Voice Types: The 8 Singing Classifications. Find Yours Here!

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Introduction: (0:00)
Definition of Voice Types: (1:12)
8 Vocal Classifications: (3:37)
Tessitura: (5:33)
Timbre: (7:28)
Vocal Weight: (7:40)
Bass Voice Type: (9:21)
Baritone Voice Type: (12:24)
Tenor Voice Type (15:10)
Countertenor Voice Type (17:23)
Contralto Voice Type: (19:21)
Alto Voice Type: (21:06)
Mezzo Soprano Voice Type: (23:58)
Soprano Voice Type: (26:15)
Final Notes: (29:31)

Every singer wants to find their voice type! That's because knowing your voice type (bass, baritone, tenor, countertenor, contralto, alto, mezzo-soprano and soprano) will help you know exactly what kind of music that you can sing.

For instance, if I'm a bass, then singing a Sam Smith song might be very difficult for me. Or, if you're in Alto, singing an Ariana Grande song might be difficult for you.

But today, we'll look at the 8 main singing voice types. I'll show you how to identify each and I’ll show you how to find your own voice type.

Your voice type is the vocal classification of your singing voice. It's based on the 8 major Italian voice types: bass, baritone, tenor, countertenor, contralto, alto, mezzo-soprano and soprano. Now many people believe that the only way to find your voice type is just based on your vocal range.

While it's true that finding your vocal range is very important in establishing your voice type, it's not the only determining factor. You also want to look at the vocal weight, the tessitura and the Timbre of the singing voice. And before we jump into the main voice types, you should know that every voice type has its place and is important. So even if you're a bass that wants to sing high notes, you need to learn to hit your high notes for a bass as well as humanly possible. Those notes will sound just as cool as when a tenor hits a high note in their own voice.

The eight singing voice types are separated by gender. The four male voice types are bass, baritone, tenor, and countertenor. The four female voice types are contralto, alto, mezzo, and soprano. Now keep in mind when I discuss the different ranges today that they're based on a trained voices not because you just can't sing high.

The lowest male voice type is the bass with a tessitura of E2 to E4. Examples include Johnny Cash, Barry White and, Leonard Cohen.

The next higher male voice type is the baritone with a tessitura of A2 to A4. Examples include John Legend, Hozier, and David Bowie.

The second highest male voice type is the tenor with a tessitura C3 to C5. Examples include Freddie Mercury, Jason Mraz, and Sam Smith.

The highest male voice type is the countertenor with a tessitura of E3 to E5. Examples include Bruno Mars and Dimash Kudaibergen.

Now let's look at the four major women voice types. The lowest female voice type is the contralto with a tessitura of E3 to E5. Examples include Nina Simone and Annie Lennox.

The next higher voice type is going to be the alto with tessitura of F3 to F5. Examples include Lana Del Rey, Tracy Chapman, and Amy Winehouse.

The second highest female voice type is the mezzo soprano with a tessitura of A3 to A5. Examples include Madonna, Lady Gaga and Beyonce.

The highest female voice type is a soprano with a tessitura of C4 to C6. Examples include Ariana Grande, Mariah Carey, and Whitney Houston.

Remember, none of these voice types are more valuable or more important than any other. Whatever voice type you are, the most important thing is that you train your voice to get the most out of that you can.

52 thoughts on “Voice Types: The 8 Singing Classifications. Find Yours Here!”

  1. Sebastian S.

    Fun fact: Freddy Mercury was a natural baritone. His vocal range was just to huge that he could easily sing as a tenor.

    1. Huzaifa Ahmed

      @Heliotrope Skies There is no way that Freddie isnt a tenor, and anyone who desperately tries to sing deeper can attest to this. he’s not better than the rest of us tenors at it! Brendon Urie on the other hand is on the borderline. Everything about his timbre screams that he’s not a higher-pitched voice.

    2. Somekind of Dude

      Light tenors sometimes have the same qualities as high baritones and get misclassified but i really thing freddie was a baritone cause of his super solid F#2

    3. @Ramsey Voice Studio I mean this in a very respectful and kind way and also know I’m a baritone so this is kind of biased. Also I can only speak from my own experience.
      1. In my experience high notes are not a good way to determine vocal types for men because a lot of baritones and even some basses can sing around as high as a tenor, very very few tenors can sing as low as a baritone or bass. It’s simply harder to stretch and isn’t practiced as often.
      2. Being a tenor and singing as a tenor are very different. As a baritone who can sing high I am almost always singing tenor parts because it’s something that (being primarily in the rock wold) is more sought after. But I’m not one, same with Freddy he sang mostly in a tenor range but that does not mean that’s his natural comfortable range and you can hear it’s not when he sings not because he cracks but because of the techniques that you don’t often notice if you don’t use them like few tenors do. I want you to listen to a natural tenor sing his songs and you hear the difference.
      3. I can hit a b4 and I’m about to graduate high school I think Freddy with all those years of being simply better than us mere mortals could train up. I can’t find many tenors or in my. experience any tenors who don’t sound quite goofy if any they can get there at all when told to sing a d2 or e2 and for the most part f2 which Freddie mercury sang well and seemed comfortable.
      4. LET US HAVE THIS ONE IM BEGGING YOU TENORS HAVE LIKE 8/10 BEST MALE SINGERS OF ALL TIME BUT EVERY BARITONE IN THE WORLD CONSOLES THEMSELVES BY SAYING YA KNOW WHAT WE GOT FREDDY SO WERE GOOD.

      if this was a grimble gumble of nonsence I am writting this at 2:AM and have the passion but not the brain power

    4. @**Zenobia** I get the feeling your not a male voice and these statistics are on paper but not the highest of tenors is hitting a d5 in chest voice.
      also you can hear that your just wrong about how he sings he is very much in mixed for most of his songs try to recreate his tone as a tenor and as a baritone you wont get it spot on but you can do well enough to know, that sound he get’s is from his mix. Listen to him warm up and how he starts comfortable goes high goes low goes alien because he’s beyond us and goes comfortable. Remember this isn’t opera this is rock and the grit and the style and the fact of his characterization can make many of these operatic study’s confusing because it’s all ” against the rules” so it makes it weird. Also when your sick for a lot of guys it makes you stick to a very different range like when my brother is sick he is a very low bass because that’s more comfortable to exist in. For me I go high but that’s because( like Freddy) I speak in my mix and the high makes it weird and while I can’t hit higher note’s than I could before I still am a little higher and also freddy being sick means very little as he’s better.

    5. @**Zenobia** Vocal quality is most of what determines you vocal type when you leave opera and even in a lot of opera notes are often separate because it’s to vague.

  2. Spacecowgirl 95

    As a women who has a low voice naturally i tend to sing a males tenor. I feel like not alot of wonen with deep voices get as much hype as women with voices like ariana grande.

    1. Carolyn Lowe

      Agreed !!! The transitions as an alto or contra are easy. I love soad and 4 non blondes as well as rhcp and even johnny.

    2. A. Katherine Suetterlin

      @Richell Mcknight Oh, trust me, I feel ya. It’s the false ideal of “the higher the pitch in the voice, the more feminine that woman is.” Puh-lease. ?

    3. Fedora McClaren

      Oh wow…I was wondering about some of the names which are here… Allah Hathaway, Phyllis Hyman, Rachelle Ferrell, Grace Jones and Cassandra Wlson came to mind…i thought about Sadé as well…

    4. Mokiefraggle

      @Ashley M Oh, that sounds so familiar! I was the only real not-a-soprano (I’m a definite contralto now, but was a little more of an alto back then) in my dinky little high school choir, and our only male vocalist was a baritone who couldn’t comfortably hit the high notes. I always got asked to perform the tenor parts, especially since our instructor often chose songs without an alto part for me to sing! ???

    5. Now i think i am a male Bariton as a woman because my voice is so low ? and women with low voices should get more credit i agree?

  3. *???Y ?O??E?O?T*

    Me having the flu: baritone
    Me talking to my friends: contralto
    Me talking to strangers: mezzo soprano
    Me talking to my cats: drunk soprano

    1. Himmel - Erde und zurück

      e5 is definitively too high for my comfort zone. contralto. As a woman I feel comfortable with the ranges of bariton and tenor.

  4. I think when looking at basses, the bassi profundi oktavists deserve more attention. Although they’re more of an exception, people like Glenn and Vladimir Miller (not related), Yuri Vichnyakov, Vladimir Pasyukov or Alexander Ort (and a lot of others) deserve more attention. Their ranges extend down to C1 (Zlatopolski), D1 (Alexander Ort) and then there’s Glenn Miller’s F1 (although recorded down to E1) which all have a lot of power, really rare.

  5. One point that was missed: when two different voice types sing the same note, they’re probably going to use different techniques, and that makes the lower voice type sound weaker and lighter, not thicker and more powerful!

    For instance, imagine a bass and a tenor singing A3. The bass singer would probably have to belt or use head voice for that while the tenor is on the lower, warmer side of their range

    1. malindarayallen

      There’s a great video showing different voice types singing the same notes. I wish I had the link, but it was fascinating.

    2. passcom compass

      Show me just one tenor that can sing a C2 with as much power and meat as a bass like Avi Kaplan

  6. Phoenix Ivy Roots

    It would also be really cool for you to make a video showing examples of each voice type from the genre of metal or alternative rock! No one else has done that from what I’ve seen!

    1. Opal Elysium

      Yes I love this! This guy is already so fantastic that small addits like this will make him the singing guru. 100000000x likes

    2. yess i would love that! i love rock and metal and i don’t really see what different voice types sound like in women in rock especially because men tend to dominate the genre.

  7. Gwendy Rose

    I grew up singing Alto in choirs as a kid/teenager. However, I was really a Contralto, there just weren’t many options to sing that low at that time. I would typically switch to my falsetto/”head voice” around F-G3. In my 30s, I decided to take voice lessons through the local university. They had a program where you could choose to work with either an undergraduate vocal student or a graduate student. I chose to work with a graduate student. She asked me what I wanted to work on when we first met. I explained that I was thinking about applying to the music school there and wanted to be able to pass an audition. She encouraged me to work on my “upper range” for the audition. (NOTE: She was a soprano and I’m not sure she really realized I was a Contralto.) When she tested my range (after warming up), she claims I hit a Bflat4! (I think she was smoking something, but I KNOW I hit a Gsharp4!). Unfortunately, we were pushing too hard, too fast…I wasn’t completely understanding what she was trying to tell me (and was still “singing in my throat” instead of my “soft palate”!) and I ended up injuring my voice. After seeing several doctors, it was determined that I had pulled the muscles that hold the vocal chords tight. (Think of an athlete pulling a calf or thigh muscle.) Any time I tried to even talk, the sound would just stop when those muscles relaxed. It was AWEFUL!!! It took me a full 6 months before I could sing one verse of a hymn at church and another 6 months to be “fully” healed. However, even today, if I use my voice too much (or try to “push” my upper register) those muscles will start to relax on me and I have to completely stop. Ironically, this injury shifted my vocal range down just a bit and i am now an official “female Tenor” instead of a Contralto. Thankfully, I was able to keep my Alto range, but my falsetto now hits at D3! I can hit an E4, but I’m a bit scared to attempt to go above that as I’m afraid of reinjuring my voice. I don’t EVER want to go through that again!!! But, when I’m warmed up, I can hit a C2 with no problems. I’ve even hit a Bflat2!!! That REALLY freaked me out! 😉 My tessitura is a D2 to D3 with a range of Bflat2 to E4. I might be able to go higher, but, as I said, I have no interest in pushing things. 😉 😉 But, because I have such a “low female voice,” I can put almost ANYONE to sleep by just talking! 😀 Sometimes, this is super fun and sometimes it’s EXTREMELY annoying! : Sure helped when my kids were little, though! 😀

    1. Wow I’m so sorry you went through this. No one should injure their voice to please someone else. Hope you are fully healed now.

  8. Grace Allingham

    I’m a contralto and I mostly sing music by male artists because it fits my range better. Also so glad you mentioned Annie Lenox, her voice is beautiful ??

    1. Recycled Apathy

      When I was in choir they put me and one other lady in with the baritones because we had trouble with those alto notes (and the choir wasn’t big enough for a contralto section, lol)

    2. Cassandra Wladyslava

      Wooo! Contraltos unite!

      Btw, if you want to hear an insanely talented voice…Alana Bridgewater

  9. Tamara Gerling

    This made it so easy. I’m pretty sure I fall into the Mezzo-soprano category. In school when our music teacher tested our range for choir he put me in the soprano range but I always struggled with those higher notes, but I wasn’t low enough for the altos. Never knew there was a category in between. Thank you for this.

    1. Yeah some people just call them Soprano 1 or 2 or just say Soprano and bunch it all together which is in poor taste in my opinion.

  10. Zoe Johnson

    As a girl I’ve always had a heavier singing voice compared to my friends. I loved singing Demi or Kelly but I couldn’t sing Ariana because it wouldn’t sound “right”. But I’ve learned to work more with my voice and accept that it won’t ever sound light and airy which is okay. Now I find myself singing more sultry songs and they work really well for me.

  11. DONNA HAIR STUDIO

    I really loved seeing your examples of voice types. I found myself guessing the artists.
    Thanks so much for your sharing your expertise.

  12. a_chase_for_life

    This was an awesome video!! Truly appreciate the effort you put into it and your great energy! ???

  13. I think there needs to be more classifications of contralto because I can hang out in baritone town all day long so you saying that a typical tessitura of a countertenor baffles me. I’ve always found Bruno Mars and even some Sam Smith to be in the rafters for me.

  14. For a long time I thought I was a bass, but after comparing my comfortable range and listening to these, I am definitely a tenor, to the point that I’m not ever sure why I thought I was a bass.

  15. You’ve explained this perfectly! What I love about your teaching is how comfortable you make everyone feel about their own voices in each video you do. That shows the work of a great singing teacher ?. Thank you so much for this video! ?

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