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Increasing Your Speaking and Singing Range

One step in your quest of a singing belt is to practice speaking with a tone that uses forward resonance and high energy on various pitches. By knowing your optimum speaking pitch and exploring that sound and feeling, you’ll be more prepared, because you’ll understand the pitch in your speaking voice. When you’re ready, try this:

  1. Try being monotone.

    Find your optimum speaking pitch, and practice reading a recipe or an article from the newspaper in a monotone on the optimum pitch. That means saying every word on one pitch and not varying as you do when you normally speak.

  2. When the monotone is quite easy, vary your reading by alternating between two adjacent pitches.

    Use only two pitches for now so you can connect the breath and feel the sensations in your body and face.

  3. When you’re feeling confident, move up to a slightly higher pitch and repeat Steps 1 and 2.

    On the higher pitch, you want to maintain the resonant tone of your speaking voice that you had on the previous pitch. Just as in the singing exercises, the resonance needs to move higher as you ascend in pitch. You also want to maintain a mixed sound and not flip into head voice.

  4. Each time you’re confident of the pitch you’re speaking, play the next-higher note and use that as the central speaking pitch when you repeat Steps 1 and 2.

Women, after you get to the F just above Middle C, you’ll feel like you can’t speak any higher. You can. Find a middle voice sound, not chest voice, and continue speaking.

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