Understanding your voice type can be a key factor in improving your singing abilities and selecting appropriate repertoire. However, the terminology used to describe different voice types can often be confusing and overwhelming for beginners.
In this article, we will explore the basics of voice types and the different categories used to classify voices. We will also provide tips on how to determine your own voice type and how to use this knowledge to improve your singing.
The first step in understanding voice types is to understand the difference between the male and female voice. Male voices are generally categorized into four main groups: bass, baritone, tenor, and countertenor. Female voices are generally categorized into three main groups: alto, mezzo-soprano, and soprano. Within each of these categories, there are further subcategories based on vocal range, vocal weight, and vocal color.
It is important to note that everyone’s voice is unique, and there is no “right” or “wrong” voice type. Understanding your voice type is simply a tool to help you improve your singing and select appropriate repertoire that suits your vocal range and abilities. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced singer, learning about voice types can help you unlock your full vocal potential and achieve your singing goals.
1. Hurt- Johnny Cash
“Hurt” is a powerful and emotional song originally written by Trent Reznor of the industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, but made even more poignant through the haunting and heart-wrenching performance by Johnny Cash. The song speaks to themes of regret, pain, and the toll that a life of excess and poor choices can take on a person. Cash’s weathered voice and the stripped-down acoustic arrangement of the song serve to amplify its raw emotional power, as he sings lines like “What have I become, my sweetest friend? / Everyone I know goes away in the end” with a sense of melancholy and resignation. The music video, which features footage of Cash’s life and career intercut with shots of a desolate and empty house, adds to the song’s mournful and introspective mood. “Hurt” is a true masterpiece of modern music, and a testament to the enduring power of a well-written song and a great performer.
2. Preach – John Legend
“Preach” by John Legend is a soulful and uplifting song with a strong message of hope and unity. The song’s lyrics speak to the importance of standing up for what you believe in, and the need to come together as a community in order to bring about positive change in the world. Legend’s rich, velvety vocals are backed by a lush arrangement of piano, strings, and a gospel choir, creating a sense of warmth and inclusivity that is hard to resist. The music video, which features a diverse array of people coming together to dance and celebrate, perfectly captures the song’s joyous spirit and infectious energy. Overall, “Preach” is a stirring and powerful anthem that inspires listeners to keep striving for a better world, and to never give up on the power of love and unity to make a difference.
3. How Do You Sleep – Sam Smith
“How Do You Sleep” by Sam Smith is a haunting and emotional ballad that explores themes of heartbreak, betrayal, and longing. The song’s lyrics describe the pain of being lied to and deceived by someone they loved deeply, as Smith sings lines like “I’m done hating myself for feeling / I’m done crying myself away / I gotta leave and start the healing / But when you move like that, I just want to stay.” The melody is beautifully melancholic and the arrangement of the piano and strings perfectly captures the song’s mood, creating a sense of emotional depth and intimacy. The music video, which features Smith dancing alone in a warehouse, adds to the song’s sense of vulnerability and isolation. “How Do You Sleep” is a stunning piece of music that showcases Smith’s incredible vocal range and raw emotional power, making it a standout track in their discography.
4. Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson
“Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars is an infectiously catchy and upbeat funk-pop song that is sure to get you moving. The song’s groove-heavy bassline, funky guitar riffs, and horn section make for an irresistible dance beat, while Mars’ high-energy vocals and catchy hooks keep the party going. The lyrics are playful and boastful, with Mars proclaiming his swagger and confidence in lines like “This hit, that ice cold / Michelle Pfeiffer, that white gold / This one for them hood girls / Them good girls, straight masterpieces.” The music video, which features Mars and Ronson dressed in stylish retro outfits and dancing in the streets, perfectly captures the song’s celebratory and carefree spirit. Overall, “Uptown Funk” is a fun and infectious song that never fails to get people up and dancing, making it a modern classic of the pop music genre.
5. No More ” I Love You’s” – Annie Lennox
“No More ‘I Love You’s” by Annie Lennox is a powerful and emotional pop song that explores the complexities of love and the pain of heartbreak. The song’s lyrics speak to the disillusionment and loss of innocence that can come with the end of a relationship, as Lennox sings lines like “I used to be so careless / As if I couldn’t care less / Did I have to make mistakes / When I was Mary’s prayer?” The melody is haunting and melancholic, with Lennox’s soaring vocals adding a sense of vulnerability and raw emotion to the song. The music video, which features Lennox singing against a backdrop of black and white footage of people in different emotional states, adds to the song’s sense of introspection and introspection. “No More ‘I Love You’s” is a poignant and memorable song that speaks to the universal experiences of love and loss, making it a timeless classic of the pop music genre.
6. Stand By Me – Tracy Chapman
“Stand By Me” by Tracy Chapman is a soulful and heartfelt rendition of the classic song originally recorded by Ben E. King. The song’s lyrics speak to the power of love and friendship, and the importance of standing together in times of struggle and adversity. Chapman’s soulful vocals are accompanied by a sparse and understated arrangement of guitar and percussion, creating a sense of intimacy and authenticity that is hard to resist. The music video, which features Chapman singing against a backdrop of rolling hills and countryside, perfectly captures the song’s sense of warmth and optimism. “Stand By Me” is a timeless classic that has been covered by many artists over the years, but Chapman’s interpretation stands out as a moving and powerful tribute to the enduring power of love and friendship.
7. Hung Up – Madonna
“Hung Up” by Madonna is an energetic and upbeat dance-pop song that blends elements of disco and electronic music. The song’s catchy hook, which samples ABBA’s “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight),” is instantly recognizable and impossible to resist. The lyrics speak to the joy and freedom of dancing and letting go, with Madonna singing lines like “Time goes by so slowly for those who wait / No time to hesitate, those who run seem to have all the fun.” The music video, which features Madonna dancing in a glittery leotard against a backdrop of flashing lights and disco balls, perfectly captures the song’s sense of high energy and excitement. “Hung Up” is a fun and infectious song that celebrates the joy of dancing and letting loose, making it a standout track in Madonna’s discography.
8. Side To Side – Ariana Grande ft. Nicki Minaj
“Side to Side” by Ariana Grande ft. Nicki Minaj is a sultry and provocative pop song with a heavy trap influence. The song’s bass-heavy beat, which features a sample from the classic dancehall track “Love Riddim,” creates a seductive and atmospheric groove that perfectly complements the song’s provocative lyrics. Grande’s breathy vocals and Minaj’s confident flow add a sense of attitude and swagger to the song, with both artists singing about the physical sensations of being with someone they desire. The music video, which features Grande and Minaj performing a high-energy workout routine in a steamy gym, adds to the song’s sense of sensuality and empowerment. “Side to Side” is a bold and memorable pop song that showcases the unique talents of both Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj, making it a standout track in their respective discographies.