For most people, the low end of their vocal range is the range they're most comfortable in. This is mainly because we constantly talk in the low end of our vocal range! But you may be able to access yet a few more notes on the low end of your vocal range than you currently do.
Here's how to sing lower notes.
1) Use the Creaky Edge
This is also called the "Vocal Fry." Unlike what the name suggests, it's a healthy vocal technique.
To do the vocal fry, start by making a creaky, barely-vocal noise, like a creaking door in a haunted house. (In the low end of your range, not the upper end.) Click here to hear what this sounds like. (Warning: this sounds very weird.)
2) Gradually turn the vocal fry into a singing note
Add some vocalization to the creaky edge. See how low you can sing. Allow yourself to go back and forth between singing and creaking. Click here to hear what this sounds like. (Yes, it still sounds weird, I know.)
3) Relax and resonate
Let the sound settle down low and resonate inside your chest. Imagine your voice coming from your chest, rather than your throat. Relax your face, jaw, tongue, and throat. You may even try lying down. The lowest "note" I've ever sung (Ab below C below middle C) was produced while lying down. Click here to hear what it sounds like when you finally turn this pitch into an actual note.
Now, of course, the very lowest note that you can creak out is not a very usable note. But as you extend your range downward this way, you'll find that low pitches which were previously accessible but not useful, have become useful.
You might expect to gain 1 to 3 steps in your low range over time. Next week I will start writing about ways to sing higher. You can expect to gain a lot more notes on the upper end of your vocal singing range than you can expect to gain on the low end.
(c) 2010 Adrienne Osborn