So many questions from singers asking the best approach to having an accurate vocal range test! The point is helping to determine your true voice part. But especially for a young singer, any vocal range test can become a tricky job. Fortunately, there is a sure-fire way to determine your vocal range and your voice part.
This post gives you an easy, quick solution to the question of determining your voice. But accomplishing this is more complicated than just giving you a vocal range test. What is the fundamental question, when it comes to classifying your singing voice? Well, one thing is certain. The unique timbre of your voice, in other words your very own special vocal sound, is far more essential than having vocal range test. Let’s begin!
Let’s first make it clear this is 100% free of charge for you. It is something I am offering free of charge to readers of this blog. If you want to learn more about your true voice part, just follow these simple instructions.
Please warm up your voice as you normally would. Then create either a video or an audio file sample of your singing, which you will send to me by email. I need to hear you sing in the range you feel is most comfortable for you. If I can hear some of the upper part of your range and some of the lower part of your range, this will be helpful. Your recording should be at least 2-3 minutes long. Please sing a song that is familiar and most of all comfortable for your voice.
The email address to use is Gretchen@SingingAndYou.com.
Send me your video or audio sound file. I will respond within 48 hours or less with a lot of great information. You will learn so much about your true voice type, based on the sample you send me.
Take advantage of this opportunity now and email me with a sample of your singing! You have nothing to lose and so much to gain! I am eager to hear your singing and to respond with a ton of helpful info, so we can begin to get to really know your particular voice!
Good Vocal Maintenance Equals GREAT Vocal Sound!
Any good voice evaluation and vocal range test will go a long way to helping you prevent damage to your irreplaceable voice. Yet another fabulous advantage for sending me an audio or video file of your singing! So far we can look forward to: 1) Increased self-confidence 2) Increased know-how on preventing vocal damage and 3) Increased knowledge of which music you should be working on, so your voice will develop and sound fantastic!
When I listen to a sample of your singing, I am going to consider the size and shape of your voice. This alone tells a teacher so much more than just having a vocal range test! For example, let’s discover whether your voice is lighter, more slender in quality or whether it is a rounder, heavier type of voice. In addition to getting a sense of your vocal range, I am going to listen deeply to the individual color and timbre of your particular vocal sound.
All of this is so revealing, to understand yourself better as a person. Why? — Because your voice is surely your most unique and personal form of self-expression! You will get to know yourself as never before, by learning what sort of voice you have and understanding the potential of developing your singing voice. Remember, knowledge is power. And that is a marvelous thing!
Your Voice is Like No Other
As detailed in another post, your voice is as unique as your fingerprint. There are no two voices (or fingerprints) that are alike. If you have a voiceprint made, it will be unique to you alone — unlike anyone else’s — which is why the voiceprint is being used so much for identification.
No “One Size Fits All”
So your voice is 100% exclusive to you alone! And when you have a singing lesson, it is not going to be the same as any other person’s singing lesson. In singing there is no “one size fits all.”
You want lasting, consistent progress in your singing. The only way to achieve this is to allow your singing teacher to actually hear your singing. Please do not waste your money on singing lessons, which do not allow any voice teacher to actually hear your singing. Some teachers are selling the same prerecorded lessons to all singers. This is actually a terrible idea and you deserve so much better!
What’s the Difference?
Knowing more about your voice and your true vocal classification will be a great boost to your self-confidence. It is such a liberating thing for your entire vocal and musical development, to have a pair of expert ears listen to your singing and provide this crucial information, about your special voice!
When you pay for a voice lesson, you are entitled to have careful, expert, individual, personal attention from a singing teacher, who actually listens to your singing with a lot of focus and care. This really is the only way your singing can start to experience maximum progress. A caring teacher can instantly put you at ease, so you are comfortable and relaxed.
The more you know about your own voice, the better it is going to feel and sound. Gaining more understanding about your true vocal range will encourage you to sing the music that is most comfortable. This ensures greater vocal health, so your voice will last much longer.
Let’s find out if your voice is honestly in the high, medium, or low range and which range feels and sounds most comfortable and most beautiful for you.
Your one-of-a-kind voice cannot be replaced. The human voice truly is a phenomenon.
Preventing Vocal Injury
A major cause of serious vocal damage occurs when a singer forces his or her voice to make sound in a range that is too high or too low for his or her voice. This is a very common occurrence. Unfortunately, there is a huge number of people trying to sing, who either lack this basic information or sadly believe it does not apply to them.
But now we are touching upon a vocal problem which is “global.” It is universal — true of every single human being’s specific vocal anatomy. Straying outside your range for too long, forcing the voice to sing higher or lower, is always going to result in causing troubling vocal problems. In some cases, permanent damage to the vocal anatomy occurs. And you are way too good to fall into this trap!
Pandemic of Vocal Damage
We often hear about singers with vocal damage. Just one example of a celebrity pop singer who suffers from vocal damage is someone you instantly recognize: Adele. I am not her singing teacher and so I do not know exactly how or why her vocal issues came about. However, there is no question that touring is brutal and comes at a high price for any singer. It is possible that Adele’s vocal injuries have had more than one cause. Read more here: Adele’s Voice Troubles.
Common Sense Tips
Number 1: Zip It!
Safeguard your irreplaceable voice by limiting the amount you speak. Listen first and ask yourself how you can say what is necessary in as few words as possible. Take every single chance to rest your voice. Always conserve your vocal energy. If it’s not actually necessary for you to talk, just don’t.
Number 2: ZZZZZZzzzzzzzz!
There is no substitute for SLEEP. The voice loves sleep. This is when your voice has the greatest opportunity to recover and rejuvenate. Think what you can do to begin getting more sleep. Plan ahead, making sure you or not over scheduled to the point that you end up sleep deprived.
Getting enough sleep is absolutely worth making some adjustments in your daily calendar. Is your mattress comfortable? Do you have trouble sleeping? We will have a blog post on this soon, because so many people suffer from insomnia. And sleep deprivation is a major problem for any singer.
Number 3: Hydration
Unless your doctor says otherwise, you should be drinking at least 80-90 ounces per day of good clean unflavored water. Your voice needs water to survive. The thin mucosal lining is the top surface layer, of your vocal anatomy. And it must be kept moist. We actually sing on that mucosal lining. If it is dried out, then the body produces a lot of thick mucus, trying to replace and repair the mucosal lining.
Of course, trying to sing around a lot of excess mucus is a disaster for any singer. Plus, when we force singing through a lot of thick mucus, the voice rebels by becoming inflamed and swollen. Then you have a compounded problem, requiring a day or two of vocal rest to properly recovery. Here’s a thought! How about preventing that entire dangerous trap by drinking your water?! It is astounding how much better your voice will sound, when it is well hydrated. Give it a try!
Ask Me About Having Regular Singing Lessons!
And remember, no matter which style of music you sing or want to sing, the lessons I offer are going to be an enormous benefit to you every day of your singing future! You will learn how to sing better and your self-confidence will soar! Don’t delay. Send me a message now and let’s get started, helping you sing better now! Gretchen@SingingAndYou.com.
Exploring Different Voice Parts: A New Vocal Range Test
Challenge yourself by asking how many of the following examples of voice parts you can identify! For anyone who does not normally listen to classical singers, this is a perfect way to stretch your musical ears. Hearing these examples of voice types and categories can only encourage your own vocal development and your entire musicality. So let’s enjoy hearing a few of these. I will make correlations to non-classical singers for each vocal category.
First, let’s focus on the four basic voice types of a choir. Then we have a very beautiful musical example for you, which I hope will make things clear.
Starting with the highest pitched voices in the choir, the soprano voice (the soprano section of a choir), will be either high-pitched female voices or they will be prepubescent boy’s voices (or possibly a combination of both). The next highest in pitch voices in the choir will be the alto section, which again will be either female altos (like myself) or they will be boy altos.
In the typical mixed-voice choir, next we have the tenor section. And the tenor voice is considerable higher in pitch than either the baritone voice or bass voice. When we listen to the bass section in the choir, the difference is clear. The baritone and bass voices are the lowest and deepest sounding voices in the choir.
One famous chorus from Handel’s Messiah which everyone loves (with good reason) is called For Unto Us a Child is Born.
Vocal Range Test: Familiarize Yourself with Chorus Voice Parts
The first section of the choir you will hear will be the soprano section, starting at about :17 seconds. This choir uses only female sopranos. But the highest pitched young boys’ voices are indeed sopranos as well. Now at :30 into this great chorus, we have the tenor section. Hear the particular timbre of the higher pitched male voices, differing from the lowest pitched male voices (bass section).
How would you describe this tenor voice quality? I’d say it’s bright and ringing with an energetic silvery finish—at least for this tenor section—very beautiful to hear, isn’t it? The camera stays on the tenor section, even when the soprano section enters again. (Tenors have the main melody at that point.) It’s a kind of short duet passage there, with the tenors and the sopranos, isn’t it?
Listen carefully as the music becomes a little more intricate and exciting. At :44 you will hear (but not yet see) the entrance of the alto section, singing that same melody in the alto register. Then the altos have barely started when the bass section enters, singing the same melody in the bass register! At :47, here comes the bass section, and again we have a kind of duet, with alto and bass sections, singing that main melody in their normal vocal ranges.
At :49 you, the camera is on the alto section. Then at :58, the camera is on the bass section (a part of it anyway). Coming right up, at 1:03, the camera is on the tenor section. At 1:08, it is on the soprano section. In a few seconds, at 1:13, the camera is on the bass section. But listen for the altos singing along there, with the bass section. At 1:19, the whole chorus sings together. Continue to listen and you will hear how the various sections of the choir have their individual phrases and then the whole chorus is suddenly singing all together again.
This music is so fantastic and so beautiful! I think this chorus from Handel’s Messiah is a good way to be introduced to the four basic voice sections, found in a typical mixed-voice chorus.
Vocal Range Test: Learning to Recognize Solo Voice Categories
For solo voices, the main categories are soprano, mezzo-soprano, contralto, tenor, baritone, bass-baritone, and bass. Within each of these categories are sub categories. For example, some sopranos are considered “lyric” and some are considered “dramatic.” We will hear examples of each, so you can begin to realize the characteristics of each voice type.
In this post, we are diving into an overview of the most typical categories of classical singing voices. A few additional types of solo voices do exist, but these are more unusual. It is necessary to first develop an understanding of the most commonly types of solo voices, detailed in this article.
The first example is a soprano voice with a particularly light lyric, youthful, playful sound quality. Actually, this is a wonderful singer, whose voice we consider to be one of the lightest soprano types. Her voice is called a “soubrette soprano.” This is Kathleen Battle in her prime, performing the role of “Despina” in Mozart’s opera Cosi fan tutte:
Sopranos, Sopranos Everywhere!
Next we have a different type of soprano voice, which we call a “coloratura soprano.” Possibly you have heard the word “coloratura” to describe singing, but you are not sure what’s up. Simply put, coloratura is a style of vocal composition, which requires many notes be articulated in rapid succession. There is the coloratura soprano voice, one example being the incredible German soprano Diana Damrau.
How would you describe the difference in the voice of soprano Kathleen Battle as opposed to the voice of soprano Diana Damrau? Your responses are valid and play a part in discovering your creativity as a singer, regardless of which style of music you want to sing!
A great example of a dramatic coloratura soprano is surely the legendary soprano Joan Sutherland, performing here in the title role of Donizetti’s opera Lucrezia Borgia:
Vocal Range Test: Recognize the Lyric Soprano Voice
In the category of light lyric soprano, a marvelous example is surely the late Lucia Popp. Here is a little sample of her singing the role of “Pamina,” in Mozart’s The Magic Flute:
Then there is the full lyric soprano, an example of which would surely include the magnificent Renee Fleming:
Another example of a full lyric soprano is the marvelous Kiri Te Kanawa:
Yet another great example of a full lyric soprano
is the fantastic Italian soprano Mirella Freni:
And truly in a league of her own, we have the incomparable, gorgeous-voiced Swedish dramatic soprano Birgit Nilsson singing Wagner’s Liebestod, the final dramatic music from the opera Tristan und Isolde:
If I had to choose just one pop singer who I would call a soprano voice, it might be Britney Spears.
Vocal Range Test: Recognize the Mezzo-Soprano Sound Quality
Next is the mezzo-soprano category.
There are lyric coloratura mezzos, one of the very finest ever being American mezzo Joyce DiDonato:
And there is such a thing as the light lyric mezzo, a great example being Frederica Von Stade:
We have the dramatic mezzo voice, an example is the great Russian mezzo Olga Borodina:
You hear the richer, rounder texture of the voice, that burnished quality, distinctively beautiful.
And we must not forget the male countertenor voice (talk about a distinctive sound!):
In the pop singer world, I would suggest that a good example of the mezzo-soprano voice might be Tori Amos:
Which pop singers do you believe have the mezzo-soprano sound quality in their voices?
Vocal Range Test: Recognizing the True Contralto Voice Quality
One of the finest examples of the real female contralto voice is the legendary Marian Anderson, who changed the whole world with her voice:
I absolutely love the real contralto voice of Jean Madeira:
Most people would probably agree that when it comes to pop singers, an example of an alto voice is Cher:
Vocal Range Test: Recognize the Tenor Vocal Sound
Now let’s explore how we classify the tenor voice. The ideal example of the finest lyric tenor sound is surely the incredible Luciano Pavarotti:
About the tenor spinto voice, I’m no expert, but perhaps this category includes the great tenor Beniamino Gigli:
A dramatic tenor (heldentenor) is Ben Heppner:
Pop singer Brian Adams performs here with Luciano Pavarotti. Two tenors having the time of their lives!
Vocal Range Test: Discover the Difference Between Tenor and Baritone Voice Types
A lyric baritone is the late French artist, Gérard Souzay:
This is a beautiful example of a higher-placed lighter baritone timbre.
In this next video at about :20, we have the fantastic American baritone Thomas Hampson, a full lyric baritone:
A good example of a pop singer who would be rightly called a baritone is surely Nat King Cole:
Continuing down the spectrum of voice types, the deeper baritone quality is next. A stunning dramatic bass-baritone is Greer Grimsley, heard here singing a small excerpt from the role of “Wotan” in Wagner’s Ring Cycle opera Das Rheingold:
And coming up next we have an example, at about :23, of a true “basso profundo” vocal instrument. (This just means a “profound bass” voice. In other words, the timbre of the sound is deeper, richer, rounder, fuller, and probably darker than the average “bass” voice.)
Your Truly ULTIMATE Vocal Range Test
The most telling voice test of all happens when you send me a video or an audio file of your own singing! Let’s explore your voice and find out YOUR true voice type. Along the way, let’s discover the full gamut of your great potential as a singer and as a vocal artist!
I am going to listen with great care to your singing. Then I am going to prepare an entire video lesson, personally tailored to your individual needs as a singer. Developing your talent is one of the most powerful and liberating experiences of your life! The most fun you will have and the tremendous self-confidence you will gain are waiting for you now!
Let’s get you singing better than ever! Email me now with your voice sample! Gretchen@SingingAndYou.com.
This post is all about how we define the term vocal range test. Send in your video or audio today and get your first singing lesson free of charge. All lessons are individually and personally created, specifically tailored for your vocal needs. Learn how to sing better now!
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