well-known tip is to accompany note names with their given number on the keyboard, e.g. middle C is called C4.
Prioritize your Vocal Health
No one is healthy all the time, and at least once in a while, you have probably had a sore throat from shouting at a loud party or singing a little too much at karaoke. While it's not entirely possible to be in perfect health all the time, it is crucial to protect your vocal health as much as possible. Some throat infections that are not treated properly can lead to permanent damage to your voice.
- Get Enough Quality Sleep - Aim for at least 7-9 hours of sleep every night.
- Stay Hydrated - Try to drink between 3 and 4 liters of water every day.
- Avoid Certain Foods - Certain foods and drinks can dry out your throat and affect your performance, so before any important events, try to avoid dairy products, as well as spicy, sour or frozen treats.
Practice in the Right Way
Now that you know your vocal range and your throat is perfectly healthy, it's time to start some exercises to improve your vocal pitch accuracy. Here are some steps you can take in the hope to get your voice to where you want it:
Warm Up Properly
Just as you need to warm your body up before playing sport or doing some other physical activity, it is crucial to warm up your vocal cords before singing. Don’t go straight to the vocal high-kick before you stretch those vocal hamstrings first. If you are going to a vocal class, you can take your time to gently hum in the car as it is recognised as one of the gentlest ways to warm your voice up.
Practice Proper Techniques
Improving your vocal pitch without proper techniques is impossible, not to mention it could be potentially dangerous. Maintaining proper technique will protect your vocal chords from damage and ensure that you are getting all the available benefits from your practice.
Here are the basics to proper technique:
- Make the most of your breath support by standing straight.
- Breath from your diaphragm instead of your neck or shoulders.
- Rest your tongue at the top of your bottom teeth and always relax your jaw.
Forcing more air through the throat is a mistake that beginner vocalists tend to make as it can jam up the vocal cords or restrict air flow. It also helps if you start at the top note of your vocal practice as it can prevent your voice from getting too heavy.
Just like any other kind of talent, regular practice is key to increasing your vocal range. It is recommended that you exercise your voice for thirty minutes a day. You can separate your routine into smaller sessions at different times of the day. Without a routine in place, it will take longer to develop a wider range and to improve your vocal pitch.
Just like any other exercises, it's never good to underdo or overdo something. Good things take time! And one day you will realize how far your vocal pitch has improved from one you started. The important thing to remember is that consistency is key. Stick to it and you will see some great results.