What's Your Vocal Range and Voice Type?
Our quick guide to helping you figure out your vocal range and voice type so you can add them to your Spotlight Profile.
By Hannah Brent
Casting professionals will often search for singers whose vocal range and voice type suit a particular role. Clearly indicating these fantastic skills on your CV is integral to landing that perfect job. All the musical terminology can be confusing, and you may wonder how to begin defining your voice on paper but have no fear, this quick guide to the basics has got you covered.
How to find your vocal range
Vocal range refers to how high and low a performer can comfortably sing. You will need to add both the lowest and the highest notes on to your CV.
Follow these steps to find your vocal range:
- Get your hands on a piano or if you don't have access to one, there are plenty of free apps which give you a digital version right at your fingertips.
- Locate middle C which is C4 in scientific pitch notation (as shown in the picture below).
- Follow the keys downwards and sing along until you reach the lowest note that is comfortable for you to produce.
- Next, return to middle C and now work upwards until you reach the highest note in the same fashion.
As a muscle, your voice can stretch with the right training and practice. Your current range may not include that money note in your favourite song, but, in time, you’ll get there. In the meantime, make sure that you aren't straining your voice. We have lots of tips about how to keep your voice fit and healthy should you need them.
Once you know your singing range, read our FAQs about how to add your vocal range to your Spotlight profile.
What is my voice type?
Every voice is an individual instrument with a unique sound however within each vocal type there are a few distinct similarities.
Take a look to see which voice type is best suited to you.
- This is the highest female voice type with a typical range of C4 to C6.
- A soprano’s voice is light and bright.
- They are most at home in the heavens of their vocal range like Christine in Phantom of the Opera.
- Famous sopranos include Dolly Parton and Ellie Goulding.
- With a usual range of G3 to A5, mezzo-sopranos can also have similar ranges to sopranos. They will normally sing along with them in choirs.
- The difference is that ‘mezzos’ will sound deeper and more mature in quality, feeling most at ease in the middle of their range.
- Mezzo-sopranos are often great belters, think of Elphaba in Wicked or Barbara Streisand.
- Altos are usually mezzo-sopranos with a lower range of E3 to F5 and are used mostly in choral music.
- A famous alto role to think of would be Sally Bowles in Cabaret.
- A true alto, in operatic singing, would be classed as a contralto. This very rare voice type is the lowest female voice. Their low notes are luscious and full of volume.
- Singers in this group can have an androgynous, distinctive sound. Think of memorable performers such as Amy Winehouse, Annie Lennox, or Cher.
- As the highest male voice type, tenors usually have a range of C3 to B4.
- Famous tenor roles include Tony from West Side Story and Elder Price from the Book of Mormon.
- Like sopranos, tenors find it easy to sing high notes and have a brightness to their voice.
- Famous singers in this category include Frankie Valli and Stevie Wonder.
- A note on tenors: If you think you have an even higher male voice than this, and your sound is similar to a soprano or mezzo-soprano, you could be a countertenor. This group has a range of around G3 to C6.
- The comfortable range for a baritone will sit between a tenor and bass from G2 to G4.
- Baritones are quite common and have a weightiness to their sound.
- A good example of the deep power of a baritone is Julian Marsh from 42nd Street.
- In popular music, you may wish to listen to the likes of George Ezra or even Elvis Presley.
- Basses are the lowest male voice type and, like contraltos, are a rarity.
- You will have a bold, booming voice that can reach an average low of D2 and a high of E4.
- Singers such as Louis Armstrong and Leonard Cohen are both classified as basses.
- In operatic music, singers with this voice type are often portrayed as dark characters to complement the sound of the performer’s voice.
Hopefully, you now have the tools to determine what your voice type and vocal range are but if you are still uncertain, there are plenty of professional singing teachers who will be happy to help you unlock the mysteries of your voice. Take a look at our Contacts Listings for singing teachers located near you.
In the meantime, keep practising and happy singing!