Whether you sing in front of a crowd at your local bar or concert hall, or simply in the shower, chances are you have heard of singers describing themselves as a Soprano, Alto, or Baritone. All of these are examples of what is known as vocal range. What is vocal range may you ask? It is the measure of pitches the human voice can phonate, in other words, it defines the span from the lowest to a highest note a voice can generate. That sounds complicated! To understand this concept, we must first understand how an instrument like the piano is divided. On a piano, the same seven notes are repeated over and over. Each do over of the 7 notes (A to G) is called an “octave”. Each time you reach a new octave on the piano you will notice it will sound higher and higher as a note. This concept of octaves will help finding out what your vocal range is. But what are the available vocal ranges?
Soprano – this is the highest a female voice can reach, and it is usually found between B3 and G6. Can you break a glass while singing at this level?
Mezzo-Soprano – this is a step down from Soprano, or, the middle range. You are a mezzo-soprano if you can comfortably sing between G3 and A5
Contralto – this is the lowest voice for females. You are a contralto if you can sing between F3 and F5
Tenor – this is the highest a male voice can reach. You are a tenor if you can sing between C3 and B4
Baritone – this is the mid-way for male voices, and it ranges between G2 and G4
Bass – this is where the doo wop songs start happening, bass is the lowest a male voice can reach and it ranges from D2 to E4
Finding your voice range is not that difficult to do!
- Pay attention to your speaking tone – pay attention to what notes you are hitting when you speak a couple of words on your natural speaking tone.
- If you have access to a piano, sing the lowest tone you feel comfortable singing
- Find that note on the piano and from there, start mobbing half steps until you reach the note you are most comfortable in.
Don’t have a piano handy? Check out this Range Finder by Masterclass!