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General "range" question - How much is good enough?

I have been seeing some things while skimming through some threads and topics here and I guess I see it on Youtube comments (when I make the mistake of reading them). I remember growing up hearing rumors of singers having this or that range and I can remember hearing a good summary of the state of affairs of "pop" singers was that the "average' was around 2 octaves and that their success comes from them knowing what to do with it. In the rock world singers like Geoff Tate and James Labrie were lauded for their powerful (or have as I had heard) 3 octaves... then the rare shining talent clocked in with that elusive 5 or so (Martin Sexton, Mariah Carey)... Yma Sumac with close to 4... My question comes from the general lamenting in this era of people around the internet with declarations that kind of go like "I only have a bit under 3 octaves but I guess I will make the most of it" or " I am 15 and only have 5 octaves how can I get more?"... now far be it from me to lose sleep over this, but did a genetic thing happen while I wasn't paying attention? Did every one evolve past the old standards of what the average voice could do? Male high notes that are on par with the top range of Chris Cornell and early Robert Plant are becoming commonplace and sometimes expected. When did everybody start being able to sing so high? lol!
Retorical question, but am I just seeing kind of a peek into the inside of concerned apprentice singers minds? Was everyone always so critical?


  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,346

    Range is nice, but what matters most is how you use it.  Few of us would want to restrict our range to a small area, but getting fixated on range, especially to extremes, can cause us to lose focus on quality...

    And, Yes.  It did happen overnight, while we were sleeping.  : ^ )



  • TrineTrine Enrolled Posts: 269

    Perhaps it is the same that happened to sports, they get better and better where will it end? Or perhaps we are getting back to really old days when singers had wide range because they knew how to sing (I mean in opera and these things)....just being a bit philosophical...

    I never payed much attention to what range I have. I am happy when I can sing the kind of songs I like to sing. I like challenging songs, so that make me strethc my chest voice as much as I can. Do what you like. If you want to go for a wide range, do it. If not- be happy and sing.


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