I would love to be able to do "House of the Rising Sun" by the Animals justice.

It is anchored around A but in 3 different octaves. For me, A2 is really the very bottom of by usable range, A3 is at the lower end of my tessitura (probably G3-E4) and A4 is just a touch too high - I can hit G comfortably at volume, G# just about but A starts to sound very strained. And the nature of the song means flitting to falsetto here doesn't work, this is where you need a powerful tone.

I have tried moving it down a tone but G2 I lose so much volume and it sounds like I'm putting on a fake low voice.

So - I need to broaden my range 1-2 semitones. I've heard it said getting higher is easier, but I put quite a lot of work into this already whereas I very rarely sing anything below C3. So is it likely I can make 'easy gains' at the low end more easily than extend my high range another note?

  • 1
    You can shave 3 semi-tones off the bottom by not going to the low E [in Am], just cheat on the "god, I know, I'm one" by doing A, AG, GA. Few people will notice.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented May 15, 2020 at 9:17
  • 1
    I didn't even realise it went below that low A so I think I was doing that anyway. Even then, "There IS.." is I think A2 whereas the next verse "My _MO_ther..." is A4 (I haven't got the score to check). You can also cheat and switch octaves of course :)
    – Mr. Boy
    Commented May 15, 2020 at 10:22
  • The opening on 'There is' is G, A. No need to aim for the bottom E at that point, it's really a throwaway note. You don't really need to pitch it much at all. The entire song really only covers 2 octaves, apart from those occasional dips at the bottom. It can't be that hard to find a key that sits inside a 2-octave range.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented May 15, 2020 at 10:29
  • The issue for me is that the high notes need to be powerful and raw. Most pop stuff you can jump into some sort of mixed falsetto for the high notes (say Sam Smith) on this that's where the emphasis is so I must pitch the song around the high end being non-strained. I'm not that experienced at belting which would be useful here!
    – Mr. Boy
    Commented May 15, 2020 at 10:38
  • If you base the key on that top money note, then for practise at hitting it clean, miss off the first syllable each time… [my] mother etc, skip the 'my' until you can clean jump that money note. And learn to clean it, don't attempt the blues slides until you can already hit it clean, every single time [because bad blues slides are the most horrible things ever - they make you sound like a pub singer ;).
    – Tetsujin
    Commented May 15, 2020 at 10:43


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