I am a 19-year-old guy and I can't sing middle C or below without straining.

I can sing from E2 and up to B2 comfortably. But I don't think I am a true bass because my voice isn't really deep or can hit G1.

I have taken three lessons now, and even with lessons, I don't think there is any hope. I started Perfect by Hedley with my teacher and I can't even sing the first note, A3, without really straining. And Perfect isn't a very high song for guys, just hanging around the middle C, except for G4, B4, and C5, which I can sing easily with head voice.

I tried to sing an octave lower, which is much easier, but then there is no reason to practice if all I can do is sing an octave lower.

Will I ever come to see the light? Or should I just accept the reality and move on?

  • 5
    Middle C is C4.
    – Luke_0
    Aug 17, 2013 at 18:26

2 Answers 2


Male voices come in bass, baritone and tenor, usually.Not many men have the ability (or tone) to sing too high and too low. Whatever your range is, that's it. It will increase, probably both ends, as you take more lessons and sing more.

If the key of a song needs to be changed to accommodate your vocal range, so be it.If your teacher (not you) is insisting that's where you sing, go find a good one !

There will be songs that have too great a range for now, in whatever key; leave those till your voice can cope more comfortably. A weightlifter will start with light weights.....I agree with Dr Mayhem -give it a few months instead - but - be certain that your vocal coach is accommodating.

  • Thank you for your reply. Yes I think my coach is really good and I should keep practicing with her.
    – WonJae Cho
    Aug 25, 2013 at 21:22

Every voice is different. Every voice is unique.

I think you should keep practicing and always do it while you enjoy singing. Sing if you have a wish to sing, stop if you don't have a wish to sing. If the song is in a bad key/tonality for your voice, change it.

If you have a Bass or Baritone voice it will be difficult to reach more high pitches. As its difficult for a Tenor to sing Bass voicing/register.

Singing high notes that are outside your comfort zone requires training and self confidence to use the right muscles but at same time relax the neck, vocal cords and face. I some times tell my students, if you can "shout loud" when you get scared as a natural/unpredictable reaction you can also use teach those muscles in a natural way to sing high notes.

Important is not to force. Give the notes a good support from the stomach (diaphragm muscle), and upwards (neck, face, vocal chords) everything should be relaxed. And, of course, because it's muscles we are talking about, they will develop and your range expand if you sing regularly.

Find some warm up exercises with your teacher, and build your comfort zone around that. Use warm up exercises to expand the range without forcing, just testing with confidence.

  • 3
    Additionally, 3 lessons is far too few to make any decisions. Ability comes not just from your initial physical capabilities, but also from training and developing those abilities.
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Aug 17, 2013 at 0:16
  • Thank you for your reply. I really hope to develop my range because there aren't many songs that I can sing with this range. I will keep practicing.
    – WonJae Cho
    Aug 25, 2013 at 21:21
  • So it's been three months now and it is so frustrating that I have not improved at all despite the hours of effort I have put. Is it really something that I have to be born with?
    – WonJae Cho
    Oct 3, 2013 at 1:36

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