“A person can drop dead even while singing. But that's no reason to stop singing.” - Marty Rubin.
A lot of popular singers today have exceptional vocal abilities. From powerful head voices to flawless harmonies, their talent is beyond question and would dream of singing half as well as them.
Regardless of voice type, there’s one thing that makes a singer stand out and that’s when they hit those high notes.
These high notes can give you chills and are incredibly impressive. However, not every singer can hit these notes and there's more to it than just occasionally hitting the high notes, you have to be able to consistently hit them without having to strain your vocal cords too much, especially if you're going to be expected to do it night after night on tour or in the recording studio.
So which of these great singers can?
In this article, we'll be looking at the singers with impressive vocal ranges and those who can hit the high notes almost effortlessly.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a singer who can sing higher than Mariah. This international superstar has a vocal range covering five octaves. Not bad at all!
Her whistle register is particularly impressive. Of course, she sings well in her chest and head voices, too.
There are few pop singers, however, that can sing as well in the whistle register as Mariah Carey. There are some, though, and we’ll get to them later.
The German opera singer Jonas Kaufmann is one of the most impressive male voices out there.
Jonas Kaufmann is a tenor, technically speaking. However, there’s a lot of nuance to his voice and his range also covers a large part of a baritone while also being able to hit those high notes. While he’s a real tenor, he’s also so much more.
Remember when we were talking about the whistle register earlier?
Much like Mariah Carey, Ariana Grande can also effectively use this type of voice. The young American singer can stop you in your tracks with her voice.
While most of us can use a whistle register, it takes a lot of training to master it. The vocal cords need to be tense and vibrate very quickly to produce these kinds of notes. Similarly, you need to master your breathing to produce this register without straining or screaming.
Luciano Pavarotti was famous for just how effortlessly he could hit the high notes. The Italian tenor who died in 2007 more than deserves his place on this list.
Did you know that he never went anywhere without his scarf?
This was to keep his neck warm when he wasn’t singing on stage. In 1990, the tenor lost his favourite red silk scarf in Florence and issued a plea in local media for it to be returned to the theatre in the city.
With a range of four octaves, Christina Aguilera never ceases to amaze. While famous for her hits, we tend to forget just how powerful and incredible her voice is.
Not only powerful but also capable of hitting really high notes. It more than earns her a place on this humble list.
Prince is another singer whose voice spans more than four octaves. His voice and tessitura overlapped a lot with female voices but Prince’s voice was particularly high and flexible at the same time.
Of course, Prince was more than just an incredible singer and could play a variety of musical instruments and wrote an impressive amount of excellent music.
Maria Callas was a singer whose vocal range spanned three octaves. As a dramatic soprano, her perfect high notes served her well.
She started her career aged 17 singing in a deep register, mixed register, and a high register, the one we’re focusing on today. This allowed Maria Callas to sing almost anything and her voices were compared to the cello, violin, and flute respectively. Her voice was exceptional.
If there’s one person who breaks the mould, it would have to be Axl Rose. The lead singer of the American rock group Guns N’ Roses, Axl Rose has a vocal range of five and a half octaves. This allows him to sing as high as many female singers and as low as most male singers.
This range is what allowed Axl Rose to play such an important role in his music. If you’re looking for singing inspiration, look no further than Axl Rose.
With a range of four octaves, Céline Dion imposed herself as one of the world’s greatest singers. Sometimes nasal, sometimes stunning, this superstar singer will always hit the high notes whether she's singing in French or in English!
In fact, Céline is credited for introducing French-language music to a lot of people around the world and her cultural impact has earned her musical and political accolades in Canada and around the world.
Three octaves, need we say more?
If you know Sia, you’ll know her powerful voice that can reach the high notes. Sometimes, her voice is so powerful we forget just how high the notes are.
Her voice is a large part of why she’s so popular and most singers would dream of being able to sing like her.
Here’s a quick summary of the vocal ranges of each artist:
|Mariah Carey||5 octaves|
|Jonas Kaufmann||3.5 octaves|
|Ariana Grande||4 octaves|
|Luciano Pavarotti||3.5 octaves|
|Christina Aguilera||4 octaves|
|Maria Callas||3 octaves|
|Axl Rose||5.5 octaves|
|Céline Dion||4 octaves|
As you’ll have understood, all of these singers are incredibly talented and can reach impressive heights with their voices.
Who are your favourite singers? Which would you have included on this list?
If you're interested in learning more about how to sing, expand your vocal range, or music theory, consider getting in touch with one of the many talented and experienced private tutors on the Superprof website.
You can enjoy face-to-face, online, or group tutorials with each type of tutoring having pros and cons that you'll need to consider before you hire a tutor.
A one-on-one tutor can offer very effective tutoring as they can tailor the lessons and teaching approach to the student. While this bespoke service tends to cost a premium, face-to-face tutoring is often the most cost-effective type of tutoring out there since every minute of every session will be spent focusing on the only student in the class.
Group tutoring is a good way to learn for those on a budget as you can share the cost of the tutor's time and expertise with the other students in the session. If you plan on singing in a group, it'd also be a good idea to get your singing lessons in a group as you'll want to have the experience of singing and harmonising with others.
If you can't find any suitable or available tutors in your local area, consider broadening your search to include tutors all over the UK and around the world offering online private tutorials. As long as you have a webcam, microphone, and a decent internet connection, you can learn using video conferencing software.
Don't forget that a lot of the tutors on the Superprof website will offer the first lesson or session for free. You can try a few different tutors out before choosing the one that's right for you and how you like to learn. Nobody learns to sing overnight so it's a good idea to find tutors that you get on well with as you'll probably be spending quite a lot of time with them.
It's always a good idea to make a list of what you're looking for in a tutor before you start your search and also considering what you can afford or are willing to pay. From there, you can look for tutors who meet these criteria and start getting in touch to chat about what you'll need from them and organising a free session if they offer them.
If you're not really sure about what you want or need, then discuss this with your tutor. After all, they're the experts and will probably have a lot of good ideas about how they can help improve your singing.
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