Vocal Range Calculator

Created by Rijk de Wet
Reviewed by Wojciech Sas, PhD and Steven Wooding
Last updated: Oct 03, 2022

Welcome to the vocal range calculator. Whether you're singing a five-hour opera or just warming up with some musical scales, every singer should know the limits of their voice, or they risk having it crack on stage. That's why we've made this vocal range calculator — to help identify your voice type and know how to find your vocal range. This article will also show you how to identify your voice type by comparing it to known ranges such as the mezzo-soprano range.

What is vocal range?

Your vocal range is simply the range of notes that you can comfortably sing. In Italian, the home language of the opera, the vocal range is also called the tessitura. We can perfectly summarize someone's vocal range by listing the lowest, and highest notes that this person can sing. When indicating these notes, we typically use scientific pitch notation, which is just the note's name and the octave to which it belongs. We can alternatively convey our vocal range with the distance between the lowest and highes notes in our range.

So, when someone says their range is A₂–E₄, it means they can sing as low as an A₂, as high as an E₄, and everything in-between. Such a singer can then also say their vocal range is 1.5 octaves.

How to use the vocal range calculator?

If you need to find your vocal range, look no further than our vocal range calculator! Here's how to use it.

  1. Select the lowest and highest notes you can sing. Use a piano or guitar (or any instrument you may have) and find the limits of your voice. Don't strain your voice — you want to find your comfortable range. For reference, remember that C₄ is middle C and its note frequency is 440 Hz.

  2. The vocal range calculator will then determine your vocal range in octaves and which classical voice type (bass, tenor, soprano, etc.) you belong to.

  3. If you use custom vocal ranges for non-classical music, you can enter Advanced mode to adjust the individual voice types' ranges.

Voice types and voice type identification

So you've used the vocal range calculator, and it says you're a mezzo-soprano. What does that even mean? What does it mean to have a mezzo-soprano range?

Your vocal range determines your voice type (one of which is mezzo-soprano). Voice types are groups into which singers with similar ranges are sorted. The use of voice types with fixed vocal ranges was widespread in classical music, as the voice type of a trained classical singer also determined many other characteristics of their singing voice. In contrast, contemporary music is much more relaxed in its enforcement of voice types, and there is no universal agreement on their exact vocal ranges. In modern music, voice types are almost exclusively used in choral environments.

Here are some approximate ranges for the voice types as composers used them in classical music.

Male voices

Bass

E₂–E₄

Baritone

G₂–F₄

Tenor

B₂–A₄

Female voices

Contralto (aka "alto")

F₃–E₅

Mezzo-soprano (aka "mezzo")

A₃–A₅

Soprano

C₄–C₆

Among these groups, there are also subdivisions used in classical music. For example, we can further split the baritone voice type into nine subgroups, where other characteristics like vocal weight and dexterity distinguish the subgroups more than range. Nowadays, these subdivisions of voice types are almost never used.

How to find your vocal range — What is my vocal range?

To find your vocal range, you might perform a vocal range test. Here's how anyone can find their vocal range (if they aren't using our vocal range calculator 😉):

  1. Start by singing a comfortable note. Men might want to start at F₃ and women at F₄.

  2. Sing progressively lower notes from your starting note. If you begin struggling with volume — or worse, if it starts hurting — stop.

  3. Having reached the edge of your range, pinpoint the lowest note that is still comfortable to sing loudly. That is the bottom of your vocal range.

  4. Do the same upwards. Sing higher and higher until your voice is on the cusp of straining. The highest note that you can still sing comfortably and loudly is the top of your vocal range. For the men — this does not include your falsetto.

  5. Find the interval between these notes to get your range in octaves.

  6. Referring to the list above, find your voice type by comparing your vocal range to the known groups'. Try and see which type's range-defining notes are closest to yours.

And there you have it — with the help of a vocal range test, you can easily find your vocal range!

Vocal range chart

To help you find your voice type, we've created this handy vocal range chart which illustrates the six voice types and their vocal ranges.

The ranges of the six classical voice types, namely bass, baritone, tenor, alto, mezzo soprano, and soprano.
The ranges of the six classical voice types.

FAQ

How can I increase my vocal range?

You may be limiting your vocal range severely by using poor technique when singing. Follow these steps to help improve it:

  1. Have good posture. Stand up straight and relax your shoulders.
  2. Breath from your diaphragm. Breathing exercises help.
  3. Relax your jaw, especially when hitting higher notes.
  4. Warm up before a performance. Jumping into a solo without warming up can lead to severe damage to your voice.

Regular vocal exercises at the limits of your vocal range can also help to further extend it.

What is Mariah Carey's vocal range?

Mariah Carey has a staggering range of more than four and a half octaves. In live performances, she's sung as low as a B♭₂ and as high as an F₇. Carey has described herself as an alto, but she could easily fulfill the role of any female voice type with her range. The iconic singer has almost universally been recognized as an excellent vocalist due to her masterful command of her significant vocal range.

What are the six voice types?

There are six voice types in classical music — three for each gender. A singer's voice type determines their range, transition points between vocal registers, and the voice's color ("timbre"). Contemporary choral music still uses the framework of voice types, but the ranges are much looser; therefore, voice types mainly serve to compare singers' ranges. The six voice types, in order of highest to lowest range, are:

Female voices

Soprano

Mezzo-soprano

Contralto

Male voices

Tenor

Baritone

Bass

What is a soprano?

A soprano is the highest of all classical voice types. A soprano's range is from C₄ to C₆. Popular modern-day singers who fit into the soprano voice type include Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, and Ariana Grande.

What are some extreme vocal ranges?

Many popular vocalists have incredible vocal ranges.

  • Ariana Grande's range spans four octaves (D₃ to E₇).
  • Mike Patton of Faith no More has a range of just above six octaves (E♭₁ to E₇).
  • Axl Rose of Guns N' Roses has a range of five and a half octaves (F₁ to B♭₆).
  • Mariah Carey's range spans four and a half octaves (B♭₂ to F₇).
Rijk de Wet
Your lowest and highest notes
Lowest note
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Highest note
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Check out the advanced mode to adjust the voice groups' upper and lower notes.
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