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Country Vocals Lessons: The Basement - Singing in Low Register

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Let's go down
to the basement.
That is the lowest part of our modal or
chest voice register.
Not talking about vocal fry.
Not talking about that different stance
of the vocal folds, where they're
super relaxed and air is coming across,
and they're bumping slowly together.
Not talking about that.
We're talking about the lowest
notes of our chest voice,
normal speaking register,
modal voice register.
Very wonderful tones to have
as part of your tool belt and
definitely an area where you can
think about exploring an expansion.
Possible that maybe there's
one half note below where you
think you can go now,
what your lowest note is.
Maybe even another note.
Don't know?
Let's find out.
We're gonna explore and
experiment and play.
Want to make sure we're
always staying relaxed.
Relax, relax, relax.
And that you're not
pushing your larynx down.
You don't wanna be
forcing your larynx down.
You wanna keep it nice and
relaxed and your neck and
shoulder muscles always relaxed.
And always your good base
stance to support your air.
I'm gonna give you a little
bit of a listening list for
this part of your voice.
There are some really
wonderful artists to refer to.
Johnny Cash, of course, one of
the greatest baritone voices we've had.
And especially listen to
his song Walk the Line.
Great example of really warm,
rich, low register use.
Country singer Jim Reeves,
beautiful baritone.
Patsy Cline, wonderful contralto voice.
Nice, warm, low tones.
I think Pink has one of
the best low registers around.
She's got a great power and
powerful high range, great belting range.
But her lower register and her chest
voice is just beautiful, warm and
rich, and
sounds really powerful but relaxed.
That's what we're going for.
We wanna learn to tap into those notes,
sounding and staying nice and relaxed.
Keeping the air forward and
up in your eyes and
your mask as much as possible and
your tongue forward.
Keeping all of that air forward,
not letting it drop down and
give you the desire to drop your
larynx and hurt your throat.
If you feel any fatigue at all,
stop and take a break.
The work that we're gonna here just for
a few minutes
shouldn't be especially fatiguing,
and definitely shouldn't be painful.
What you will need to do is
make sure that you're yawning,
keeping that throat nice and open.
And that you're keeping lots of air.
Take a couple big inhales [SOUND] and
exhales [SOUND] to really fill up.
You wanna really feel your
abdomen filling up with air.
Not just your lungs and your chest up
here, but take a deep breath in and
see how deep you can pull that air in.
Really feel that expansion.
[SOUND] Okay,
find a comfortable place in your chest
voice to start in your speaking register.
I'm gonna start on middle C right there.
And we're just gonna go down a few
notes and back up at a time.
On an ooh vowel.
Lots of good
air support,
take it a little lower.
Nice, deep breath.
Engage those lower abdominal
muscles and all of your respiratory
musculature to control your air.
I'm gonna play for
a second with my tongue,
where my tongue is.
I'm gonna let you hear what
it sounds like when I have
my tongue forward and
when I drop it back in my throat.
I'm gonna start with it forward.
I exaggerated that so
you could really hear the difference.
When you start to hear and feel your
tongue moving back in your throat,
that's when you know your larynx is
gonna be pushed down unhealthfully.
It's gonna start to cause fatigue.
So you wanna keep your tongue forward and
keep your soft palate and
your inner resonance in your head,
nice and open.
Moving down.
Let's go down
a little lower.
Let's go
one more step.
Nothing is
feeling tired or
I'm just very relaxed
all throughout my body.
And just exploring these bottom few
notes of my register.
I find that the more I keep my
air supply very supported but
very forward up behind my eyes,
I can continue to sing.
Although I have to have more and
more air supply to keep
the air moving across my chords
at this very low frequency.
You need twice as much air down in
this lower register as you do up high.
So play with this lower part of your
register, always staying relaxed,
making sure nothing hurts, and
nothing is being pushed or stressed.
Just take a couple minutes
to play around down here.
You can sweep down.
That'll give you a nice,
gentle exercise to
start higher in a more
familiar range.
When you attack a note
in this lower register,
you need, again,
lots of extra air.
Practice doing your long,
straight tone on these low register notes.
That's a nice, straight tone,
let's put a little vibrato in it,
see how that feels.
We've got a couple of backing tracks for
you to continue to exercise and
explore this part of your range.
For guys, we've got Folsom Prison,
great Johnny Cash song.
And then we've got a backing track for
I Can't Help It if I'm Still in
Love with You in the key of A.
Which might be a little lower key
than a woman would normally sing it.
But this is to give you chance to explore
and work gently in this low register.