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TERMINOLOGY TUESDAY – How to Find Your Vocal Range

Your vocal range is a great little bit of info to add to your resume, or to be able to give at an audition. Often, a music director will have you do scales to see how high or low you can sing, but if you can answer this correctly, it saves them a step and makes you look totally on top of your vocal game.

So, let's get to the goods. In this Terminology Tuesday post – we'll discuss 4 main points.

  • The definition of Vocal Range
  • How to a find your vocal range
  • How to write your vocal range
  • The range of specific voice type

WHAT IS A VOCAL RANGE?

So – what does someone mean when they ask you for your range? Basically, they want to know how high and how low you can sing. This range is something that you can definitely work on expanding through daily practice and exercises. Just like you can stretch and strengthen your muscles, you can stretch and strengthen your voice. And!!! it's important to remember that you might not be able to access your full range first thing when you wake up in the morning. Warming up will help you to wake up the parts of your voice that might not be up for the challenge. Try using the exercises at www.freeonlinevoicelessons.com

HOW TO FIND YOUR VOCAL RANGE

After a full vocal warm up, play up and down on a piano and see how high and low you can sing. When you reach the last note that you can sing comfortably at the top, that is the top of your range. When you reach the last note you can sing at the bottom, that is the bottom of your range.

I can hear your questions now…

  • BUT MOLLY… I don't play piano!
  • HEY MOLLY… I play piano well enough to do that but should I really write “3 Cs above middle C on my resume?” That takes up so much room on a paper that is already filled with info!

Never fear – this next section and video will totally help you!

HOW TO WRITE YOUR VOCAL RANGE

Luckily there is a nifty little technique called Scientific Pitch Notation (aka Note-Octave Notation/American Standard Pitch Notation). I'll explain it for you in simple terms, but if you want to read more about it… click here.

Basically, each octave (series of eight notes occupying the interval between (and including) two notes) is given a number. The lowest C on a grand piano is named C1. Each note above C1 are also followed by a 1, until you get to the next C which is C2.  This pattern continues up the scale so that when you get to Middle C you are at C4. From there it continues until you reach the top. (On a standard 88-key piano the lowest note is A0 and the top note is C8.

So… if you are a mezzo-soprano, you might have a range that looks like this… G3 – C6. 

Don't be freaked out if this confuses you! This chart will help. AND, if you are still overwhelmed, check out the video I  found and posted below the chart.

How to find your vocal range

[leadplayer_vid id=”52D0F52AEBDB8″]

 

WHAT IS MY VOICE TYPE (AKA VOCAL FACH)

Voice type is determined by so much more than how high or low a singer can sing.  In addition to range, one must take into consideration the color, weight, timbre, passaggio, speaking range of their voice, and how comfortably they are singing in a specific range. I've found several conflicting “ranges” for voice types, but I'll give an estimate below. If you'd like to read more about determining your voice type – this is a great article. It's more opera/choir based, but it still applies to all of you musical theatre performers.  Also – if you want a funny, but not too far from the truth break down of vocal range and voice types over at the unencyclopedia, click here.

ROUGH GUIDE FOR WOMEN VOICE TYPES

SOPRANO – A3 – C6

MEZZO-SOPRANO – G3-A5 

ALTO – E3-F5

ROUGH GUIDE FOR MEN VOICE TYPES

COUNTERTENOR – G3 – C6

TENOR – C3-B4 

BARITONE – G2-G4 

BASS – C2-C4

This Post Has 20 Comments

  1. Jane says:

    My range is E3 to A5 so I still don’t know what I am *sigh*

  2. This is a helpful tool. However, it might be better with all the semitones included and with a slightly enlarged range, particularly at the bottom end.

    • Molly Mahoney says:

      Totally! It’s been on my list of things to add for years! Ha! I didn’t actually record that one, but it would be easy to make one like it.

      After the full launch of my new online course, I have a huge list of videos like this that I’d like to create. Let me know if you find a better version? I’ll add it here!

      Thank you!

  3. Besma says:

    I m a Soprano … But i dont have control over all my notes

    • Molly Mahoney says:

      Hi 🙂 Do you have a daily vocal habit? I’d love to help you come up with a few exercises to help you gain more control.

  4. Paritosh says:

    My range extends from a0 to a5…..what am i?

  5. […] is my vocal type? If you are unsure about how to answer this question a great place to start is in this post about finding your vocal range. But remember, your voice type is about so much more than how high or low you can sing. Are you a […]

  6. Ruby says:

    Hello Molly,
    My range is D4- E5 FEMALE 33 YRS. OLD
    I Did another range test online and it is C#3-C4 and C#3-C#4. I’m confused which range is accurate and what voice type?????
    Thank you very much,
    Ruby

    • Molly Mahoney says:

      Hi Ruby : ) Can you please share a link for the other test you did. Ha!

      I’m a little confused by the question. C#3 – C4 and C#3-C#4 would be the same thing.

      Can you explain further. 😉

  7. Ises ora says:

    My is c1 A5 wat is my vocal range

  8. Los. says:

    What is my range if I’m an e3 – f5 (17 y/o male)

  9. Kris says:

    I have no vocal training what so ever i dont know anything but i can somewhat sing idk lmao.

    Some people say i have a beautiful voice and some say you sound like your holding back that i can put more range and power but i dont know how to put more power.

    Im all over the place i can tell u now i suck i think i do.

    Im jumping around from

    Vibrato
    Vocal runs
    Vocal riffs
    Vocal pitch bends
    Singing higher without straining

    All those i dont know how to do im looking all over for the right teacher to teach me. It gets frustratingly difficult.

    I know im a bag of trailmix can you help me

  10. Kris says:

    I was recently spending $3,000 for vocal lessons in that case didnt help one bit

  11. Stevie says:

    My vocal range is A3-F5 I’m going to be 22 on October 8th I’m a young lady

  12. Caleb says:

    I’m pretty confused with my voice type…I am able to hit A2 on lows and A4 on chest belts, D6 with falsetto…what is my voice type?

  13. SebD says:

    My lowest notes are at A-1 and my highest are at C-4, so what voice type is mine?

  14. Phillip says:

    My lowest range is C1 and my highest is E4. Any idea what my vocal range might be?

  15. Name* says:

    I’m a girl and I can hit C3 in low notes and in high notes G5 (G#5) and in falsettos I can reach till Eb6 (F6) what is my vocal type?

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