When you sing, do you have trouble hitting low notes? Inside this video I’ll reveal important tips and secrets that will tell you how to sing low notes with ease and confidence.
Here are four reasons you struggle to sing low notes.
- The larynx is high
- The vocal cords are not coming together firmly
- Genetics and age
- Illness or Acid Reflux
How to Sing Low Notes – Lower the Larynx
If the larynx is high it’s difficult to adduct the vocal cords as you sing lower and lower.
I’ve noticed this when I’m in the ensemble in a musical and singing the bass line.
It’s easy to oversing, too loud and hard, so I can hear myself in the ensemble. It’s a common mistake. Over singing pushes my larynx higher and higher. I hardly notice it until I have to sing a low bass note…like an E2 or even an F.
When my voice is relaxed and my larynx is down I can hit the low E. But because my larynx is high as a result of pushing to hard, I can hardly hit the F or G next to it.
But it’s not just over-singing in ensembles that raises the larynx. If you tend to sing with a high larynx or pull up your chest voice on high notes, your vocal cords have difficulty coming together firmly the lower you sing.
Here’s how to keep the larynx down so you can sing low notes.
- Don’t oversing when you are in a choir or ensemble.
- Don’t pull chest or sing with a high larynx.
- Don’t yell or scream. If the vocal cords are swollen and puffy, you won’t hit low notes.
- Strive to maintain a balanced voice with proper vocal technique. Do balancing vocal exercises to lower the larynx. Here’s a great exercise to stabilize the larynx. [Demo]
- Don’t try and jam the sound down lower. It won’t sound like singing.
How to Sing Low Notes – Firmly Adduct the Vocal Cords
If the larynx is resting at your speech level but your vocal cords are not adducting firmly, you won’t be able to hit the low notes with enough volume to be heard. To adduct means to bring the vocal cords together.
Here’s a great exercise to get the cords to firmly adduct. [Demo]
Making sure your voice is warmed up and the larynx is resting, substitute the word with “ae” and “nae” on the low note. Don’t force it. Don’t push it. Do it easy at medium volume.
Like Jimmy Dean sang the song, “Big John”. I don’t have the key in front of me, but he sang “Big John” and on certain days I can hit the low note. But I know he sings, “Big bad John”… [Demo]
Put the word back in and strive for the same feeling of adduction. You’ll be able to sing the lower note if the cords are adducted firmly and the larynx is down.
How to Sing Low Notes – Genetics and Age
No matter how low the larynx is or how firmly you are adducting the vocal cords, you may not have vocal cords that will vibrate that low. It’s like a 5’10’’ basketball player trying to jump as high as a 7-foot tall center. You can’t jump as high because you aren’t that tall.
You can’t sing that low because your vocal cords aren’t built to vibrate freely at that pitch.
Often times a younger child or young teenage girl can’t sing low because their cords are underdeveloped. As they mature their vocal cords mature also. Then they can hit the lower notes their genetics will allow.
This is always the case for young men. After puberty they can sing much lower. It’s the high notes we want again.
How to Sing Low Notes – Illness
Don’t try and sing at all if you’re sick. Your vocal cords are swollen and puffy and will not be able to adduct firmly. The larynx will likely be higher than normal.
If you must sing sick, take the higher note instead of the lower one. It’ll sound better than trying to jam it low on a sick voice. There’s not much else you can do.
Acid reflux causes the vocal cords to be swollen and makes adducting the cords very difficult especially on the low notes. See your doctor. It’s likely medications, diet and lifestyle changes will help. Nothing you do will make low notes easy if you have active acid reflux.
Determine Your Vocal Type
The vocal exercises in PowerToSing.com will help lower the larynx and adduct the vocal cords. These exercises are especially designed for specific vocal types such as Pulled Chest- High Larynx and Light Chest-No Chest.
Doing these exercises correctly will help balance your voice and help you hit the low notes.
Do you know your vocal type? Visit PowerToSing.com and take the vocal test, which I call the PowerTest. Take the quiz and discover your vocal type.
Visit the Knowledge Center and watch the videos about your vocal type. Download the free exercises for your vocal type and start improving your voice today.
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I’m Chuck Gilmore with Power To Sing. You can sing higher and lower, with beauty, confidence and power.
I’ll see you inside the next video.