What makes one voice sound different from another? If you ever sang in a school or church choir, you know there are different categories or types singers (bass, tenor, alto and soprano). I will discuss three ways to classify six of the voice types, even though the Fach System (a German voice classification) has 29 different categories, which are mostly used for opera and classical styles of singing. We will discuss the 6 that pertain to pop, country, rock, jazz, and blues.

There are 3 ways to determine a voice type:

1. The typical was is to identify your range is finding the lowest and highest notes you can sing.

2. The second important factor is to find your Prima Voce, which is the sweet spot in your voice. This is where you sound your best (inside your vocal range) and have the most strength and control naturally.

3. The last thing involves the anatomical structure of your singing voice. Your vocal tract (length & width), the size of your larynx, and lastly the vocal folds – cords (length and mass) size. The anatomical factor is basically the size, shape and dimensions or your body parts that are used for singing

Here is a breakdown of voice categories, ranges (from high to low, the letters and numbers are where the notes are found on the piano) and a famous singer in that range:

  • Soprano G3 – E6 Sara Bareilles

  • Mezzo-Soprano E3 – A5 Whitney Houston

  • Alto C3 – G5 Etta James

  • Tenor G2 – C5 Freddie Mercury

  • Baritone E2 – A4 Elvis Presley

  • Bass C2 – F4 Johnny Cash

If you want to know your classification, find a professional vocal coach to help you figure out what your classification is and where your Prima Voce (sweet spot) is located.


What musical instrument does a skeleton play? A trombone!

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