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I'm a pretty novice singer, but am a fairly accomplished instrumentalist. I'll be singing in a choir over the next year or so, and I'm trying to be at least semi-prepared tone-wise. I probably fit somewhere into the upper baritone/lower tenor category, although I've never really been classified.

My issue? It seems like I have the opposite problem of a lot of people. I have a fairly easy high range (I can get to a Bb4 without straining), but my low range gets immediately strangled below an Ab2 or so. When I hum a descending Bb scale, I can see and feel my neck tensing and almost immediately lose flexibility and tone across all of my range.

Anyone got any tips to relax down low?

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Chris,

The secret here is to relax your throat and neck. This picture helps me. Think of your esophagus as a long pipe running from the stomach, where you breath from, to your mouth. Your throat is just a valve in the pipe that has to stay open so the air can get through. So you breathe in deeply through your stomach (some people might say diaphragm), the air travels up the pipe to your mouth and vocal cords, and you form the sound you want to make primarily with your mouth, involving your throat as little as possible.

Hope this makes sense! By the way, if you're a new singer, I think you would really like the course "Singing For The Stars" by Seth Riggs. Seth is a famous vocal coach who has taught a lot of superstars how to sing better. I've been singing for years - I learned popular singing from this course, working with a teacher, many years ago, and I still go back to it for a refresher a couple of times a year.

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You don’t to strain your voice or push yourself too much when hitting the low notes. My suggestion is doing some warmups to gradually get used to singing lower tones. It’ll take a bit of time but it’s worth it. I’m a choir kid and it took me some practice to generate the vocal range I have now. Before I could only span about 17 keys on the piano with my voice, now I can do 28 keys, with a bit more practice I might even go for more. Another thing is breath support and posture. Usually when you sing low notes you have a tendency to squeeze down a bit, standing or sitting tall is your best option. And get a good breath by breathing from the diagram. So yeah just vocal warmups, breathing exercises, and good posture can help.

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