Vocal range

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I received this free singing lesson from Jeannie Deva on the topic of vocal range. You may find it interesting – Eliminating Register Break

I wrote a response on Sun 8/26/07 4:37 pm as follows:

Dear Ms Deva

I agree 100% that there is one voice and that singers can freely manipulate the voice at lower or higher ends of the range with the correct techniques.

I studied a very old and excellent text by one Benke which gave very scientific details on the vocal cords and simple exercises for overcoming vocal problems.

Ms Karen Surmani in her text “Learn to sing” gave one of the best explanations on breathing that has worked successfully for me.

Finally, your exercises for range are excellent and also simultaneously help with open throat as well as resonance. I do them as often as I can.

Mercedes Moss


You may also find these sites useful:

Male vocal range and voice types

Female vocal range and voice types



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Lower resonance refers to the vibrations that are produced in the chest by the spaces in the chest and throat. Exercises for lower resonance produce a voice that is flexible and has a warm quality. They also prevent muffled singing and/or tightness in the voice. They help the voice to emerge freely from the singer’s body, in a sense.

Exercises for lower resonance are promoted when the throat is wide open during singing. Get a flashlight, open your mouth wide and say “ah”, while looking at the back of the throat. At the back of your throat you will see a pinkish area with a perpendicular structure hanging down centrally (uvula). These are muscles that need to be relaxed optimally when you are singing.

Here are a few simple exercises for developing lower resonance:

* breathe and softly sing “ah” (mouth open position)
* breathe and sing “ER”, “OO”, “KER”, “KOO”.
* breathe and sing “zzzz”
* yawn


Exercises For Developing Upper Resonance

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I will let you in on a secret which you will observe. Many of the vocal exercises have more than one beneficial effect on the voice. If you are diligent, you will discover that the exercises for upper resonance will:

  • also extend the range of your voice, enabling you to comfortably sing at higher pitches than previously.
  • also help to eliminate vocal problems like nasal sounds (as if the person is singing through the nose).
  • help to develop and/or enhance vocal flexibility – riffs and runs become easier to perform.
  • enhance the volume, tone and beauty of the voice.

Why is this so? Well, this is because the chief resonator in the head, the nasal cavity, is engaged during these exercises. The nasal cavity is the space located above the roof of the mouth.

The following exercises are from Jeanniedeva.com. Deva recommends that we do these exercises in the order shown since each builds on the other.


Select a song with a range that is a bit challenging. The melody will be sung without lyrics, using the following guidelines:

Exercise 1.

  • Keep your mouth open slightly with the lips relaxed. 
  • Sing the melody using the vowel “EE” (as in chEEse)
  • Sing smoothly and slowly
  • Make sure that the vowel is pronounced correctly throughout the song (should be a bright, not a tight sound).
  • Sing the song through using the lyrics and assess the voice for any changes

Exercise 2.

  • Keep your mouth open slightly with the lips relaxed
  • Sing the same melody slowly and smoothly using the “EE”, but with a bratty sound. You can achieve this bratty sound by scrunching up the nose as if you smelt something bad.
  • Say the word “Eew” with the nose scrunched up. 
  • You will feel some vibration under the nose and in the front portion of the roof of the mouth.
  • Keep this sound “Eew” consistent throughout the song.
  • Sing the song through using the lyrics and assess the voice for any changes

Exercise 3.

  • Keep your mouth open slightly with the lips relaxed
  • Sing the melody of the song using the vowel “A” as in the words “can” or “apple”.
  • Keep the sound of the vowel consistent as you sing.
  • Sing the song through using the lyrics and assess the voice for any changes.

These exercises really work! Bye until next time.