What Songs Should I Not Sing Given My Vocal Range?
Recently I had an associate ask me whether he should sing a certain song. His voice is deeper and has more “heft” or weight in his lower range similar to mine.
Most artists who sing those songs have a lighter voice. He wondered if his heavier voice would sound as good.
How do you decide if you should sing a song or not? Will your audiences like it? Will your voice sound good singing it?
Inside this video, I’ll give you the simple answer to guide every decision about songs you should and should not sing.
When I first learned to sing The “Soliloquy” from the Broadway show, Carousel, the ending note was the F above middle C. Then I heard John Raitt’s recording of it, and being a tenor, he took the high Bb.
So I tried the Bb in my lesson and it was sooooo fun! So I sang the Bb during a workshop for singing teachers. I later got the feedback from a couple of my teachers that just because I can hit the Bb in a lesson doesn’t mean I should sing the Bb in a performance.
The reason was that the F was more optimal for my voice. The Bb in my lessons and in the development of my voice will “protect” the F. That means that it will make the F even easier and more comfortable because of my work in practice and lessons singing the Bb.
The feedback was that my vibrato was more labored and less consistent on the Bb vs the F. I knew that meant that I had some squeeze going on on that Bb.
And so, I’ve given similar advice to singing students. “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should take the higher note in a performance”.
As a teacher, this is likely good advice, strictly speaking from a singing technique perspective.
But as a singer, wanting to explore the limits of possibility, I never regretted taking the high note! I’ve done it several times since!
Given My Vocal Range What Songs Should I Avoid? – The Final Answer
So here’s the guideline you can follow the rest of your life.
SING WHATEVER YOU WANT.
SING IT IN WHATEVER KEY YOU WANT.
SING ANY GENRE AND STYLE YOU WANT.
FOLLOW YOUR PASSION. FOLLOW YOU HEART.
IF YOU LOVE THE SONG, SING IT!
Forget what I say as your teacher. Forget any advice you might get from any outside source. Be true to yourself and your heart and your passion.
Here’s What I’m Not Saying
I’m not saying disregard good technique.
I’m not saying abuse or damage your voice.
I’m not saying disregard your director, producer, or employer’s advice.
But when you have a choice, sing what you want, the way you want, the style and genre you want.
As a teacher, I insist on getting you into a healthy, balanced vocal coordination during your lesson and I’ll guide you to optimal vocal technique, and I’ll tell you what I think is ideal.
Consequences of Singing What you Want and How you Want
What are the consequences of singing what you want and how you want?
It may not be your best sound.
It may be your best sound.
You may not gain any fans.
You may get new fans.
You may lose fans.
You may love it.
You may hate it.
Like anything else in the world, how will you know unless you try?
Even if it’s not better, it may be very fulfilling and bring great joy to your life.
Please whatever you do, make it a rule, YOU DO NO HARM TO YOUR VOICE.
Here’s 4 examples of singers who were known for a certain genre and style and sang something completely different. Maybe their voices weren’t a perfect match for the songs, maybe their fans weren’t happy about it, but they did it anyway and in many instances wildly succeeded.
My guess is, they didn’t care what you and I thought about it. They wanted to do it! Watch.
Linda Ronstadt Pavarotti
Michael Bolten Andrea Bocelli
Who are others that you know about?
Vocal classification is not Vocal Type. Your vocal type is what you tend to do when you sing through the first bridge of the voice. Do you tend to have a high larynx? Pull Chest? Flip? Do it in falsetto? Do it light or breathy? Mix?
Go to PowerToSing.com and take the vocal test which I call the power test. Take the quiz and discover your vocal type. Then go to the Knowledge Center and watch the videos about your vocal type.
Download the free exercises for your vocal type and start improving your voice immediately.
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I’m Chuck Gilmore with Power To Sing. You can sing higher with beauty, confidence and power.
I’ll see you inside the next video.