Can the Baritone voice range learn to sing?
The Baritone voice range is known for is deep tone and rich timbre – in my experience as a professional voice coach Baritone voices like mine are often more difficult to train and may take longer to mature in terms of developing coordination over each of the various elements of the voice from balanced onsets, to vocal placement, vowel tuning and of course the middle register, but with training and ongoing practice often results in a much more expressive and extensive vocal range than higher voice types are capable of.
Since developing my own baritone singing voice, I’ve realised that most of the resources out there simply aren’t geared towards or designed for the Baritone voice range, and we really do require specific and tailored training to build our voices the right way. Unfortunately, most voice coaches with higher voice types, even most high Baritones lack the understanding of the unique issues faced by a natural Baritone like morning voice, extreme separation of registers and complete lack of proper placement without specialised training. Thankfully, I’m here to tell you that YES, the baritone voice range really CAN learn how to sing – the caveat being with proper singing technique and a uniquely experienced vocal coach.
How to sing higher as a Baritone
Singing higher as a baritone takes special attention to your vocal placement and vowels, along with utilising proper register release early on in your training to ensure proper coordination of your registers as you start to develop your middle voice. As I often say to my students and those looking for tips on how to sing better, your singing voice is only as strong as the foundation on which it is built on, so check out my free foundations short courses for my proven steps-based approach to posture and breathing to ensure you’re ready to take your voice to the next level with these 5 simple baritone singing techniques.
Top 5 Baritone singing techniques
These 5 singing techniques apply to all singers of course, but are ESPECIALLY important for a baritone looking to extend their range and build a healthy and powerful singing voice. Where a Tenor may naturally sing with a narrow vowel and placed resonance, a Baritone often has to train these aspects of the voice extensively, simply to maintain consistent resonance.
#1 – Placement
If you are a Baritone, then vocal placement is your new best friend. To sing with placement, you need to limit any unnecessary frequencies that aren’t resonating in a efficient manner so that you can instead build healthy frequencies and resonate freely in the way that other higher voice types no doubt take for granted.
Vocal placement takes time, perseverance and consistent practice, so make sure that your singing approach and vocal teacher has a practical and useful way to help you place your resonance for easier phonation.
#2 – The middle register
The middle register occurs when you learn to coordinate your Chest Voice and Head Voice registers together to create an honorary third register which acts as a bridge and gradient between your two main registers. Developing your MIX register, as it’s often known, takes specific training and a coach who understands that we’re not all born with connected registers like most higher voiced coaches expect. This disconnect between your chest and head register grows wider and more distant the longer you have been trying to sing high notes in chest voice, or the later you’ve left it before getting help with your voice.
Don’t fret though, it’s NEVER too late to learn coordination of your middle register – I have a number of students who are well into their 60’s who have build an extensive, powerful and expressive middle register. It takes training and dedication to build your middle voice, but the results speak for themselves and are truly worth the cost of professional training.
#3 – Register Release
Learning to release our registers is an important skill that should be a part of any healthy singing regimen, and will aide in your quest for a connected chest and head voice. The most common exercise for register release is a lip trill, but honestly, any exercise will do – it’s the intention behind an exercise that is more important than the exercise itself. Make sure that your approach to singing includes a practical way to release your registers – if you’re being told to sing higher in chest voice, or bridge to head voice early, then your vocal coach obviously doesn’t understand simple mechanics of the voice and you will struggle with chest and head connection, along with adding unnecessary strain to your singing, two habits that are very hard to break once built. Register release is the first step to building a baritone voice, control your registers wisely and your high range will be expressive and powerful.
#4 – Consonant Grouping
Baritone voices often have considerable issue creating consonant sounds, due to the low placement we’re used to in speech. This is the catch, your speaking voice and your singing voice are separate elements of the same mechanism – speaking and singing are two different processes that have little in common. Learning to separate your consonant sounds into their corresponding groups and then forming an individual approach to each consonant depending on your voice type, accent, native tongue and unique resonators takes professional training and a great vocal coach. This is the reason why singing courses often aren’t efficient in teaching you how to sing – even if they do show you how to sing high vowels and sirens. Learning to sing consonants is the cornerstone of singing actual songs – if you can’t sing consonants, you can’t sing songs.
#5 – Resonance Tuning
Are you aware that the width of your vocal tract affects how well, or how weak your vowels are resonating? Developing control over your vowels by forming the right tongue shape for each sound, and matching each shape with their corresponding vocal tract width through the various ‘tricky’ passages in your voice is a special skill that takes time, training and practice.
Learning how to sing as a baritone takes time, practice and perseverance, but the answer is YES, the baritone voice range absolutely CAN learn to sing with a powerful and extensive vocal range – and even become professional singers and international vocal coaches like me. The caveat being, with healthy vocal technique and a voice coach who understands your unique and special Baritone voice and all the individual issues that come with learning to sing with a low voice. If you’re ready to start building your baritone singing voice the RIGHT way, book a session with me now!
Feel free to leave any feedback or questions below!
Kegan DeBoheme is Bohemian Vocal Studio’s resident vocal coach and voice expert. He teaches professional singing and voice technique to students all around the world and enjoys providing tutorials like this one on how to improve your voice.