How To Determine Your Vocal Range

Find your vocal range using a variety of tools including a vocal range chart for Bass, Baritone, Tenor, Alto, Mezzo-Soprano, and Soprano in this guide.

How to determine your vocal range

Though everyone’s range is specific to their voice, most vocal ranges are categorized within 6 common voice types: Bass, Baritone, Tenor, Alto, Mezzo-Soprano, and Soprano. If you’ve been part of a choir before, you’re probably pretty familiar with these ranges. If you haven’t, you may have wondered which voice “type” fits you.

What Is Vocal Range?

Generally speaking, your vocal range is the lowest note you can sing to the highest note you can sing. You may be able to reach notes within more than one vocal range, but when it comes to making a decision, comfort is key. Where is your voice most comfortable? Where do the notes stop sounding great even though you can still squeak them out? We’re here to help you out!

Do You Have to Find Your Vocal Range?

Knowing your vocal range is extremely helpful for you to be able to pick out songs that you feel comfortable singing. You may be asked for your range in an audition, and that information will help cast you in the right part. In a choral setting, you need to be able to determine what voice part you are comfortable singing. If you don't know your vocal range, you risk hurting your voice if you perform songs that are outside of your comfortable register, or tessitura.

Using Vocal Range Charts

Before we break down each of the voice types, you should be familiar with the numbering system on a keyboard. Talking about notes as “the second A above middle C” can start to get confusing, so a widely used technique is to accompany note names with their given octave number on a keyboard. Middle C is called C4 because it is the 4th C (starting from the Bass) up on the keyboard.

Vocal range: keyboard
Vocal Range Chart: Keyboard

Now that you are a little more familiar with the notes, let’s get to determining which voice type best suits you!

The three male voice types are: Bass, Baritone, and Tenor

The three female voice types are: Alto, Mezzo-Soprano, and Soprano

Bass Vocal Range Chart

The bass is the lowest singing range and typically lies between E2 to E4. In the lower and upper extremes of the bass voice, some basses can sing from C2 to G4. Bass singers have a low, rich tone, and some famous examples include Barry White, Johnny Cash, and Avi Kaplan.

Vocal range: Bass
Vocal Range Chart: Bass

Baritone Vocal Range Chart

The baritone is the second lowest singing range, and overlaps both Bass and Tenor. The typical baritone range is from A2 to A4, and might extend down to F2 or up to C5.

The baritone voice type is the most common type of male voice, and well-known baritones include Frank Sinatra, Josh Groban, and Elvis Presley.

Vocal Range Chart: Baritone

Tenor Vocal Range Chart

The tenor is the highest type of male voice, typically comfortable between C3 to C5. Tenors generally have greater control over their falsetto (head voice), allowing them to reach notes well into the female register. Andrea Bocelli, Freddie Mercury, Jeff Buckley, and Luciano Pavarotti are great examples of tenor singers.

Those who can sing higher than the average tenor are often given the title “countertenor.”

Vocal range: Tenor
Vocal Range Chart: Tenor

Alto Vocal Range Chart

The alto is the lowest type of female voice. The typical alto range lies between F3 to F5, though there are those who can sing above or below this range. Those who can sing below are often called “contralto” and can usually sing in a range similar to a tenor.

Though altos have a very similar range to mezzo-sopranos, their voices are usually richer and fuller in the lower register than mezzos. Again, it’s all about where the voice is most comfortable. Famous alto singers include Adele, Gladys Knight, Norah Jones, and Tracy Chapman.

Vocal range: Alto
Vocal Range Chart: Alto

Mezzo-Soprano Vocal Range Chart

The mezzo-soprano voice is the middle-range voice type for females, overlapping both the alto and soprano ranges. The typical range of this voice is between A3 and A5.

Many times, mezzo-sopranos will sing the same voice part as sopranos until there is a 3 way split between sopranos, mezzos, and altos. Well-known mezzos include Sara Bareilles, Dua Lipa, Idina Menzel, and Carrie Underwood.

Vocal range: Mezzo-soprano
Vocal Range Chart: Mezzo-Soprano

Soprano Vocal Range Chart

The soprano is the highest singing voice. The typical soprano voice lies between C4 and C6. The vocal tone is brighter and lighter, and this vocal part normally sings the melody in choral arrangements. Famous sopranos include Sarah Brightman, Kristin Chenoweth, Julie Andrews, and Kelly Clarkson.

Vocal range: Soprano
Vocal Range Chart: Soprano

What's Your Vocal Range?

Spend some time experimenting with these different ranges and find where your voice feels most comfortable. Knowing your vocal capabilities will help immensely in choosing the right songs that compliment your singing voice.

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Header photo by: Kelly Sikkema