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Comparitive Vocal Ranges
30 December 2010
8.54am
jdenicholls
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I was wondering if anyone knew for certain the vocal ranges of the Beatles. I know Paul's is A1 to F5 not including falsetto – which is frankly astonishing. There's a good video on youtube if you google "Paul McCartney Vocal Range".

I know John sings an A4 (the A above Middle C) in Twist And Shout, as well as on a number of other songs. That A sounds very strained, but given he had a cold and had been recording the whole day I wouldn't rule out him hitting a few notes above that on a better day.

George apparently has a higher range than John, but I can't give any examples to verify it. Obviously Ringo was the baritone of the group.

30 December 2010
1.23pm
skye
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Hey JD, welcome the forum. brian-epstein

This came up not too long ago, and there's a video covering Paul's range. If I'm reading it right, John's range is wider*.

 

*not set in stone.

Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo! So little time! So much to know!
30 December 2010
2.08pm
Paulrus
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Joe said that was only their ranges as heard on recordings prior to 1964, though. I think Paul did have the widest, followed by George, John, and then of course Ringo.

They all had amazing ranges, though, considering the average is supposedly about an octave and a half.

EDIT: Er, except Ringo

Well, the Ukraine girls really knock me out  They leave the West behind 
30 December 2010
3.06pm
The Walrus
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The highest note I can remember John hitting is "takes to fill the Albert Hall". I've always internally compared him hitting that note to Freddie Mercury hitting "love me and leave me to die" in Bohemian Rhapsody, in terms of how hard it seemed to be for them.

And I neeeeeeeeed her all the time
30 December 2010
5.24pm
jdenicholls
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Thanks for the welcome and the link mate, seems to answer my question. I searched "vocal ranges" and it didn't come up so posted the topic. You do read it right, but according to the video McCartney managed to pull his range down an entire octave over the years.

I believe the average vocal range being 1 and a half is because most people do not bother to sing, and even those that do don't necessarily seek vocal training. Most rock singers appear to get a good 3 octaves out of their voice, some even managing to find a 4th. I've been singing for about 2 years an I'm only one note off a three octave range – not including falsetto/vocal fry. (and also lol at the "except Ringo" comment)

The note he sings "hall" on is actually a G4, or the G above Middle C, but he changes register into falsetto. The last note they hit on the "Aah" bit of Twist And Shout is actually an A4, a tone higher.

a-hard-days-night-ringo-13

30 December 2010
5.56pm
MeanMrsMustard
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Paulrus said:

They all had amazing ranges, though, considering the average is supposedly about an octave and a half.


Really? My range is D below middle C (if I have to) to 3 Ds above middle C (again, if I have to). But my voice gets super squeaky above two Gs above middle C, and croaky below the E below middle C. I can technically hit notes above my "top note," but I shortened it so it could be even octaves. a-hard-days-night-george-10

If I seem to act unkind, it's only me, it's not my mind that is confusing things.

30 December 2010
6.05pm
Paulrus
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I have no idea what my range is. But you know, that's cos I don't sing.

My lowest note is E1 (at least, that's the lowest I've tried), but I have no idea what my highest is.

Well, the Ukraine girls really knock me out  They leave the West behind 
30 December 2010
6.53pm
mr. Sun king coming together
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Mine is Small.

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
30 December 2010
7.31pm
mithveaen
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My voice is so awful that even the karaoke feedback says "Please put down that mic and shut the hell up" a-hard-days-night-paul-3

 

Hell, one  day I was singing a Beatle song and my sister's dogs started howling. I'm not kidding. a-hard-days-night-ringo-14

Here comes the sun….. Scoobie-doobie…… Something in the way she moves…..attracts me like a cauliflower… Bop. Bop, cat bop. Go, Johnny, Go. Beware of Darkness…  I believe in SH...
30 December 2010
7.33pm
mr. Sun king coming together
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mithveaen said:

My voice is so awful that even the karaoke feedback says "Please put down that mic and shut the hell up" a-hard-days-night-paul-3

 

Hell, one  day I was singing a Beatle song and my sister's dogs started howling. I'm not kidding. a-hard-days-night-ringo-14


Even I'm Not That Bad.
I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
30 December 2010
7.39pm
mithveaen
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mr. Sun king coming together said:

mithveaen said:

My voice is so awful that even the karaoke feedback says "Please put down that mic and shut the hell up" a-hard-days-night-paul-3

 

Hell, one  day I was singing a Beatle song and my sister's dogs started howling. I'm not kidding. a-hard-days-night-ringo-14


Even I'm Not That Bad.
 

Well maybe  because I was singing Blue Jay Way and Lucy, Yago and Tommy decided to join in "please doooooooont beeeelonggggggggggg" a-hard-days-night-george-8
Here comes the sun….. Scoobie-doobie…… Something in the way she moves…..attracts me like a cauliflower… Bop. Bop, cat bop. Go, Johnny, Go. Beware of Darkness…  I believe in SH...
30 December 2010
7.43pm
mr. Sun king coming together
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-2HUH

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
30 December 2010
8.42pm
StarWisher
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mithveaen said:

My voice is so awful that even the karaoke feedback says "Please put down that mic and shut the hell up" a-hard-days-night-paul-3

 

Hell, one  day I was singing a Beatle song and my sister's dogs started howling. I'm not kidding. a-hard-days-night-ringo-14


Ah, no, Mith! They heard how wonderfully you were singing, and just had to join in!

It was like the end of Hey Jude for them; you just can't help but join in!

That's what I'd be telling myself, at least. apple01

"We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love." — Dr. Seuss
 
 
30 December 2010
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mithveaen
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8 LOL!! Thanks. Actually my sister's dogs have good taste if they like Beatles music. (Well after all Lucy was named after Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds song)

Here comes the sun….. Scoobie-doobie…… Something in the way she moves…..attracts me like a cauliflower… Bop. Bop, cat bop. Go, Johnny, Go. Beware of Darkness…  I believe in SH...
30 December 2010
9.19pm
Marcelo
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The Walrus said:

The highest note I can remember John hitting is "takes to fill the Albert Hall". I've always internally compared him hitting that note to Freddie Mercury hitting "love me and leave me to die" in Bohemian Rhapsody, in terms of how hard it seemed to be for them.


John's highest and  lowest notes in one song are in "Happiness Is A Warm Gun".
I'd like to say "thank you" on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we passed the audition. John Lennon
30 December 2010
11.33pm
MeanMrsMustard
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Paulrus said:

I have no idea what my range is. But you know, that's cos I don't sing.


That's where absolute pitch comes in handy. 

Actually, it also comes in handy when you're doing an a cappella piece in choir and your conductor doesn't want to go to the piano. 

If I seem to act unkind, it's only me, it's not my mind that is confusing things.

3 January 2011
1.43am
MotherNaturesDaughter
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I'm sad to say I don't know my range in the terms you guys are using because I haven't had to learn stuff like that yet. But if I want my voice to sound good I can hit the second note on the bottom of the picture I'm putting on the bottom of this post (It's a B. But I'm not sure which one) as my highest and my lowest would be the A below middle C. (Which isn't on there.) So I have a pretty good range.

 

"I am definitely a mad man with a box."- Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor of Doctor Who (Episode 1 Season 5: The Eleventh Hour)
3 January 2011
1.52am
Paulrus
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Middle C is C4, I think, so your lowest would be A4.

Well, the Ukraine girls really knock me out  They leave the West behind 
4 January 2011
1.18pm
jdenicholls
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Paulrus said:

Middle C is C4, I think, so your lowest would be A4.


There seems to be a lot of confusion on the internet as to how Scientific Pitch Notation works. There is a good article on Wikipedia as to how it works: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S…..h_notation but I will try and explain it for you how I understand it.

Middle C is usually designated as C4, although I've seen it written as C3 and C5 in some places, which is wrong. The High C an octave above Middle C is C5. The notes between C4 and C5 all have 4 after them meaning that A4 would be the A above Middle C. The A below Middle C is an A3.

Vocal range does not define voice classification, rather it is the transition between chest and head voice (passagio), where your speaking voice lies and the general timbre of your voice. For example, Robert Plant has a high, girlish quality to his voice (for a man anyway) while Eddie Veddar has a manly growl. The baritone range is the most common range, while tenors are more common than bass voices. (And just for laughs, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..cKA-Pf3qLc and note the tone of the Tiger's voice at the end. True bass at its best).

However, certain voices are associated with certain ranges. Baritones are expected to hit A2 (second A below Middle C), while true Tenors cannot.

The best vocal classification to have is a matter of opinion as to what tone you are going for, but those who's comfortable ranges are lower tend to have greater ranges overall. This is because the lower your comfortable range the longer your vocal chords. In reaching higher notes we shorten the vocal chords, and while it is possible to shorten your vocal chords far beyond your comfortable range it is impossible to lengthen your vocal chords any distance.

This is why most baritones can with training sing in the tenor range. It is also one of the reasons tenor parts in popular music are more common – it's very hard to fake a bass voice.

MotherNaturesDaughter, From what I you told me your lowest note is an A3 and your highest is a B5, giving you a comfortable range of 2 octaves and a tone. Bear in mind that vocal range is usually taken in the modal register (ie head and chost voice), and does not include vocal fry or falsetto.

Hope that's helped someone a-hard-days-night-george-10

4 January 2011
2.11pm
Paulrus
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Oh, whoops. This is why I shouldn't give advice on these things. a-hard-days-night-george-8

Well, the Ukraine girls really knock me out  They leave the West behind 
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