Your guide to learning how to sing low notes
Although much fuss is made about singing high notes, learning to sing low notes correctly can be even more difficult. When moving towards the lower end of your vocal range, the lowest singing notes in your range may sound raspy, or as if you are groaning instead of singing. You may also find that your volume decreases towards the lower end of your range.
To hit the low notes clearly when you are singing, you must ensure that you have warmed up properly. Correct breathing and support while you are singing remains crucial and mustn’t be neglected.
The easiest way to train yourself to sing the low notes is to practice scales. Singing in solfege (doh, re, mi, fa…), sing through a scale upwards and back down again. You need to make sure that you sing each note clearly and accurately, and concentrate on your breathing and support. Keep doing your scales, going down with one half-tone after each completed one until your reach the lowest note you can sing clearly and comfortably. Do not try to go lower than this note until you are sure that you have completely mastered singing it clearly, comfortably and with the right amount of control over your breathing and tone. When you have completely mastered it, go one half-tone lower and repeat the process.
Before you go further, just imagine what your voice feels and sounds like when you just woke up in the morning. Your voice is relaxed, well rested and comfortable, right? Because of that, you will notice that your voice can go much lower than it can later in the day when it’s already been taxed and stressed. Always keep that in mind when practicing low notes – the only voice that can do a low note is a relaxed voice!
When singing low notes, the following techniques may be helpful:
- Do not lower your jaw too much when trying to sing low notes, as this will constrict your vocal chords. Your chords need room to expand for singing low notes, so if you find lowering your jaw helpful, make sure to lower your jaw only slightly and open your mouth wide. This frees up the vocal chords to produce the proper sound.
- Your throat, jaw and vocal chords should not be strained at all. Make sure that your voice remains relaxed and comfortable for the entire time you are practicing your low notes.
- Lift your face muscles to avoid going flat. While this may sound strange, the easiest way to do this is to smile in such a way that your cheeks lift upwards. This will have the effect of lifting your pitch as well, which can help you to avoid going flat.
- You need to ensure that you continue using the correct upright posture and applying the correct breathing technique.
- When singing low notes, try to think “high”. In the same way you thought “low” when learning to sing high notes. The lower you go, the higher you should think. Imagine that your voice is coming from between your eyes instead of your throat.
If your voice is sounding raspy or starts to crack when you sing low notes, you must stop immediately. This means that your vocal chords are suffering damage and that you need to correct your technique. Go through this article again to make sure that you apply the correct technique and never try to “force” your voice.
Remember, your voice is your instrument. Singing low notes is just as important as singing high notes. However, unlike other instruments, you only ever get one voice. If you treat it disrespectfully by not warming up properly or forcing it to do things it’s not ready for, it will get damaged just like any other instrument would. The difference is you cannot go out and buy yourself a new voice! Look after your voice and follow its cues, and you will continue to improve it into an excellent instrument.