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Home > Blog > What’s My Voice Type? The Different Voice Types and How to Distinguish Them

What’s My Voice Type? The Different Voice Types and How to Distinguish Them

If you’re looking for a more detailed voice classification system (lyric, dramatic, coloratura etc.), read about the German Fach system.

Every singer wants to know what his/her voice type is, but it’s not always so easy to figure out the specifics. Continue reading on to learn how to find out what your particular voice type is. Soprano, mezzo-soprano, contralto, countertenor, tenor, baritone, or bass; all you need to know is in this post.

Characteristics – Variables in Determining Voice Type

Figuring out your voice type is not only a matter of looking at your vocal range, but at a number of different characteristics. For example, vocal tessitura and timbre can be more important as range can be between types. This is usually the case with sopranos and mezzo-sopranos; they might have the same range but mezzo-sopranos have a lower tessitura and darker timbre.

All together your voice type is a result of the following vocal variables:

  • range – the notes your body can produce
  • weight – light voices, bright and agile; heavy voices, powerful, rich, and darker
  • tessitura – part of the range which is most comfortable to sing
  • timbre – unique voice quality and texture
  • transition points – points where you change from chest, to middle, to head register
  • vocal registers – how extended each register is
  • speech level – speaking range
  • physical characteristics

I know that you’re probably surprised at the fact that physical characteristics play a role in deciding somebody’s voice type. This is because many times physique determines what roles opera singers are going to audition for.

I have seen productions where the audience bursts out laughing when the primo uomo (leading man) sings to the prima donna something along the lines of “oh, how small and fragile you are” when she is nothing close to small and fragile.

Major Category – Voice Types by Range and Tessitura

If you sing in a choir or take voice lessons, you have probably already been classified as a soprano, mezzo-soprano, or contralto (alto) if you are a woman, and a countertenor, tenor, baritone, or bass if you are a man. But are you really sure you’ve been classified correctly? Test your voice according to the following specifications.

Soprano

Voice Type: Soprano, Range: B3 to G6

Voice Type: Soprano, Range: B3 – G6

Soprano is the highest female voice type. There are many types of sopranos like the coloratura soprano, lyric soprano, the soubrette etc. which differ in vocal agility, vocal weight, timbre, and voice quality; I will talk about them in an upcoming article. All of the sopranos have in common the ability to sing higher notes with ease.

A typical soprano can vocalize B3 to C6, though a soprano coloratura can sing a lot higher than that reaching F6, G6 etc. At this point I would like to debunk a myth. It is widely thought that the higher a singer can sing, the better the singer is. This couldn’t be further from the truth as range is defined by our physique and size of the vocal cords, not not how professional we are.

Mezzo-Soprano

Voice Type: Mezzo-Soprano, Range: G3 to A5

Voice Type: Mezzo-Soprano, Range: G3 – A5

Mezzo-Soprano is the second highest female voice type. In a choir, a mezzo-soprano will usually sing along the sopranos and not the altos and will be given the title of Soprano II. When the sopranos split in half, she will sing the lower melody as her timbre is darker and tessitura lower than the sopranos.

Though in the opera mezzo-sopranos most often hold supporting roles and trouser roles, i.e. male roles, there are notable exceptions like those of Carmen and Rosina in The Barber of Seville, where the prima donna is a mezzo-soprano. A typical mezzo-soprano can vocalize from G3 to A5, thought, some can’t sing as high and some can sing as high as a typical soprano.

Contralto

Voice Type: Contralto, Range: E3 to F5

Voice Type: Contralto, Range: E3 – F5

Contralto is the lowest female voice type. In a choir, contralto’s are commonly know as altos and sing the supporting melody to the sopranos. This doesn’t mean that contraltos are not as important. On the contrary, because true altos are hard to find, a true alto has greater chances of a solo carrier than a soprano.

A contralto is expected to be able to vocalize from E3 to F5, however, the lower her tessitura, the more valuable she is. I have the pleasure to know a young Greek contralto whose range has experts puzzled. She can sing from C3 to F6! But unfortunately she has not yet been discovered. I’m trying to get her to start blogging, but for the time being, you can follow her on Pinterest.

At this point, I would like to note something about altos and choirs. I have come across many women who have been classified as altos in their choir, though their voice type is really that of a mezzo-soprano or soprano.

From what I have come to realize, many choir directors instead of spending time to work with women who sing off tune, they decide to have them sing along the altos thinking that their false singing will blend in.

This practice can be very detrimental, especially for young girls who strain their voices in order to sing lower than they can, and can produce irreversible damage. If you sing alto in your choir and you feel that you are pushing yourself to reach the low notes of your melodic line, talk to your choir director and ask him/her to consider re-classifying you as a soprano. The director might not be happy to do so, as choirs usually have more sopranos than altos, but insist that they at least test you out.

Countertenor

If you think that you might be a countertenor, read my post about falsetto and countertenors in order to find out if you really are a countertenor or, instead, a falsettist.
Voice Type: Countertenor, Range: G3 to C6

Voice Type: Countertenor, Range: G3 – C6

Countertenor is the rarest of all voice types. A countertenor is a male singer who can sing as high as a soprano or mezzo-soprano utilizing natural head resonance. As I said before, countertenors are extremely hard to come along and their ability to sing as high as C6 is admired by religious music connoisseurs.

Though extremely unique, countertenor is not an operatic voice type, as historically, it was the castrati (male singers castrated before puberty) who would be chosen for the female operatic roles – it was not proper for women to sing in the opera. Instead, countertenors were popular in religious choirs, where women were also not allowed to participate.

The castratti are out of the scope of this post, but for those who are interested to learn more about them, I would like to recommend the movie Farinelli, a literary twist on the life of Farinelli, the most famous castrato of all times.

Tenor

Voice Type: Tenor, Range: C3 to B4

Voice Type: Tenor, Range: C3 – B4

Tenor is the highest male voice type you will find in a typical choir. Though it is the voice type with the smallest range, it barely covers 2 octaves from C3 to B4, tenors are the most sought after choir singers for two major reasons. The first reason is that there aren’t as many men singing in choirs to begin with. The second reason is that most men, singers or not, fall under the baritone voice type.

In the opera, the primo uomo is most often a tenor, and you will know he is a tenor because of the ringing quality in his voice. A true tenor has a high tessitura, above the middle C4, and uses a blend of head resonance and falsetto, as opposed to falsetto alone.

Many a baritone will try to use this technique to classify as tenor and some will be successful; you’ll know who they are because of their red faces when trying to sing the high notes in the tenor melodic line. :)

Baritone

Voice Type: Baritone, Range: G2 to G4

Voice Type: Baritone, Range: G2 – G4

Baritone is the most common male voice type. Though common, baritone is not at all ordinary. On the contrary, the weight and power of his voice, give the baritone a very masculine feel, something that in the opera has been used in roles of generals and, most notably, noblemen. Don Giovanni, Figaro, Rigoletto, and Nabucco are all baritones.

In a choir, a baritone will never learn about the particulars of his voice, since he will have to sing either with the tenors or the basses. Most baritones with a high tessitura choose to sing with the tenors, and respectively, the ones with a lower tessitura sing with the basses. Their range is anywhere between a G2 and a G4 but can extend in either way.

If you sing tenor and can’t reach the higher notes with ease, or sing bass and can’t reach the lower notes naturally, you’re most probably a baritone and you shouldn’t worry about it. Let your fellow singers help out.

Bass

Voice Type: Bass, Range: D2 to E4

Voice Type: Bass, Range: D2 – E4

Bass is the lowest male voice type, and thus a bass sings the lowest notes humanly possible. I tend to think of the deep bass notes as comparable to those of a violoncello, though some charismatic basses can hit notes lower than those of a cello. A bass will be asked to sing anywhere between a D2 and an E4. A cello’s lowest note is a C2.

Just with every extreme, it’s really hard to find true basses and it’s almost impossible in the younger ages where the male bodies are still developing.

Though in a choir basses might have rather monotone melodic lines, in the opera they have a great range of roles to choose from. Basses are used as the villains and other dark characters, the funny buffos and in comic-relief roles, the dramatic princes, the noble fathers of heroines, elderly priests and more.

Now that you have learnt all about the major categories in voice types, I’m sure you’ll want to know how to distinguish between the secondary categories. Do you know the difference between a lyric soprano and a dramatic soprano or a leggero tenor and a spinto tenor? How can you tell which one you are?

Learn all this and more in the second part of this post about the German Fach system. If you haven’t yet done so, subscribe to my monthly newsletter or feed, and get my post about the different subcategories of voice types delivered to you effortlessly as soon as it becomes available.

240 comments

  1. Hello I’m greek I’m soprano my vocal range is D3-E7 but I don’t know my soprano type. My voice is dark deep and strong in low notes like jennifer hudson and thin light and powerfull in high notes like mariah carey. Can you answer me?? Pleaze don’t ignore my question!!

      • Hello,
        I’m Majid and like to sing so much … So I’m glad for found you because you look like more expert singer ..So I hope can I get you Skype, Facebook…anything.. and test my voice for see it if it convenient for singing or not and What is the rules for develop it..Best Regards

        • Hi Majid,

          Thank you for your nice message. At this time, I can’t do private lessons online because of lack of time. However, what I can tell you is that everyone can sing! I’m working on getting more posts on the website, so stay tuned.

          Best,
          Olga

      • Hiiiiiiii lol I’m 15(16 in a couple of months) I’m a boy, my voice is deep and it has been like that since middle school. I am also a sophomore in high school. I have been singing for a while now and my range is from G2-D6. I can go from G2-E5 in full voice without straining, and I also can hit a F#5 if I push hard with some strain, which I avoid most often. My falsetto is very high because I can go to a D6 and I also have a whistle register but I can only hit the notes from Mariah carey song Someday when she hits the whistle. I can also hit the notes at the end of Mariah’s Emotion song. Is that weird that I can only hit those whistle notes? And voice type am I? My voice is heavy at the bottom of my chest range and when I extend it up with mix it carries some weight. Like I said, I can hit all the way to a F#5 in full voice is that weird? And I know I’m young, but will my voice change dramatically as I get older? Will I keep my range? P.S I LOVE SINGING SO PLEASE REPLY :)

        • Hi! I am an alto in chorus, but my vocal range is D3 to A5. I can hit higher notes with lots of strain, but I can sing D3 easily (I have been trained that way in chorus). Thanks!

          • Hi Isabel, maybe you are a contralto with a widde high range, this voice is mezzocontralto or maybe you are a mezzosoprano, depends how soundso your voice and where is your comfortable tessitura . A mezzocontralto is a true contralto, but with a bigger and easier high range .

        • Hey! You have a incredible range, let me tell you that! I think you would be best as a tenor, since you say you hit high notes with ease. If your voice already changed, it is unlikely that it will change a whole lot more. Just keep training and don’t smoke! Smoking will ruin your high notes.

      • Can you do an article on the different types of contraltos?

        • Hi Holly, there are many contralto categories . If you means only the tessitura , contralto with a short high range like Kathleen Ferrier, mezzocontralto aka contralto with a widde high range like
          Maria Alboni and Clara Butt who sang mezzosoprano parts like Eboli .

          If you means the voice s colour, there are light, lyric and dramatic contralto

          A coloratura contralto is a contralto with more easy agility .

          Kathleen Ferrier was probably a lyric contralto, Kerstin Thorborg a dramatic mezzocontralto

      • My vocal range is from G1-B4 is that good?
        For getting more octaves after pratice

    • I am like that too i go really high like Mariah Carey and really low

    • Hi! I am 12 years old and I am an alto in my chorus. I can sing from D3 to F5 with only a little strain on the high notes. I was a Mezzo-soprano last year. Ami I really an alto?
      Thanks!
      Sophie

    • Hi, you means D4 . If you really produce a D3, you are not soprano

  2. they are good and i need them

  3. Hello!

    I’m a 21 years old violinist, and never had any training in singing, I just sing for fun and was very upset that when humming my favorite instrumental oe opera passages I always had to “adapt” some notes that I couldn’t hit. String players are often encouraged to sing music passages with their best emulations of a full operatic voice to define choices about phrasing. After a long time trying to figure out my vocal type, I finally realized I was mistaken all the time: whenever I tried to test myself with a piano I sung one octave higher when going lower on the piano, and one octave lower when going higher. I could easily tell if others were out of tune, but not myself. Yesterday, I did it very calmly and finally figured out my tessitura, but still not my type.

    I have a very small range of comfort, but I think that might improve with time. On the lower side, I could easily hit F2, E2 was not as easy. D2 was impossible.

    On the upper side, F3 was nice, but everything from F3 to C4 was already a little bit uncomfortable for a full singing voice.

    Given my personality, I never thought of myself as a bass or a bass-barytone! I usually speak around the highest part of my comfort zone, and I’m not a loud person, so is not my singing. I always thought I just had a “weak voice”. Surprisingly, I find it easier to sing the low parts of a song.

    Can someone please help me in defining what type of voice I have? Or “what types”?

    P.S.: In my dreams, I often wake up as Scarpia in a big production of Tosca, singing the “Te Deum” at the end of the first act =D

    • So, I never got a reply on this :(
      Anyway, after some time thinking of these things, I found out I really love the deepest part of my voice! My chest register is really full, even if not to loud. On the upper side, I always thought in forcing a little too much. But considering the whole of my voice, I find my tessitura and my full singing volume very very small. It’s not hard to notice, one can just compare to the other comments on this post… does this come from not having ever been trained? Is this normal?

      By the way, I still couldn’t figure out my type between baritone and bass (maybe bass-baritone? I don’t know!).

      • Hi Murilo,

        Sorry for the late response and thank you writing again. More than 60% of men are baritones, with only a small percentage being tenors and basses. Your lower range is very close to that of a bass, but your upper range is still a bit limited. I think that might actually be because of lack of training, and I’m sure that with the proper guidance, your range could expand.

        Yes, you’re right, you sound more like a baritone or bass-baritone to me and then fact that your speaking range is higher than lower, is a good clue.

        One reason you haven’t yet achieved your whole range is that you might be using the chest register for many of your middle and higher notes. This doesn’t only shrink your voice, but it can potentially cause trouble. Do you ever have a sore throat after singing? If so, this is probably why along with the fact that you might be tensing up your throat muscles.

        Also, a trick to figure out if you’re singing properly is recording yourself and playing it back. Being a musician, I’m sure you’ll be able to pick up when you’re singing at the wrong octave or if you’re out of tune. This is actually something that all classical singers do in order to improve. We hear our voice is a very different way that everyone else does, and that goes for singing as well.

        I hope this helps!
        Olga

        • Hey i love to sing and i don`t know what my range is, i think that i am around baritone, high-baritone or a tenor. I am a male and my speaking voice is very low around bass, and i want some help with finding my range. I have never been traind my a vocal coach, but i have gotten a bit longer range around 3-4 major notes. Plis help me

  4. I love to sing sooo much. Ive sung in show choir and school choir basically all my life. In the choirs ive sung in i always sing with the sopranos and my vocal range is G2 – G6 and i have a whistle register. I sing in falsetto and head voice soooo easily and in show choir im classified as a countertenor but i also can sing bass-baritone really easily its just i enjoy singing countertenor more and i dont really like my bass-baritone voice and almost everybody i know loves my countertenor voice also.is. It possible to have 2 voice types also my countertenor range is bigger than my bass-baritone range like the countertenor voice is most all of my vocal range.

    • Hi Kenneth,

      This is a very good question! The male falsetto is indeed very interesting. From what I hear, you’re a baritone who can also sing falsetto and prefer falsetto.

      Countertenors don’t use falsetto to reach those high notes, that is just their normal range. They usually supplement it with singing some notes in falsetto, but their sound is more substantial and contains more harmonics than a pure falsetto voice.

      So, to answer your question, you can’t really have 2 voice types, especially so far apart, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t sing in falsetto all the time. There are many very known musical/pop artists who have made their careers by singing just in falsetto, e.g. Adam Levine and Justin Timberlake, and everybody loves them.

      As long as your conductor doesn’t need you in the baritone section, sing away!

  5. In school choirs, I bounced back and forth between alto and soprano. We even practiced singing the tenor and bass parts. The choir director said that I have a meaty voice, but I’ve never been sure what classification it would be. My range is D3-F5 but I could do whistle notes even higher. My guess would be mezzo.

  6. Okay so this really didn’t help me. I am female, and my vocal range is A2-C4 and I know that is odd for a female voice.I have no clue what type of voice I have or how and what I should be singing, please help…?

    • Hi Alysse,
      Wow, it sounds to me that you have a very deep voice there! I’d love to hear you sing. But to answer your question, the fact that you can hit those low notes is only important to consider if you can sing them comfortably. If you struggle to get to that A2, then you shouldn’t sing it.

      What this means is that due to your wide range, you have to consider your tessitura, i.e. what range is most comfortable for you to sing, and the quality of your voice.

      If you can sing more comfortably at the lower end of your range and your voice is warm and full, then my best guess is that you’re a low contralto. If you can sing more comfortably at the higher end of your range and your voice is powerful and metallic, then you’re probably a dramatic alto.

      I hope this helps!
      Best,
      Olga

  7. Hey guys, I’m 18 years old. I always loved singing ever since I was young but I was bad at it. I finally managed to join my school’s choir last year, after a long talk with the conductor. I was initially placed in the baritone section where I began to learn and develop the right vocal techniques. After about 3-4 months, I went down to the bass section and sang ‘ bass 2′ parts. At the end of the year, I wasn’t comfortable with hitting the low notes in bass and quite a few notes in the baritone parts that I was supposed to sing. So I was moved up to the tenor section and I am currently singing ‘tenor 2′ parts.
    I am quite comfortable and happy in the range of this section.
    So I have a few questions that could any kind soul help provide me an answer to!
    1) Will my voice continue to fluctuate between voice types (baritone to tenor)?
    2a) Is my voice getting higher? (I sound like a 14-15 year old in my natural speaking voice which is quite embarrassing, especially when all the guys in my family are bass/baritones)
    2b) How can I get a lower speaking voice like a rich baritone or bass, if that’s even possible. I don’t want to sound like I’m faking it (i sound like Patrick The starfish from sponge on)
    3) what kind of tenor am I? (Having seen and read multiple descriptions about each voice type, I believe that I am between a dramatic tenor and a tenor lirico. I have a dark sounding tone at the lower or mid range (g4 and below) and I can go up to a G5# in a full voice (Quite comfortably but not A5, since I’m scared of even attempting that high note).
    Thanks guys!!

    Extra info-
    My lowest note (not vocal fry and it is well within my control)- D2#
    Highest note (full, no falsetto or airy sound)– G5#, maybe higher
    Falsetto/whistle (airy)- D7

    • Hi Jay,

      Thank you for sharing your story. First of, your voice is not getting higher, that’s generally not possible for men. What is more probable taken in consideration your age is that your voice is at a period of change.

      Most men go through this change around the time adolescence ends and because it usually hits suddenly, they haven’t learnt how to control their changing voices.

      What this means is that while talking or singing, suddenly some of the words are in an involuntary high pitched voice. All men go through that and it’s more pronounced in singers, so you have nothing to worry about.

      As far as choir is concerned, some times conductors move students from section to section depending on the needs of the choir. If there are not enough men in the choir, the ones that are there are more probable to be placed in baritone or bass rather than tenor.

      Growing up, we even had a few girls singing tenor in my high school choir. Once your voice sets, it will be easier to tell what voice type you are. But as a rule of thumb is worse for your voice to sing at a lower range what it’s comfortable for you, than at a higher range. So,

      1. Yes, for a little longer and then it will set.
      2a. Nope.
      2b. You can’t really make your voice deeper, but if you wait it might actually become deeper by itself.
      3. I can’t answer this question, you might not even be a tenor.

      I hope this helped!
      Take care,
      - Olga

      • I am a true contralto. I would love to be a Soprano but not in this lifetime. I can sing low and yes I do struggle with some low notes but I won’t dare try to sing high cause 1. I’d pass out from lack of breath and 2. I just don’t have high notes unless I force them out

        I’d love to have an Opera that the PrimaDonna is a contralto.

        I feel in my culture(I’m black American) we do like contraltos and the low woman’s voice.
        s

        • Hi Angela!

          How exciting! I’ve only met one true contralto in my life and I have to admit that I really enjoy the low woman’s voices, too. If you haven’t yet taken private lessons, I would strong urge you to consider them.

          Having said that, unfortunately, I don’t know of any major opera where the protagonist is a contralto. The reasons are mostly historic, though, and have to do with the fact that women weren’t really allowed to participate in the opera. And when that barrier was lifted, the composers had an ample amount of sopranos and very few contraltos.

          However, there are opera roles for contraltos. Here are a few:

          Cieca in La Gioconda by Ponchielli
          Erda in Siegfried by Wagner
          Gaea in Daphne by R. Strauss
          Norn in Götterdämmerung by Wagner
          Zita in Gianni Schicchi by Puccini

          Generally speaking the German composers, Wagner being the first, favored contraltos more than their French and Italian counterparts.

          I hope this helps!
          Olga

          • Actually, many of Rossini’s protagonists are contraltos, for instance Angelina in La Cenerentola and Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia. They are high contraltos, I grant you, so they’re often sung by mezzos, but they were originally written for contraltos. There’s also Isabella in L’italiana in Algeri and the title role of Tancredi, as well as numerous trouser roles written for castrati. More modern examples include Lucretia in The Rape of Lucretia and Florence in Albert Herring, both by Benjamin Britten.

          • I’m an contralto too!! A young one..c2-f6

      • That`s wrong everyone can get a wider range, i don`t know what type of range i have but i have gotten 3 or 4 major notes in my range by practicing on my singing soow that`s wrong Olga

  8. ya i know that im a tenor (c3-d3) but i do not know wut kind . I do like j-pop anime musix and i sing like that always .

  9. I just started singing and my range is B2-A6. I know I would be a soprano, but what type? Also, what is falsetto and how do I use it? Please don’t ignore my question! Thanks!

    • Hi Fran,
      First of, congratulations for deciding to start singing!

      I can’t tell what type of soprano you’d be without listening to you. You could read the different types of sopranos here: http://choirly.com/voice-types-fach-system/

      As far as falsetto is concerned, in the western tradition it’s a type of pseudo-voice, a registro, of only the male voices (the only women I know who use this type of singing are classical Indian singers). This type of registro is used by men when they try to sing notes that are higher than their normal range. During normal singing, the vocal folds are vibrating fully, whereas during falsetto, it’s only their edges that move.

      If you were thinking that you could use falsetto to extend your range, I’d like to note, and I’m sure that everyone will agree, that being a good singer doesn’t depend on one’s range but on one’s control of their voice.

      I hope this helps,
      Olga

  10. Hi, I worked out my vocal range is from d3-d5/e5 what is my vocal type? I keep finding different answers to what my range is so wanted to know for sure what it actually is. Thanks :) I’m a girl btw

    • Hi there Sarah,
      Your range is between two different voices, but my best guess is that you’re a mezzo-soprano who hasn’t yet figured out her top notes. Just like most men are baritones, most women, more than 60%, are mezzo-sopranos.
      I hope this helps,
      Olga

  11. Hi!! i’m trying to figure out my voice type. I sing mostly 1st soprano, but I usually sing in my chest or mix most of the time when I sing solo because I sing solo a lot. i’m in my madrigal choir and my concert choir and am a 1st sop. in those. I don’t know what it is precisely called but my range is G three octives above middle c and D 1 octive below middle c. I know for sure i’m not a character soprano. I havn’t had a lot of actual voice coaching but have sung all my life, and I sang before I could talk. I always found that interesting. anyways if I could get a reply that would be super! thank you so much for taking the time to try to help us musicians find our talent. that knowledge in of itself is a gift so thank you :)

    • Hi Miranda,

      From what I hear from your post, 1st soprano is where you belong. However, I’m thinking that you could, also, (maybe) be a coloratura.

      First of, it’s a really bad habit to sing in your chest register (you should try to minimize it as much as possible), especially the high notes, but I’m thinking that maybe you have to resort to that because your voice is too weak with the lower and middle notes and you’re trying to make them more substantial this way. Is this so?

      Also, you’re writing that your range extends to G three octaves above middle C. Do you feel that it’s easier for you to sing notes in the second and third octave above middle C, than in the first? Also, is your voice flexible, i.e. can you sing lots of quick notes easily?

      If you feel that this is the case (about everything), then you’re most probably a coloratura and you should have your conductor test you out. Maybe you could try to tackle Alleluia by Mozart’s Exultate Jubilate for your next choir concert, it’s a very nice aria for beginning coloraturas.

      I hope this helps!
      Olga

  12. hi! I just want to know my real voice type,,, I have been struggling determining it properly,, my music teacher said that my voice type belongs to bass,,, but i’m confused because I can sing C2 up to A5 even up to D6 with my falsetto,, what’s with my voice?

    • Hi there Robert,

      I understand that this might be confusing. The thing is that falsetto doesn’t really play a role in determining your voice type. That’s because most times falsetto sound is not full voice sound in the sense that it couldn’t reach at the back of a crowded theater without a microphone.

      Your music teacher is probably right, but there’s one thing you need to consider: if you sing those low notes comfortably then you’re most probably a bass, but if it’s hard to reach them or it’s easier to sing your middle or higher notes, then you might be a baritone.

      I hope this helps!
      Olga

  13. Please i’ve been told by many that i have strong music potentials in my natural voice even though i’ve never tried to train it or join a choir. I can naturally sing tenor(no matter the tessitura) & baritone, i can also change my voice to soprano. Please help me out & also tell me why people don’t appreciate low range voices such as bass & baritone. Please reply via my E-mail because i don’t always have access to the net nzubechukwumbarie@yahoo.com . Thanks.

  14. I know I have a mezzo-soprano voice but I can fake a soprano voice by going no higher than A5 (my friend might think I’m a soprano). I can sing C6 and D6 but it sounds like “thin glass” and I have a hard time singing B5 without cracking. I can sing from E3 to G5-A5 with a strong, loud voice or a soft, steady voice comfortably but any notes higher than that, I sound like a dying cat. You can put me together with a group of about 15-23 people my age and have us shout altogether. You can easily pick my voice out from the group because its louder than everyone else’s. I find singing theatrical music much easier than pop or studio recorded songs. I’m not sure what my voice type is so I need help. BTW am I able to sing dramatic soprano since the timbre is darker? My voice isn’t the most agile, however I can switch from smooth and calming to loud and dramatic with ease.

    • Is it normal for me not to have a vibrato? (At least one you can hear clearly)

      • Hi Liney,

        Vibrato requires a specific technique. So yes and no. Yes, it is normal that you might not be able to sing vibrato because you might not have mastered the technique yet.

        It took me a few months to master vibrato when I first started to sing. Again, as with everything in singing, you need to keep your neck, throat, and mouth muscles very relaxed.

        It might help to try to sing thirds, i.e. start with an ee from a comfortable note and then sing a third upwards and back. Pick up the pace slowly until you go as fast as you can.

        I hope this helps!
        Olga

        • Thank you, that helped a lot! I just have trouble finding my voice type, I’m a mezzo-soprano but I have a very comfortable head voice up to about C6.

          • Figuring out your voice type is not just about your range! I have a good friend who’s a contralto but she can still reach notes (granted with difficulty) in coloratura range.

            When having a range that extends between two or tree different voice types, you need to look at what’s the most comfortable range for you. Yes you can reach up to a C6, but is it easy to do so?

            Think of it in these terms: if you had to sing for 2 hours in that range, would you be able to do it without getting a sore throat or being in pain?

          • I can sing in my at the top of head voice comfortably for a pretty long time but I prefer the lower half of my head voice because it has a bell-like quality to it. I’ve never had any formal training either.

  15. hi,i want to know that what type of my voice is?
    how can i know and want become a big singer also for that what should i do?

    • Hi Ghatna,

      The first thing to do is search online and learn how to read music. Then find a local choir and become a member. If you can, find a voice teacher in your area and take a couple of classes. It’s the best way to start!

      Good luck,
      Olga

  16. Hi My name is Keith,

    I just wanted to know if I could become a Countertenor, by using falsetto. My chest voice/speaking voice is around bass.
    My falsetto is in the alto range. I have no training.

    • Hi Keith,

      Countertenor is a completely different voice type, just like tenor and bass. The difference between a countertenor and somebody who sings in falsetto is that falsetto is a fake voice which is not full whereas countertenor singing is full in timber and weight. So for example, a countertenor would be audible even at the last rows of a crowded theater without a microphone.

      You can certainly sing at countertenor range by utilizing falsetto, but you can’t “become” a countertenor unless your body is designed that way. It all depends on what kind of music you want to sing. Pop, musical, and other non-classical genres that use electronic amplification are very forgiving.

      I hope this helps!
      Olga

  17. Hello there,

    I am excited with the voice of Benedict Cumberbatch (actor). I would like to learn more for his voice type and if i can make my voice to be heard like his…

    Thank you!

    • Hi Alex,

      I’m not familiar with the actor you mention. However, before you spend hours trying to imitate him, make sure that you two have at least the same voice type. It’d be too frustrating trying to make your voice sound like a baritone, for example, if you’re a tenor. Also, don’t forget that our voice timber is directly connected to the way that our face and body are structured. Just like most people have different speaking voices, they also have different singing voices.

      I hope this helps,
      Olga

  18. My voice range is a mezzo or contralto I am confused I can go high and low easily but I prefer my upper range though… Please reply

    • Hi Nana,
      When a singer has a great range, then the next most important characteristic in determining his/her voice type is their comfortable range. If you know you’re either a mezzo soprano or a contralto and it’s more comfortable to sing at the higher part of your range, then you’re most probably a mezzo soprano.

      I hope this helps!
      Olga

  19. Hi, I’m trying to write a piece on the band Eisley, which features 3 female singers, but I’m having a hard time identifying which voice type each one has. Would you be able to help if I give you links to a song sung by each on youtube? (I could cite your site in my article)

    • Hi Crystin,

      First of, thank you for reaching out to me! I wish I could help out, but I can’t determine somebody’s voice type by just hearing them sing one particular song. What I could do for you, however, is tell you who sings first voice, second voice, and third. Would that work?

      Best,
      Olga

  20. Hi! Im a 16 yr old guy and my range is from E2-G5 or A5 sometimes. I feel more comfortable with E5 though and E2 is slightly strained but not bad. My chest voice only goes from E2-C4 then head voice is the rest. What is the difference between falsetto and head voice? When i sing up there the high notes it sounds sharp, clear, loud and it still is full voice but it doesn’t sound like chest voice but more girly. Also my natural comfortable speaking range is C3-G3. Would i be a baritone or baritone-bass? Thanks! :)

    • Hi Zheng,

      I’m thinking that you’re probably a baritone, BUT taking your age in consideration, you have probably not gone through voice puberty yet.

      All men go through voice puberty around 16-18, some even earlier, and what happens during that time is their voices change in different ways. After a period of unexpected highs and lows it finally settles and usually becomes lower.

      So, during this time it’s important not to push yourself. Just sing pieces that feel comfortable and in a couple of years you can revisit what type your voice is. If you’re in a choir, remember that it’s always best to sing lower than your comfort level, than higher than your comfort level.

      I hope this helps!
      Olga

    • Oh, and regarding falsetto, I’m in the middle of writing a post about it, so stay tuned!

  21. Hi, What is my vocal range . I can sing A4-G5 in chest voice.

    • I know I’m not Olga but I think that you would classify as a high tennor if your talking about a male voice or even an alto,

      Your range is quite impressive by the way :)

    • Hi Brady,

      I’m concerned at the fact that you sing these high notes in your chest register. Did you mean to differentiate between a normal singing voice and falsetto by using the term chest voice? Singing high notes in your chest register can not only strain your neck, mouth, and throat muscles and teach them to flex every time you sing, but it can only, and most importantly, cause voice problems like vocal fold tearing and vocal fold nodules.

      As Laura has mentioned, these high notes are indeed impressive, of course you wouldn’t classify as an alto because you’re a man (unless you’re less than 12 years old and in a boys choir), but I’m thinking that taking in consideration that this range is only 7 notes long, you’ve probably missed something there. So after all are these your falsetto notes?

      So, are you a tenor? Maybe. Then again, maybe not. Maybe you’re a baritone who has only figured out how to sing in falsetto. Or maybe you’re just straining your neck trying to reach those high notes trying to sing along a song. You need to find your full range, and then, within that, your most comfortable range.

      I hope this helps,
      Olga

  22. Hi im a male my range is G3-F5 i dont know what is my voice type ? Im comfortable to sing up to E5
    Thanks :)
    Pls reply to my question.

    • I know I’m not Olga but I would classify you as a tennor-barritone.

    • Hi Ramir,

      You’re mostly in tenor range (unfortunately tenor-baritone is not a category much like we don’t have soprano-alto), but as always, you need to look at which range is the most comfortable for you. If it’s your higher range (without singing purely falsetto) and you’re past puberty, then you’re definitely a tenor. It’s it’s somewhere in the middle or lower, and you haven’t yet passed puberty, you might turn out into a baritone.

      But for now, I’d say tenor.
      I hope this helps!
      Olga

    • Hi Ramir, with such a range, you could be a baritone or a baritenore .

  23. Hi im a Bass baritone Who can almost hit middle C and I’m sometimes singing tenor but it’s a spot in my head voice i found. It’s actually quite impressive but i pump sooo much air to get up there. My vibrato slowly goes away the higher i get. Can anyone suggest any exercises or help? I need vibrato in my high notes

    • Hi Andrew,

      I’m thinking that the most probable reason your vibrato slowly fades the higher you go is because you’re striving to reach those high notes and ultimately stressing your neck and throat muscles. What this means is that the muscles involved in the production of vibrato are tensed and can’t freely oscillate to produce the desired effect.

      This is why you need to pump so much air! It’s like a guitar chord that’s tensed more than normal; you need to put too much strength when plucking it to make it vibrate.

      Also, once you reach your falsetto range, all vibrato’s gone. The falsetto mechanism doesn’t support vibrato.

      You could try some relaxation exercises before giving those high notes a try, but even so, I’m afraid this is the natural way of things.

      I know this was not much of help, but I’m afraid you can’t really do much about it.

  24. I have sung Alto in choir my entire life. Sometimes though, I get asked to sing some part’s on second soprano or Mezzo Soprano or Soprano. I was wondering what my voice would be. Because although I feel most comfortable singing alto, because I can sing soprano in a normal coral song does that make me a Mezzo by default?

    Also, is alto the “easy” female voice, because that is always what it is made out to be. I have the same experience where I find people with bad pitch get put in alto because the power of some voices would drown the off pitch voices out. Sometimes I find people portray alto voices as “the other voice”. So what are the advantages/disadvantages to alto voices.

    Thanks so much!!

    • Hi Laura,

      I totally know what you’re talking about. During my grade school and middle school years, I have to admit that while singing in choir, many time I was slightly off tune. Then again, my voice would stand out because of its metallic color. So, I’d sing in the alto section. Now, after many years of singing, taking private lessons, doing a BA on Music, and generally working on pitch, it’s fixed, but I still remember my first years.

      Though there are advantages and disadvantages to singing alto, I feel that the advantages more than outweigh the disadvantages. The first and most important advantage is that you learn how to sing a second voice to the main melodic line. I know that this might not sound like something that special, but trust me when I say that most singers have trouble singing a supporting melody without getting confused. Many times even singers who carry the primary melody get confused, especially in duet, quartet, or mixed settings.

      Another advantage to singing alto is that you don’t really stress your voice trying to hit those high notes, and in the long run your voice is in better shape.

      Finally, if you’re in the alto section because you’re a true contralto, rejoice! There aren’t many true altos out there, most are low mezzo-sopranos. So, less competition for choir solos and other alto roles.

      As far as the disadvantages are concerned, they are only important if you’re planning on pursuing a career in the opera. So, for once there are many roles for altos, but really few are protagonist roles. Most of them are secondary roles of older characters, e.g. mother of the protagonist. Then again, if you’re not a really an alto and you’ve been placed in that section because you tend to sing out of tune, you’ll never know so that you can work on it. So, you’ll be stuck in a voice with a lower range that your comfortable range and although it won’t destroy your voice, it will make singing a bit harder for you.

      If I were you, I’d go to my maestro (conductor) and ask him how he decided to classify you as an alto. Good luck!

      I hope this helps,
      Olga

  25. Hello!

    I have a doubt-what do you consider middle C? C4 or C3? I’ve seen both ways to consider it. In Europe, we often consider it as C3.

    My vocal range is (considering C4 the middle C) E2 to A4. What exacly am I?

    I’m a 14 year old female, if this is necessary. I play about 6 instruments and the one I feel like I can sing along to is the cello. I guess I’m a contralto but I don’t really know if I’m either an Alto or Contralto.
    Can you help me? Thank you!

    Xoxo
    Mariana

    • Hi Mariana,

      First of, congrats for having mastered 6 musical instruments already! That’s very impressive.

      Yes, you are correct, I consider the middle C to be C4, which is the standard here in the US. But music is the same everywhere.

      When describing your vocal range, I believe you mean to say E3, since E2 would be bass range. Also, alto and contralto is the same voice category. It’s just that contralto is usually shortened to alto, just like violoncello is usually shortened to cello.

      Taking in consideration the range you mentioned, you fall under the contralto category. However, taking in consideration your age, your voice might change in the next couple of years. So, if you suddenly feel that you can’t reach those low notes as easily anymore, don’t stress it, just sing along the viola.

      I hope this helps,
      Olga

  26. Hello, i am very confused with my vocal range. I dong know what type of voice i have. My range is E3-F5, but i dont know in which category that falls, can i get some help?

    • Correction, G3-F5 actually.

      • Hi Kenneth,

        Your lower range is within the tenor category, but your higher range is within falsetto realm. Your voice type is probably tenor, but you have to take your age and whether you use falsetto is consideration.

        If you’re younger than 18, you probably haven’t gone through voice puberty yet. This means that your voice will eventually change; it might get lower or it might stay the same.

        Also, if you’re only using falsetto for singing (falsetto is the fake male voice that sounds somewhat girly) and you figured that range with falsetto, your real voice might actually be lower and you might be a baritone. I hope this makes sense and you understand what I’m talking about.

        I hope this helps,
        Olga

        • Im sorry. Apparently i made a mistake while checking my vocal range. I dont understand pianos much so i think i sang the notes lower than they where suppose to. I used a tuner app and supposely my range is G2 to E4(i can go a bit lower and a bit higher, but that would not be where my tessitura would be). What would that make me?

  27. Hi! I sort of need some help here. I’m a teenager, which of course, means my voice is maturing and will probably be slightly different when I’m older, but because of my love for theatre I am constantly asked one thing: “What’s your vocal range?”

    I’ve always been put in the alto group and I myself think I am an alto, but I’m honestly not too sure. My range is F3-A5 (comfortably) and the thing that has always stopped me from thinking I’m Mezzo-Soprano is I cannot belt very high in my chest voice (aka I switch to head voice really quickly, but I could go decently high in my head voice).

    Help me out?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Brooke,

      First of, you are VERY correct to switch to your head voice for the higher notes! It’s the proper thing to do. Singing high notes in your chest registro can actually destroy your voice. The more you can use your head registro for the lower notes, too, the better it’s going to be in the long run, plus you won’t tire your voice as much during rehearsals and concerts. I understand that singing lower notes in the middle and head registri will make them sound less “rich” than when using the chest registro, but trust me when I say that this is the proper thing to do.

      So having said that, I think you should give mezzo-soprano a try. Your range is within mezzo-soprano range and you can use your head voice there without feeling that you’re missing in volume. And of course, you’ll be more comfortable. Try to sing the melodic lines of the mezzos in your current music and if you feel comfortable with them, ask your director to switch you for some time to try it out.

      Let me know how it goes!
      I hope this helps,
      Olga

  28. I have been taking singing lessons for about 5 months. My teacher said that my voice type is soprano, but as I have not fully developed that range yet, it is better if I am put onto the alto section of my church choir now.

    For some low notes songs, I can sing the main melody (very comfortably). Recently, my church needed me to work on the X’mas song O! Holy Night. I have been put onto the soprano range. However, my problem is that: as my voice in that range is not fully developed yet, I have serious pitching problems when trying to sing that part, which is rather obvious too.

    I do try to practise singing soprano songs on my own. If I do so, the pitching problem is not that serious. However, when I sing in the choir, I have tendency to get carried away into the alto section though I am singing the soprano. Does this mean that for now, it is better that I sing in the alto section, but then change to the soprano section when maybe my voice is fully developed.

    I have just managed to cross the bridge into singing the mixed voices about 2 weeks ago.

    I was in the church choir in London for about 1 year, back in 2009. At first, the conductor put me onto the soprano section. However, after a while, she realized that I couldn’t sing that part properly, so switched me to the alto, but then find that my voice is not naturally alto, but somewhere in between. So what actually is my voice type?

    • Hi Eunice,

      First of, great name! It means victory. I like it.

      From what I hear, you are either a soprano or a mezzo-soprano. It makes sense to be able to sing some of the alto songs easily, as not all of them are too low, and plus you’ve been singing in that range for some time, so your voice has adapted.

      Also, it makes sense to get carried away in the alto section when you sing soprano now, as you know that alto melodies better, and you’ve gotten used to hearing yourself sing lower. This is something that will change with time. Believe or not, it’s usually easier to switch from alto to soprano, than from soprano to alto.

      As far as your voice type is concerned, there are two possibilities, you’re either a mezzo-soprano or a soprano. If you’re a mezzo-soprano and your choir doesn’t have a mezzo-soprano or soprano 2 section, then you can sing either with the sopranos or altos, whatever is more comfortable, but you’ll never be 100% there in either of them. If that’s the case, don’t worry, more than 60% of women are mezzo-sopranos.

      If you’re a soprano, then reason you can’t reach those high notes yet is because you haven’t yet learned the technique. It makes sense to do better when you’re trying by yourself because there isn’t anyone else around and you feel more relaxed, therefore reaching higher notes easily.

      What’s going to make a difference is to understand that the more you stress and try to reach higher notes, the harder it’s going to be. You need to keep your neck, throat, mouth, tongue, jaws relaxed and use your diaphragm to hit those high notes. I think it’s going to help if you read my post on how to breathe with your diaphragm. http://choirly.com/how-to-breathe-with-your-diaphragm/

      I think that the best thing to do for now is sit in the soprano section, but not sing. I know it sounds like a strange thing to propose, but the more you stay in the alto section the more you’ll get used to hearing yourself sing low, also if you try to sing with the sopranos now, you’ll end up stressing even more because you’re not used to hearing yourself sing higher, brighter, and louder and you’ll be shy about using your voice. So, continue with your voice lessons, and sit in the soprano section, but not sing until you feel comfortable.

      I hope this helps! Good luck with O! Holy Night. It’s one of my favorite Christmas songs.
      Olga

  29. My vocal range with little warming up is E3 to C6. I’m pretty sure if it weren’t the middle of the night and I’m looking this up I could probably go higher. I used to hit F6 when I was in competition choir, but I haven’t sung in a very long time and I suspect I could probably get my range back.

    But that was when I was 15 or 16 and I’m 30 now, I’m not sure that I’ll get it back. What are your thoughts?

    • Hi Anne,

      It sounds like you had a very nice range going when you were in choir. It’s never too late to start again and I’m sure that there are lots of choirs in your area that would be happy to have you.

      Also, yes, you can get your range back, but not straight away. If you squeeze yourself you’ll still be able to sing those note, but that might cause some damage. Plus because you haven’t sung for so long, you might well strain yourself and teach your muscles to tighten up when singing.

      The best strategy would be to start with warming up exercises up to A5. Remember to always sing back, so if you start from a middle C and go up to an A5, then continue by going back to the middle C.

      When you feel that you’re comfortably singing your A5 and that you’re relaxed doing so, try going higher.
      I hope this helps!
      Olga

  30. Can these classifications apply to non-classical type of singers? I would love to hear how you would classify male voices particularly ones in Gospel Music. In this genre alot of males are training their head- voice or falsetto (not sure which one) to actually blend in or sound like a higher extension of their chest voice. If properly done it results in a very powerful and high singing voice that can rival any alto and soprano in chest/head voice. A singer who was formerly known as Tonex (now known as Bslade) is widely noted for this type of voice along with others and I just so happens to be one that practices this technique. Currently I can stretch my range from E2- C6 (Maybe D6 /d#6 on a really good day), would I still classify myself as a baritone/tenor with a very extended range?

    • Yes, these classifications apply to ALL singers; from seasoned opera singers to amature pop singers, and, of course, gospel singers, as well.

      I’m in the middle of researching an article about falsetto, but it makes sense that gospel singers would be encouraged to sing in falsetto as it first became popular in church music.

      Also, indeed, falsetto can some times result in a powerful sound, but because it takes an increased amount of air than for normal singing, so it tends to cause fatigue really fast. Have you ever experienced that?

      Now as far as your classification is concerned, I believe you are a baritone. As far as falsetto is concerned, it turns out that baritones make the best falsettists.

      If you’d like to learn more about falsetto, I’d suggest you register for my newsletter so that you can receive my article when it’s done.

      I hope this helps!
      Olga

  31. Hi Olga! I’m a 13 year old theatre girl, so naturally I’m very curious to know what my voice type is though I know that it could easily change soon.

    My range when I stretch is a D3-B5, but my tessitura is an F3-D5.

    However I can get up to a A6-C7 in my whistle voice. Whenever I sing super high like that, it’s always a wobbly belt and I can’t sing it quietly.

    In chorus I’m considered an alto….how is this possible? Should I be soprano?

    Also, sometimes I sing scales out of my tessitura to try to expand my range. Is this bad for my voice?

    Thanks so much! (:

    -Lindsay

    • Hi Lindsay,

      As you have noted, your voice will be changing in the next few years, so I can’t really tell you that you’re this type of soprano or that type of alto. Whistle voice for example is generally used by very young women and soprano coloraturas, which are both very different.

      From what I hear, you should have probably sat with the sopranos, but there are reasons, other than range, for which a conductor might put a woman in the alto section. You might be able to sing those high notes, but if your voice is too piercing or metallic, it might stand out from the rest of the sopranos. That would be a reason for a conductor to have you sing with the altos. Another reason might be that you can’t control your volume and, again, stand out.

      Since you know you have a soprano range, if I were you, I would ask my conductor why he/she decided to have me sing with the altos. That would help you understand what’s going on and, also, give you something to work on. Many times, classical singers can’t sing with choirs, not because they can’t sing, but because their voices stand out and that’s something that’s not appropriate for a choir where everyone needs to sound uniform.

      I hope this helps!
      Olga

  32. Hi,my vocal range is from E3 to C5 what would my vocal range be? baritone? tenor? Im 15 and my voice made a change already, Is there any possibility it may get deeper?

    • Hi James,

      Since you’re going through your voice change right now, I would hesitate to even speculate about what your voice type might be. And yes, there’s a great possibility that your voice might continue changing until your late teens.

      I hope this helps!
      Olga

  33. What is my vocal type .My range is G3-E5 i am a boy . this is the link http:// m.soundcloud.com/ramirmijares/ pinaglaruankoangboses-ko-haha? fb_source=timeline&ref=profile

  34. Hi am am one of the rare Countertenor and slightly higher

    • Hi Aaron,

      Read my post on falsetto singing and countertenoring to figure out if you’re truly a countertenor: http://choirly.com/falsetto

      I really hope that you are a countertenor, as they are really hard to find, but keep in mind that if you’re still under 19-20, your voice might actually change.

      I hope this helps,
      Olga

  35. God slapped me with a striking low voice. I generally speak in the G2-C3 range and obviously, have difficulties singing above middle C (topping at around E4-F4# depending on the day). But really, I favor quality of singing over high notes or range.

    • Hi Paul,
      I’m not sure why you would consider a low voice being a bad thing. There really aren’t as many basses in general, so having a low voice can make you stand out.
      Surely, you might not be able to sing some of the pop music as easily, but if you decide to join a choir, sing in the musical theater, or opera, you’ll be a great asset.
      A very low voice is as amazing and awe-inspiring as a very high voice.
      I hope this helps!
      Olga

  36. Hi Olga
    I sent you a e-mail about my case, but I have been involved in theatre and I was classified a charachter soprano and could be a light lyric in opera. What the the pros of having this voice?

    • Hi Ani,

      A character soprano is a soprano who’s, also, very good with acting. It’s actually really good being classified as such if you want to be involved in theater and musical theater, because it means that you’re good with acting as well as singing, instead of just being good with singing.

      Since you’re still young, your voice might eventually mature and become more full, but still knowing how to act will be an advantage you’ll have over other singers.

      I hope this helps!
      Olga

  37. I am Brown
    please i am a boy, i started sing since when i was 13 years old in a choir. I was made to sing alto in the a catholic senoir choir until now that am 20 years old with ladies. My voice started increasing, now i can sing from middle C to l in the next octave, when i sing i don’t use falsetto to sing, i now sand girly in singing and also in talking, i have been singing in private choir also with almost the best people in voice from all the part of my state, and am the only male 20 years who sings alto. Presently i have the highest voice in pitch and volume in alto among ladies and was made the head of alto part. My question 1. is it through that all male must lose their voice to sing tenor or bass?
    2. How can i save my alto voice.

    • Hi Brown,

      The thing about choirs is that if you can sing it and your voice doesn’t stand out, you get placed in one voice or the other according to where there is a need for more singers. I just replied to a woman who sings in the tenor section.

      If you’re already in your 20′s and can still sing high, it’s a safe bet to say that your voice won’t get much deeper. Even if it does, it’s highly unlikely you’ll even be a baritone or bass. You might already be a tenor who, because of your experience, have figured out how to use reinforced falsetto, which basically blends so well with your head voice that you can’t tell there’s a change from one to the other.

      So, I wouldn’t worry. I don’t think you need to do anything to save your alto voice.

      I hope this helps!
      Olga

  38. For some reason I don’t know why my full vocal range is from A1-A6
    I am naturally a bass which can sing in modal voice from D#2-A4
    Falsetto from G3-E5
    Whistle from G4-C6 sometimes A6 and lower
    Vocal Fry D2-A1 and lower
    I am untrained, and for some reason I don’t know why I have this range
    Do you know?

    • Impressive vocal range!!

    • Hi Sam,

      It’s not always about what notes you can produce, but about what notes you can comfortably sing with proper form and volume. That’s the only way not to hurt yourself.

      Basses who know how to use falsetto, usually have a wider range that most. It’s probably because their vocal folds are longer and more flexible. Sometimes in opera, basses are called to use their falsetto for comic effect.

      What I always say is sing where you’re most comfortable.

      I hope this helps,
      Olga

  39. hi am just wondering how the piano keys go do u match voice to the keys? also i think am just a little louder than harry styles but i barely ever sing and i just downloaded this game called smule from app store on iphone its world wided and i really need to find my range to know were i stand..

  40. I am very curious about my classification as well. I am a 19 year old tenor studying Vocal Performance in college. I have a rich, brassy tone in my lower register (which goes down to F3 or so) with a full belt reaching Bb4. My head voice tops off around F5.

    • Hi Chase,

      You sound like a lyric tenor with a nicely developed falsetto. But you’re still in your late teens, which means that it’s quite possible that your voice might change. You’re voice professors, who can hear you sing, are more qualified in letting you know your specific voice type.

  41. Hello, I was directed by my choir director to the alto section. Sometimes I wonder if I’m a mezzo. Is there clear cut way I can test that without a piano? Also how can I expand my range?

    • Hi Debbie,

      I get asked by many women why they sing in the alto section, if they think they are mezzos or sopranos. There are reasons, other than range, for which a conductor might put a woman in the alto section. You might be able to sing those high notes, but if your voice is too piercing or metallic, it might stand out from the rest of the sopranos. That would be a reason for a conductor to have you sing with the altos. Another reason might be that you can’t control your volume and, again, stand out.

      If I were you, I would ask my conductor why he/she decided to have me sing with the altos. That would help you understand what’s going on and, also, give you something to work on. Many times, classical singers can’t sing with choirs, not because they can’t sing, but because their voices stand out and that’s something that’s not appropriate for a choir where everyone needs to sound uniform.

      Even if you test yourself and you think you’re a mezzo, that doesn’t mean that your conductor will have you sing with the mezzos. Plus most of the times, choirs only have a soprano and an alto section, so in order to sit with the sopranos, you must be able to sing all their melodies.

      Trying to expand your range without a teacher by your side can be very bad for your voice.

      I hope this helps,
      Olga

  42. Hi Olga. I am 14 years old. I don’t sing in a choir, unfortunately, but I have always wandered what my voice type is. I’m pretty sure i’m a bass but i’m not sure. My range is C2-D4 and i’m straining with the D4. I’m very comfortable around C#2-F2 so that’s why i’m pretty sure i’m a bass. I have been working on getting more resonence and lately when I sing an E2 or lower I can feel my feet vibrating. I prefer southern gospel, cause i’m from the south I guess, and country. My favorite groups are the Oak Ridge Boys and the Statler brothers so I sing along with them quite often. To give you an idea I can sing Elvira with Richard Sterban, their bass, so listen too that. Anyway, does it sound like i’m a bass to you ?

  43. Hei ! I’m Andreea and I have a question. My range is E3-G5. Untill now i believed that I’m an alto but now i see that I’m a mezzosoprano. What’s my voice type? Thank you ! :)

  44. Hi, I believe I’m a dramatic tenor. My range can go from about Eb2 (chest mixed with fry) to about F5/G5 in mixed register. It’s kind of like Adam Lambert but I have less agility and flexibility after about C5. I’m most comfortable around B2-B4 I guess…I also can use falsetto with head resonance and vibrato. My falsetto ranges from about E3-G5. My whistle register ranges from about A5-C7 (on a good day). Can you comment about this? I feel like my voice is complex and would like to know my classification :/ thanks.

  45. Oh and I forgot to mention that I’m able to sing songs like Mirrors by Justin Timberlake and use vibrato and do vocal runs, riffs, etc. I think I am also an able to give like a third lung illusion as well. My speaking voice is baritonal. I can make my voice light and delicate or rounder and brighter. I don’t know if that helps much but that’s extra info. :)

  46. good day :) im here just to ask whats my voice type is, :) im a guy, 17 y.o. ,in my choir im a tenor, but my range or notes that can i comfortable to sing is g3-g5, but sometimes up to, i believe c7 using headtone, and i have a darker voice,., hope this time i will know. tnx

    btw.
    im a male soprano when im younger.

  47. Hi, I don’t know if you can help me ? I’ve been told I’m a bass-baritone ,I’m comfortable singing down to b1 (I can go lower but I class this as vocal fry ) I can sing up to e4 or maybe f4 if I really push it ( not comfortable) is this a typical bass-baritone range? Thank you very much Paul x

  48. I need to make a small correction , my lowest comfortable note is A1 ,any lower than this sounds like vocal fry to me ! Thanks again x

  49. I need to make a small correction , my lowest comfortable note is A1 ,any lower than this sounds like vocal fry to me ! Thanks again ! ( Having said this I’m not really sure what counts as vocal fry ,I can sing an f#1 and stiil be heard over my guitar ,any lower and my voice starts to crackle and pop ,is that what counts as vocal fry??

  50. Hi, this is a great article. I am in a choir here in my country Botswana and I am an alto but i don’t study music. I have noticed that directors neglect altos and concentrate more on the sopranos, this does not in any way develop altos, we have a few good sopranos but no recognized altos. I guess in my country a profession as an alto solo is bound to be doomed. can you recommend any pages that can help me interact with other alto singers

  51. Just a little info – I found out I can actually go lower and higher than what I posted before. I can actually hit A1 in fry register (maybe I can go lower) and I can hit G7 in whistle register (maybe I can go higher).

  52. Hi, great article. I’m tenor but don’t know if i’m Leggero/Lyric etc, i’m 16, my lowest comfortable note is a B2, though my lowest note is a G#2. I have no problems to hit C5 and my highest note in chest is a Eb5 :)
    I used to have a nice head voice, earlier this year between february-march I could even hit C6 in head voice, but after I started to hit whistle notes my range in head voice now is up to E5, now when I hit the F my voice breaks and then jumps straight into B5/C6/C#6 in whistle. How can I recover the notes above E5 in head voice?

  53. Hi i have a singing app and I work hard everyday. I am a writer at heart and I feel inspired to write an Opera for Contraltos and mezzos

    (Same Angela)

    • Hi Angela,
      This sounds great! I’m sure lots of people, me included, would enjoy a new opera. Let me know when you’re done and maybe we could have people on choirly come together and sing it.

  54. can you please explain what is the difference anatomically and physically in the different classifications. I know that it has to do with space in the vocal tract and something to do with the size? width? of the vocal folds, but i am hoping that you can articulate precisely what the difference is in the body of an alto or a soprano.

    • Hi Claude,
      Thank you for your comment. I believe an otolaryngologist would be more appropriate in answering this question (maybe somebody at MGH?)

      In any case, I think of the different singers somewhat like the different instruments in the string family of the violin. It’s like comparing a violin to a viola, or a ukelele to a guitar.

      The shorter the strings or vocal folds, the higher the pitch. The longer the strings or vocal folds the lower the pitch.

      The same goes for the size of the vocal folds, in the sense that the larger they are, the more they can billow and they produce more harmonics, therefore the sound is richer.

      Finally the larger the sound box (or the difference cavities in the face, throat, chest, and head of a singer), the louder the sound.

      What I would recommend for people who have higher voices and take on public speaking would be to try to speak through their diaphragm (though it might feel as if they are exhaling more air and initially they might get dizzy) and to try to take advantage of their chest sound box to make their voice sound warmer and more powerful.

      I hope this helps…
      Olga

  55. Correction – my lowest comfortable note is E2. Anything lower, and I start to mix with the fry register. My highest comfortable note is A4/B4. After that, I can still sing higher, but try to avoid these notes because I’m not very comfortable around there. I can sing up to around F5/G5 in mixed voice. My head voice is about C3-G5. My whistle register is from A5-C7 I think. I feel most comfortable around C3-A4 I think…I’m a little unsure haha. Can you help me determine what my voice type is?

  56. Hiiiiiiii lol I’m 15(16 in a couple of months) I’m a boy, my voice is deep and it has been like that since middle school. I am also a sophomore in high school. I have been singing for a while now and my range is from G2-D6. I can go from G2-E5 in full voice without straining, and I also can hit a F#5 if I push hard with some strain, which I avoid most often. My falsetto is very high because I can go to a D6 and I also have a whistle register but I can only hit the notes from Mariah carey song Someday when she hits the whistle. I can also hit the notes at the end of Mariah’s Emotion song. Is that weird that I can only hit those whistle notes? And voice type am I? My voice is heavy at the bottom of my chest range and when I extend it up with mix it carries some weight. Like I said, I can hit all the way to a F#5 in full voice is that weird? And I know I’m young, but will my voice change dramatically as I get older? Will I keep my range? P.S I LOVE SINGING SO PLEASE REPLEY :)

  57. Hi. Im a 16 years old female and have recently discovered i have a very high whistle register. My singing teacher told me my vocal range is a D3 to an F7 which is apparently near the end of the piano. Please may you help me classify my voice as in whether i am a coloratura soprano etc. Would be much appreciated, thank you very much.

  58. I get so much confused about my voice that sometimes ι think ι’м α lyric baritone αη∂ sometimes a lyric tenor or legerrio tenor…ι нανє αn audible singing vocal range of E2-G5..at G5 my voice is α very clear head voice(the sweetest part of my voice) ι can sing up to α B5 with falsetto but with great difficulty…my most comfortable range is between (C3-A4) αη∂ comfortable note C4(speaking note)..my lower notes below C3# αяє rich dark αη∂ weighty…my voice between D4-C5 is light αη∂ very youthful almost like justin timberlake’ѕ but heavier though! From D5 is head voice. Pls, what voice type do υ think ι am?

  59. In addition ι can push my chest voice to E5 but might sound almost like shouting

  60. Hello , I have commented in this site before. I still don’t know what kind of tenor am i. Like i said before, my range goes C3 upto D5 . But I can reach as high as C#6 and as higher by mixed to falsetto.. Now my queries here are , some of today’s artist’s (male) voice range can reach upto Bb5 base on my researches. Why is that?? Is the using of falsetto included there or it’s just thier tessitura?? In finding your range, Mixed and falsetto should be included?? ’cause if these are should then, i can say that i have a wide range from C3-C#6 .. X) which can make me a nice pop singer.And that seems to be sarcastic LoL.. Please kindly give me a concrete reason(s) and answer(s) that will satisfy this questions that is confusing or should i say frustrating me.. Please don’t ignore . I just need Justice x’D . Very thanks in advance :) .. PS: so yeah i’m aspiring to be a pop singer . Dont Have experiences yet but by answering my question can be my guidelines .. :D

    • i just want to add … Hitting B2 for me is slight comfortable but every thing beyond A2 down hurts .. I don’t like hitting those B2 and down b’cause everytime i did sing that, my throat is hurting and i don’t want to take the risk of having sore throat . And E3 down is my fry
      My speech voice range is A3-G4
      My chest voice range is C3-D5, sometimes D5 and specially Eb5 shifts into mixed
      In E5 it shifts into head …
      My voice become lighter as i go A4 up ..
      That’s all . I will just commnt again if there’s something i want to correct/add..

      • And wait … (promise this will be the last x’) ..

        I’m 16 year old man whose speech voice is somewhat a li’l as in little dark .. Everytime i sing i feel a strong vibration and resonance in chest
        Also i’m good at imitating, singing and speaking in anime girl’s voice (if u have ever heard one) and i have faked many by that and many have been amazed .. I’ve just shared this since voice is concerned ..

        Is the given description is enough to identify my voice type in fach system ..??
        I think i’m a dramatic tenor but i’m unsure with that

        • I’m a musician, since my elementary years and starting to write songs and im knowledgable and skilled in music specially in instruments but not quite in Singing . That’s why i’m trying to consult singers and choir members and websites etc to gain knowledge and to improve skill in singing .. Hope u understand .. Thanks ..

          • I’m a musician since my elementary years and i’m starting to write songs by past years in highschool and I love all styles of music. Im knowledgable and skilled in music specially in instruments but not quite in Singing . That’s why i’m trying to consult singers and choir members and websites etc to gain knowledge and to improve skill in singing .. Hope u understand .. Thanks ..

        • Look dude. Your most likely a baritone. There is nothing wrong with being a baritone. It depends on your age an if you voice changed or not.

  61. Well, according to what I have discovered your vocal range may depend on what bases you classify it for instance…in operatic roles falsetto is not counted as part of your vocal range if I’m right but in non-operatic roles falsetto may be added. But as for me I think as long as your voice is audible enough for people to hear you it could be counted as part of your vocal range..you are probably a lyric tenor but I can’t be quite sure because I don’t know your vocal color. One thing that should be made clear is that people should be sure of the instrument they use to find their vocal range because I see so much wide vocal ranges here that are rare! Please this is a word of advice for everyone here your vocal quality is more important than your range!! BEWARE don’t kill your vocal quality in place of range that’s if u don’t want to be singing with a cracked voice

  62. Hello,

    This is a perfect article that I’m searching from a long time :D Thank you really for this ! ;)

    Emmm, in fact, my voice is soprano, I sing always in hight register.. And all the persons who listened to me said that my voice is soprano :D .. But I was surprised when a teacher tell me that my voice is Alto!!!!!! :/ :S I think he based on my vocal range.. When I arrived to G3 he said: “Your voice is Alto !” :O

    In my opinion the vocal range is insufficient to fixing this, and your article confirm that !! :D

    So, I hope sending you my voice and you tell me exactly Its type

    Emmm my vocal range is C3-E6 … I sing confortable between C4 and F5 (with a natural voice). I often use my head voice that I can sing with it from C4 to E6. In the low notes C3-C4 I use my chest voice.

    I can test all this and send it as a sound file if It’s possible.
    ——-
    I sent you the same message on your facebook page and I sent you some links containing my singing ;) I’m waiting for your answer .

  63. i just want to add … Hitting B2 for me is slight comfortable but every thing beyond A2 down hurts .. I don’t like hitting those B2 and down b’cause everytime i did sing that, my throat is hurting and i don’t want to take the risk of having sore throat . And E3 down is my fry
    My speech voice range is A3-G4
    My chest voice range is C3-D5, sometimes D5 and specially Eb5 shifts into mixed
    In E5 it shifts into head …
    My voice become lighter as i go A4 up ..
    That’s all . I will just commnt again if there’s something i want to correct/add..

  64. And wait … (promise this will be the last x’) ..

    I’m 16 year old man whose speech voice is somewhat a li’l as in little dark .. Everytime i sing i feel a strong vibration and resonance in chest
    Also i’m good at imitating, singing and speaking in anime girl’s voice (if u have ever heard one) and i have faked many by that and many have been amazed .. I’ve just shared this since voice is concerned ..

    Is the given description is enough to identify my voice type in fach system ..??
    I think i’m a dramatic tenor but i’m unsure with that

  65. I’m a musician since my elementary years and i’m starting to write songs by past years in highschool and I love all styles of music. Im knowledgable and skilled in music specially in instruments but not quite in Singing . That’s why i’m trying to consult singers and choir members and websites etc to gain knowledge and to improve skill in singing .. Hope u understand .. Thanks ..

  66. Hiiiiiiii lol I’m 15(16 in a couple of months) I’m a boy, my voice is deep and it has been like that since middle school. I am also a sophomore in high school. I have been singing for 3 and half years now and my range is from G2-D6. I can go from G2-E5 in full voice without straining, and I also can hit a F#5 if I push with some strain, which I avoid often. My falsetto is very high because I can go to a D6 and I also have a whistle register but I can only hit the notes from Mariah carey song Someday when she hits the whistle note. I can also hit the notes at the end of Mariah’s Emotion song. Is that weird that I can only hit those whistle notes? And voice type am I? I am a leggerio tenor since I can hit a F5 with my upper chest register? My voice is heavy at my low register of my chest range and I sound like a baritone. Also, when I extend it up with mix it carries some weight. Like I said, I can hit all the way to a F#5 in my upper chest resgister, is that weird? And I know I’m young, but will my voice change dramatically as I get older? Will I keep my range? P.S I LOVE SINGING SO PLEASE REPLY

  67. Wat does an alto range from and wat does a higher alto range from?

  68. Hi! I’m a local singer, and was in choir until I left school to homeschool, then private voice lessons for a while. I consider myself largely untrained, and my music theory is incredibly lacking since I’ve always been a natural by-ear vocalist… Anyway, to the point, I sing locally and was checking on my range and found G3-C6 and as a female vocalist was curious where that would place me, since I see smaller breakdowns in these categories, people ask what vocal classification I would consider my self I’m just not sure how to answer. Please feel free to answer here if it’s easier for you but an email would be great! Thanks!

  69. Hi, Im a 12 year old girl and my vocal range is from E3-B5 its more comfortable to sing in my lower register but I dont have much trouble in my full range. My choir teacher tested my voice she didnt know where to put me as a mezzo soprano or alto because I could reach low notes and high notes easily. What voice type am I?

  70. my highest not is A5 not B5 typo sorry!

  71. Hi. I’m 13 yrs.old a female. My mom and friends say I have a high registered voice, but when I took up voice lessons my teacher gave me a lower song to perform and she thiks it’s for the best. I didn’t bother to ask her my vocal range but I can do a head register and I think I can do a whistle register without even knowing it. But most people say I’m a soprano, but I’m not so sure. I might be a mezzo but I surely cannot be an alto. I usually sing Ariana Grande, Mariah Carey and Celine Dion songs.

    • Do you have a hunch where I belong? Please answer x

    • Hi Dorothy,

      You’re still too young to be classified. The fact that you can still use your whistle register might mean that your voice hasn’t changed yet. Only girls and soprano coloraturas can use that register. Your teacher probably sees that and this is why she/he had you sing lower songs.

      I don’t have enough information to tell you your voice type, but I’m sure that your voice professor knows what he/she’s doing. I would suggest that you don’t try to stretch your voice to impress your mom and your friends because it can have negative effects on your voice.

      Try to record yourself with your phone when you sing to better figure out how you sound.

      I hope this helps,
      Olga

  72. Hey Olga I think I am an alto as my range is F3-D4 However in my school choir I sing with tje mezzo sopranos is that possible

  73. What do you do if your only 15, and a bass that has difficulty at the D above middle C, but can hit D flat two octaves below without trouble?

    • You don’t sing that D. Choir songs are standardized, but not everyone’s voice is the same. If it’s hard to sing, just don’t. Trying to hard will only make you stress yourself and create bad habits.

  74. Hi. I can’t seem to find my voice type . I can sing from a c2 to an f6. My lower range is dark and low… my middle register is heavy snd has range as well as chest register. But head voice has weight its heavy. But recently my head voice has gotten brighter. I have the whistle register.. I ink I’m an dramatic coloratura contralto. Or maybe a coloratura mezzo. Idk for s fo. I’m female.
    Thanks.

    • Hi Holly, C2 is impossible for a woman, your range is probably C3_F5, so you might be contralto or mezzo with a widde low range, depends to your sound, to your comfortable zone . Coloratura, if you easy sing with agility .

      • I assure you that I can sing a c2 with ease. If your familiar with tonic triad (Do, Mi, So, Mi, Do, So, Do) I can sing tonic triad (the one 1 octave below middle c) with ease!!!

  75. um hi.. i was in a choir when i was in 4th grade and i think i was a Soprano, but now my voice is MUCH different. i dont know what my range is or anything like that. I can sing kinda deep but not very high. im more in the middle of high and low… more on the low side.

    sorry i dont really know what im looking for here… i just really like to sing but i dont know what my range is or anything…

    i am homeschooled and i am quite shy so i dont really like singing in front of people… so that might be a problem with my imaginary ‘singing career’.

    umm… thanks for your help!

    ( You dont have to reply or anything cuz i dont think any of that made any sense… ^^; )

  76. Hello!!!
    I am a 17 years old (almost 18 xD) girl. I absolutely love to sing since i remember. I have been having some doubts about my vocal type. My vocal range is from F2 to C6, although i am not sure about it. I have recently started a band and my mates say that i have a powerful and heavy voice, like a blues singer . However, when i go to the highest notes i don’t have many problems to reach them and i can either produce a dulcet sound or a metallic one. For these reasons, I am very confused. Could you help me , please?
    Thank you so much

    • Hi, you means probably F3 . Well, you must be a mezzosoprano or a mezzocontralto with a widde range . Mezzocontralto is a contralto with a mezzo-soprano range, it is a rare voice

    • well i have tested my vocal range, and my lowest note it´s actually a F2. Does it change my vocal type?
      Thanks
      PS- I would like to receive more opinions. thanks xD

  77. Hi! I’m a 14 years old girl, I have a pretty narrow range compared to most of the commenters here (E3-A5 but I can go a bit higher or lower if I try really hard). I was in the school choir last year as an alto, but I don’t think my range is wide enough to cover all the notes for alto?? So I’m not sure where exactly do I belong.
    Thanks!

  78. hi guys,

    im a female, but my voice is simillar to kellin quinn of sleeping with sirens who is male and has a voice type of tenore de grazia. what voice type do i have?

  79. I go G3-C6 without warm-up. I could hit a D flat above high C after warm-up on a lesson. I really can’t tell if I’m a mezzo-soprano or a soprano. I’ve experimented with a lot of arias ranging from Stride la vampa (lowest I can comfortably do) to Or sai chi l’onore (highest comfortable). I find that heavy, dramatic arias are much easier for me. I know that some singers switched ranges at some point, like Vinay or Shirley Verrett, but that’s pretty rare.

  80. Hello there. I have discovered that my range (clear, comfortable and note perfect) is C3-C6. What does this mean? I have been singing for years in choirs, churches and bands but have learnt by ear as cannot read music. I am told I’m very good (prob the only only thing I am good at really) but have no idea what my range means?? Any feedback would be very appreciated

  81. Hello my name is Lawuan. After testing my vocal ranging carefully three times I fell between a B3-C6. I do not know how good or bad that is. I do not sing professionally was just trying to find my vocal range to see how good I would be at making my own music just for my YouTube videos. My voice is hard to describe because it is naturally very light but deep similar to Beyoncé except my singing is nowhere near her level LOL. I’m a 21 year old male who voice use to naturally high pitch when I was younger and has now drop to what it is to date. Not familiar with music vocabulary but to compare my voice I say with proper recording software compared to celebrity my voice is soft like the singer Ciara but my bass and volume is lot more deep like a lower version of Beyoncé. Do anybody have any suggestions on what should be the best singing style for me?

  82. My falsetto goes as low as the G above middle C.
    Using the “Find Your Vocal Range In 1 Minute” Youtube video, I conclude my approximate range is E2 to middle C. My falsetto can go very high. It feels very natural to switch out of falsetto an octave above middle C.

    I still have no idea what men’s part to sing. It feels like I can sing them all.

  83. My chest vocal range is G2-E4 and my highest falsetto is E5 is there possibilities that i can hit C5 in my mix voice and head voice? Beacuse i dont know how to uise head voice .And what is my vocal range

    • it depends on how “dark” your voice it and how much resonance you have, but i would say that you are a baritone

    • Hi Holly, there are many contralto categories . If you means only the tessitura , contralto with a short high range like Kathleen Ferrier, mezzocontralto aka contralto with a widde high range like
      Maria Alboni and Clara Butt who sang mezzosoprano parts like Eboli .

      If you means the voice s colour, there are light, lyric and dramatic contralto

      A coloratura contralto is a contralto with more easy agility .

      Kathleen Ferrier was probably a lyric contralto, Kerstin Thorborg a dramatic mezzocontralto

  84. hey guys my current range is from B1-C6 (with vocal fry i can usually reach a soft D0) have a lot of trouble finding choral music that fits my lower range, if anyone could help me find some it would be awesome!

  85. Hello! My name is Razvan, I am 27 years old and I don t know what is my voice type :)
    My vocal clean range is F3-G5 and sometimes, when my voice is well heated I can sing the note A5 with chest voice! Usually I speak on the note C4-D4, and part of the range which is most comfortable to sing for me is A3-F5! I forgot to mention that my voice is powerful between A3-F5 and has a timbre generally brighter! I am waiting for a response and thank you in advance! With admiration and respect for all that you do for music! Greetings from Romania!

  86. hey people, can help me with an answer from your experience?

  87. Hi, could someone help me please? So I’m a female and my vocal range is from C3 – B4 (sometimes C5 if I warm up). I don’t sing in a choir or anything but I considered myself a contralto. According to this article, however, and other research I’ve done, my voice type could be considered a tenor. But isn’t that impossible for a female to be a tenor? Would I just be classified as a dramatic contralto?

    • Hi, it is impossible for a woman to besonders Tenor because Tenor is only a man voice .
      A woman who can sing very low is a low contralto, dramatic contralto is not the same .

      • I don’t think it’s impossible for a female to be a tenor because ‘tenor’ is also a voice part in a piece of music. You could indeed be placed in the tenor section of a choir if you were needed to help ‘beef it up’ for a performance.

    • Hi Rylie,

      As Sandrine and Tabitha have pointed out, a woman can’t be a tenor. She can sing in the tenor section in a choir, but she’s a contralto. In the opera she would never be casted in a tenor role, and that’s where the voice classifications come from.

      I hope this helps,
      Olga

    • We sound very similar. C3 to B4 and C5 with warmup. I assume you can go a little further with falsetto? I still find the description of tenor voices fits better because every example of. A contralto on the internet seems to sing higher more comfortably. Even most of Alto’s Lament sounds high to me or is performed by a mezzo SOPRANO. What’s all that about…

      Suppose we are contralto for the simple reason we are women?!

  88. Yzacam ama nolduğunu anlamıcaksınız hiçbiriniz haaımnaağğ godum.

  89. Gold evening, pour blog is very interesting . I have a question about my voice, I have a low voice ,many teachers said to me
    I am a contralto, but I sing in a Choral with the mein because the contralto woman voice ist too high for me .
    My deepest Note is mornings a A2 and evening a C3 and I can carry my chest voice above G 4
    My voice have a sad and lugubrious sound, my high notes are very little, I sing without difficulty tenor and bariton parts like
    Echo ridente or Deh vieni alla finestra, my comfortable zone is between D3 and D5
    Do you think I am a dramatic contralto or a low contralto ?

    • Hi Sandrine,

      It does sound that you have a very low voice. I’m concerned at the fact that you said that you can carry your chest voice above a G4. Overusing your chest register can have very negative effects on your voice. In general you want to use your chest register as little as possible.

      It might be that your voice sounds less full when you use your middle or head registro, but that’s the right form. Overusing your chest voice for high notes can create vocal fold nodes, tearing, hardening etc. All bad things.

      Now, women can’t be tenors… they might be able to sing some of the tenor notes, but that doesn’t mean she’s a tenor. These characterizations, i.e. soprano, alto, tenor, bass etc., are used to determine what roles singers qualify for. What this means is that a woman would never be casted as Rodolfo in Boheme or Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, so she can’t be a tenor.

      In a choir, your director might choose to have you sing with the tenors if there aren’t many men in the choir, but you’re still not a tenor.

      Just like a countertenor can sing in the alto or soprano range, it doesn’t mean he’s a soprano or alto. Personally, I feel it’s very irresponsible of a conductor to have a young girl or woman sing with the tenors, because no matter how low a woman can sing, it doesn’t mean that she has the same tessitura (comfortable area) as the men and singing low all the time will create long term problems.

      Your tessitura and way you self-characterized your voice would probably put you in the dramatic contralto category.

      I hope this helps!
      Olga

      • Hi Olga, thank you so much for your answer .
        I am 39, I sing tenor in the choir because alt in this groupe is too high for me, but you are right, a woman cannot be tenor .

        I have problems to find solist parts for my voice,
        Che faro senza Euridice is too high for me, Der Tod and das Mädchen is too high, I can only sing the low part .

        Here some little question

        What sorts of contralto are Aafje Heynis, Marian Anderson and Christel Garnier ?

        Is Nathalie Stutzmann really a true contralto ?
        I can t find a contralto sound like Kathleen Ferrier in her voice, I hear more a low dark mezzo .

  90. Hello! Sorry if I’m coming a bit late to the party, but I would like your opinion on what voice part I truly belong to. I’ve been in a formal chorus for seven or eight years now and am preparing to, hopefully, enter the world of collegiate choral performance.
    Of all the years I’ve been in a choir, I’ve only been a soprano once (the balance was off and I can be a bit loud :)) But otherwise, I’ve been a proud alto 2, or contralto. With in the past year, though, I’ve been told by a university director of music that I am an mezzo, not an alto. I went back to my current director confused and unsure, but I’m hoping you can help.
    My tessitura is E3 – A4/C5 but my full range starts at a sketchy Ab2 and goes to an A5. Whats your opinion?

    • Hi Tabitha,

      There are reasons, other than range, for which a conductor might put a woman in the alto section. You might be able to sing those high notes, but if your voice is too piercing or metallic, it might stand out from the rest of the sopranos. That would be a reason for a conductor to have you sing with the altos. Another reason might be that, as you noted, you can’t control your volume and, again, stand out.

      Many times, classical singers can’t sing with choirs, not because they can’t sing, but because their voices stand out and that’s something that’s not appropriate for a choir where everyone needs to sound uniform. Also, usually choirs have a soprano and an alto section, so categorizing in-between voices like mezzo-sopranos falls on the discretion of the conductor on a case by case basis. It’s a safe bet to say that you’re mezzo but sang with the altos because of lack of volume control.

      I hope this helps!
      Olga

  91. Hi tabitha, you are probably contralto with a widde high range, aka mezzocontralto or mezzosoprano with a widde low range

  92. Razvan
    January 26, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Hello! My name is Razvan, I am 27 years old and I don t know what is my voice type :)
    My vocal clean range is F3-G5 and sometimes, when my voice is well heated I can sing the note A5 with chest voice! Usually I speak on the note C4-D4, and part of the range which is most comfortable to sing for me is A3-F5! I forgot to mention that my voice is powerful between A3-F5 and has a timbre generally brighter! I am waiting for a response and thank you in advance! With admiration and respect for all that you do for music! Greetings from Romania! Please, give me an answer!

  93. Hi Razvan, are you a man or a woman ? If you are a man, you speak about the note F2 and no F3, A4 and not A5 .
    It you are a man, you might have a maritime voice, maybe a baritenore or perhaps a bass mit a short low range, depends how sounds your vocale timbre .

  94. Hello! I am a male, age 17. I am unable to find out my voice type. Many choir directors have said different things about my voice. For instance, my first choir teacher said I had a brassy quality to my voice, calling me a Basso-Profundo due to the fact that my range is from Bb1 ~ F4-G4 area. However, on the other hand, another choir director stated I was a bass-baritone. Then, another one stated I shouldn’t sing 2 notes below my speaking voice, which is at D2 because I am unable to project (even with breath support).
    What is my voice type? ;-;

  95. I want to know my vocal type. I am able to sing soprano songs without straining. I can sing low, middle and high notes easily without straining. I have a mixed voice. However, I still don’t know what my vocal type is. I love singing so much, PLEASE HELP :(

  96. Hello, I am a female with a full voice & my most comfortable vocal range is B2 -F4
    It almost sounds like I’m a tenor (I’ve been mistaken for a guy before) but I’m a girl.
    Would anyone happen to know any ways to make my voice higher?

  97. Where and when has the term lyric soprano evolved from and which country?
    Up until about 1800 all soprano voices were just termed soprano, female , treble or castrato.

  98. Hi! In my choir, I’m an alto, but when we vocalize/warm up, I sing soprano notes. Also, I can sing dramatic soprano songs from Les Miserables, like On My Own and In My Life, the latter with a lot of strain. Am I really an alto or soprano?

  99. Henrietta attard

    I have a ten year old boy. He can sing the high notes very well but when it comes to the lower notes he feels he cannot continue and changes tone. Can you suggest what type of voice he might have.

  100. The lowest I can sing is an E2, and the highest I can sing is an E6, so what is my classification, vocal range, as an vocalist?

  101. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your knowledge on this topic! There are no other websites that I’ve seen before that explains voice range and type so simply as you have here. If I could recommend anything it would be that there be a PDF version of this article so music and music related teachers can use it to help explain to students the difference between voice range and type because I have been acquainted with many students in choir and taking musical theatre that do not know this difference or are confused.

  102. I am a bass … Is there any chance I can turn myself into a baritone please reply … Asap coz we have been told in India the lower U go the higher note u can strike but with my own experience I find this theory Bull shit … So kindly help me out my comfortable range is E2 _ E4 can it be taken Upto G4 …

  103. Hello there

    When I was in middle school I sang in choir and won a few talent shows but never had any vocal training, so my range was limited and I stuck to songs I knew I could sing comfortably. Back then I could only get from E3-A4 or something. My music teacher tried to tell me I was a mezzo soprano because I could go to C5 with falsetto (or just plain straining) What made things difficult was that I was the only deep voiced black girl in an all white all soprano choir so I think they wanted to believe I was anything near a soprano and I’d just blend in…

    Now at 21 with practising for fun (singing in the shower) I am certain my range is C3-C5 (F or G5 if I strain) Everyone seems to say that women are only told they are altos by mistake and are actually forcing lower notes. Well, I’m not…

    I’ve been told my voice is warm, husky in the lower range and smooth but not as bright as your typical pop princess at the higher end. Apparently I’m not a contralto either? The only thing that seems to fit is the typical range given for a male tenor according to every other site I looked at.

    I feel most comfortable singing songs like Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah for lower stuff and Alex Clare’s music is about as comfortable as I can be higher (and warmed up).

    A little help? X To clarify, what’s C3-C5 for a lady?

    • Made this slightly more concise yet with more detail!

      What am I? Decided to use a tuner that shows octaves rather than trusting ear.

      Absolute bottom -> (A#2) C3-C5 (F5) <- falsetto

      Most comfortable in similar range (D3-D4) to speaking voice. 'warm/dark' tone.

      Was told I was a mezzo soprano (their wishful thinking?) in choir; always felt more comfortable with alto or even tenor parts but could probably improve higher notes if I ever had singing lessons.

      Comfortable singing Alex Clare, Usher, Dido, Amy Winehouse etc Daniel Bedingfield seems to show both ends of my voice well (thought the D#5 is falsetto as in his performance)

  104. pls, i need to ask if it’s usual for a tenor voice to have a lower range that extends to E2 and yet can’t go very high..i sing tenor in my school choir but i end up hurting myself after rehearsals and church service each time. someone told me is because i want to hear my voice and since it doesn’t carry weight i end up shouting.. I’m realy confused of my voice type and i think my voice is even getting worse daily due to bad singing techniques.. i think my most confortable zone is C3-A4. below C3 i darken my voice to reach lower notes.and my highest head voice is F#5..Pls help out

  105. Hi. I am Janiya i am an mezzo soprano I believe that i am an alto but for some reason i go low like my voice starts kinda repeating its self as in my voice is mumbling and its very difficult to stop it. WHY?

  106. Hi. I am Janiya i am an mezzo soprano I believe that i am an alto but for some reason i go low like my voice starts kinda repeating its self as in my voice is mumbling and its very difficult to stop it. WHY? And also how am i able to hit a pitchy note

  107. hi.Im 15.My teacher said that i am baritone but im not sure about it because at that time my voice was allophone and i was tired and i didnt drink water before that.Now im learning classical singing and im learning guitar near one year.I can sing in high notes but i cant sing in very low notes.I just can sing to B(on the 5th line key fa).My voice changed one time last year summer and this year summer it was better. not like rooster!I saw a video yesterday that a man was singing and his range was lower than me and i doubted that im baritone because i can sing high notes but when i sing high notes i try a little.I think i am between baritone and tenor.
    this is my skype id: parsa.hajiamiri
    will you tell your skype id at the answer of this post.
    I want you to test my vocal range in skype.
    please answer and accept me to recognize my vocal range.
    thank you.

  108. hi.Im 15.My teacher said that i am baritone but im not sure about it because at that time my voice was allophone and i was tired and i didnt drink water before that.Now im learning classical singing and im learning guitar near one year.I can sing in high notes but i cant sing in very low notes.I just can sing to B(on the 5th line key fa).My voice changed one time last year summer and this year summer it was better. not like rooster!I saw a video yesterday that a man was singing and his range was lower than me and i doubted that im baritone because i can sing high notes but when i sing high notes i try a little.I think i am between baritone and tenor.
    this is my skype id: parsa.hajiamiri
    will you tell your skype id at the answer of this post or send it to my email and when you are online at time of your country ? ( I live in Iran.)
    I want you to test my vocal range in skype.
    please answer and accept me to recognize my vocal range.
    thank you.

  109. i have already given up in naming my voice but have rather picked more interest in what kind of style suit my voice and d xteristics of it…i definitely know am a tenor singer..i encourage others to do d same..and as far as there is no much strain in my throat i would be comfortable singing…cause before this classification people sung and would always do

  110. Hi. I’m a 25 year old woman who just started singing again (since Jan this year), after years of refraining to do so because I was convinced I was tone deaf and wouldn’t be able to hit a note to save my life so to speak. I really had no confidence whatsoever.
    I don’t know much of musical terms etc, so I’d really like some help in identifying what type of voice I may have.

    Now, my range is approximately A3-B4, though I still haven’t explored the full range of my chest voice yet.
    My voice does have more quality and overall sound better the lower I go.
    Currently, my lowest voice is (in my ears) sort of androgynous.
    My vibrato is also better in my lower register.
    I don’t know where my transitions at, unfortunately, however I feel the most power at the bottom of my voice than I do in the higher range.
    My middle voice is still not as good as I would like, but it doesn’t sound as awkward as before.
    My head voice… well, while I am able to reach B4 and even C5, I don’t feel comfortable doing it.
    It feels taxing and if I keep doing it longer than I absolutely have to (a few seconds or a minute), my throat hurts really bad, which isn’t that good of a sign in my book.
    Most of the higher notes sounds awful and lacks the power and (richness) I receive when using my chest voice.
    2 online self tests suggested that I was (if female) a contralto, or (if male) a bass.

    So, based on this… what do you think?

  111. I’m going into college to study vocal performance (opera, specifically), but I have never been classically trained and I have a question about my higher range. I can sing from a D3-E6 – however, the high E-natural is only attainable if I have done a substantial amount of warmups, and I can only sing it a couple of times before my voice starts to feel very sore, dry, and scratchy. I want desperately for this note to be part of my range, but I’m starting to worry that it will never be comfortable enough for performance, and that if I continue to try to train my voice to sing it, I will damage my vocal folds. Should I stop? And if I can’t reach it, do I still have a chance at a career in opera?
    If anyone can answer this, I would really appreciate it, thanks!

  112. I’m pretty sure I’m a mezzo-soprano (I can comfortably sing from A3 to G5, which is one note less than the range specified here at either end) but there’s some weird things about my voice. My chest voice is clear and steady from A3 to about G4, but then it gives up, and my head voice doesn’t really sound its best until around D5, so I have these few awkward notes in the middle from A to C that are kind of weak. I can physically sing from E3 to C6, but when I try to go below A3, my voice fails and either sounds really weak and shaky or like a terrible impression of a man singing opera. At the other end, above G5, my throat starts to close up and my voice gets squeaky. I would just assume those notes were out of my range, but this doesn’t always happen; quite a few times, usually in the evenings after I’ve been singing all day, I can reach B5 or even C6 and have it sound reasonable. Any advice?

    • Okay, me again. Just updating that I managed to sing a D6 one day and my higher range is getting better. (I’d say my range is A3-A5 now rather than G5) I’m pretty sure I have a couple of higher notes, so I just need some tips for how to get them right consistently. Would you recommend lessons?

  113. Hi! I´m a 18 years old girl who has recently started to sing to big audiences. My friends when heard my voice for first time they were shocked. They said that my singing voice is way deeper than my speaking voice. Although my voice is deep I have a wide range. I can go from F2 to C6. I don’t know what vocal type I am, doing to my vocal range. My voice is powerful, groovy (like a blues singer) and velvety. Could you give your opinion, please? Thanks :)

  114. I am a fourteen year old girl. I can go from b3 to c6 comfortably. Any higher or lower and I have to strain. My voice is very airy and has been described as “sweet” and “pure”. I’m supposed to be a soprano, right? My middle school choir teacher put me on alto and we have a competition thingy in early July. Will it ruin my voice to try and sing that low? To be honest it is uncomfortable. We don’t have enough altos so I want to help us win, but I don’t want want to hurt my voice in the process. Is there any way I can condition my voice to singing lower easily? Thank you.

    • To Sarai:
      Well, I’m not a pro, but if you feel strained while singing low tones, then it is is more than likely you just don’t have the vocal capacity for that range and as such, you should refrain from doing that as it may indeed be harmful to your vocal chords in the long run.
      The problem with singing in choirs is the false classifications. A person may have been classified as a mezzo or alto, and infact have been a first or second soprano all along.
      The only advice I can give you based on what you’ve said is to listen/pay close attention to what your voice/body tells you and also discuss it with the choir director.

  115. Hello I am a 16 year old man . My vocal range is c3 to e5 . My voice is loudest and has the most resonance when I use my Head Voice . My voice is weakest in the middle register .What is my vocal type ? Iam considering joining a Church choir , will it help me to a better singer ?

  116. heyo. i turned out 16 at 18th june. i’m a self-taught musician also when i was 11 i realized i had a good voice so i worked on it myself. last year in my guitar class, our teacher found my voice. he knew that my voice was pretty. he decided to check my voice. i can whistle notes. my highest, i’ve known, is E6. also I can hit a C#7 as the way Christina does with falsetto. My highest chest voice is A5. But sometimes it can hurt, lol. My lowest note I’ve ever tried is C3 like Beyonce’s low in Halo. Actually I’m not forcing myself but it happens. So do I really have 4 octaves and a semi note?

  117. Hi Olga! I was wondering if you could help me in determining my voice type! I love classical voice and my range is B3-C6 (for now!) I’ve been told multiple times that I have a somewhat “bright” voice but I’m not quite sure which type that would determine? Unfortunately I don’t really think of my voice my voice as “rich” or “dark” or “powerful”.

  118. Hi, I’m a 15 year old girl who just finished her 1st year of high school. My vocal range is G3 up to E6, I have been told on a number of occasions that I have a good voice for opera because I can produce a lot of loud notes even though I stand a little over 4 feet 11 inches, but that’s beside the point. I have also been told I have piercing, clear, bell like voice with a good top register. Although my choir teacher some times has me sing alto, which does not feel good to sing and also sounds and feels very forced. I would love it if you could provide some insight into what my voice part is. Thank you :)

  119. this didn’t help me much because I don’t completely understand how to read music as yet.

  120. I’m a 12 year old girl. I sing about C3-C7. I can’t figure out my vocal range. I’ve been in soprano, mezzo, alto, contralto, countertenor, tenor, baritone, and baritone/bass. My choir teacher moves me around so much. I would really like to know my true vocal category. Many people hear my low notes and call me a boy, but hear my high notes and call me a soprano! What am I?

    • Well in some rare cases people can sing more than one part. Such as my music school teacher can sing bass with us, then in their men’s quartet they have him sing soprano. It’s very hard to unlock this ability, and it’s extremely rare for it to happen without training, hope this helps

  121. Hello, I am a male from the Atlanta Georgia area, and i’m a 15 year old classical music singer. I feel that I am a bass but based on your article I believe I’m a low baritone. I don’t know and my range is from the first E on the treble clef to the first C below the bass clef. Any assistance would be beneficial. Thanks.

  122. Um, hey Olga, I’m Alex, 15 year old male. My vocal range is A2-A4, though i’m not comfortable with A4 cuz i was kinda straining to reach that note. So am i a bass-baritone or something, i’m confused :))). Oh btw, love your articles Olga <3

  123. I am a female but my voice ranges somewhere around Baritone and Tenor, is that possible for me to have such a deep voice for a 16 year old female?

  124. I can sing F3-C5 in full voice comfortably, and I can go up to C6 comfortably in head/high voice. My range is apparently from Alto to Soprano from what I checked in a video :/ I’m 14 and female, so…..what’s my voice type really?

  125. Hi
    I can sing from C3 to a E6…
    Chest: C3-E4
    Middle: F4-D5
    Falsetto: E5-B5
    Whistle: B5-E6
    3.2 OCTAVES
    I am countertenor??? If yes… mezzo or soprano?

  126. I’m 14 and I have a 3.2 octave range, from C3-E6.
    I have all types of register (vocal fry, chest, head and whistle register)
    E’m I a countertenor? If yes… mezzo or soprano???
    My confortable part of singing is from G#3-D6…

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