Voice Types –
Knowing Our Singing Voice Well
Leads to Efficient Vocal Training!
Voice Types refers to the kinds of voices that singers may have, classified based on a number of important criteria.
You may already know about some of the types of singing voices, for example Soprano, Tenor, Bass and many more!
In this section, I will show you the various kinds of singing voices and how they are classified!
You will then be able to discover exactly what is your UNIQUE voice!
(I know you are curious to know what is your voice type.. So am I!)
With that knowledge about your voice, you will be able to structure your training better and know what vocal range you should focus on to achieve effective results!
There are basically 3 voice types for females and 4 voice types for males in the realm of classical singing, and they are as follows:
Find out more about these voices and their vocal ranges by clicking on the relevant links provided.
Now, remember how I told you that you can know your UNIQUE voice type?
Click here to find out how you can measure your vocal range accurately, and that will be the first step towards knowing your voice better!
For those more interested in the classical singing realm, you can also learn more about some voices that are unique to the classical realm!
What about those of us who sing in choirs, you say?
There are usually 4 main voice types, and they are: Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass. Learn more about these voice types and why there are only 4 main types of voices!
Now now, calm down all you pop singers…
I know you may be thinking, this is all not very useful to me! After all, I am a pop singer, not a classical or chorale singer..
But we can still use the classical voice classification as a guideline to understand more about our voice, so that we know how to select songs and how to train our voices better!
Hmmm.. what about young children? What are their voices like?
Our voices clearly differ with age, and childrens’ voices would be of a different quality as compared to adult voices.
Now, if you are still reading, it shows that you are genuinely interested in voice types!
In that case, let me reward you with more information.. ;-p
The main classification criteria for determining our Voice Types are as follows:
1. Vocal Range
Vocal Range is one of the key indicators of what type of voice a singer may have.
For example, if a male singer has a relatively high voice, he would probably be classified as a Tenor or even a Counter Tenor, whereas if a female singer has a high voice, she would probably be classified as a Soprano.
Knowing our vocal range is vital because we would then know which notes we should train with when we do our vocal exercises or our vocal warmups before singing.
This will help us avoid unnecessary damage if we were to train with notes or pitches that are too high and beyond our respective vocal ranges.
It is generally more damaging to train with notes that are too high for our range, than to train with notes that are too low for our voice to pitch properly.
Try out some of these pitching exercises and see which range of notes your voice is most comfortable with!
2. Register Changes
Our voice goes through a number of changes in tone and quality as we move from low pitches to higher notes, and these changes are called vocal register changes.
Knowing where our registers change or ‘shift gear’ would be able to help us determine what Voice Type we would belong to, and also help us to direct our vocal exercises efficiently towards smoothening out our register changes!
3. Vocal Tone
Different singers have varying Vocal Tones, as some may have voices that are bright and ringing, whereas others may have voices that sound dark and heavy.
Knowing our Vocal Tone helps us to be able to know what kinds of songs we can perform, and what songs we should avoid when performing or auditioning.
For example, if we have a heavy and powerful voice, we would know that we can most probably do songs that require more belting or vocal projection!
Whereas if we have a lighter and more delicate voice, we would do more songs in the genre of Bossa Nova, or maybe more gentle love ballads that require a certain sensitivity and lightness in tone.
4. Tessitura or Voice Strength
Tessitura refers to the vocal range within which our voice is at its most comfortable and sounding its best.
Some vocal instructors call this our sweet voice…
Knowing where our Voice Strength lies is key to understanding what voice type we belong to. For example, a soprano would have a stronger head voice whereas a bass singer would have a stronger middle voice.
5. Speech Level Voice
Our speech level voice is usually the voice with which we are most comfortable using, and it is also the voice that we would use the most in our everyday conversation.
It gives us an important indication as to whether we are a tenor, baritone or bass singer, since we would most probably talk using our tessitura or most comfortable vocal range.
Ok, the above 5 criteria can be used to determine which Voice Type we belong to, and would be able to help us know how to train our voices better.
In order to prevent unnecessary vocal abuse, vocal instructors should assume a middle vocal range for students, before slowly moving upwards and downwards and finding the extremes of each student’s voice.
Once we understand our voice type better, we would be able to train our voice more efficiently and also know how to select songs for auditions, competitions or performances!
Constant practice also will change our voice quality and type to a certain extent, for example a voice can become brighter than before, so do not fret if you feel stuck in a voice that you do not like!
Over time, you will be able to move towards your DREAM voice… ;-p