Free Bass Singing Tips

Written by erik devaney
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Free Bass Singing Tips
Bass singers provide the low register notes in choirs, choruses, barbershop quartets and other singing groups. (Microfono di profilo image by Stefano Maccari from Fotolia.com)

Bass singers are able to comfortably reach and maintain low register or low pitch notes when they sing. According to the voice-technique website Learn to Sing, the typical vocal range of a bass singer stretches from the F note above middle C on a piano keyboard, down to the F note below it. And while good bass singing depends in part on natural ability—your vocal chords need to be able to reach those low notes—there are several tips that can help.

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Avoiding Wobble

According to professional opera singer David Jones, vocal wobble refers to an undesirable vibrato, wherein the oscillation of the voice is slow, and the pitches a singer hits are wide or far part from one another. In comparison, the vibrato a singer should employ, when the piece calls for it, features rapid oscillations and minimal pitch variations. Vocal wobbling often occurs unintentionally with bass singers, especially when trying to reach higher notes, and can be the result of several factors. One possible solution for remedying the problem is to keep your tongue arched, and the tip of it pressed down behind your bottom gums while holding notes. This will help focus or channel the sound out of your mouth, so it does not resonate unnecessarily within it. Another tip is to practice by singing an “u” sound starting at high pitch and then working down to a lower one. This will help you recognise where you start to wobble, so you can adjust your approach.

Proper Breathing

Incorrect breathing is one culprit that can lead to vocal wobble, but it can also lead to more general problems, such as poor pitch. According to A Approach, a website that offers singing lessons and tips, bass singers commonly have problems with controlling their breath pressure, or the amount of force with which they intake and expel air from their bodies. A good tip for avoiding this type of overbreathing is to concentrate your breathing in your lower abdomen, as opposed to directly beneath your ribcage. This is because when you take in big gasps of air centred below your ribcage, it causes a gag reflex, and your tongue interferes with the sound as you release it.

Full Face

Barbershop bass-singing champion Bill Meyers recommends that bass singers sing with full face, or open vowels. This entails keeping your mouth and your throat open wide, and belting or forcing out the notes with a massive amount of pressure. The singing style produces that characteristic booming quality that bass voices have, and is void of nasal resonance.

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