Tuesday Tips: How to know what song is suited to your voice
Tuesday Tips is part of our Smule Inspire program. Through shared performances, tips, guest blog posts by veteran users, we hope that Smule Inspire will do just as its name implies: inspire all users in the community – to connect, collaborate, and create music together … ultimately to have the best experience possible on Smule.
Find what is natural
“The best way to determine if a song fits your range is to give it a quick go first then if you needed to force to get the sound (whether is too low or too high) then it’s not. It’s all about resonance. A song that fits your range shouldn’t need much effort to get a clear sound, after warm-ups( forcing the vocal chords / throat muscles). The ideal is to find songs where you can use your closest range to your speaking voice.It will sound natural, and it’s what makes the message of a song pass through your audience in the best way. Also, the songs written for a womans’ range are more difficult to be sang by a man and the opposite.” –LAURA_TV
Finding artists you love
“I usually search for songs I love and artists I adore in the songbook first. Me, personally, the songs/artists I like are songs/music I enjoy singing myself. I also listen to singers/Smulers who sing in the same range as me. I get song ideas from them as well.
However, “safe” songs are always good to sing, I try to push myself out of my range or out of my genre for a challenge. This way, I don’t get bored, and I expand my musical horizons.” –Ailina_
Finding a vocal coach
“Personally, I think a vocal coach is very helpful in this area. I have a pretty good idea of my range but I feel I’ve been able to stretch it lower and higher by working with her.
In terms of songs suited to your voice, I think you just have to start with whatever type of music you like most and you connect with. It’s the most natural that way.” –EDOUGH
Listen to your body
“This is still a struggle for me, but a rule of thumb is that if you like to sing it, sing it 😁 some voices sound more comfortable / fit the typical sound in certain genres but it’s great to branch out. Softer voices tend to sound great on acoustic songs, gravelly on rock and blues etc. As for range and as a male, I watch for neck tension in the high ranges, that’s straining on the vocal cords and not great for longevity. I might switch to falsetto at that point. Listen to your body, if it hurts, don’t push it.” –JeffreyAKG_TV
Find your genre
“First you must know whats best genre’s with your voice. which genre’s? is it rock, RnB, ballads and others. this you must know so you can give your personal touch on every performances.
then you can learn how to maximized your vocal by learning beltings, head voice, chest voice, whistle voice so you can hit all those high and low notes you can search youtube for learning basic vocal lessons or you can take vocal clinique to learn these techniques” –blackwaters
Test your vocal skills – may not be what you expected
“Sometimes I sing a higher range song, feel great about it, save it, then listen back to it and think “WTH was I thinking?” If you scroll down my channel there’s many examples to choose from. But then there’s times when I attack a song I know is way out way of my range, feel ok about it, listen back to it and think “Damn Pu’ukani you slayed it!” LOL I guess that’s the fun thing about this app, it’s a great place to test and stretch your vocal range whether it be higher or lower. The bottom line is, have fun when you’re singing, try to relax… when you do that your notes will soar more than you think it can.” –IM_ALL_IN
Try many and see what works
“My voice is high. So i have to octavite some songs. But the sound you can always find if you like to harmonize. And which songs are good for your voice depends on what you like.
I would say, try everything you like & if it doesn’t work, just take something else 😄” –Angels_Nadine
And many more tips!
“Relative to knowing your range, it’s very important to warm up and treat your voice like an instrument. Don’t just wake up and start trying to hit your highest note. In school I learned to do scales for warming up and there are good videos on YouTube that can help if you are new to the idea of warming up.
While doing scales, try using sounds like ah and oh. You’ll find that ee for example, is a much harder sound to sing.
From there, apps like SingSharp have a free “vocal range” measure where you can try singing your highest and lowest notes to get a feel for your full range.
I know my range as a baritone and know that I can stretch up a bit into low tenor notes and down into high bass notes. I’ll sometimes pick songs or versions of songs based on the time of day or how my voice feels.
If I seem a little raspier and feel like I shouldn’t push my voice too much, I might pick an acoustic guitar version of a song that I love and do a soft version where I sing a little closer to my mic. In my mind I’m imaging this as a “live set” with some imperfections but a lot of character. This is in contrast to a studio version of the instrumental where I’m trying to sound like I’m in a recording studio.
If feel like my voice is really strong one day, I might pick a song with giant belts because I feel I can hold those notes without my voice cracking. If I’m singing late at night and the house is asleep, I’ll often do softer songs and give them a sort of lullaby touch.
One other piece of advice that feels relevant to my voice range…as a bass baritone I’m in the lower half of men’s voices. Similarly, an alto will be in the lower half of the female ranges. I find that most male pop songs are written for tenors (high male voices) and might not fit me well at all. Instead, I’ll often sing songs performed by women, with the instrumental in the original female key but I’ll just sing them as octave lower (in my range). If you’re an alto, you might also find that some songs performed by men can more easily be pulled into your range. I hope some of that helps.” – jessecube
If you have a question you’d like to ask or even a topic you’d like to learn more about, please fill out the form on the Smule Inspire page!