While most singers focus on only one way of singing, some of them do have the capability to sing in several ways, mostly due to the fact that their voice type actually allows it. The trick in singing multiple ways is that you have to know how to transition correctly from one voice type to another.
The 6 different ways of singing are soprano, mezzo-soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, and bass. The singer’s vocal range will determine how he or she will sing, generally speaking, female singers have a vocal range of soprano, mezzo-soprano, and alto, male singers vocal range is tenor, bass, and baritone.
Most singers only focus on one way of singing, and some beginner singers do not even know that there are 6 different ways of singing. The difference between these 6 ways is fairly large, some of these singing ways are more feminine while others are more masculine. However, there are some singers who cross the border from singing with a female voice even if they are male and this also happens the other way around.
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The truth is that the singing voice is very malleable, it can change fairly quickly with enough practice. While some singers who found their singing voice at an early age tend to stick with that particular voice and singing style, on the other hand, singers who have a hard time in finding their true singing voice will experiment with different ways of singing, sometimes even exploring all the 6 ways of singing.
There are some singers who do possess the ability to sing in more than one way however this is fairly unusual. If you have read my recent article Singers with 6 octave range ( Do they even exist? ), then you probably already know of the 6-octave singer Dimash. He has the ability to sing almost any genre of music, some consider him as a naturally talented and gifted person, while others take into consideration that his family has probably shaped his singing capabilities as almost his entire family is singing.
Generally speaking, if you want to become a successful singer you only have to be able to sing in one way, while experimenting is a good idea especially for beginner singers, but you should stick to what you are good at and not what the current trends in the music industry are.
Most people when they think of different ways of singing think of music genres, the truth is that the 6 different ways of singing are determined by the vocal range needed for the song. In or modern history where singing genres often mix and overlap, without any regard for the actual vocal range is mainly due to the fact that most studios will use specialized software to enhance the singer’s voice. Simply put you can make a hip-hop singer sound like an opera singer with just a few edits and tweaks in the studio.
The 6 different ways of singing, which are in fact determined by the vocal range can be categorized into two sections:
- Female voice types: This is the vocal range of most female singers and it consists of soprano, mezzo-soprano, and alto voice types
- Male voice types: The male voice types and vocal ranges can be of the following. tenor, bass, and baritone. If you want to know more about the actual full spectrum of the male vocal range then read my article What is the average vocal range male? ( Range, Scale and Chart ).
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Soprano way of singing
The soprano is usually a female voice type, however, there are some male singers who can actually sing soprano flawlessly, although it is quite rare. When you as a singer think of singing high notes you probably think of the soprano voice type and you would be correct. In fact, the soprano voice type is the highest voice type out of the 6 most common voice types. Generally speaking, the soprano voice is somewhere between or around the C4 and C6, although there are some singers who can definitely go higher or lower.
Mezzo-soprano way of singing
The mezzo-soprano is a typical female voice type, the name mezzo in Latin means middle, and this accurately describes the actual voice type of mezzo-sopranos being somewhere between the soprano and the alto voice type. This voice type is fairly common and some mezzo-soprano singers also have the capability to sing or to at least transition into soprano and alto while they are singing. This is by far one of the most flexible voice types, while some might call it average that is far from the truth. The ability of mezzo-sopranos to cross the line from soprano to mezzo-soprano and down to alto will make the singer an extremely talented one.
Alto way of singing
This is the lowest female voice type and singers who can sing this way are relatively few. Most singers might think that they are alto when in fact they hover somewhere between mezzo-soprano and alto. In the modern music industry, you will find a couple of alto singers, but not a lot, mainly because the music industry has changed so much in the past couple of decades. If you want to know who are the most successful alto singers then check out my recent article Famous alto singers ( Top 12 ).
Tenor way of singing
The tenor voice type is the highest male voice type, although some female singers are also categorized by having a tenor voice, the truth is that these females probably have an alto voice. Males and females are built differently and most male voices are fairly low and deep. It is extremely difficult for a male to be categorized as a soprano. The tenor voice type is somewhere between C3 and C5, although most singers stick to the tenor way of singing, some do cross the line of the lower baritone voice type.
Baritone way of singing
The baritone is somewhere between the tenor and bass vocal range, it is fairly similar to the female mezzo-soprano but the male version. The baritone voice type is somewhere between A2 and A4. The baritone voice type is by far one of the most common voice types for males. Some baritone male singers are actually a mix of baritone-tenor and baritone bass, in some cases, they can even sing tenor, baritone, and bass combined in one song.
Bass way of singing
This is by far the lowest male vocal range, some might even consider it a true alpha male voice type. Their deeper voice allows them to sing a large spectrum of songs. While most males in their early childhood have a tenor voice type, those who have more testosterone, in general, will develop a bass voice. Generally speaking, the bass voice type is somewhere between E2 and E4, if you want more information on how you can achieve a bass voice type then check out my article How to make your voice deeper ( 13 Fast and Easy Steps ).
As I have previously mentioned the 6 different ways of singing are mainly dictated by your actual vocal range. Some singers do have the capability to sing in more than one way, this is mostly due to the fact that they can transition between voice types. The problem with most singers is not that they can not sing in more than one way but when they try to transition from one voice type to another they do not do it correctly and will sound fake and forced.