Have you noticed that children can sing in high notes easily while adult men can sing low? Children have a high vocal range, and they can sing high notes without trying too hard. The vocal cords control the pitch of the sound when a person is singing, and the length of that affects the notes.
The vocal cord length is the same for young boys and girls, and they can sing all the high notes – having the same vocal range. These vocal cords grow longer with age and then it is more difficult to hit the high notes. Most adult females have a vocal cord which is in the range of 12.5 mm to 17.5 mm. Adult males have longer vocal cords – 17 mm to 25 mm in length. This is why women can sing notes that are higher than what men can sing.
How to Sing Low?
The larynx is a diamond-shaped organ, and vocal cords are stretched across it in a V—shape. If a person sings low notes, the larynx changes shape and the chords contract and thicken. When a person sings high notes, the larynx lengthens and causes the chords to thin out. Three sounds can be played with to achieve really low notes.
Drinking Water Sound
This is an extreme sound and must be used in moderation. It’s a quirky sound, that can be made while pretending to drink water. One needs to close their mouth and isolate the larynx to vocalize the sound of drinking water. This releases the larynx and lets the chords connect in a deep way, causing the resulting tone to have more depth.
The Glottal Stop
This small unit of sound brings the chords together. Take your time and relax before trying this sound. The compensating muscle must stay out of the way, and only the chords inside must be isolated.
The Vocal Fry
This sounds like a creaky door closing or opening and is the smallest unit of sound made by the chords. While singing, one needs to slow down the airflow to hear each oscillation of the cord. One needs to slide from a comfortable and familiar low note to an unfamiliar low note. The tiny bit of pressure on the chords is when one slips into the vocal fry. One must keep sliding to new lower depths, using the vocal fry technique to explore or develop a note. It keeps the pressure off the larynx and allows the chords to perform.
Other tips and tricks to achieve the perfect pitch:
1. Relax your tongue, mouth, and throat
Before singing, slide your jaw from side-to-side, move your tongue around the mouth and rest it close to the front teeth. Relax your tongue and throat to prevent pressure on the larynx. The pressure will constrict the throat, causing strain in the larynx and contracting the tongue. This will result in high and squeaky notes, like the voice being stuck in the throat. Relaxing keeps the tone strong.
2. Use your breath
Low notes require more of your breath, and without it, there will be no support for those low notes. Imagine launching your breath through your throat and toward the front of your mouth, while singing a low note. Without proper breathing, a singer cannot achieve the desired tone and projection. When singing, breathe in and take only that amount of air which is needed to sing the phrase. There must be a controlled and steady movement of air. You neither want to hold your air nor exhale it in a rush.
Check your body alignment. Stand straight but not in a stiff way. Your shoulders must be down or slightly back with your chest high. Do not lower the chin towards the chest while singing low notes. It will prevent the larynx from being free. Keep the chin parallel to the floor and slightly back while looking at a point in front of you.
The vocal cords must be relaxed to present low notes. Make a soft sighing sound and push your voice to the deepest, lowest possible pitch. Repeat the process till you are relaxed and are ready to vocalize. Practice your scales. Sing some notes, starting in a low pitch and ending in a high pitch. Do it the opposite way too – high to low. Perform this exercise with different sounds such as “e,” “oo” and “me.” Do a few scales while making the “kazoo” buzz. Round your lips and inhale, then exhale to make a “woo” in a single pitch.
5. Sing from the Mouth and Chin
To sing lower notes, one doesn’t need to go lower into the body. Do not sing from the throat and chest. Doing this can create tension and also make your low notes singing more difficult. Rather, try to sing from chin and mouth. The singers can take professional voice lessons in New York, NY from good singing coaches and learn the difference between singing from chin and mouth.
6. Face Resonance
Clear low notes with face resonance can negate the fact of having a low volume. If you have a low volume while singing a low note, just bring the mouth closer to the mic. Similarly, keep it away when singing a high note. Feel the resonance in your face while singing low notes. Train yourself to make this a reflex by understanding and enhancing your vocal resonance.
7. Find Your Natural Register
To understand your natural sound register, place your hand on the nose while talking. Repeat the exercise while keeping it flat on the chest. In case you feel heavy vibrations in the nose during both the exercises, it means you have a natural nasal voice. But in case you feel more heavy vibrations in your chest means that you have a natural chest voice.
And, equal vibrations in the chest, as well as nose, mean a steady voice. Singers with chest voices can do lower registers more easily. A singer with a nasal voice will end up taking more effort and time to get there. You can practice based on your natural register.
Singing well requires practice and these singing tips will help you get to those low notes. Remember that everyone’s voice is unique and low notes may sound different from different singers.