How to Sing Bass

(Last Updated On: February 27, 2021)
Man singing bass voice.

The technical aspects of how to sing bass are the most neglected topic by many singers. Learning the bass voice singing techniques will help you to expand the lower part of the vocal range further. Thus make your singing voice fuller, deeper while singing in lower notes. Technically, the skill of lowering your vocal range further is the major factor to develop a professional bass vocal. Once you’ve mastered the rudiments of singing bass, you’ll surely have a fuller and deeper voice in the lower notes.

The Vocal Range for a Bass Singer

A good bass range is normally from around E2 to E4. Even though this is one of the most conservative range, some musical, operatic roles lower the range further. In some instances, the bass range is much lower. Most Russians and gospel singers can sing at a lower range than this, and still sound great.

A conservative good bass range is typically between E2 and E4, although some operatic singers can even sing further low, and thus, they have also expanded their bass range. In some instances, one can even sing much lower even up to Bb1. But the important thing to understand is that Bass has the lowest tessitura and vocal range.

Of all voice types, Bass has the lowest vocal range and also the lowest tessitura. C2 is the most extreme low range for bases. However, some extreme bass singers popularly known as oktavists and profondos can sing at a much lower range than this. If you are a new singer that wants to learn how to sing bass, try singing with new vocals and instruments that match your voice.


Types of Bass Voice

Bass is classified into several types and categories. There are some basses that are thicker and goes with a lower range while the tessitura varies with a higher range.

1) Bass-Baritone

A Bass-baritone is the low-lying classical bass that shares several qualities with the Baritone-voice which is normally distinguished by two attributes. First, the voice must have a ripely resonant lower-range that is associated with a bass voice. Secondly, the bass voice must be capable of singing comfortably with a baritone tessitura.

2) Basso Profundo

A Basso Profundo is a type of bass that is associated with the lowest vocal range. It normally falls in the category of thicker and lower instruments of the vocal fach. With this type of bass, most singers find it difficult to sustain with their voice. A Bass Profundo requires one to have the ability to sing notes in a bit lower register.

3) Lyrical Bass

The lyrical bass is also known as Basso Cantabile, and it’s a type of a bass that can sustain a higher Tessitura than Bass Profundo. In the low registers and lower-middle, this bass dark reflects a darker color that is more lyrical. The Lyrical bass is flexible and can be sung more easily in the upper Tessitura.


How to Expand Your Vocal Range Downward?

If you are a professional singer, it is important that you push your vocal range downward when singing bass. It requires practice, and the more you practice, the better the result would be. One caveat, however, is that you should not over-practice for it may overtax your voice and eventually lead to complications. On the other hand, lack of practice will surely not yield any measurable results.

Another point to consider is this—if you are desirous of expanding your range downward, you should also expand your range upward. Although your focus would be to expand your vocal range up, it is good to consider that you would only completely develop your lower vocal range if you are able to develop your high range.


Techniques and Exercises for Singing Bass

1) Keep Larynx Low And Relaxed

The larynx is a major organ that regulates voice sound in mammals. The voice of your vocals cords depends on it. If you want to have good bass, you must learn how to relax your larynx and let your voice come out naturally without being forced. Relaxing the larynx also helps you to utilize your full low-range potential easily. Most vocalists always sing with a raised larynx that makes them produce a soft sound that lacks good bass depth. When you inhale, the larynx dips, if you can sing in this position, your voice will be much clear, and you will be able to achieve a lowered position that is known as “singing with an open throat.

As the major organ for regulating your voice, your larynx should be often exercised and you should learn how to relax it. You can do this by letting your voice come out naturally without forcing it. With a relaxed larynx, you can surely optimize your low-range potential.

2) Identify The Lowest Range

It is a prerequisite that you are conscious of your lowest note to be able to sing effectively in the lower notes. You can use the piano to figure out your lowest note, or you can utilize online pre-recorded tools to find your lowest note. Moreover, before you perform any vocal exercise, it is critical that you be able to identify your vocal range level.

If you want to learn how to sing lower notes, first identify the lowest note that you can be able to sing. An online pre-recorded tool can help you to learn how to sing notes and if you can’t find one, just look for a partner that can play notes on a piano. It’s recommendable to always start low and then increase to higher notes once you learn some new skills. For a starter, start from C4 and then progress to higher levels that will make you strain when singing. Before you get into any exercises and techniques, make sure you identify the level of your vocal range.

3) How To Develop A Good Depth In The Lower Notes

A good singer must be able to master his or her own lowest and highest notes. Vocal cords normally relax as notes descend in a pitch. If they get too relaxed, you will lose control over your sound. Most great bass singers that sing well always maintain a good resonance in their faces when they sing low notes. Some bass parts don’t require the same vocal dexterity, and this can help new singers to gain a consistent voice quality.

If you want to become a professional bass singer, you need to master your lowest and highest notes. Always maintain a good resonance within your face whenever you sing in the low notes. Always aim for consistent voice quality. It is also critical that if you want to become a good bass singer, you need to identify your voice register. There are three different voice registers, namely: middle register, head register, and chest register. Every register corresponds with the notes you sing. Learn how to transform your voice, therefore, from chest to head if ever needed.

Singing low notes requires one to use less energy and power. If you want to become a good bass singer; you must identify your voice register. Voices are classified according to 3 different registers. These registers include; middle register, head register, and the chest register. Every register corresponds according to the notes that you sing. When a singer sings low notes, vibrations resonate in the chest while the head register resonates vibrations of high notes. Depending on your range, the middle register normally transforms your voice from the chest to the head for you to sing the notes.

4) Expand Your Range Up & Down

Most people are born with a fixed vocal range, and if you are one of them, you must learn how to expand your range up or down. It’s very possible to change your range with vocal training. Bass’s voice requires one to practice different exercises for both high and low notes.

If you want to find your range, try to plat the middle C on piano or keyboard and then match it with your voice. Play note by note until you find out that you cannot sing comfortably. Once you get to a level that you cannot sing well, that’s the bottom of your range. To find out the top of your range, repeat this process while going up in pitch. When singing, remember to stay relaxed, don’t force your vocals to work. If you are unable to achieve a target, stop singing and try another day. If you practice for several days, you will be able to sing all those pitches perfectly, and this will help you to identify or expand your range.

5) Proper Repertoire

When learning how to sing bass, most singers complain that there is no repertoire. This problem occurs when the singer perfects in vocalization and fails in presenting the music in the manner that it should be. In opera, most singers are good at singing bass but sometimes “old technical problems” might come up and prevent them from applying a technique to repertoire. With little exploration and imagination, you can start working on how to improve on Repertoire while still young in your musical career and then grow with the change.

One of the problems that prevent most singers from achieving repertoire is fear. Some singers have a psychological fear of singing. When your body is over-tensed, you can’t come up with good vocals, and this can hinder you from singing out the repertoire of a song correctly.


Further Tips to Adhere to

  • Make sure that you warm up your voice every time you sing. You can do this by singing down first before singing higher.
  • Remember that each voice is unique. So, it is better to learn and identify the range of your voice first, and the register of your voice. Afterward, you can work on expanding your vocal range based on your natural vocal range.
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