13 Oct 2015

My Vocal Range

I started out singing with a short vocal range. But I seemed to have the passion to develop though I wasn’t musically talented. I felt I could go farther. So I decided to keep pushing. I was also compelled to because of my issue with tone - I hear sound distortedly.

For sound distortion, when I hear a singer, mostly from a musical device, I interpret the voice’s pitch/range differently. That is, the way my ear will reproduce the sound will be different; usually the pitch. Though, I did my best to management it during my membership in the choir. However, after leaving the choir, I chose to look into it carefully. Also because, I’d taken music classes and instructors weren’t able to deduce any problem; most felt I wasn’t taking music seriously. So, I chose to know what my ears were doing and to follow. So, I picked-up in 2010, and after few efforts, I got discouraged. Then in 2012, I picked up again, I made little progress; it was fair to me so I continued till date.

I also noticed that I seem to enjoy my singing better when the pitch is high; at that point, I feel am really singing. This increased my interest for high notes. Although my voice was quaky at the desired points, I used it all the same; rehearsing within the higher pitch. I didn’t ignore my lower pitch though because I was taught to always go both ways - up and down in pitch. With time the high pitch got better.

As I kept making progress, I realized (from an experience in the kitchen with utensils) that my ears sensitivity has reduced. It used to be insane, especially with my apartment floored with glazed ceramic tiles. I was happy. Hence, I was determined to push my pitch farther.

As I rehearsed, I sang the songs an octave higher/lower depending on convenience. As I did this, I began to conceptualize a pattern for the vocal fold; I began to see it as spiral. With this ideology, I began to manipulate to achieve more notes - curve it when it seems to get to an end, and you’ll find new notes.

But now, I think that pattern was easy because (I believe) I had a bowed vocal cord; whether it was naturally bowed or my trial and error training bowed it, I can’t say. I noticed the bowed cord in early 2016. After rehearsing through January, it dawned on me that I haven’t ‘ran’ sol-fa for a while. So, I decided to (though, I know I mostly go off key). While doing it I sensed an error. I felt to properly hit the notes right, I needed to keep going linearly. So, that became my new agenda. I thought it would be difficult but within a week I got it right. I suddenly felt my cord has adjusted and also felt more ease around my neck. But suddenly, two weeks later, I had a vocal cord collapse (that’s the best I can call it). I figured out after straightening the cord I should have rested it. It was initially scary. But, I found some vocal cord/diaphragm strengthening exercises online, did them, and also rested my voice. And fortunately, it came back.

Though there was a time I dabbled through full voice and falsetto, through study I grasped the difference and dropped falsetto.

Noteworthy, I use Whitney Houston’s “I Believe in You and Me” a lot and usually when am breaking into additional notes. This particular song helps due to the vocal movement and arrangement. I’ll just follow the song on a higher key and it’ll ‘grab’ new notes.

Presently, I can’t point out my vocal range, whether based on the Fach system or Pop system. I once thought I was close to F11 and as low as A0, but no, I’m not. Though from few correspondences I’ve got, I’m inclined to say about three octaves (generally).


Updated August 9th, 2016