Wikipedia lists the world records and extremes of the vocal range,
can extrema be reached by a lot of practice or were they born with that?

1 Answer 1


Overall vocal type (e.g. soprano vs contralto or tenor vs bass) seems to be what you were born with and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voice_type#Classifying_singers warns of the dangers of misclassification of vocal type, and by implication, attempting to sing at the extremes of one's natural range.

Practice is certainly required to reach the expected range of one's natural vocal type and even then, I think it's easier to extend upward than downward. My own comfortable range without practice used to be G2 to C4 or D4 but when I was regularly singing in a choir was more like F2 to F4 or G4. It would likely have been dangerous to go higher and physically impossible to go lower.

I would think practice should be more about increasing tessitura than absolute range. However, my experience is entirely as a chorist and not as a solo singer.

  • I agree, the choice between good tessitura and a damaged voice is quickly made. If I think about it Greg Pritchard is probably jumping from the lowest end of his (extended) vocal range to the highest, he has been practicing since his childhood and would probably also damage his voice beyond that point... May 15, 2011 at 0:16
  • 1
    This makes sense, unless your vocal chords were extended it would definitely be difficult to go much lower than your natural range.
    – user28
    May 15, 2011 at 16:33

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