It is important to know your vocal range. One way to figure out your vocal range is to sing along with a vocal exercise. As you sing along with one of our vocal exercises (you can find one here) in your chest voice, as soon as your feeling tightness in your throat you have hit the top of your chest voice range. Watch the key that was played on the piano and try to identify what it is. The D note is in between the two black keys. The letters go up as you move to the right and down when you move to the left. There are ways to improve your vocal range as well and ways of dealing with the tightness in your throat at this point but that is best left for another blog.
Another way to know your vocal range is to set up a lesson with a music professional. If you are interested in taking lessons (in studio or online) you can read about our rates and our lessons here. You will learn your range in your very first lesson and be able to sing songs that work best for your voice or learn how to lower or raise them to fit your voice.
If you know your vocal range then you can look at a piece of sheet music (even if you can’t play through it on an instrument) and see if it is too high or too low for you. If you are able to read music then you can simply remember the saying “Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge”. With this saying you use the first letter from every word as a note on each of the five lines of a music staff. The bottom line is E for example, the second G, the third, B, and so on. The notes within the spaces spell out the word FACE when you are going from the bottom of the staff to the top. For a more visual understanding, you can visit our blog on note reading here:
Another reason that it’s important to know your vocal range is so that you can sing healthy. If you are always trying to strain for a high note that you think is in your range you can damage your voice. If you know right away that you aren’t able to hit a certain note then you would know not to try unless you are in a voice lesson with a music professional.
How to Change Keys for Voice
If you know your vocal range, you can easily change the key of a song so that it fits your vocal range. This is a topic best suited for another blog but for now I will try and give you a short explanation. If you know the highest note in your range is a “G” above the staff, but you are looking at a song and it’s highest note is “A” above the staff, then you would need to lower the key of the song. To know how much to lower the key, you need to understand that between G and A are two half-steps on the piano or one whole-step (one half-step on the piano is one piano key whether it’s black or white). This means that if you are playing chords on guitar or piano along with it, each of those chords needs to move down one whole-step or two half-steps in order for the song to sound lower but the same.
If you aren’t playing along while you are singing and using a CD or your computer, search for a program that can change the key of the song. You need to know how much lower the song needs to be (using half-steps or whole-steps) but the program will then make the song lower and in the key you tell it to be in. The best part about this is that the song speed stays the same which used to not be case years ago.