Dear 100 Hour Board,
Can someone dramatically increase their singing range? Like, can a bass learn to sing tenor as well?
Yes you can. But like any other skill, it takes practice. Everyone is built differently so if you are a bass that means you need to practice more than a tenor in order to sing a G above C without straining.
I found these two articles to be a fairly good summary of what you need to do (the second article has some good stuff in it but it tries to tell you how to be a rock star and I'm a bit iffy on that stuff).
The main points are:
- Don't strain your voice If you feel pressure or pain in your throat then you need to take a step back. Singing should feel comfortable. Don't try to go too high to quickly. Just practice going up to your highest comfortable note and back down. You'll eventually notice improvement.
- Maintain your breath It's really common to try to push air out really fast to get higher notes but that's not a healthy, sustainable way to sing higher. Again singing should be comfortable so learn to expel the same amount of air while singing low notes as you do high notes. This means doing lots of breath support exercises. You might not need to support your breath as much while singing low notes but you should anyway because it will help you sing higher in the future. And it's healthier in general.
- Be patient I don't know what timeline you expect but if you are hoping to sing "Bring Him Home" from Les Miserables as a bass in a few weeks you need to change your mindset. In my personal experience, my range will grow by a half step or more as I sing often and consistently with a decent warm up for about a month. Make sure you take breaks as needed (if you just had an intense practice, go easy the next few days). You start training for a marathon by running 1 mile, then 2, then 5, then more. And you start months before your race. So set a goal for what you want to sing and set the date a few months in the future.
I'm not a professional but this is advice from my own experience so take it as you will.
-Spectre, Amateur Bass
The question is, why would you want to?
-Mitty, a fellow bass
Ain't no pop songs for baritones, see.