Accessing Your Full Vocal Range

What does it mean to have full access to your vocal range? It isn’t really about hitting spectacular notes – although that is clearly really good fun…

Adam Lopez – Highest Vocal Note- Guinness World Record:

Of Course Mariah Carey is the most notorious of the female singers who can produce their whistle register with ease, here she is talking about how she discovered her astonishing high notes, fascinating to hear her speaking voice as a comparison:

Mariah claims to have very low notes too, but not I think as low as this amazing Mongolian singer:


It is easy to think that the extreme notes these vocalists can produce are down to unusual structural features – like this guy, one of the many men with “the lowest voice in the world” on YouTube, who apparently does have unusually long vocal folds:

“He’s got lowest voice in the world”…

But most of the time what you are hearing is the result of dedicated practise and – I suspect – the kind of free vocal exploration that is often strongly discouraged by well-meaning but backward-looking vocal teachers.

Here is Brett Manning – as you may have noticed by now, I love him for his laid-back style and online generosity (although not the accuracy of his technical explanations!) – encouraging us to experiment with the sort of vocal sounds many teachers would discourage.

If you are fascinated by these vocal extremes you might like to have a look at my  blog on the subject – is has many more fascinating examples!

- And even in our enlightened modern age, when vocal training has benefitted hugely from modern technology, you will still find films like this one, peddling inaccurate and out-dated information with unfounded confidence – in this particular instance that only women can produce the whistle register – despite the huge number of men showing off their whistle online, really there is just no excuse!

Charming performers with unusual abilities aside, for the rest of us the value is usually that the stronger our voices are at the extremes of pitch, the more confident and aware we are in the flexible central range of our voice, where the most useful vocal qualities are to be found; stronger, more flexible, more resonant, and rooted in the openness and the honesty of our speaking voice.

In this workshop we will discover how to access this vocal core and then extend it by natural means in both directions, to open out the voice to a wider selection of performable material. In this way the workshop will be just as valuable for non-musical performers as it will be for singers. It will be useful to have a couple of performance pieces in mind that stretch you a little, so that we can ground the exercises in more relevant material for your on-going vocal development. You will not be under pressure to performance unless you are happy to do so. 

Accessing Your Full Vocal Range – next class date TBA

Belting It Out @ The Hill Station, Telegraph Hill SE14 - Photograph by Tony Nandi ©

Human voices can access four registers, each with a distinctive sound quality, but with overlapping pitch ranges and of widely differing usefulness for singers and other performers. The most available and flexible is the modal register and it is this voice that singers and actors strive to extend and enhance. The very high “whistle” register and the low beating of the “fry” register may not be very useful in performance but they can be enormous fun, and developing the extremes of your range can be a great tool for enhancing the core of your performing voice.  Falsetto is not without its uses, and for many singers learning how not to slip into it unawares is an instant way to produce a richer more mature sound.

In this class we will explore all the registers & the different possibilities they offer.

Voice and Singing Classes with Maggy Burrowes

1.30pm – 5.30pm (including refreshment breaks) £40

Drakefell Road, SE14

07976 640737 / 020 7642 1457

Billy Holiday is a great example of just how powerful a performer can be with a very narrow vocal range – she always said that Night And Day was very hard to sing – here she is nailing it!

VocalDynamix is designed to help anyone who wishes to develop a conscious, flexible, strong, healthy voice, whether their interest is singing, speaking well as an actor, or freeing their natural voice as part of a healing and/or spiritual process, or any combination of these elements. 

One-to-one Singing and Voice training also available:

General rate – £40 per lesson

Ongoing study package of 3 lessons in a 30-day period – £90

Vocal Training Starter Pack: 2 new packages to choose from…

2 private lessons for £65, or 2 lessons and 1 class for £100


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