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I need a quick fix on how to very temporarily extend my lower voice range.

The note(s) I need to reach, for a short performance in a couple of days, are notes that I can reach fairly easily and sing reasonably strong during times when I'm actively singing in choirs (with 2-3 semitones to spare until my absolute range limit)1. However I'm currently out of shape and the desired note(s) - although I currently in general can "sing" them - are very weak and at the very limit of my lower range. That is I'm lacking the 2-3 semitones of "buffer" that would make for the desired note(s) to come out strong enough. Also, since the performance is in the evening I afraid of tensioning up during the day so I can't reach the notes at all.

Since (a) this is a one time thing, (b) the total performance time for me will be less than a minute, (c) my voice quality for the performance is pretty much irrelevant, and (d) I'm not dependent on my singing voice for a living, I am open to suggestions that are possibly (but hopefully temporarily) destructive for the voice. Such as Drinking special fluids? Or screaming? Or making the vocal chords swollen some (other) way?

I've read this (and others) Q&A, but it's not aimed at a temporary quick fix and don't allow for having a possible bad voice:
How to extend and strengthen low end of vocal range? (I need about a whole tone extra.)

When singing in a choir I normally sing bass 2.
Mornings after a good party I can reach up to a fifth lower than my current low end limit and the desired notes then come out at full strength.

1These notes are very rarely found in choir music, but the active singing makes my range encompass them for easy reach.

  • 3
    Oof. I hope you find something safe! – delete me Oct 30 '12 at 22:14
  • 1
    Catch a cold... give yourself a hangover... ;) – slim Dec 17 '12 at 13:20
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For longer-term development, there's vocal fry and false-cord vibration.

But probably the best thing you can do short-term is lots of rest. If you can manage to take a 2-hour nap before singing, it should make the low tones easier to achieve because the muscles are relaxed. The "two hour" part is to try to get one full 90 minute sleep cycle. The deep-sleep portion of the cycle is where the muscles are greatly affected. Any less than a full cycle may provide no benefit, or may even be counterproductive. Practicing may be counterproductive because it will increase the muscle tension.

And of course, breath-support. The deep tones need more support.

Edit:

A few more ideas. [I realize the localized event has passed. Hope it went well, @Ulf! So this is for posterity.]

In-line with the breath-support, one should try to rise up from beneath the note rather than reaching down toward it. This almost forces you to summon the note with enough breath behind it. Then the fully-relaxed larynx won't interfere with your deepest resonance. You get the air going then scoop up to tone. With really deep notes, you're never going to get much attack and you'll strain if you try. But if it's breathy, you can add volume and tone by adding more breath without any real need to tense-up.

If you can move just a little closer to the microphone, that should reduce your need for volume and make the breathy tone less inadequate (hopefully reducing your need to push it).

2

Add sulfur hexafluoride to the air you breathe while singing the part. Find a concentration that lets you nail your lowest note, then fill a balloon or bag with that mix.

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To hit the low notes, you will need to train your high notes. You will need as much support and muscle training for the lowest notes as the highest notes.

Source: my experience: I am a bass and have always trained the high notes more than the low notes. Both ends of my tessitura have strengthened over the years and my vocal range has grown. It is common for basses to practice the low notes only, which leads to them have no high notes and breathy, non-metallic low notes.

I am afraid I cannot provide you a quick fix but it is worth remembering that singing both high and low notes requires muscle training and low notes should not be overlooked as easier to sing than the high notes, or sung with just power, but they should be treated equally and sung with the right (and similar!) technique.

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