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Hi Dianne,

I like to sing and one of my friends asks me to sing with his band sometimes. The other night he asked me to sing a number and I said ok. When I got up on stage he asked what key I wanted the song in.

I don't know what key I want the song in! I don't know what key I sing in or my range for that matter. How can I figure out my range?

Glo

 

Hi Glo,

Finding your vocal range.

Find a piano. Find G above middle C.

Sing down to your lowest comfortable note. Now Start on middle C and sing up the scale, you know, Do, Reh, Me and so on.(note to Dianne: won’t some people need to sing down the scale as well?)  Use the chart below for classification.

The lower the number, the lower the pitch. (on the piano, low is left of middle C). If you have no piano, the site below the chart can be helpful.

(Note that there are many opinions on what pitches define any particular range (unlike the scale below, some say C4 to A5 is the soprano range). Most people have more than one range or a combination of ranges...altos often overlap into the soprano range at least a few notes and vice versa.

There is a plethora of sites for finding your vocal range on the internet. The one thing that seems to be left out of this information is the variable in the human voice from day to day, or even hour to hour. For instance, when you first arise, you vocal chords are not warmed up and consequently, the higher notes in your range will not be available for a while.

We professional singers deal with this human frailty every time we perform. That is why we "warm up" every day and several times on a performance day. This maximizes our range and lets us know if any part of our range is less accessible. Sometimes when we have a cold or have temporarily damaged our vocal chords (acid reflux can do this), we can lose some of our higher range. This can be very distressing, but there is compensation!!!  During times like this, our lower range often increases. So have fun with it. It usually won't last long, but there is something to be said for those luscious low tones.

I would advise experimenting for a few days and taking note of the changes.   Use this information to choose what section would be best for you in a choir, but don't get hung up on labels. Remember, you are unique and so is your voice. Sing! Have fun! Make people happy.

 

Dianne