Saturday, November 21, 2020

5 Ways to Extend your Vocal Range

Can you really extend your vocal range? The simple answer is YES!

 

Whether you've been singing for years or days, you can always work on developing your vocal range. And unless you are able to sing with Mariah Carey’s vocal range, there is always room to grow and expand your range. Singing those hard notes with ease is the difference between an amateur and a professional singer.


In this blog, we are going to discuss five ways you can expand your vocal range without damaging your vocal cords.


1. Understand Your Abilities

Have you ever checked your vocal range?

If you haven’t, let’s see if we can figure it out together. Hop over to your keyboard or download a free mini piano app on your phone. Start with the middle C also known as the C4 as it’s the 4th C on the keyboard. So, let’s go down in pitch from here to see your low range. Make sure to right down the pitch name when you reach your limit. Once you have found the lowest note on your vocal range, let’s figure out the highest. Let’s go up in pitch from here to see your high range. Make sure to right down the pitch name when you reach your limit.


It's important to know that your vocal range isn't the highest and lowest notes you're able to belt out. Your vocal range actually exists somewhere between the lowest notes and highest notes you can sing comfortably and consistently.


Some people ask, Is it possible to increase your vocal range by one octave? Yes, but it is quite a big task. Your vocal cords are only capable of so much. However, a lot of that depends on how developed and trained your vocals currently are. If you've never taken the time to practice singing, you will likely notice a significantly broader range of pitches that you can hit once you begin training. If you have been singing for a long time but have just recently decided you'd like to expand your range, it will probably not grow quite as much as a novice.


2. Use Proper Technique

It's very dangerous to extend your vocal range without employing proper singing techniques.

Using the wrong technique, or no technique at all, can result in injury to your vocal cords.

Here are some of the basics to be mindful of:

Good posture is very important. Stand up straight and make good use of your breath support. Don’t compromise your posture as this tends to put stress on different parts of your body ultimately impacting your breathing and therefore your singing.

Breath from your diaphragm instead of your neck and shoulders - When new vocalists sing outside of their normal vocal range, they tend to force more air through the throat, which will jam up their vocal cords, or restrict air flow, which will lead to a breathy sound.

 

Maintaining the proper technique will help you avoid those situations.





3. Practice Regularly

The best things in life take time, right? Simply put, expanding your vocal range won't happen overnight. The hardest part for most vocalists isn't the vocal range exercises, it's having the patience to wait. With consistent exercise, you're doing much more than just trying to add a few notes to your range. You might not be able to hit that stubborn high note, but you'll notice your voice becoming stronger and lasting longer than when you first started doing the exercises.

You'll also notice on your good days that notes come out much clearer and with much more confidence.


I also want to request you not to overdo the exercises. Be patient while trying to expand your range and don’t overdo it. Don't try too hard during a warm-up, practice, or a performance. If your voice gets tired, try more low impact warm-ups like lips rolls or humming to avoid any irritation. If it feels bad, don’t do it. Pushing through strain or not giving yourself enough rest when you need it can damage your vocal cords and set you back further than if you would've just taken a break. Never try to sing through pain, and don't feel guilty about needing to skip a day or two to protect your voice. A rest is as important as a practice day - you should definitely give your voice rest for one day a week. Be patient, protect yourself, and take care of your vocal cords.


4. Take care of your Vocal Health

Singers have gotten a bad reputation for not taking care of their vocal cords. Many of us are guilty of this. It's easy to talk too loud at a party, over-sing at a show, or cram in too many practices before the next big performance comes up. It's not always possible to keep your vocal cords in perfect health, but there are a few things to do to make sure you prioritise your vocal health. Try to get a good night's sleep. 7-9 hours a night is ideal. Try to drink at least plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Protect yourself from viruses by washing your hands and using sanitiser as needed.


There are also certain foods and drinks you should avoid before you sing. Any food or drink that dries your throat, like coffee and alcohol, should be avoided. That being said, also avoid foods and drinks that can create mucus to your throat, like most dairy products and sugar. One important tip: Most singers opt for water leading up to, and the day of, a show. While this is strongly recommended, there is a catch. Try to stay away from ice cold water. It restricts your throat and can cause tension. Want to know a simple tip? If you don't have access to a ton of water but need to hydrate, steaming has been proven to be very effective. You don't have to avoid these things all of the time, but avoid them before you sing, because singing through dryness, mucus, or constriction will cause significant strain on your vocal cords.


5. Vocal Exercises 

Here are some simple exercises that can help work on your vocal range. Start from middle C or C4 and sing every note (including the black ones) in sequence until you cannot sing anymore. Do this for both the higher pitch and lower pitch notes. Ideally, do this exercise 3-5 times depending on how much time you have and how you feel (remember, never sing through pain - it will only get worse!). Do this regularly to see a real improvement in your vocal range. Here's a video link to the vocal exercises - https://youtu.be/cKkrHf6GAr8


Finally, one very important point – while developing and working on your vocal range is really good - vocal range isn’t the most important criteria when it comes to vocal performance. Of course, it helps. However, some famous singers don’t have very big vocal ranges and yet produce incredible music – take for instance Adele. Her vocal range is just 2 octaves but what she does with it is what makes her noteworthy.


If you want access to detailed guided practice routines, do check out our lessons on musicpandit.com for access to step-by-step lessons that cover a whole lot of topics like vocal projection, improvisation, vocal vibrato and so much more.


We hope you enjoyed this topic and it was useful to you. If you want to know more about such topics, please comment below and we will definitely address it. Please make sure you follow our blogspot to get access to more such content.


Music Pandit brings you the best and the most effective way to learn music online with a complete 360-degree approach to learning music.

Music Pandit offers Online Video Lessons with the support of Personalised feedback from our Music Pandits, curated step-by-step lessons, extensive content - you can choose multiple instruments, carefully organised Practice Routines, a Musical Community, Creative Challenges, Goal setting and so much more – so you can learn Anytime, Anywhere at your pace! Sign up today on https://musicpandit.com 

Saturday, November 7, 2020

How Long Does It Take To Learn to Play Instrument?

This is a question that is regularly asked by almost every beginner student, from young students to adults. It is natural to want to know how long it will take to be able to play an instrument. However, most people often forget the fact that it is their practice time and commitment towards the instrument that will determine their progress. Then again, there are some other factors to consider which determines the duration of their progress. Since we usually have two different age groups of students, namely young students and adult beginners, let’s discuss these two groups individually under specific parameters.

Young Students (Aged 8 years to 12 years) 

Approach to Learning: Young beginners should have fun with their instrument. As they are just getting to know the instrument and the skills they can achieve while learning it, it is very important that it excites them and inspires them to work toward progress. As they are young, theories and basic reading should be introduced in a progressive and practical way so that they can take in the details and master one aspect at a time. Over burdening these learners with a lot of Music theory can lead to them losing interest in their music learning.

 

Objective: Their objective should be to perform in about a year with the knowledge they have gathered during that time. They should be able to connect with their instrument and play the tunes they want to play. Once they can execute the music they hear, there is a sense of achievement that inspires them to learn further and therefore accelerates their learning progress as the instrument catches their interest.

 

Duration: If you are a complete beginner and aged between 8-12 years, it may take you about 6-9 months to have a strong command over the fundamentals, especially certain techniques such as chord shifting, pitch change and the coordination of both hands or hands and feet (as this requires advanced motor techniques), etc. Students aged above 12 have the capacity to take in more information and process a bit quicker, so they might be able to have better command on basics in 4-6 months.

 

 

Adults

Approach to Learning: As an adult, there is an interest to learn and play the instrument that has been there a long time but you haven’t found time or you had other commitments that prevented you from taking it up earlier. There are also cases of adults who’d learn from the ever-growing internet (mainly YouTUbe) but are either unsure due to too much information or stuck at a point where their progress has been constant for a long time (they don’t know where to go next). First as a working adult, you have to decide what you want out of it. Is it just to play in front of friends (as a hobby) or gather knowledge to be able to play in a band or release your own compositions, or for therapeutic, stress release or other reasons. Whatever the reason is, you should ensure that wherever you are learning from should be flexible enough to suit your timings as well as your goal. So, it should be a goal or result oriented approach. Music Pandit, has been created with just such a goal in mind. It’s the perfect destination for an adult learner.

 

Objective: The objective should be able to measure your progress and layout a practice schedule that works for you. Keep in mind what you want to achieve and spend time on that. Try to excite and inspire yourself during practice which will help you commit to the instrument more. Keep playing the songs you love other than just the exercises your teacher might have given you for your improvement and make a conscious effort to understand what you are executing.

 

Duration: If you are just beginning, it will take you at least 3-4 months to have good command over the fundamentals and then further take it to the level where you will be able to play along with certain songs and even hum it yourself. It also matters how you see yourself playing the instrument, if you expect yourself to be able to jam along with other instruments, it will take a little longer especially if you're just beginning to learn your instrument.

 

The duration is just an assumption, and not always exactly true but it is the average time one takes to finally understand their instrument based on our experience. There are other factors that determine how long it takes to progress including daily practice of the exercises and lessons given to improve muscle memory. So, make sure that you set your goals and follow them with plenty of regular practices and commitment to achieve them in the duration. Music Pandit has curated Practice Routines to counter these issues of not knowing what to practice. Whatever you practice must have a direct application and should build your skills for your learning purpose - that’s where Music Pandt comes in.

 

We hope you were able to get an educated understanding of how long it takes to learn to play an instrument with this blog post. If you want access to detailed guided lessons and practice routines, please do check out our Guitar courses on https://musicpandit.com – On Music Pandit, you get step-by-step lessons  that are designed to get you playing your favourite songs as quickly as possible. The lessons cover a whole range of topics including easy chords, popular strumming patterns, how to be creative with your playing and how to apply your techniques on any song!

 

We hope you enjoyed this topic and it was useful for you. Please follow our blog so you don’t miss out on any upcoming blog posts. If there is any topic you want to know more about, just comment below and we will definitely discuss it.


About Music Pandit

Music Pandit brings you the most effective way to learn music online with a 360-degree approach to learning music.


Music Pandit offers Online Video Lessons with the support of Personalised feedback from our Music Pandits, curated step-by-step lessons, extensive content - you can choose multiple instruments with One subscription, carefully organised Practice Routines, a Musical Community, Creative Challenges, Goal setting and so much more – so you can learn Anytime, Anywhere at your pace! Sign up today on https://musicpandit.com  


Saturday, October 31, 2020

3 Mistakes that are Stopping you from Learning Guitar

There are many factors to consider when we are an absolute beginner trying to learn something for the first time. There are several difficulties that a beginner faces that can slow down progress or result in a complete failure at learning the guitar which is an amazing instrument.

In this blog, we will discuss 3 mistakes that people make that directly impact their guitar learning.

Mistake #1 – Being Stuck on Warm-Up exercises

When you go to a music school or first guitar instructor, the first thing they are going to do is ask you to play guitar exercises. Typically, to master this exercise you may take a month or more. In our experience, most of the time, students complain saying that “I'm stuck at this exercise forever”. Now, if you're stuck at the same kind of exercise for two weeks or more, it’s obvious that you're going to lose interest. And once you start losing interest, the next thing you do will be to discontinue learning this amazing instrument.

So, what’s the Solution?

The right way to learn is to learn chords at the same time. So, why do you need to learn the chords at the same time? That is because chords by itself are going to take more than two or three weeks to master. So, let’s calculate the total time you’re going to take - you are going to learn the warmup exercise for three or four weeks then after that you're going to start with the chords. Chords will take you another two or three weeks so for two months you're just doing some exercise on the guitar


Mistake #2 - Learning Complicated Chords

When you first started learning to play chords on the Guitar, you tend to learn these chords C Major, E Minor, G Major and D Major. Now, while E Minor and D Major are not so complex for a beginner, the other two chords – C Major and D Major can be quite tricky for a beginner.

So, what’s the Solution?

That is why you should learn ‘half chords’. So, what are half chords? Half chords are simplified versions of the full chords – these typically have less notes that need to be played. These notes are typically played on the first three strings. So, we highly recommend first learning the half chords and how to apply them correctly. Playing these half chords and being able to apply them will help build your muscle memory and confidence. Once you have gained mastery over these half chords and are ready to venture into full chords, then you can start with full chords.

Mistake #3 – No Rewards/Motivation

A lot of students end up spending their first few weeks or even months on warm up exercises. They are unable to move their fingers fast enough, not coordinated or just unable to get a grasp of the instrument. The problem is that, if they are unable to achieve anything, they are going to get bored and lose motivation very quickly.

So, what’s the Solution?

The first thing we need to understand is the psyche of a learner. If somebody is trying to learn anything, it's directly related to how enjoyable that learning process is. How much of a reward system is it based on. So, learning and accomplishing things at a faster pace will keep you motivated. This in turn will keep you motivated to learn further. And if the process is really slow and complicated, you will either get tired or bored and you will ultimately stop learning. At the end of the day, with everything you learn, to keep you motivated, you need to have accomplishments. So, while warm up exercises are important, we advise that you don't spend more time on only exercises. Learn to play songs and learn songs alongside which is more rewarding and keeps you motivated to learn more.


In Summation

So, that was our 3 Mistakes that are Stopping you from Learning Guitar and our 3 solutions to counter that problem. So, make sure you don’t repeat these mistakes on your journey of guitar learning to achieve your goals. If you want to see a video demonstration of these topics, please see the video on our YouTube Channel - https://youtu.be/XcPYZXhdyt0    
 
If you want access to detailed guided lessons and practice routines, please do check out our Guitar courses on https://musicpandit.com – On Music Pandit, you get step-by-step lessons  that are designed to get you playing your favourite songs as quickly as possible. The lessons cover a whole range of topics including easy chords, popular strumming patterns, how to be creative with your playing and how to apply your techniques on any song!
 
We hope you enjoyed this topic and it was useful for you. Please follow our blog so you don’t miss out on any upcoming blog posts. If there is any topic you want to know more about, just comment below and we will definitely discuss it.

About Music Pandit
Music Pandit brings you the most effective way to learn music online with a 360-degree approach to learning music.

Music Pandit offers Online Video Lessons with the support of Personalised feedback from our Music Pandits, curated step-by-step lessons, extensive content - you can choose multiple instruments with One subscription, carefully organised Practice Routines, a Musical Community, Creative Challenges, Goal setting and so much more – so you can learn Anytime, Anywhere at your pace! Sign up today on https://musicpandit.com  

5 Ways to Extend your Vocal Range

Can you really extend your vocal range? The simple answer is YES!   Whether you've been singing for years or days, you can always work o...