Are you impressed with the warm voices of male singers? They used a technique related to singing subharmonics. It is not associated with the voice; instead, the singing technique will play a more critical role.
Singing at low frequencies occurs when the vocal folds of the ventricles vibrate with the folds of sound. So, how can you sing subharmonic notes?
- Identify your subharmonic register.
- Add distortion.
- Practice frying vocals.
If you do not practice properly, it can easily destroy your voice and make you feel uncomfortable. To fix that, continue reading the following article.
What Is Subharmonic?
Subharmonics are harmonics below the fundamental level. One can use voices or even musical instruments to create it. To be heard, it must come from a precise source, time, and space that periodically interact with each other.
When two notes of a particular frequency interact or periodically connect, it produces a subtone. You can also create bass by humming two notes as close as possible to make people think it’s a sound wave.
The three distinct techniques that produce bass are growl, argyria, and vocal fry. When considering vocals alone, they are divided into three types of voices as follows:
Open Vocal Fry
A person with an open backing voice can maintain a full voice with the accompanying support voice.
Technically, one voice vibrates at one frequency, and the other vibrates a perfect fifth above in sync with each other creating bass.
One must sing up to octaves when using an open voice to produce the desired note. It sounds like a full voice but with a different timbre when first heard.
Some people call it loud fry, and others call it strohbass. Both names are theoretically correct.
Supported Vocal Fry
This type of voice sounds thinner and unstable in pitch and rattle compared to a full voice. However, singers are less likely to suffer a mid-voice break like an open or falsetto.
Your singing will feel like the full-bodied sound around the mouth area with lots of reverberation in the grooves above the collarbone and throat.
Compressed Vocal Fry
Many people use vocal compression to increase emotion and emphasize final sounds at the end of a speech. However, not everyone realizes that they are using a compressed voice.
The pleats are fully added so that they won’t have any support or breath pressure. It feels loose, short, and thick. Proper phonation is impossible because the voice is pressed too tightly or down.
The only way to produce sound in that condition is to pass air currents through the folds, causing them to bubble. This type of sound is thin, weak, and has no natural pitch.
How To Sing Subharmonics: Step-By-Step Guides
After understanding the basics of subharmonic, we will dive deeper into the steps of practicing and performing this skill.
#1. Identifying Your Subharmonic Register
Before you start practicing a vocal technique, you need to understand your own voice. Steps to help find your vocal range include:
The easiest way to determine your natural vocal range is to sing a note most naturally. Choose notes in the middle of the field or the ones closest to your chest and voice.
It would be the best starting point before going into your mid or lower-range. If you still don’t know your vocal range, check out the list and video below:
- Tenor voices range from C3 to B4.
- The baritone range is usually between G2 and G4.
- Bass vocals range from D2 to E4.
- The soprano range is generally between the notes C4 and C6.
- The mezzo-soprano voice is usually between A3 and A5.
- The alto range is generally between F3 and F5.
Sliding The Note
The second method is to slide the tune-up and the down to the lowest key you can sing.
You will slide the note up about half a note and then bring your voice down to the lowest note within the range. Maintain the lowest note without breaking your voice.
Singing From Your Lowest Register
Bring your voice to the fifth note you are singing. You can play the piano in parallel to better support the lifting process. It’s the note you’ll encounter when singing the bass range, with an octave lower than your chest voice.
Your bass voice is A1 if your chest voice is A2.
#2. Adding Distortion
Follow these four steps to add some unique spice to your voice.
- Pursing Your Lips
You will have to purse your lips while maintaining the low note. Make sure your mouth is oval during practice. It will help your voice have better resonance.
- Pushing Up From Your Throat’s Back
Practice the minor notes until you no longer feel uncomfortable singing. Push the note out of your throat as pressure builds up in your torso. It’s easier to create bass when you sing with two sets of vocal cords.
- Pushing Down At Your Tongue’s Base
Tighten and flatten your tongue near the root area and then roll your tongue tip up a bit. It gives your bass tones an exciting distortion.
- Continuing Holding The Note
Continue until you are comfortable with this low tone. Don’t forget to practice regularly until you feel good.
#3. Practicing Vocal Fry
Vocal frying is one of the most common methods for bass vocals. If you want to learn how to practice this technique, read on below.
- Practicing After Waking Up
If you pay attention, your voice will be a little curt and hoarse when you first wake up. The main reason is that your vocal cords vibrate irregularly or more slowly than usual.
This humming and low rumble that you often hear is the fundamental voice of vocal fry. It is much easier to practice this technique as soon as you wake up.
To make a grunting sound, use as little air as possible. This crumbling sound also feels like vocal fry.
Isolate your vocal cords and increase the volume of this grunt. You can feel the vibrations of the vocal cords in your throat.
- Adjusting The Pitch
To have reasonable control over your fry, adjust the pitch correctly. One trick is to reduce the amount of air used and slow down the tempo of your singing. Keep practicing until you can fully control your voice.
Common Mistakes When Singing Subharmonics
You will often encounter two types of errors when practicing singing the bass range. You’ll need to avoid them, so you don’t break your voice or cause discomfort while singing.
#1. Going Too Deep
You won’t be singing low notes with realistic folds when singing the subs.
The realistic folds create a mid-range vocal, and the fake vocal folds resonate at half the speed of the real thing. So, people who are just beginning to practice will usually associate the subtone depth with the depth inside their body.
It leads to the sound getting too deep into the throat and causing it to enter the ribcage to create a gravel clack.
The subtone vibration is higher than that of the standard vocal. You need to bring your awareness upwards instead of downwards. Consciousness from the base of your body, possibly the bottom of your abdomen, is the important thing.
Your sound will come from this area. Although this step may sound very contradictory to you, practice. You will understand the problem better.
Many people try to practice too much when just learning a specific technique.
In fact, it will make you more likely to lose your voice and feel pain. You won’t be able to use your vocal for a while, and it’s extremely annoying.
The key to practice is to be patient and careful. False folds do not often work in daily life, so it takes some time to get used to them.
Exercise at a moderate and gentle intensity every day for 7 to 10 minutes. It makes the folds vibrate freely and without discomfort.
The movement of the pseudo-fold tissues also causes a slight tickling and irritation to the appendages. You don’t need to worry about it because it won’t hurt even with the most powerful activity.
What Are Undertones and Overtones?
Overtones are a type of harmonic overtone that you can measure or observe in periodic sound oscillations. Usually, they will go through the main notes. Conversely, some notes that go below the main note are called undertones.
Undertones are just a structure in theoretical acoustics without actual acoustics. Instead, the familiar term subtone comes from the oscillation of the tissues above the larynx.
The vocal fold is brought into periodic vibration with a high tension glottis. The fake laryngeal folds are then pushed slightly upward together at the back of the throat.
As you sing, the prosthetic larynx will vibrate well, with maximum consistency and amplitude, at exactly half- rated of the true vocal folds.
It is when you create two separate oscillations, perfect one octave apart.
Remember that overtones belong to the fundamental vibration, partly dependent on the whole. Overtones will have no overtones. Likewise, undertones also have no overtones.
Frequently Asked Questions
This section will answer some of your questions about singing in the subrange.
Is Subharmonic Bad For Your Vocal?
The technique of singing subharmonics results in a louder and more beautiful sound. Another benefit is that it doesn’t harm your vocal.
This technique will be difficult to use for those who sing acapella, but it is fascinating to use in choral singing.
Can Singing Too Low Hurt Your Vocal?
Harsh or unnatural singing patterns like screaming or belting can strain the folds of your vocal. Trying to hit a note too high or too low for your vocal range will also adversely affect your voice.
Hopefully, this article has given you a complete overview of singing subharmonics without affecting your voice.
The bass range will give great depth and support to a singer. Although this technique is not so simple to practice, the results are well worth it. You can take a few minutes to sing each day and record your progress.
Don’t forget to share this article if you find it useful. Thank you for reading!