How To Find Your Vocal Range- Beginner’s Guide

Have you ever been asked what your vocal range is and not had a good answer? Knowing your vocal range will help you pick the songs/keys that work best for your voice and showcase your vocal strengths.

First… Lets figure out your vocal range. It’s easy! You just need to find the lowest note you can comfortably sing and the highest note you can comfortable sing. If you don’t already know the names of the notes on the piano, click here.

  • Go to a piano or find a virtual keyboard with at least 3 octaves.
  • Sing a note that feels near the bottom of your register and comfortable.
  • Find that note on the piano. *Ladies, you should start looking for your lowest note around middle C and move down from there. Guys, start on the C an octave below middle C to find your lowest pitch.*
  • Now, move down in half steps from that note until you reach your lowest comfortable note. This should be a note that you would be comfortable sustaining and hitting consistently, not just the lowest sound you can make
  • Now do the same for your highest note. Do this in head voice (don’t try and belt).

It’s also very helpful to know the highest note you can comfortably belt. If you like to sing Pop, R&B, Rock, Gospel, Musical Theater or almost any contemporary style, you will probably be using your chest voice some of the time. Knowing how high you can safely take your chest voice will help you choose the right songs/keys and keep you from vocal strain or damage.

We use numbers to indicate which A B C D E F or G we are referring to when talking about vocal range. For instance, my range is G4 to D6 (I’m a soprano). My highest belt note is C5.

Here’s a diagram of the entire keyboard with numbers. Middle C is C4.

full keyboard

 

Now that you’ve figured out your vocal range….Let’s see where you fit in. Women’s voices are categorized in three parts (from high to low) Soprano, Mezzo Soprano and Alto. Men’s voices are from highest to lowest are Tenor, Baritone and Bass.

Here are the traditional ranges for each voice part. This is just a guide, many people have larger ranges than listed.

Vocal Ranges

vocal Range

In reference to the Vocal Ranges chart above, here are the ranges listed with letter names & numbers.

Bass: C2-E4, Baritone: F2-G4, Tenor: B3-C5, Alto: E3-E5, Mezzo: G4-G6, Soprano: C4-C6

Can someone expand their vocal range?

Absolutely! My students gain notes at the top of their registers as soon as they learn to support the sound with breath and relax the muscles in the neck, throat and face. Our voices get lower as we get older, so if you’re younger than 30, you will probably gain a few notes at the bottom of your register.

 

 

 

 

 

 

25 Comments

  • NCS

    Reply Reply December 6, 2015

    I’m not much of a singer, more of a bass player, but I found out I’m a baritone. I managed to make my total range E2-C#5(G5), but I have issues with my falsetto’s volume being no lower than probably forte or mezzo-forte, plus after my lowest two octaves, I reach an annoying disconnect point from my chest and head voice. Hopefully I can connect them better with more practice.

  • Meghan Nixon

    Reply Reply January 5, 2016

    Hi NCS- Thanks for the comment! It’s much harder to sing quiet and high than it is to sing loud and high. It requires more control and breath support. Try singing some simple 5 note exercises over the break in your voice. Try to lighten the weight in your chest voice and you move higher in your register- this will create a more fluid register.

  • Angela Malone

    Reply Reply August 24, 2016

    Ive been voice training myself using Our Lady Peace songs. My voice range is A5 to D6.

  • Gloria

    Reply Reply November 21, 2016

    please my highest note is a6 and my lowest is f2 ,,,,what range is that??

    • Meghan Nixon

      Reply Reply December 20, 2016

      Hi Gloria! I don’t know any women who can sing an f2- that is too low. More likely your lowest note is f3 (the F below middle C). A6 is a nice high note, so I would guess that you are a soprano (though many altos can sing that note as well). The timbre of the voice is important also- Sopranos usually have brighter timbres and altos have richer, darker timbres.

  • Prince Quinto

    Reply Reply December 16, 2016

    I’m a 15 year old boy ….
    I love to sing in front of many people…
    I started to enter Gospel Music Industry in The Philippines When 2006.
    My vocal range From 2006-2012 is Eb4-G5. Then in 2013 is C4-Bb5 .Then in 2014 is G3-G#5 . Then in 2015 , my highest belted note is F#5 only but then i still sing until when December 3, 2014 i lose my voice when i am performing When You Believe by Mariah Carey… in that case , i’ve been thinking that i am in the puberty stage but when 2015 my voice returns like before that i can belt but when April 2016, i lose again my voice and my voice become hoarse 3 months…… what can i do?

    • Meghan Nixon

      Reply Reply December 20, 2016

      Hi Prince. Age 12-16 is a difficult time for young male singers. Your voice will continue to get lower and you will likely loose some of your upper register. You need to be patient and work with what you’ve got. Don’t push your voice to notes that are no longer within your vocal range. Make sure that you are singing with good breath support and relax the muscles in your throat, jaw and neck.

      • Prince Quinto

        Reply Reply December 22, 2016

        Thank you because of that techniques that i’ve got, i can belt again G5 note in chest voice…. because i can’t belt it through mixed because i dont know… can you teach me how???

        • Meghan Nixon

          Reply Reply January 4, 2017

          Awesome Prince! Mixed belt is a tricky part of the range to master. As the name indicates, its a mix of head and chest voice. A mixed belt has some weight to it, but is not as heavy as your full chest voice. Usually the resonance is in the nose and cheeks- “the mask”. This lighter, brighter sound is a healthy way to take your chest voice higher.

  • Gabriela

    Reply Reply December 26, 2016

    My high is c5 and my low is f3 what range would I be is that good

  • Cheyene

    Reply Reply December 28, 2016

    In 2014 my range was F#3 to A#6. But here lately I find myself singing tenor in choir when ours is out, yet I am the highest soprano. No website I go to helps me find out exactly what my range is, or what voice type I am. Its getting a little frustrating when I have to constantly switch parts in choir because the director himself doesn’t know my voice type because of “it’s originality.” What can I do? I am so confused. 🙁

    • Meghan Nixon

      Reply Reply January 4, 2017

      Hi Cheyene. Thanks for the comment! You could be an alto or soprano with a range of F3 to A6. If you are singing a tenor part, you can probably sing even lower than an f3. The tone quality of your voice as well as were your break sits (chest to head) are both factors as well. Feel free to email me a recording of you singing and I can help you out. Some people’s voices don’t fit the mold- that’s not a bad thing. 🙂

  • Emdogga

    Reply Reply January 28, 2017

    I not to good aa matching pitch I am 13 and wondering what my range would be if my lowest is f3 and my highest is a#4?

    • Meghan Nixon

      Reply Reply February 17, 2017

      Hello! Matching pitch is just a skill- the more you practice, the better you will become. I think you must mean F3-A5? (Remember, the lowest note on the piano is A1). That is a tenor range. At 13, your voice is going through changes and will most likely get lower. Be patient with it and keep practicing!

  • Keyshawn Allen

    Reply Reply February 2, 2017

    I’m 16 years old male and I started singing when I was 9 and had a vocal range mostly high as I could hit whistles. By the time I had finished my 1 year of middle school my higher range was completely gone to the point where I couldn’t sing nothing as nothing would come out. I could only sing very low. Now I’m able to sing low and high and have a small section of my whistle with my range back. My Range is A2-A6 but most of the time my notes in the 5 octave don’t come out at all and all my notes are flat. So my question is how do I control my voice and what should I do? Will my vocals get back to normal and will my range grow low and high?

    • Meghan Nixon

      Reply Reply February 17, 2017

      Hi Keyshawn! It’s sounds like you have a big vocal range! What you described is not at all unusual for young men your age. Those gaps in your range will fill in as your voice continues to change. I don’t know how your range will change, that all depends on whether you end up a bass, baritone or tenor. Keep exercising your voice and practicing good vocal technique and don’t push it to places that are uncomfortable or painful. Never force you voice. Keep me posted!

  • natalya

    Reply Reply February 6, 2017

    Hello! I’ve just started. My vocal range is from F4-E5 and I’m unsure of what may be my range.

    • Meghan Nixon

      Reply Reply February 17, 2017

      Hi Natalya! Thanks for the comment. F4 is the F above middle C (c4). You probably mean F3 to E5? Sounds like you are an alto! The ranges listed in this article are guides to finding your vocal range- most people don’t fit exactly within the ranges listed.

  • Felicity J.

    Reply Reply February 10, 2017

    Hi…I’ve been wondering for a while what range I can sing in, because I sing a lot, and it turns out that I’m definitely alto, but it becomes slightly harder for me to reach the D and further on above the C above middle C…hope you go that…and if I really, really try I can reach that higher G. I can also reach the E flat below middle C, and if I strain, then to the D…so it’s like I’m part alto with two or three extra notes beneath. So, glad to figure out what I am as far as that goes. Thanks a lot for the help!

    • Meghan Nixon

      Reply Reply February 17, 2017

      Glad to help! The ranges listed in this article are guides to finding your vocal range- most people don’t fit exactly within the ranges listed. Remember- don’t try to push or strain your voice to reach high or low notes. Practice good vocal technique -deep breathing and relaxing the muscles in your upper body (especially your throat and neck)- to help you reach those high notes.

  • Hayley Strickland

    Reply Reply February 28, 2017

    I always wondered what I would be classified as. My vocal range is D3-E6. My highest belt is a C5/C#5. I do tend to belt a lot and I feel I don’t have much power in my head voice until I get a little bit higher in my register. I don’t really have a problem hitting higher notes. I’ve been told I’m an alto, I’m a mezzo-soprano, I’m a soprano. I think one person even called me a tenor. I just have no idea honestly.

    • Meghan Nixon

      Reply Reply February 28, 2017

      Hi Hayley. It sounds like you are probably a mezzo-soprano. You’ve got some low notes that are out of a soprano’s range, but you can reach a high E as well. Big range!

  • Lydia

    Reply Reply March 16, 2017

    Hey can you help?! I always thought I was an alto but a singing teacher recently said mezzo. My lower range is really dark but my higher is bright and quite ‘girly’. My lowest is E3, I can hit up to C5 in chest voice if I’m really warmed up and my highest in head voice is an A5. What do you think? I’m 18 by the way! Over the years my low range has stayed the same but i believe from loads of practise I’ve extended my range a note or two. 🙂

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