I Am a Very Strange Soprano...

I am 18, and, by default, a soprano. I have a very high range when my voice is properly warmed up.  However, there are some times that I cannot sing soprano notes at all, others that I hit effortlessly. I have been singing since I was two, according to my mom, and discovered my soprano at age five.  I have been singing ever since.

ErinMcLH ErinMcLH 18-21, F 1 Response Jan 22, 2009

Your Response


Hmm. Really, I'd need more information. It sounds as if you're simply untrained and aren't on a regimen which allows you to 'keep' your upper notes. My range (plus extension) goes from E3 and extends to C7, but the notes I can hit on command and consider part of my true range are F3-E6. I can hit notes from F6-C7, but I wouldn't take a role which requires them as, 'having a bad voice day' can prevent me from hitting beyond a D6.

Most sopranos can hit notes they wouldn't normally be able to warmed-up, and some mezzos can sing soprano with proper warm-up. I know with proper warm-up, I -can- slide whistle from E6-A6 without trouble -- but I'm not on a proper regimen, and most days, I get stuck at C6 because I live in a location with horrendous air quality, and my allergies are horrible.

So, really, I'd need to know what 'very high' is. C7? Are you chirping with Mariah? Or is this more the cadenza from 'Phantom of the Opera' theme which ends at E6? Very different styles of singing, obviously.

Also, classification, if you don't know, has less to do with what notes you can hit and more how they -sound-. I was perplexed as to whether or not I'm mezzo because I have such a wide range. It wasn't until I was classified as soprano because of the 'bright' quality of my voice and the power being in my upper head supported by my chest voice that I started to work with my talents.

For example, my step-daughter (age 9) has become pretty obsessed with both 'Phantom' and Gaga's 'Bad Romance'. (I know. We try and introduce her to a variety of stuff.) So, she's become a huge fan of both Sarah Brightman and Gaga. When singing 'Bad Romance', her low notes are clearer and stronger (her mom used to sing in an alternative rock group and is an alto with mezzo extension) than mine are; I can hit all of the notes and on pitch, but most of the song doesn't have power when I sing it. Most of it disappears until the chorus which is getting more into my range again. Well, the kiddo found this ridiculous Chipmunked version which is basically an octave higher. She didn't feel comfortable going that high while singing along, but I was chirping right along with the ridiculousness because my range can comfortably go that high, as I'm assuming yours can, too.

So, even at 9, her alto-mezzo tendencies are showing, though I feel she's going to be a true mezzo with extensions on both sides -- which, as I've told her, ain't a bad place to be. Whereas I'm soprano and need to develop my notes around C6 so that I can harness the true beauty of my voice, which has its best and strongest timbre between F5-B6, where most mezzos' ranges end completely, or they lose power and can't sustain.

All that means is first listen to your tone. Are you kicking songs up an octave that're sung by alto-mezzo singers? Is that more comfortable for you? Then you're probably an untrained soprano who needs to develop her upper head voice. One of my good friends is sfogato and could trill all the way through C7 if she developed it, but she's comfortable being able to power a D6. Most sopranos are. (I'm leggiero myself, which means I consider my range to be E3-E6.)

Develop your chest voice, too. But if you're losing your -whole- soprano range 'sometimes', then that's a sign you may be singing improperly, or you're -not- a soprano. I only lose my whole soprano range when I've also lost most of my upper chest voice, and that's if I've got a terrible head cold. I can still hit those notes, but they're weakened by the congestion in my nasal passages. The only notes I've lost completely are past C6. I can always go to C6, chest cold, head cold, allergies, whatever.

So explore further into why you're losing your -whole- soprano range some days. You may find you're a mezzo with a soprano extension, which is more common. (And if your power really lies between F3 and, say, E5 -- your notes are strongest, clearest, and have full timbre -- I'm going to say you likely are.)

Best of luck to you! I hope my 'experience', heh, helps!