I was trying to figure out my voice range, but I actually run against the stupid problem that I don't know if I sing a c3 or a c4. I was using an online piano to match my voice, but I simply don't know if I'm singing a c3 or a c4 to match the note I hear from the piano. (I am sure I'm singing a c, though.)

I've found a video of a guitarist explaining how to determine it, but I am being insecure about it. I probably have a range of something like c2-e4 or a few notes higher, but hey - it might be an octave up?

  • How do you know you're singing a C of some kind? I mean, what method are you using to determine that it might be c2 - e4? Oct 12, 2015 at 19:18
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  • Hi, I was using an online piano. I am editing the question a bit - I have read the posts about determining vocal range, it's about the "how do I distinguish c3 from c4" part, which I could not find.
    – StefanM
    Oct 12, 2015 at 21:28
  • You're saying you can't hear the difference between a C3 and C4 on the online piano when comparing it to your voice? They both sound the same? Oct 13, 2015 at 2:00
  • 3
    I actually do think there's a question here & I really don't think it's a dupe... for someone unused to comparing pitches of instruments with utterly different decays & overtones, this could be a valid concern & confusing aspect. Just because 'we' can clearly tell the difference doesn't mean everyone can. [On the other hand, how to provide it with a good answer is beyond my ability, I think]
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 13, 2015 at 19:13

2 Answers 2


You can use one of the various Tuner apps found in app stores if you have a smartphone. There are also Tuners for the PC. These will measure and display the pitch of your sound (voice). That's how I realized that I was singing everything one octave lower and consequently, that I was more of a Barry White than a Michael Jackson.

Personally, I am using AP Tuner for Windows for my PC and DaTuner Lite for my Android Smartphone. But there should many other programs suitable to your needs.

I reckon unless you are a high voice, that your range is probably C2-E4 and not C3-E5. It's quite unlikely for male voices not to hit notes lower than C3 and extremely unlikely to hit E5.

  • Many guitar tuners also do this. Good point that reaching E5 is a bit unlikely, C5 is "tenor high C", right?
    – Mr. Boy
    Nov 18, 2015 at 14:32
  • Yes. C5 is the standout note of operatic tenors (though lower tenors might not be able to hit it). It is unlikely to be able to hit C5 in anything other than the falsetto register unless trained/ very lucky. I am a bass baritone, for me C4 already feels quite high whereas C3 sits very comfortably in my range. Once I discovered the octaves I was hitting it became quite easy to align my voice to the right octave. From my experience, modern male singers will stay within C3 and C5 with few deviations.
    – Paul
    Nov 18, 2015 at 15:47
  • Modern pop music seems to be very tenor-focused, right now. So many "girly voiced pretty-boys" ;)
    – Mr. Boy
    Nov 18, 2015 at 15:52
  • Thanks a lot!!! This answer answered my question in like 3 seconds after installing that windows program! Indeed, I am in that C2-E4 range :-)
    – StefanM
    Nov 19, 2015 at 16:56
  • I've seen basic tuners bounce between octaves when they pick up overtones (components of the sound that are one more octaves higher than the fundamental frequency). Tools that line up a spectral analysis to a keyboard are really good for visualizing overtones and harmonics, and it becomes pretty easy to spot the fundamental frequency. Jan 17, 2017 at 0:06

Use your piano, press the key, and attempt to match the pitch with your voice. In the beginning students will be insecure about their voices. just keep at it for an hour every daily, if you know do-re-mi you can start little exercises. WHen I studied voice training we sang Do Mi Fa Mi Do, then up a halfstep to C#, , then D, then Eb, then E, so the notes you sing will be C E G E C

C# F G# F C

D F# A F# D

Eb G Bb G Eb

and so on until the highest note is too high for your personal range, then go back down, until the low note is too low for you.

This will get you going, and your ears will open up!

  • There are some mistakes in that exercise (e.g. I think you meant that to be Do Mi Sol Mi Do, and that C# triad is spelled strangely, you probably want to write it in Db). But I'm not sure how this exercise would help--the OP has no trouble matching a C, they just can't tell you which octave the C is in. Oct 20, 2015 at 15:40

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