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Most of the music enthusiasts ponder over ways how to perform their vocal range test. Often, you will hear your next door Madonna’s cacophony; she might not be screaming but rather trying to find her highest note. Knowing the vocal range is important to deliver a good performance and sing effortlessly. Range in its simplest terms refers to the number of octaves which a singer is able to sing and is forms a basis to classify voices. If you are an untrained singer, then your range will be limited. This doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to improve with training, however; with proper techniques and training, you will be able to widen your range. Don’t worry; you can still be the American idol!
Determining Your Voice Range
A simple vocal range test is sufficient to estimate your voice range. Here are a few ways, which can help you out. However, we do not claim the responsibility, if your neighbors come to your home complaining. Pun intended!
■Accompany yourself with a musical instrument, if you don’t have one then don’t worry. You can also download Digital Voice Tuner Software. You can use your microphone with the software, to perform vocal range test more effectively.
■Run the software and sing the lowest note in the microphone, avoid the voice from getting too hoarse. The lowest note, which you can sing comfortably, is the lowest modal voice note, record the note, computed by the voice tuner, on a piece of paper.
■Next, you need to sing the highest note in your natural voice. Make sure that you are not screaming in this process, because it can deafen your computer (joke). Don’t forget to record your highest note on the piece of paper.
■Along with all previously mentioned, you need to sing the lowest note once again, this time accompanied with breathing. This will be followed by singing the highest note in an artificially high voice. It won’t be treated as a falsetto if the notes resemble a whistle; it will be instead termed as a whistle voice.
■Finally, you can jot down range; the recorded lower note as lowest modal note – the recorded higher note as your highest modal note.
Many students prefer using fine-tuned musical instrument such as piano for testing their vocal range. If you decide to perform vocal range test with help of an instrument, the process is very similar; instead of recording the notes with Voice Tuner Software, you will determine the notes by matching instrument’s sound to your vocal sound. However, the above method is much simpler.
Different Voice Types
Freddie Mercury Vocal Range
Once you are done with the voice range test, you can determine your voice type. Soprano, mezzo, tenor and bass are not new terms for singers; just to stay safe, however, here is a brief insight about the different types:
If you are a female with a high range lying between Middle C or C4 and High C or C5, then you are a soprano. A soprano will mainly feature as the female lead in the choir. Some famous personalities who are in this category include Sara Brightman, Dolly Parton and Julie Andrews. In fact, one of the most loved characters, the Ariel, from ‘The little Mermaid’ was a soprano, known for her high notes.
Mezzos are the female singers who have a middle voice range. They can sing high notes just like the sopranos, but they can’t remain at higher notes for too long. The range is G below Middle C (C4) to High B (B5) or High C (C5). If you are a mezzo, it doesn’t mean you fall behind sopranos. The fact that many popular singers such as Karen Carpenter and Lorrie Morgan are mezzos will leave you confident about yourself.
Male counterparts for sopranos are tenors. If you are a tenor, then you will definitely steal the show. Tenors generally perform high notes, similar to Soprano. Stevie Wonder and Daniel Rodriguez are some of the popular ones.
Of all the voice types discussed, bass sings the lowest node. The range is generally between F and E. This doesn’t mean that HE is the weakest of all types! A heavy and deep voice tone is the specialty of this voice type. Some of the popular basses include Jose Van Dam, Barry White and Samuel Ramey.
What Music Genre Suits You Best
After determining the vocal range and the vocal type, you should now proceed to the determination of the genre that best suits on your vocals.There are nearly infinite musical genres you can choose from. You can be a Pop, Jazz, Rock, Metal or you can fuse those genres to be a Pock-Rock or Jazz-Metal artist. The most important thing that comes into play while choosing your genre is experimentation; you need to travel through different music genres, to find the perfect genre for your vocals that will allow you to completely vocalize your emotions and feeling in a total voice clarity.
When searching, it is often seen that people try to copy the artists that they like. You should always keep in mind that in this process, copying your ideal musician is not recommended. However, it is a good that you already know the type of genre that you like, as long as you manage to be yourself.
All the voice types have a unique quality in them. Knowing your voice range and type is important for singing comfortably; it allows you to be aware of your strengths and weaknesses as an artist. You should never force yourself into any music category that reveals your weaknesses on the stage. You should rather focus on your vocal strengths, work hard for your dream, and follow your passion.