Learn How to Find the Right Key to Sing In
Are you Singing Your Best Notes? Do you already know your singing key or are you still trying to find it?
Have you ever wanted to perform a favorite song, but you just couldn’t get your voice high or low enough?
Every song is written in a specific key. If your vocal range doesn’t match that key, you’ll need to transpose the song into a key you can easily sing.
Tips You Need to Know About Your Singing Key
The song itself isn’t the only consideration when you’re figuring out which key to sing in. Here is a step by step guide to finding the right singing key for any song, regardless of your vocal range:
Your Vocal Range Matters
The first step to finding the right key to sing in is to find your natural vocal range. With the help of a piano or guitar, pick out notes on the C chromatic scale, beginning with middle C.
Go up the scale, matching your voice to each note as you play.
Find the highest note you can comfortably sing. That is the top of your natural range. Then return to middle C and go down to the lowest note you can comfortably sing. That is the bottom of your natural range.
When you get near the top of your range, you will naturally switch from your chest voice (which is deep and strong, like a speaking voice) to your head voice (which is light and airy, but still engages the vocal chords).
A quick tidbit about how to sing on pitch from a my site entry says about child singers …
“Young children sing in tune best when the first several songs they learn are in the key of D. This key places the child’s voice in the optimal singing range neither too high nor too low for controlling the pitch. .…”
With practice, you can give your head voice better control and quality. Don’t go too far up the scale after you switch to your head voice; you are looking for the notes you can comfortably sing, not the highest note you can squeak out.
The Female Voice
Most women tend to be altos or tenors, with a smaller number being sopranos. Most men tend to be tenors or baritones, with a smaller number being basses.
What’s the Note Range of the Song?
The next step is to analyze the range of your chosen song. Pay attention to the highest notes that the song, as written, requires you to sing.
Then find the lowest notes. If these notes fall within your range, or very close, you can probably sing the song in its original key.
Changing Keys is Allowed
If the song has a much broader range than your natural one, you might need to try it in a different key.
You can sing a high song in a lower key to ensure you hit all the notes, or you can simply drop the high notes down an octave to make them easier to sing.
Venue, Volume, and Genre
Some keys are more appropriate to certain musical genres because of the musical style and the volume of the supporting instruments.
For example, a song sung in a lower key might work well for a jazz gig in a restaurant setting.
The soft music would provide a smooth backdrop that did not compete with the singer’s vocals.
But if you decide to play rock music backed by loud guitar music and crashing drums, you might not be heard if you sing in a lower key. Higher notes are naturally louder and easier to hear over the music.
Singing Over Your Cheering Guitar
If you’re going to have to compete with the music for audience’s attention, sing higher and louder.
If you’re in a quieter, more relaxed venue, you can sing in a lower key and still be heard.
Choosing the right key to sing in requires you to know your voice, your song, and your venue.
You can bring any song into your key range by transposing it; it’s just a matter of practicing the song to make it sound good in a different key.