We've had a couple different questions about extending voice range. This question is probably related more to endurance and tone quality, not just extending range.

Find a recording of Dexter Holland singing Half-Truism (or just remember it). Notice that the tessitura of the vocal line is screaming high the entire song. I'd have to listen to it again to be sure, but I remember a range of at least d'-c''.

One source claims that Dexter Holland's range is G-d'', but this particular song is obviously all in the highest octave (roughly) of that range. (The same source also claims he is a "low tenor," which I don't believe quite matches the range given.) Yet, it sounds intense without sounding forced, and it certainly doesn't sound like falsetto to me.

How does a male singer accomplish this? I know recordings can be done in stages, but for a live performance, how does a singer pull that off and still have a voice left?

  • related: music.stackexchange.com/questions/758/…
    – user28
    Commented Oct 14, 2011 at 15:27
  • @MatthewRead I suppose that's somewhat related, yes, though the singer may or may not actually be singing all that loud. It just sounds "intense."
    – Andrew
    Commented Oct 14, 2011 at 17:25

1 Answer 1


Often when a singer is performing in there higher register, they begin to constrict their vocal folds. It is not healthy to consistently sing with your folds constricted. "To oscillate, the vocal folds are brought near enough together such that air pressure builds up beneath the larynx." (wiki article on vocal folds) If your folds remain constricted the necessary air pressure goes over the folds, causing potentially permanent damage.

Different schools of vocal pedagogy teach us ways to avoid doing this, making it able to use one's high register for long periods of time while not damaging the voice. Jo Estill has some fantastic materials on the subject of vocal health in all styles of singing.

Estill's program uses everyday "cues" to get your vocal mechanism into a healthy position for the style of singing you are about to do. For a high level endurance (such as opera, musical theater, and even rock and roll) one uses a "belting" quality. To get your mechanism in position, make the preparation to shout as if in great excitement: raised eyebrows; cheekbones or sinuses raised as if you have a big goofy smile on your face; for higher parts, use quick high chest-breaths instead of deep low stomach breaths.

This should help in that style of singing. I would definitely suggest looking into Jo Estill's materials if you are going to be singing like this often, as they are full of valuable and voice-saving information.

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