Over the years I have coached many singer/songwriters, and it’s always interesting to see how the capacity of the voice influences a person’s songwriting skills. Does range matter when you want to write your own songs?
Let’s face it, if you write a song for yourself, you really don’t write it to the maximum capacity of what the song could be. You write it so that it fits your voice so that you can confidently sing it.
It goes without saying that with a voice that is limited, the song also becomes limited. A common trap for the up-and-coming singer/songwriter is that the songs start sounding the same. They are written and performed within the same comfort zone - the same range, similar dynamics, and similar expression.
But when you develop your range, something very interesting happens to the writing. The writing becomes bolder and more interesting. You have a greater palette of choices. Your song becomes more interesting because you, the singer, can do so much more with it.
And it’s nice when you, the singer, can embellish the melody/song even beyond what you, the writer, had intended.
And it’s not just improved range that improves a song. We’d like a song to have dynamics. A common trap for the average singer is to sing the entire song at a similar volume and similar emotional intensity. That singer may feel that there are a lot of dynamics in the song, but since his/her voice doesn’t have a big dynamic range, those differences are minuscule to the audience.
Again, when you develop greater strength, it’s remarkable how much more interesting your song and your expression becomes. Now the soft section isn’t soft because you have no strength, and you therefore just sing soft our of habit. It is now soft because of your emotional expression. And now the power notes don’t become loud just because you can’t sing them without screaming, but because of emotional artistic expression
Creativity opens up for the songwriter, when you have more voice to express with.
Do you sing your own songs? Please share what your writing experience has been when your voice has improved?