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#1
Voice types are divided initially into two broad categories - Adult males and Adult females/children. From there, each is divided further into three slightly narrower and somewhat more vague categories - high, medium, and low voices. At that point, each is defined with a label - tenor, soprano, etc. At this point, it is important to note that a male whose voice has not yet changed is classified similarly to females, as this is the range that they sing in. A young boy with a high voice would be a boy soprano, for instance.

Adult Males

High voice - Tenor
Medium Voice - Baritone
Low voice - Bass


Children and Adult Females

High voice - Soprano
Medium Voice - Mezzo-Soprano
Low Voice - Alto



Now, very few of us have a voice that fits these registers exactly, because everybody is different. The following is a general guideline of the ranges of each category. Note that these ranges are all typically defined as either from C to C, or from G to G, each covering two octaves. For the purposes of defining your range, falsetto and whistle registers are NOT counted.



Soprano - middle C to two octaves above middle C.
Mezzo-Soprano - G below middle C to high G
Alto - low C to high C (one octave above and one octave below middle C)
Tenor - low C to high C - same as alto
Baritone - low G to G above middle C
Bass - deep C (two octaves below middle C) to middle C


Bear in mind that this is not a definitive guide. There are differences of opinion, differences of application (ex. an operatic tenor is expected to reach a high C, whereas a choral tenor can sing most repertoire going only up to the A), extremes of repertoire demands (Mozart wrote a high F for a tenor part in one of his operas), etc.

Also, within all that, are different vocal characteristics. It's not just that you can *sing* the notes an alto will sing, you should also *sound* like an alto. It can get kind of confusing.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#2
WellI can't sing well at all, my voice just doesn't sound good, but I've got bettetr at hitting the right notes, and I can sing resonably low, and i can sing really high falsetto aswell, I don't know the actualy notes I can, but I don't know anyone with a bigger range.
#3
By these standards I'm a bass baritone, I can't sing lower than the D above the deep C and higher than D above the middle C. That is for the full voice, with falsetto I can't go higher than the high C.
#4
Well thank you for that info. I just found out I'm most likely a tenor, and now I know what vocal ranges I can go through.

While I cant sing for the life of me right now, I am working on it, and this info helps me at least have an idea of what I might be capable of. I tend to sing in high falsetto alot which is a habit I picked up from singing along with Claudio of Coheed and Cambria for the past 8 years haha.
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Last edited by Dragonis at Sep 30, 2009,
#5
i dont really know what im supposed to be. i think vocal range wise i seem to be a baritone. but i can sing tenor parts like stevie wonder songs and grand funk railroad songs. so maybe im on the low end of tenor? or a high baritone? i doubt anyone is 100% one or the other though.
#7
Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
i dont really know what im supposed to be. i think vocal range wise i seem to be a baritone. but i can sing tenor parts like stevie wonder songs and grand funk railroad songs. so maybe im on the low end of tenor? or a high baritone? i doubt anyone is 100% one or the other though.
Well, what are the highest and lowest notes you can hit?
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
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#8
Howdy Chris - good work on getting this forum started.

In reference to middle C, which one is that on the guitar in standard tuning? I can sing as low as the F# on the low E string.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#9
And there is the complication....

*Actual* middle C is the second string first fret.

Guitar transposes down an octave, like male voices, so when a guitarist or a male singer sees middle C written on the staff, we actually play/sing the C below that, which is fifth string, third fret.

This is why I have a hard time making reference to middle C or C4 or whatever because it is never clear whether they mean the actual pitch or the played pitch.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#10
I'm guessing I'm a baritone? I can hit the open g string, but I'm very shaky, I can easily hit the F below that. and I can almost hit the D if I'm in drop D tuning, but I can definitely hit the E.

edit: wait: I can go higher than the G string but everything is really shaky, it starts turning into falsetto around the C on the b string. I'm thinking maybe I could be a bass with practice? I don't think I'm a baritone cuz I can't go high enough, and I can go lower
Last edited by The4thHorsemen at Oct 1, 2009,
#11
Sounds like bass to me. Although you don't fit perfectly in either one, you really seem to lean more heavily towards the bass register from your description.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#12
Quote by axemanchris
This is why I have a hard time making reference to middle C or C4 or whatever because it is never clear whether they mean the actual pitch or the played pitch.


I was always under the impression that using scientific pitch notation, would indicate pitch, and not care about transposing instruments, so a C4 on a guitar is a C4 on a piano, is a C4 on a trumpet etc..., while "middle C" was an informal term used mainly by pianists, and meant the note on the staff that on a piano is the pitch C4, which would be a C3 on a guitar, or bass, and a different letter name for other transposing instruments (B3b on a trumpet for example).
#13
What am I?


Bottom E flat (below e string on guitar) to a squeaky E (12th fret first string) - this is my absolute strained range.

Bottom G (on e string) to the G/A above middle C - Comfortable here, but have to warm up to get those higher notes.


Thanks,
AJ

Also, could I upload some clips of me singing here in a new thread... and get some much needed crit ?
#14
Quote by ankthebank
What am I?


Bottom E flat (below e string on guitar) to a squeaky E (12th fret first string) - this is my absolute strained range.

Bottom G (on e string) to the G/A above middle C - Comfortable here, but have to warm up to get those higher notes.


Thanks,
AJ

Also, could I upload some clips of me singing here in a new thread... and get some much needed crit ?


it sounds like you're including falsetto, which isn't included in your range (i think)
#15
Quote by food1010
Well, what are the highest and lowest notes you can hit?

on a good day i can hit the low D on a guitar thats in drop D. but usually i can hit the low E. on the piano i just did it and including falsetto i can get 4 octaves of E starting on the same low E as a guitar. i can go a few above that high e but its obviously in full falsetto and usually they dont count that as part of the range (which makes no sense seeing as its a note you can sing) but i included the high E just to give an idea. so i guess without falsetto i can do three octaves of E. so is this baritone or tenor?
#16
Quote by The4thHorsemen
I'm guessing I'm a baritone? I can hit the open g string, but I'm very shaky, I can easily hit the F below that. and I can almost hit the D if I'm in drop D tuning, but I can definitely hit the E.

edit: wait: I can go higher than the G string but everything is really shaky, it starts turning into falsetto around the C on the b string. I'm thinking maybe I could be a bass with practice? I don't think I'm a baritone cuz I can't go high enough, and I can go lower

a bass would be singing actual bass. so you would need to hit those notes an octave lower if im not mistaken. so a bass guitar instead of a guitar. not a lot of people are true basses.
#17
Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
a bass would be singing actual bass. so you would need to hit those notes an octave lower if im not mistaken. so a bass guitar instead of a guitar. not a lot of people are true basses.


Yeah I was about to say that some of the notes on this thread that people claim to sing are incredibly low. I didn't realise that I could sing lower than most people until I started singing lessons and my teacher commented upon it.

Edit: Next week I might just post a recording of my range on my profile.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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Last edited by AlanHB at Oct 1, 2009,
#18
Quote by The4thHorsemen
it sounds like you're including falsetto, which isn't included in your range (i think)


Nope, i can hit the A in full voice when i'm warmed up
#19
Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
on a good day i can hit the low D on a guitar thats in drop D. but usually i can hit the low E. on the piano i just did it and including falsetto i can get 4 octaves of E starting on the same low E as a guitar. i can go a few above that high e but its obviously in full falsetto and usually they dont count that as part of the range (which makes no sense seeing as its a note you can sing) but i included the high E just to give an idea. so i guess without falsetto i can do three octaves of E. so is this baritone or tenor?
Looks like you're a bass. E2 to E4 is precisely the classical bass range.

You only count your modal register, because honestly, it makes sense. The modal register is the only of the four (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vocal_register) that is consistently used. Falsetto can be almost as useful as modal in males if trained, but it doesn't make sense to count it in your range, because in falsetto, most men can hit notes as high as altos.

Quote by ankthebank
What am I?


Bottom E flat (below e string on guitar) to a squeaky E (12th fret first string) - this is my absolute strained range.

Bottom G (on e string) to the G/A above middle C - Comfortable here, but have to warm up to get those higher notes.


Thanks,
AJ

Also, could I upload some clips of me singing here in a new thread... and get some much needed crit ?
That just doesn't sound right. So you can hit three octaves (Eb2 to E5) if you strain but only two (G2 to G4) if you don't? Honestly, if you have a three-octave range, you could make some serious money. And if you mean, when you strain, that you can hit Eb2 to E4, but when you don't, you can hit from G2 to G4, that's really strange. Try testing your range again, and see if you messed something up along the way.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
Last edited by food1010 at Oct 2, 2009,
#20
Hi, last week i had a cold... and today i tried to do a couple of scales and test out my range today.

I can now hit a low D (like drop d tuning on bottom string), but can only just hit the top F above middle C.

This is quite strange because before I could hit a top A in full head voice, and only a bottom C.


What has happened???
#21
Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
a bass would be singing actual bass. so you would need to hit those notes an octave lower if im not mistaken. so a bass guitar instead of a guitar. not a lot of people are true basses.



um, no. according to the OP a bass singer is from the C two octaves below Middle C (which is the 2nd string 1st fret, so two octaves below that would be the low C if you're in Drop C tuning) to middle C.


I don't think it's physically possible to sing the low E on a bass guitar.
#22
Quote by ankthebank
Hi, last week i had a cold... and today i tried to do a couple of scales and test out my range today.

I can now hit a low D (like drop d tuning on bottom string), but can only just hit the top F above middle C.

This is quite strange because before I could hit a top A in full head voice, and only a bottom C.


What has happened???
I'd suggest recording how you are testing your voice and, we can see what you're doing wrong/what your range actually is.

Quote by The4thHorsemen
um, no. according to the OP a bass singer is from the C two octaves below Middle C (which is the 2nd string 1st fret, so two octaves below that would be the low C if you're in Drop C tuning) to middle C.


I don't think it's physically possible to sing the low E on a bass guitar.
Yeah, E1 is pretty ****ing low. The standard range for a bass is E2 to E4. Any lower than B2 is just ridiculous.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
Last edited by food1010 at Oct 2, 2009,
#23
Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
a bass would be singing actual bass. so you would need to hit those notes an octave lower if im not mistaken. so a bass guitar instead of a guitar. not a lot of people are true basses.


A bass guitar reaches into the contrabass range. Typical bass range is considered E2 - E4.
#24
Quote by food1010
I'd suggest recording how you are testing your voice and, we can see what you're doing wrong/what your range actually is.

Yeah, E1 is pretty ****ing low. The standard range for a bass is E2 to E4. Any lower than B2 is just ridiculous.


Ok, so shall i just record how i test my voice (like scales up and down)??

Because when i stretch down to lower notes, i can't hit my higher ones (like A)... and when i stretch to hit my higher notes, i can't my lower notes (like the D)!
#25
I've got A2 to C5 without falsetto, maybe down to a low G or even a low F# but nothing below the low A sounds useable. Would that be more tenor or high baritone?
#26
Quote by Cheeseman07
I've got A2 to C5 without falsetto, maybe down to a low G or even a low F# but nothing below the low A sounds useable. Would that be more tenor or high baritone?
Dude you're a tenor. C5 is pretty high. You can hit notes lower than most tenors, though.

Quote by ankthebank
Ok, so shall i just record how i test my voice (like scales up and down)??

Because when i stretch down to lower notes, i can't hit my higher ones (like A)... and when i stretch to hit my higher notes, i can't my lower notes (like the D)!
Yeah I guess. I think, to be able to help you the best I need to hear what you're doing.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
Last edited by food1010 at Oct 3, 2009,
#27
Quote by The4thHorsemen
um, no. according to the OP a bass singer is from the C two octaves below Middle C (which is the 2nd string 1st fret, so two octaves below that would be the low C if you're in Drop C tuning) to middle C.


I don't think it's physically possible to sing the low E on a bass guitar.

2 things:

yes i was wrong about the bass range.

and actually, no. it is possible just very rare. there is a guy who can go lower than the human ear can hear actually.

but anyways, it just seems strange. if im a bass, why am i able to sing tenor parts? granted, i did do some hard work to make those notes sound nice. but ive been able to hit the notes all along they just didnt sound as full. am i just lucky?
#28
You might be unconsciously transposing the higher parts an octave down. Pick a note in the middle of your range, find it on your guitar, and then sing an ascending scale. If you're transposing like that you'll notice pretty quickly while singing scales.
#29
Quote by The4thHorsemen
um, no. according to the OP a bass singer is from the C two octaves below Middle C (which is the 2nd string 1st fret, so two octaves below that would be the low C if you're in Drop C tuning) to middle C.


I don't think it's physically possible to sing the low E on a bass guitar.

Tim Storms is able to get his voice so low the human ear can't detect it.
Quote by dudetheman
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#30
Quote by ascend
You might be unconsciously transposing the higher parts an octave down. Pick a note in the middle of your range, find it on your guitar, and then sing an ascending scale. If you're transposing like that you'll notice pretty quickly while singing scales.

ive wondered that but ive checked many times and im not. i dont think im a bass. im pretty sure people can go beyond their normal range. i think im probably actually a baritone that can go a bit lower and higher than the normal range. the difference between where bariton starts and bass starts isnt that far apart, just three notes. the other reason i dont think im a bass is because i dont think my voice sounds too much like a true bass. i have kind of a deep voice, but real basses that ive heard have lower voices and can go lower than i.

so im thinking, if those basses can go lower than me, which is supposed to be the start of bass, then i dont see why i cant be a higher vocal class that can just go lower than the start of the range. again like i said, i doubt anyone is really any one vocal classification. they are really just guidelines. i dunno, i just think for me baritone makes more sense.
#31
Quote by DaddyTwoFoot
Tim Storms is able to get his voice so low the human ear can't detect it.


So, if he can't hear it, how does he know if it is in tune? How does he know he's even singing it at all? What... he can feel it? Sounds suspicious to me.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#32
Quote by DaddyTwoFoot
Tim Storms is able to get his voice so low the human ear can't detect it.


I do this all the time. In fact, I'm doing it right now!
#33
Quote by axemanchris
So, if he can't hear it, how does he know if it is in tune? How does he know he's even singing it at all? What... he can feel it? Sounds suspicious to me.

CT


Psychoacoustics will allow our ear to fill in the missing fundamentals, when we hear all the overtones.

If that fails, he can use an oscilloscope to analyze the sound and find out the pitch.
#34
Quote by axemanchris
So, if he can't hear it, how does he know if it is in tune? How does he know he's even singing it at all? What... he can feel it? Sounds suspicious to me.

CT

It wasn't really a matter of singing, it was a world record attempt for the lowest sound produced by a human (which he does hold). They used computers to find the pitch.

I think he holds the record for largest male vocal range too.
Quote by dudetheman
So what? I wasted like 5 minutes watching DaddyTwoFoot's avatar.


Metalheads are the worst thing that ever happened to metal.
#35
Okay, I checked it out. Weird, anyways, but impressive.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#36
I'm a solid contralto, though I get a little thin in the range of Eb to F above high C.
#37
Taking "Middle C" as 3rd fret A string i can go G bellow middle C to G two octaves above middle C (3rd fret high e string).

Sound like a baritone? The lower register of that range is definitely more comfortable for me but i can hit those higher notes in full chest voice
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#38
Alright, well this is a bit tricky. My voice tends to change range depending on the song. :/
On some songs I can hit a low C, sometimes low B and that's it. On the same songs, I won't be able to get past a middle C, sometimes not even the B. Now thats obviously a bass.
However, on other songs I can hit a low E, but get up to an Ab (The one ABOVE middle C). That's like a baritone tenor. :/
Most frequently though I'm a bass or baritone-bass. But there are the special exceptions. Any idea as to why?
#39
@darkness - yes, baritone.

@joel - Are you sure you're not singing an octave lower when you go up to the Ab? Could you post a recording?

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#40
Quote by axemanchris
Soprano - middle C to two octaves above middle C.
Mezzo-Soprano - G below middle C to high G
Alto - low C to high C (one octave above and one octave below middle C)
Tenor - low C to high C - same as alto

Baritone - low G to G above middle C
Bass - deep C (two octaves below middle C) to middle C

I could be wrong, but I'm almost certain that Alto and Tenor are not in the same range.

And I'm pretty sure that these voices aren't all c-c, g-g, etc.

Yeah, a book I have says:

Soprano C4 - G5
Alto G4 - C5
Tenor C3 - G4
Bass F2 - E4

(Unless I've got the numbers wrong... Cause the book doesn't actually say C4-G5 It's just got the range notated on the staff.)