Vocal Range: Find Your Singing Voice Type: A Definite Guide
Vocal range refers to how high and low a performer can comfortably sing.
In order to sing well, one must find one's vocal range. Michael Jackson's recordings reach almost 4 octaves! You've probably heard singers with such a wide range of voices, but most singers don't have that because most people have natural or modal voices between 1.5 and 2 octaves, while some have a range of over 1 octave. With a little experience and musical practice, it's easy to calculate your vocal range and determine which of the seven main vocal types you belong to alto, mezzo-soprano, countertenor, baritone, mezzo, tenor, or bass.
What is a voice type & Why You Should Find Your Vocal Range?
The vocal ranges of famous singers are a hot topic, but it can be difficult to figure out what type of vocal ranges they have.
So before we get to the first eight voice types, let's talk about what voice types are and why voice types are important.
Here is what you need to know.
Voice type is the classification of a singer's voice based on several criteria such as range, voice weight, tone, texture, pitch, and bridge position.
So why is it important?
Originally, the voice type system was developed to help singers select opera roles.
This means that if you know you have the range and pitch of a soprano, then you can go to auditions and hopefully be chosen for a soprano role.
In classical opera, there are several different vocal cords, including soprano, alto, tenor and bass.
Today, however, knowing your voice type can help you decide which artists to listen to and which songs to choose.
For example, if you know your voice type is a tenor, then you should look at singers like the famous tenor singers Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith.
let's say you're looking for a song to sing.
Once you know your range, it's easy to tell if the song is right for you, or if you should sing it in a slightly lower range.
If you know your vocal range, you also know which singers you should listen to for inspiration.
If you don't have a high range, you might want to listen to Johnny Cash instead of Freddie Mercury.
Or, if you have a higher range, maybe you should listen to Beyoncé instead of Tracy Chapman.
You May Find This Interesting: Best Vocal Songs: Songs With Powerful and Hard Vocal Riffs
Male And Female Voice Types
Before getting to any one note, let's familiarize ourselves with the keyboard numbering system. Discussing about notes such as "A on the second note above the midpoint C" can be confusing at first, so a popular trick is to add an octave note to the keyboard. The high C is called C4 because it is the fourth C on the keyboard (starting with the low C).
Now that you know some of the notes, it's time to decide which one best suits your singing style!
There are three tones for the male voice: baritone, tenor, and bass.
There are three types of female voices: alto, mezzo-soprano and soprano.
Male Voice Types:
In most tracks, the bass is deepest between E2 and E4. In the upper and lower half of the bass, some basses can sing between C2 and G4.
Some Popular Examples:
Johnny Cash - I walk the line
Barry White - Can't get enough of your love baby
Bing Crosby - As time goes by
This is the second bass region where the baritones overlap. The typical baritone is in the range from A2 to A4, extending to F2 and C5.
Some Popular Examples:
Hozier - Take Me To Church
John Legend - All of Me
The tenor is the highest position in the male voice, generally between C3-C5. Tenors tend to have better control and can bring sopranos (lead voices) into the female range.
People who can sing viola are often referred to as "countertenor".
A few tenor examples:
Michael Jackson - Bad (Shortened Version)
Stevie Wonder - Sir Duke [HD]
Jason Mraz - I'm Yours (Official Video)
Sam Smith - Stay With Me (Official Video)
The countertenor has an uncommon voice, like a bass.
The countertenor has lines from E3-E5 and has the lightest vocal weight of any singer.
There aren't many countertenor in the pop world these days, and we like the mix of ups and downs, maybe it's the low stuff and countertenors that don't fit.
However, here is a good example:
Bruno Mars - Grenade [Official Video]
Female Voice Types:
The alto is the deepest of the female voices. The typical high band is between F3 and F5, but there are people who can sing above or below this range. People who can sing in the following manner are often referred to as "contralto’s" and can sing in a range close to the tenor's range.
It is similar to the mezzo-sopranos of an alto singer, but generally richer and more complete than the mezzo-sopranos of a lower middle singer. Still that line, it sounds good.
Tracy Chapman - Fast car
Lana Del Rey - Summertime Sadness (Official Music Video)
Amy Winehouse - Back To Black
2. Mezzo-soprano :
The mezzo-soprano is the female voice in the viola section, including alto and soprano. The typical range for this sound is A3 to A5.
Typically, the mezzo-soprano sings the same way as the soprano until it is divided into three parts: soprano, mezzos and altos.
Bette Midler - The Rose (HD music video 1979)
Lady Gaga - Bad Romance (Official Music Video)
Madonna - Like A Prayer (Official Music Video)
The soprano voice is the most powerful and resonant voice in the entire piece. The typical soprano is between C4 and C6.
Here are examples:
Mariah Carey - Vision Of Love (Official Video)
Whitney Houston - I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Official Video)
Beyoncé - Halo
Ariana Grande - One Last Time (Official)
The contralto is the lowest part of the female voice, and is as rare as the bass and countertenors.
The contralto has a range of around E3 to E5 and the singing is heavier.
When some women speak and low notes, it's almost always a male voice.
Here are just a few examples.
Angel (Live)- Lalah Hathaway
Feeling Good -Nina Simone (Lyrics)
Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) (Official Video)
Factors That Determine A Singer’s Voice Type
There are many factors that determine the type of voice a singer has. It includes vocal weight, anatomy, speaking voice, vocal registers, timbre, range, tessitura, and bridge location.
Even if you don't know what type of vocal range you have, you can use these factors as a reference to come up with an estimate.
Let's talk about them.
1. Vocal Weight and Voice Type
Vocal weight is the lightness or heaviness of the voice.
The ease of vocal weight can be said to be the difference between a cello and a violin.
It's true, they're all stringed instruments.
You can also play several of the same notes.
But if two people, a cellist and a violinist, play the same notes at the same time, you can always hear the difference.
Because the instruments are different sizes.
The same goes for the weighting of voices.
The bass (lowest male voice type) and tenor (highest male voice type) can play the same note.
However, the sound weighting that the singer receives on these notes will be quite different.
2. Tessitura and Voice Type
Tessitura is the range of your voice, the part of your voice that you feel comfortable with when you sing.
And the highs in the example above are not the bass tessitura.
But wait, what's the difference between that?
A range is a measure of the lowest and highest notes that a singer can sing.
Tessitura, on the other hand, refers to a range of sounds that are pleasant or relaxing.
Tessitura is a much more important factor in choosing the songs to sing.
As a tenor, you can go up to G5 (range), but I can sing comfortably up to C5 (tessitura).
C5 is easier to sing, though.
Let's not forget that.
The most important thing is that it feels good to be singing.
3. Bridge Location and Voice Type
Now that you know how your vocal weight and tessitura affect your voice, let's talk about what everyone has in common.
When it comes to vocal types, Seth Riggs, the founder of Speech Level Singing, has always said that 99% of men are of the tenor and 99% of women are of the soprano.
What does that mean?
It seems to contradict what we've been talking about so far.
Seth is aware that most of his clients have difficulty finding links to different recordings in their voices.
This transition between the chest registers and the head registers is called the bridge or passagio.
Seth Riggs points out that most men and women have more or less the same transition to the second register: men in E4 and women in A4.
So, why does this happen?
Because in the end someone might have pointed to the music team and said there's a problem there.
Regardless of the voice, many men find it hard to sing in E4 and women find it hard to sing in A4.
With this knowledge, Seth was able to develop a method of singing that met the needs of singers who wanted to reach the high notes without remixing, regardless of the actual form of the voice.
From a practical standpoint, what's the point of discussing vocal types if you can't sing pleasantly throughout your range?
What is your vocal range?
Finding your vocal range is pretty easy if you follow the below guidelines. Vocal range refers to the pitch and depth of a performer which can be comfortable sing. You have to write the lowest and highest notes, only then you can find your current vocal range.
- There are now many free smartphone apps that let you put your hand on the piano and put the digital version of the piano within reach.
- Find the middle C, which is C4 in the scientific notation of the orbit.
- Sing along by following the keys downward until you finish the lowest note which you can comfortable perform.
- And then highest note is reached in the same way from the middle of C.
Tip: Make sure there is no tension in your throat. With proper training and practice, you can stretch your voice like a muscle. Your current range may not have the kind of sound you like in the songs, but in time, you will reach that sound.
If you still need more assistance to find your vocal range then following video will be a great help.
Find Your Vocal Range In 1 Minute
Another great video
Best ways to improve your vocal range
Here are three ways to help you to improve your vocal range.
1. Practice vocal exercises in the right way
Use the analogy of fitness and building the other (larger) muscles of the body, because singing implies muscle memory (it teaches the muscles to remember actions that must be repeated).
Vocal exercises not only warm up your body, but also work the muscles around you by adding complex words, rhythms, and melodies that work your brain without complicating it.
You should use vocal gymnastics to train your muscles and develop and strengthen your voice with proper technique.
Speaking of improving your vocal recordings, if you exercise yourself and sing with confidence every time, you'll be able to keep the highest notes in time.
Try a note above or below your current comfortable scale and remember to approach it with no problems, but with confidence.
2. Concentrate on FEELING over HEARING
Singers often listen to a song and wonder in horror if the notes have been reached or if the next high note will follow. If you do, you won't be able to get any closer because of the increased tension in your throat and tongue.
During the team test exercises, focus on releasing as much tension as possible, especially when you feel relaxed. Loosen up your jaw (in a slightly sluggish way) and do some aerobics.
If you feel the tension inside, take it, let it go, and try again.
3. Challenge Yourself
Now that the focus has been on rest, let's take it a step further!
Make sure your piece is a slightly more challenging than your vocal range. If you play it safe and stick to what's easy for yourself, your voice will not grow.
Pay attention to the teacher's lecture and listen attentively before attempting new pieces with complex notes. If necessary, switch to a falsetto or head voice and try to increase twang to produce more volume and intensity.