My thoughts...Wisdom from over the years

Vocals for women only Part 1 of 3

Posted in: Blog, tip of the week ♦ Monday, March 19th, 2012, 9:49 am ♦ No Comments on Vocals for women only Part 1 of 3

For Women Only

Its ok guys you can look, but next time it’s your turn!
There are some things that tend to be more gender related, so I’m taking time these next 3 weeks to focus on some issues that usually affect gals a little more often than guys. .  .


When I teach women, the first thing I typically hear is…”I’m an alto”.  However, this is largely NOT the case. MOST women I work with have a mezzo/soprano range. Look at the following chart to find your range. (The numbers refer to the piano keyboard from the left-start counting the applicable note at the beginning of the (88 note) keyboard. For example for middle c4, start at the left and count the c’s until you reach the 4th one. Now you’re at c4)

  • Soprano – High female voice, G3 (below middle C4) to F6 above high C6 although anywhere above high C can be included.
  • Coloratura – A singer, usually soprano, who sings ornamental passages in music – C4 to F6 or G6 above high C6
  • Lyric Soprano – Warmer middle sound – Bb3 below middle C4 to high C6 or D6
  • Dramatic Soprano – The loudest and lowest with cutting power – low Bb3 or A3, to a pushed high C6
  • Mezzo-Soprano – Middle female voice with dark quality, Low A3 or G3 (below middle C4) to at least high C although it is not uncommon for high A6 or Bb6 to Eb6 above high C6.
  • Alto or Contralto – Low Female Voice, low C3 (below middle C4) to high C6 or up to high A6

Having read this chart, most women will still argue with me that they are more comfortable singing “alto” even though they most likely cannot sing the lower range of a true alto. The reason they feel this way is because they have not discovered their upper range or how to reach it with any ease.  After a little work, most women end up with the range of a mezzo although they may have color to their voice that more resembles a soprano.  If you note the above chart in terms of RANGE only, there is not that much difference between the mezzo and the soprano except for “color”.  True altos are far more rare, just as is the coloratura or the true dramatic.


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