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How to Find Your Vocal Range

Learn how to find your vocal range in this Howcast online singing lesson featuring singer Anya Singleton.


Hi. I'm Anya Singleton. This is how you find your vocal range.

That's a tricky question, because I think a lot of times when you're first starting out as a singer, let's say you do something well and people see that you do that well, and they pigeon hole you in that box. I'll use myself as an example. When I first started singing, because I had a lot of low notes and I can these low Fs and these low Gs, I was told I was an alto; but I'm actually not. As I got older, gone into more projects, started working as a session singer, and writing my own material, I learned; no, actually, I have a whole upper range that I never used.

I think what you have to do is always work on expanding yourselves. You've told you are a base baritone, which most guys are. Then you realize when you're singing along with the radio or you really have an artist you like that has an upper range, that you can hit those notes. I think what you want to do is practice what kind of songs . . . pick songs you like, and practice working on those songs. If you're really feeling like, "Wow. I used to only hit these low notes, but I really feel comfortable here in the middle." Maybe your range is different than what you thought it was.

I think, always push yourself, expand yourself, try different things. A lot of not knowing what your range is, I think, has to do with fear. 'I can't hit those high notes, I'm not going to be able to do it,' and you might surprise yourself. Really I think, warm up, again, don't let yourself get frustrated about it. If you can't do it right now, it doesn't mean you won't ever be able to do it, it just means, maybe you need to grow into it.

The 4 major ranges we usually talk about are bass for guys. Bass is a low voice, tenor is the higher voice. For women, alto is the low voice, soprano is the higher voice. Within those there are echelons; you have a deep base voice, then you'd have a base baritone which is the higher range, etc. For women, you have a soprano, a high soprano and a soprano 2, they're often called; the lower range of the soprano. It's not only about the range you have note-wise, but how your voice sounds. Is it very light and flute-like? You're a different soprano than if it's a little heavier and weightier.

There's a few different ways to figure it out, but basically at the end of the day, finding your vocal range has to do a lot with, where do you feel comfortable singing? That is where you want to start. Can you work past that? Sure. Start there and that will be the easiest way to find out your vocal range.

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