General / Different Voice Types and How to Determine Yours

Different Voice Types and How to Determine Yours

Updated on July 2, 2021 | by Alex Smith

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As a budding singer, you must be aware of your vocal type. Every accomplished singer has been delicately classified into a voice type. Knowing how high or low you can sing will help you get the opportunities that compliment your voice. And not only this, but it will also preserve the condition and health of your vocal cords in the long run as your voice type will always depend on your tessitura. The tessitura is the range of voice with which you are most comfortable. You would not need to strain your cords to sing in this range, as it will come naturally to you and your voice will feel at rest. 

The voice range for the entire spectrum of singers covers the low G1 to the high G6, in which the individual voice type may envelop an octave or two. There is some overlap between them so a singer may jump between these types. 

Let us look into the classical male and female voice types and search voice to find out what category you fall under. This will help you set befitting ideals and you will know what you can expect out of your voice and singing career if you hope to have one. It will also benefit you in taking your success further if you were to study singing. Stay tuned until the end for a special online singing course by the talented and famous Monali Thakur.

Male Voice Types

Bass: 

With the lowest tessitura, this is the lowest singing voice type amongst all the male voices. The range for the bass type is from E2 to E4. Some of the best bass singers of all time are:

  • Tim Duncan
  • JD Sumner
  • Tim Storms

Baritone: 

The baritone is the next lowest voice range which lies somewhere in the middle of Bass and Tenor, encompassing the edges of both. The range for this voice type is from A2 to A4. Some singers who have enchanted the crowds with their baritone voice over the years are:

  • Frank Sinatra 
  • Nat King Cole
  • Perry Como
  • Dean Martin 

Tenor: 

With a vocal range covering C3 to C5, Tenor is the second-highest male voice type. 

Some lobbies even consider this the highest voice type, since the countertenor type which lies above this one is not an accredited type according to some. 

Singers who have set the bar high with their tenor voice are:

  • Freddie Mercury
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Robert Plant
  • Luther Vandross
  • Michael Jackson
  • Marvin Gaye 

Countertenor: 

This is the highest male voice type spanning from E3 to E5. Countertenor has been accepted as a distinct voice category, but some singers continue to regard it as a high tenor voice. Singers falling under this category usually sing in a falsetto register in their upper ranges while putting their modal voice to use for some of the lower notes. There are very few singers who have mastered this voice type. The most renowned of them are:

  • Andreas Scholl 
  • Derek Lee Ragin 
  • Michael Chance 
  • David Daniels 

Female voice types

Contralto: 

This is the lowest female singing voice type, having the lowest tessitura. A contralto voice encompasses the range from E3 to E5. Some of the singers who have carved out a niche for themselves with their adept contralto voice are:

  • Marian Anderson 
  • Claudia Huckle 
  • Tina Turner
  • Lindsay Ammann 
  • Kathleen Ferrier 

Alto: 

Right above Contralto, this is the second-lowest female voice type jacketing a range from F3 to F5. A pure alto voice is unique, fairly rare, and easily distinguishable. Alto singers have a knack for always standing out. Some of the famous ones whose voice will capture your heart and soul are:

  • Annie Lennox
  • Chaka Khan
  • Oleta Adams
  • Anita Baker
  • Gladys Knight 

Mezzo-soprano: 

Designated as the second-highest female voice type, mezzo-soprano ranges from a note of A3 to A5. The tessitura for this category is slightly above the alto voice and a tab lower than the soprano type. It has overlaps of both its bordering voice types. Some of the most renowned singers with mezzo-soprano singing voice are:

  • Adele
  • Beyonce
  • Miley Cyrus
  • Lady Gaga 
  • Selena Gomez
  • Dua Lipa

Soprano: 

The typical soprano voice covers a range from C4 to C6 and is the highest female type. Coloratura soprano, a subtype of a soprano has the highest tessitura of all the voice types. Popular soprano voices who have managed to enthrall the audiences are:

  • Camilla Cabello
  • Celine Dion 
  • Billie Eilish
  • Ariana Grande
  • Carly Rae Jaspen 
  • Avril Lavigne
  • Demi Lovato

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