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How to Sing Alto

Learn how to sing alto in this Howcast online singing lesson featuring singer Anya Singleton.


Hi. I'm Anya Singleton. We're going to talk about how to sing alto.

If you're an alto, the best way to think about it is that you have the lowest female voice. Basically what that means is that you have . . . you live . . . and this can be different depending on the individual. A lot of altos have comfortably a low F, all the way up to an E. That way, they have the whole bottom. A lot of these gorgeous, rich notes on the bottom, they are supported well, and it's comfortable in their voice.

The thing that you want to think about if you're truly an alto is that your quality of your voice will be richer. We use the term 'chest voice' a lot; it's that terminology. You want to think about having a fuller, more open tone. The higher you get on the scale, the lighter the tone is. If you're an alto, there's a lot of warmth, there's a lot of resonance. Not that you don't have that on higher ends of the spectrum, but you will be able to really support a lot of those low notes in a way where they're audible and they're beautifully executed.

You'll know if you're not an alto if you're singing along and you're getting down to an A or a G and it's becoming too low for you. I think most altos very comfortably can do an A, a G, or an F, and even sometimes lower. Alto singing is a great. I'm thinking of a classic alto singer like Mama Cass from the Mamas and Papas; an old example. Most pop singers today are not altos. She had a really warm, rich voice and was able to really support those bottom notes.

How to sing like an alto is to think about how to really open up the bottom, keep a warm, open tone at the bottom, and think about really supporting and making everything resonate in the lower parts of your voice. Not so much about that you can't hit the higher notes, because a lot of altos have those notes, but they can really sing the low notes, and a lot of women can't do that.

If you're an alto and you want to work on singing like an alto, then you really want to work on focusing on strengthening the bottom notes. Again, supporting your breath is going to be key here.

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