I'm not a singer but trained flutist, 22 year old male. I compose melodies but I find struggling to vocalise them. I recently found my vocal range is from B2 to D4, E4 before it breaks. I was disappointed to have a very small vocal range, feels like I'm less "human", its psychological may be.

Although I don't intend to sing brightly, I would like to be able vocalise the tunes I make. Is it possible to improve my vocal range at this age?

  • 2
    Two octaves, or a little over, is average for a human voice. Thus, most songs written for a particular voice (alto, tenor, etc.) have a range of less than that. Many songs have a range of only one octave! Seems to me that writing songs very few singers could sing is on a hiding to nothing!
    – Tim
    Dec 28, 2020 at 9:29
  • @Tim - The B2-D4-E4 vocal range looks more like a little over one octave to me.
    – Dekkadeci
    Dec 28, 2020 at 13:16
  • @Dekkadeci - you're correct - about one and a half octaves. However, in my defence, milud, I didn't actually say otherwise! Two octaves is average for the human voice. It may appear, from my phraseology, that I said OP's voice was average. Honest, I didn't.
    – Tim
    Dec 28, 2020 at 14:20
  • @Tim I've not been able to track down any proper sources on this but I would be very surprised if an average of two octaves was true in terms of notes that people can comfortably and confidently produce with their voice in its current state - rather than (as I would guess it to do) referring to the range their voice is capable of physically producing. I found an earlier question on untrained voice range music.stackexchange.com/questions/28792/… where neither of the (unsourced) answers suggest the average is "two octaves, or a little over"
    – Judy N.
    Dec 28, 2020 at 22:30

2 Answers 2


Although I don't intend to sing brightly, I would like to be able vocalise the tunes I make.

This is possible. As Flute player you need to support the air stream. This is one important point also for singing and voice range. So you may train this method.

Getting higher:

To extend your range to higher notes like G4 make exercises in singing closer vocals like eeh, üüh (forming the lips like you were whistling), than open vocals like ou, uh, ooh, ah.

Getting lower:

Most successful are exercise to relax the muscles of your neck and the laryinx, shaking your head (yes, no), lay on your bed and let head hang out of the mattress, sing ahh.

When you write your music don't hum, but sing the higher parts with eeh or uuh, and the lower tones with oh and ah, holding your chin on your chest.

  • So, the answer is practice, practice, and practice. Dec 28, 2020 at 9:38
  • and: Yes, it is possible. Dec 28, 2020 at 9:38
  • 1
    (If you wait with accepting an answer the chance will be bigger to receive more answers.) Dec 28, 2020 at 9:45

As I have mentioned in a comment under the question, your current range strikes me as being a perfectly normal range for an untrained singer. You do not by any stretch of the imagination have a very small vocal range; and with training, I believe you will be able to strengthen and more reliably be able to produce notes at the upper end of the range. However firstly please note, the range of a flute – and indeed the range of most instruments – greatly exceeds that of almost all human voices, and so if you are expecting your voice to be able to replicate music you are intending to play on an instrument, you must understand that your voice will never be able to cover the full range available to the instrument in question, so you must be realistic in your expectations.

As far as training your voice goes, as always, the best way of doing this is to take lessons with a professional teacher. My personal advice as someone with a very similar voice-type to yours is that far far and away the most important consideration for developing higher notes is, as Albrecht has mentioned, to support the air-stream with your diaphragm and the muscles of your ribcage, and to keep your throat as relaxed as possible. This involves familiarising yourself with the sensations involved in controlling muscles that we normally use unconsciously – the diaphragm and intercostal muscles, for breathing in and out, and those in the throat/neck used for speaking. You want to consciously develop strength and solidity from the "base" in your chest and keep the neck and throat light and relaxed – do not strain to reach higher notes, but build up a range of well-supported pitches that you can sustain without them "breaking", as you say. With practice you will develop strength and control over your breath and familiarity with the "right approach" to higher notes, and you should find them coming more easily and more reliably. However this is only possible with attention to singing correctly when you are practising, so that you recognise the good habits and the associated physical sensations

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