Discovering the Lower Register

I’m not sure why—perhaps it’s societal expectations, or that I’ve listened to a lot of soprano/mezzo-soprano singers over the years—but for a long time I always tried to sing in something of an upper register. This I do via, I think, using a falsetto move in my throat, or at least a constant pinching of sorts, and this was always somewhat unpleasant.

When I recently started singing in a lower register along to traditionally male tenor songs, one that felt more natural, I noticed that even though a lot of notes seemed to hit the middle of what seemed to be my comfort range, I tended to flatten out on lower notes, and go too high on higher notes. For some reason I tried to persist with both ends of a stunted spectrum.

Today I started singing lower all the way, from upper to middle to lower range. And lo and behold, this turned out to be an extremely pleasant experience. I could even sing songs I couldn’t quite match before—well, I still don’t quite match, sometimes half a note flat or sharp at least, but I match better and feel less awkward singing.

My voice really is rather low, even though I almost constantly pitch it high; but female voices are supposed to be higher… oh well. I don’t mind; it would be kind of silly to mind. If I could ever get into a choir as a tenor… it would give me a reason to wear a tuxedo. But even if I am a tenor, on the island I would be unlikely to get in as one and forced to go falsetto-ish, which would spoil the fun.

Well, I still can’t make “Semi-Charmed Life” ((“The sky was gold / it was rose / I was taking sips of it through my nose / and I wish I could get back there / someplace back there / in the pictures you would take / doing crystal meth will take you up until you break”)) or “Give It Up for the Captain”, but that’s a matter of trying to enunciate very quickly. My voice is not only lower than usual, it’s seems like it’s more difficult for me to form coherent words than for other people. Perhaps I’ll catch up in time.

In the meanwhile, I’m starting to really like singing. I might even start singing in the shower if I can ever remember enough of the lyrics, which will remove a little bit of the hell that the mind-numbing relaxation of a shower usually brings to me.

And so to bed. At least briefly. Pagers are hell.

2 thoughts on “Discovering the Lower Register

  1. You’d be surprised the number of people who have problems with the WORDS while singing. I’ve seen dozens of choral directors driven to madness over this very thing. :-)

  2. Hah! I can see that. “Carol of the Bells”, for instance, drove the local director to near insanity a couple years ago. It’s comparable to “Semi-Charmed Life”, but neither can beat “Give It Up For the Captain” for most of its bars.

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