Essentially, there are three basic categories of male and female voices. The male voice goes from bass to baritone to tenor. The female voice goes from alto to mezzo-soprano to soprano. These are all from low to high. But more of that later.
Importantly, knowing your vocal range and its limitations can help you to select better songs and help you to get the best out of your singing. It’s always possible to expand your range in either direction. But having a firm knowledge of your limits is a great foundation for every vocalist.
Happily, technology can now help you to establish your range. The best vocal range test apps and websites on my list will quickly and easily give you the information you need. So, here are six of the very best…
1 – MyEarTraining
This is available on both Apple and Android. It’s got a host of great features, but the thing I like most is that the basic version is free. Included in this is the vocal range detection software.
If you like the app, you can get add-ons like pitch detection to help you stay in tune. Additionally, there are warm-up exercises. Plus, there are even well-structured singing lessons as part of the package. That’s pretty good for just a few dollars. What’s not to like?
2 – Vocal Range Vocaberry
This is available for both Android and Apple devices. Regardless of which device you use, it’s the most popular vocal test app in both versions. Happily, like the previous app, this is also free. What I like about this one is that it’s one of the quickest and easiest to use.
But even better?
You also get information that a lot of other apps don’t include. Once you’ve completed the test, they give you a list of famous singers who fit into your vocal range. This is brilliant for a better song choice selection. And if that’s not enough, they also give you a choice of songs that fit into your range. Nice.
3 – Sing Sharp
This is another free-to-use app that’s available for both Apple and Android users. The good news is that if you only want to use it to test your vocal range, it’s included as part of the free experience.
So, what the bad news?
Although it has some good melodies to sing along to, the structure is a little confusing. At times it’s not very clear as to what you should be doing. Also, the warm-up and vocal training sections are limited in comparison to other apps.
All in all, it’s great for testing your range. But I’m not sure if I’d pay for the extras with this one.
1 – Singing Carrots
This is one of the most established websites, and it has plenty of good stuff other than just online vocal range testing. However, if that’s all you need, then it’s a great place to head first if you’re not using your phone.
To get your results, use either your device’s microphone or work through the video. Both take you quickly through the process and will deliver the same result.
What’s also good is that the extras include pitch training and a comprehensive list of songs to fit your range. Singing Carrots can also help to organize your song lists into a book. This automatically links to the lyrics, sheet music, and videos of your chosen songs.
It’s a well-thought-out and well-organized site.
2 – Playback FM
This is a fun and easy-to-use website. I also think that it happens to have the simplest and easiest-to-follow layout. Some of the websites can be difficult to navigate but not so with Playback FM.
All you have to do is watch the video and then make a note of the highest and lowest note you’re able to sing. Once you’ve done that, you enter it into the drop-down menu, and you instantly get your range.
What I also like is that as soon as you get your range, Playback FM tags it to a famous singer and a video of one of their popular songs. How cool is that?
There are links at the bottom of the page for additional apps, videos, and tools, should you need them. All in all, it’s a refreshingly uncluttered website.
3 – Vocal Nebula
Vocal Nebula walks you through finding your vocal range by combining written and video instructions. These are very methodically laid out. However, they’re not as easy to follow as the other two websites.
On the flip side, I’m impressed with just how detailed the instructions are. Plus, the written instructions, and what it means for your voice, are brilliantly explained.
If you’re the kind of person that likes to dig deeper into the details, you’ll like this one.
The Female Voice
Now that you have a better idea about the Best Vocal Range Test Apps and Websites, let’s delve into the standard vocal ranges. Let’s start with the highest part of the female range, which is Soprano.
Typically, a Soprano can hit notes between A3 to F6. It’s a span of just over two octaves. And it’s an impressive achievement if you can comfortably sing in this highest register.
As with all vocalists…
Breath support is imperative to hit the higher notes. To help you reach them with ease and protect your voice, female singers can benefit from the exercises and techniques set out in The Musicademy Advanced Vocals Warm-up and Work-Out.
Modern examples of female Sopranos are Ariane Grande and Billie Eilish.
This falls between G3 and C6 and also spans a little over two octaves. If your voice falls into this category, you’re in very good company. That’s because it’s the most common range for females.
A Mezzo Soprano may not be able to hit the dazzling highs of a Soprano. But they more than compensate for it with a strong middle range and dark and deep tones.
Whitney Houston and Adele are both Mezzo Sopranos.
The lowest female voice is an Alto. It’s also referred to, more correctly, as a Contralto. The normal range falls between E3 and G5. This is low for a female voice and brings it into the same range as a Tenor, the highest range for men.
A Contralto will normally move from a chest voice at around a G4. Full transition into a head voice will occur at about a D5. A Contralto will have a dark and richness to their singing. And they are happy to hang around in the lower register for extended periods.
Sade, Cher, Tina Turner, Gladys Knight, Tracy Chapman, and Brandy are all Contraltos.
The Male Voice
The male Tenor is where the male and female voice meet. A Tenor can expect to have a two-octave range between C3 to C5. You can immediately see from this the close overlap with an Alto. It’s not unusual for male and female singers with large vocal ranges in their respective high and lower register to comfortably cover each other’s songs.
A strong Tenor will have excellent control of their head voice and can sing comfortably in falsetto for extended periods. Tenors who can do this with high volume and control never fail to impress. When we think of Tenors, opera singers such as Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, and Andrea Bocelli frequently come to mind.
Famous rock Tenors include Robert Plant, Freddie Mercury, and Bruce Dickinson.
The most common vocal range, not surprisingly, sits in the middle. A Baritone will sing most commonly between A2 to A4. It’s possible for Baritones, with greater ranges, to extend that between F2 to C5. What a Baritone lacks in higher notes can be compensated with power in the middle of the range.
There are a host of riches when it comes to selecting just a few famous Baritones. However, I’ve narrowed it down to a few of my personal favorites. These are David Bowie, Marvin Gaye, Elvis, and Joe Cocker.
Now we’re getting down super low. These are a rare breed. There aren’t many who can comfortably sing between E2 to E4. Now, there’s no doubt that’s pretty low. However, there are a few that can even perform brilliantly, from a C2 to a G4.
Singing down this low adds huge amounts of color, richness, and warmth to any voice. It’s a beautiful thing to hear and one that’s sadly very uncommon.
Johnny Cash, Barry White, and Isaac Haynes are all awesome bass singers.
Although voices usually fall within certain ranges, there are a few gifted individuals who don’t seem to have read the memo. They can effortlessly, or what appears to be, sing through three, four, and in the case of Mariah Carey and Axl Rose… five, yes that’s right, five octaves!
Mariah is famously known for having a mind-blowing range between F2 to G7. That’s truly amazing. However, what isn’t widely known, is that Axl Rose has an even wider vocal range between F1 to B6. Axl Rose is thought to have the largest range of any recorded artist.
Other vocal superstars include Freddie Mercury, who could sing between F2 to F6. There’s also Prince, who had a range between E2 to B6. And we shouldn’t forget Celine Dion with a range between B2 to E6.
There are plenty of other singing superstars with wide vocal ranges. To some extent, these are people with natural talent who were born to sing. However, there’s always room for improvement.
Put it this way…
Most accomplished singers might be where they are because of natural talent. However, most will have either been taught or picked up singing tips and tricks on the way.
If you want to know how to get the best out of your voice and possibly also extend your range, it’s worth either getting a more experienced singer to help you. Likewise, you can engage in lessons or use some of the great self-help material that’s out there.
My personal favorite is Fitness Training’s Teach Yourself to Sing! by Jane Edgren. This can be bought either as a Paperback or on Kindle.
Looking to Improve Your Singing?
You may need a new microphone to hone your skills. So, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Condenser Microphones, the Best External Microphones For iPhone, the Best Microphones For Recording Rap Vocals, the Best Live Vocal Mics, and the Best Microphones For Recording Vocals you can buy in 2021.
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Best Vocal Range Test Apps and Websites – Final Thoughts
Knowing your range can undoubtedly help you to select better song choices. It’s a very useful piece of knowledge to have. Once you know your range, you can still work to extend it, but you have a firmer basis to work with.
As well as working on extending your range, you could also consider employing technology to keep you singing in key. These days there are plenty of affordable pitch correction and vocal effects devices, like the Zoom V3 Vocal Processor. Something like this will keep you singing in tune all day long.