What Is Singing Range Vs Singing Voice Type?
Have you been wondering whether your voice type is effecting your singing range? And What Is Singing Range any way - can you extend your singing range or is this dictated by your voice type such as Baritone, Soprano, Tenor etc
Before we start, I'm personally a Baritone on the lower end of the voice type scale - meaning my voice is naturally quite low and rich in the low range - and I also really struggled to sing high notes when I first started learning how to sing.
For a time I actually thought that being a Baritone was a curse - you might have even seen singing videos on YouTube that speak about "The Baritone Curse" - which isn't a curse at all, simply a few adjustments that need to be made to your technique in the initial stages of learning how to sing.
First of all, lets talk about vocal range in a pure sense.
What Is Singing Range?
If we're talking in terms of the notes you can sing, then your singing range is the span of notes in between your lowest to highest note - whether your natural range, or a singing range like mine that has been developed and built over many years of training; but range can be used to describe many aspects of your voice from stylistic range, your tessitura, your voice type and as a general way to refer to someone that sings high notes with ease.
Just for reference, when I first started singing (I actually still have a few rehearsal recordings from the late 90's - oh ear!) my untrained range was something like F2 to E3, with a few pushed notes above the E and a few inconsistent notes lower down that were hit and miss to around D2
After developing a better vocal foundation using The Four Vocal Fundamentals I'm about to share with you, my range in terms of notes is now D2 to B5 - with my Tessitura (basically my most 'comfortable' range in a classical sense) sitting somewhere between E2 to G4.
So, your untrained singing range really doesn't indicate your voice type in any sense - just because you can't sing a G4 doesn't mean you're a bass, and just because you can squeak a B5 in falsetto doesn't mean you're a Counter Tenor - a great singing voice is really all in the technique, not the type; I'll talk a about voice type a little more in this video;
Many beginner singers in particular get bogged down in what voice type they are looking for reasons or excuses for why they can't sing a particular note, or because of their speaking voice - which really isn't a great indicator of your voice type. Many men have rich voices that sound deep - but they may be Tenors; and vice versa - someone might have an Aussie accent like mine and actually fly under the radar as a lower baritone for many years without realising - remember, voice type really refers to tonal character within your Tessitura, not your potential range as a singer.
What Does Voice Type Mean?
When it comes to classical singing; you might have heard the terms Tenor, Baritone, Alto, Soprano etc - or even more detailed variants like Verde Baritone or Contralto; but when it comes to contemporary singing like rock and pop where a brighter and more intense sound is often desired; then these types get muddied a little and often don't reflect a trained singer's ability.
Did you know that Chris Cornell was a baritone? Considering the break periods in his voice, the reliance on a forward placement, where the belt register lies and also his available low range on songs like Storm and even Beyond The Wheel make it obvious to a trained coach that he has a baritone voice type; even though he was famous for screeching in that piercing Tenor range.
Now on the flipside, someone like Nick Cave - known for his brooding baritone singing is likely an untrained Tenor considering his speech-like character in the upper second octave, where his breaks lie and also partially the tonal character of his voice; but the gusto and 'character' style singing that he employs often gives the impression he has an incredibly low voice - check out the difference between Nick Cave vand Blixa Bargeld's voices in the Bad Seed's duet "The Weeping Song" to notice the vast character (and differing low range) between Blixa's naturally low voice at the broad "character" voice that Nick is employing.
For contemporary singing, especially rock - voice type is irrelevant other than a few of your lowest notes and perhaps the tonal character of your voice through the centre of your range.
I'm a Baritone - Can I Learn To Sing Better?
Remember, voice type doesn't indicate your potential range as a singer - yes, you can absolutely build a killer singing voice no matter WHAT voice type you are; Soprano, Tenor, Baritone, Bass - with these Four Vocal Fundamentals, you'll learn to use your voice in the most efficient way for an extensive, powerful and dynamic vocal range spanning many octaves and capable of many styles of singing.
Instead of continually telling you just how incredible it is to sing with such effortless freedom, power and range now that I've developed a rock solid foundation - let me show you; here's just a few quick examples of what I'm achieving now that I've mastered The Four Vocal Fundamentals - just imagine the amazing singing voice you're going to enjoy when you nail these four simple vocal basics!
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The Four Vocal Fundamentals
If you want to know the true secret that raised my voice from dull and limited to expressive and expansive, you needn't look further than The Four Vocal Fundamentals;
- Forward Placement
- Height In The Vocal Tract
- "All In One Flow"
- Mixed Tonality
After years of struggling (not to mention spending over $15,000 on singing lessons over ten years) and straining to sing high notes - I was actually ready to give up as a singer because I really felt a baritone like me could only sing in the Johnny Cash range, and that my dream of singing like Chris Cornell and soaring into the heavens with a powerful and expressive range were just a pipe dream that wasn't meant for guys like me.
Absolutely everything changed for me when I learned these four Vocal Fundamentals and learned to balance my range between each foundation concept. Sure, Vowel Modification, Cry, Masque, Compression - these are all important aspects of a great voice; but without a strong foundation, your voice will fail every time.
The truth is, every single other advanced technique and singing concept out there relates to one of these four foundation concepts in singing. Vowel Modification, yawning, raising the soft palate, narrowing the vowel - these are ALL an extension of Height in the vocal tract and will only benefit your voice or function correctly when you've mastered the basics. In the same way that Cry mode, connecting chest and head voice, balancing the TA and CT and classroom voice are all an extension of Mixed Tonality and only occur/function properly when you master the basics.
Where Can I Learn The Four Vocal Fundamentals?
The Four Vocal Fundamentals are a key element of the Foundation 101 singing course here at Bohemian Vocal Studio, which will help you:
- Connect chest and head voice
- Place your voice
- Sing with mixed tonality
- balance your onset
- Sing with the Four Vocal Fundamentals
- Sing bright and forward
- Create resonant space
- Extend your range
- Improve your tone
- Warm up your voice effectively
- SO much more!
You can even get started right now with this exclusive Mixed Voice Singing Lesson which will show you the exact process that I use to help my own students find their mixed voice by connecting chest and head voice to extend their range and improve their tone.
Do You Have What It Takes?
For many years I wondered whether I really had "what it takes" to be a great singer - I wished that someone could just TELL ME whether I could really do it or not, or even how and where to best invest my time to truly make the most out of my practice routine and fix my vocal issues.
This is now possible!
This simple Vocal Improvement Quiz will calculate your exact potential for improvement as a singer - best of all it's short, super accurate and most singers are absolutely SHOCKED with the results!