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Exploring Vocal Ranges: A Johnny Cash Fan's Confusion and Curiosity

I happened to run across Ken's Youtube video titled: How To Sing Low Notes - Ring Of Fire - Johnny Cash - Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lX1LaIY7Y-I&lc=UgxX_un7qi1WXdXCWdp4AaABAg.9nb9n9YHCtX9ncFRBshl4E) and after watching/listening I had the following comment and question. Ken graciously responded and suggested I join the forum and post it here. So here it is:

I love singing Johnny Cash songs but I'm more confused than ever. What is your vocal range Ken? You hit some low notes there but you don't sound really comfortable with those low notes. With no formal vocal training (I played saxophone for years in school) I really have no idea where the cutoffs are from one vocal range to another. Some guys sing really high notes and I assume they're tenors. Some guys (Richard Sterban, Melvin Franklin) sing/sang really low notes and I assume they are/were basses. Everybody else is in between. Are they baritones? But that probably isn't correct. I really suspect Richard is a contra-bass. I can sing along with him just fine in a song like Elvira but when he drops to the lowest note (I think it's a C2) I croak like a frog. And I've heard him go significantly lower than that. I would so love to be able to hit that note but I don't see that happening.


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    WigsWigs Moderator, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 5,042
    I don't speak on behalf of Ken but can give some insight. Everyone has a tessitura which is a singing range that we are most comfortable in, we can train to extend this up and down, and out side of this we can use specific techniques to go even higher and lower. While it's possible to sing fairly comfortably outside of our tessitura, it won't always sound as natural as someone who can sing in that range in their tessitura.

    How you warm up and prepare for a singing range also affects your sound, so if you haven't prepared properly to sing really low, you might still be able to reach the note, but not to the best of your ability, the same goes for high notes.
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