Hi, I am 19. I sing bass and baritone (Bluegrass gospel and southern gospel). I would love to increase the depth of my low end.  I can sing down to a D2 most days sometimes lower (C#2). I have been told by many bass singers that reaching my desired range (I would love to be able to hit a G1 comfortably) can be learned and taught and its very rare that it comes natural to sing that low.  What kind of exercises can I do to help me. The bass singers said there was a “trick” to it but the never would let me know it…   ~ Carl

Hey Carl,

Hmm… should I expose the secret of how to sing low notes? Meh, why not 😊 

The trick to extending the low part of your range is a combination of a level to the lowered larynx and vocal fry (a light edge of vocal cord closure).

Assuming your vocal mechanism is balanced, as your voice starts to fade away when you’re going lower and lower, it should transition into vocal fry. Below is a video of vocal fry with an example.

If this is not happening with your voice, there’s likely one of a handful of things happening that prevent it. It could be you’re sitting too heavy into the voice (I could see this being an issue for a bass). It could be that the shape of the back of your mouth is too wide, which likely would also be accompanied by a tense tongue. Or, it could be that your larynx is pulled up, and muscles around it are engaged.

The solution for a heavy voice is to spend more time in a more speech level of compression (ie, feel more like you’re speaking when singing… not like you’re pressing). If you’re too wide, narrow out the vowels… think of singing all words through more of an “oo” shape and release the tongue more forward. Finally, if you’re larynx is coming up, speak the sound in more of a dopey, woofy feel. This will help balance you further down (however, I should warn you… you can go too far with this).

Once you find that balance, just keep taking vocal fry further and further down. Don’t worry if you’re not getting a thick, robust tone at first. Just let your voice get used to the coordination. Once you warm up (or down, lol) like this a bit, you’ll find your voice picks up more resonance in that basement register.

I hope all of this makes sense. Personally, I’ve can warm up down to the bottom note of a piano, though I don’t have near as much meat to the tone as someone with thicker cords would (I am a tenor after all). But, it just goes to show you that learning the right coordination can help you do ridiculous things.

Anyway, if you have any issues with this, or you’d like a little bit more guidance on how to put this together or create a warm-up for this, I do offer skype lessons. We could even record you a warm-up during your lesson so that you know you’re moving in the right direction if you feel like that would help. Simply click on the link to learn more about my skype singing lessons.

I hope this helps, and best of luck developing that lower register.

~ Ken

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