Not everyone listens to music to admire the voice and the vocal range of the leading singer. For many listeners, the most important thing is the music or beat. Some are willing to ignore the singer’s range and the lyrics for the sake of the music. However the most successful bands/singers are usually the ones who manage to combine quality music, meaningful lyrics and a great vocal range.
Vocal Range is basically “the measure of the breadth of pitches that a human voice can” vocalize (Wikipedia definition). Basically, it is how low and how high a note a voice can produce while singing. Sometimes it is about “talent” and sometimes can be an obligation or a choice, as singers of different genres may use aids for singing (microphones, talk-boxes and such) and they may choose to sing in different ranges.
Vocal ranges are used to determine voice types. For women, the main three types are soprano, mezzo-soprano, and contralto. For men, there are four types: countertenor, tenor, baritone, and bass.
Since letters and numbers are used for classifying vocal ranges according to voice type, I should list those notations and what they represent before bragging about some of rock’s diverse vocals.
For men: it is C3- C5 for tenor, F2- F4 for baritone and for bass, it is E2- E4. For Women: it is C4- C6 for Soprano, A3 — A5 for Mezzo-soprano and F3 – F5 for Contralto.
Some singers can go beyond these limits.
The Rock Vocalists
Freddie Mercury was the singer/songwriter/piano player of the highly popular and critically acclaimed rock band Queen from the time the band was formed in 1971 until his death in 1991.
Freddie’s speaking voice was in the baritone range but he preferred singing in the tenor range. His range included F2 — E6, to F6 and F5.
Freddie’s vocals were over a four-octave range.
|Roger Meddows- Taylor is the Queen drummer and he provided back-up vocals as well. He frequently contributed to the band’s songwriting process and he even sang lead vocals for the songs he created himself. While Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant was great at singing high notes (for instance E4), he couldn’t sing very low. Both Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor could sing as high as Plant but they could also go much lower (A1 for Roger Taylor and E1 for Freddie Mercury. Even though Freddie has a higher range, he has been inspired and influenced by Plant’s singing style.|
|Elvis Presley is both a tenor and a baritone. In one music critic’s words, Elvis is “a high baritone, calculating his range as two octaves and a third, from the baritone low G to the tenor high B, with an upward extension in falsetto to at least a D-flat.”|
|Linda Ronstadt is an American rock singer born in 1946. She is mostly famous for singing cover songs and her high vocal range. Her voice can go from contralto and soprano. And just like Freddie Mercury, she is known to use her range in one song.|
|Matthew Bellamy is the singer/songwriter/piano and guitar player of the alternative/progressive rock band Muse. He has been known to hit A2, A4 and A5.|
|Axl Rose is the singer of the hard rock band Guns N’ Roses, founded in 1985. The band lost its original line-up in 1996 (lead guitarist Slash and several other members left) but Axl continues to front the band. Axl can sing in the tenor range, bass and baritone. Moreover he can also sing a high soprano.|
I know Faith No More isn’t as popular as the artists listed, but I feel like Mike Patton’s Eb1-F#7 range should be on this list. Especially since he is not only known for his ridiculous range, but range of techniques, from soulful singing, falsetto, whistle notes, screams, rapping, opera, etc.
Mike Patton can sing any note in any key in any language
Looks like everyone missed David Lee Roth, he also has a 4 octave range.
Yes! I was waiting for someone to comment this. I love David Lee Roth with Van Halen.
Oh, Freddie… No one could sing like him! Pleasant singing is not always up to range. Some people have abnormal ranges, but they couldn’t please their listeners with singing if their life depended on it. On the other hand, there are very good singers that don’t have a tremendous range. Well, Freddie was blessed to have both the range and the likability. However, his genius does not end there. He could venture in different styles very successfully and was not afraid to do it. He was also a magnificent song writer who wrote hit after hit throughout the years. Many of those are eternal as it seems too. Freddie and Queen were also known for being even better live than in the studio recordings, where they excelled, so that’s another credit. Oh wait, it doesn’t stop here either! Freddie’s stage presence is known to be second to none and his command of the crowd – unmatched! It is no wonder that Queen’s ’85 Live Aid performance is widely regarded as “the best live rock performance ever.” Should I even get into his designing abilities such as album covers, stage outfits, music videos, etc.? I am sure I missed something, but I think I made my point…
Now, answer this question for me, how many of the other mentioned (and omitted for that matter) performers could match half of that?
That should give you the reason why Freddie is the up there in a league of his own! 😉
Freddie will always be my favorite male singer! There’s not a single note I’ve ever heard from him that I haven’t liked. IMO, the only person that comes close, but never equal to, is Geoff Tate in his prime. I know I’m biased however, because I’ve always been a huge fan of both bands.
God blesses you, children, but. Axl Roses Vocal range is C#1 – C#7 znd F1-A5 without fried notes and falsetto.
Halford had C2 – C#6 pure notes. And Ian Gillan, who had a range C#2 – D6, also purely. Freddy had a good range, but he often used falsetto, and this isn’t cool. And yes, Listen to the Ram it Down by Judas Priest, and to the Raids N’ bedouins by Guns N’ Roses, and don’t say that The show must go on contains the best vocal performance. The End.
Trent Reznor should be on this list. His range is massive (C#2 to E5, and up to D6 in falsetto), he’s pitch-perfect live, he’s really versatile and his voice is among the most instantly recognizable in rock.
No Steve Perry? Seriously?
I LOVE Freddie Mercury and Queen. So glad to see Freddie and Roger get some of the credit they deserve for their voices.
But I concur that Roy Orbison probably had the greatest rock voice of all time. His range and fluidity were so amazing, the story goes, that the orchestra backing him during a recording actually STOPPED playing because the musicians couldn’t believe what they were hearing.
Paul McCartney (also mentioned above) also has a powerful voice with outstanding range. Listen to “I’m Down” or “Oh, Darling.” Amazing voices. I love them all.
P.S. Axl Rose does not belong on this list.
The reason Elvis Presley has sold twice as many records, thrice in some cases, even ten times as other more powerful singers is simple. And it has little to so with the range of his voice, which stretches less than that of many other singers. Contempolate, if you must, how easy it would be for a singer like Roy Orbison, or Freddy Mercury, both of whom enjoying active careers longer than Presley’s, and having, again, a bigger range, to have overtaken him where it counts the most, at the record shops, worldwide, Yet it doesn’t happen because unlike those singers, Presley’s voices, he has many, even within the same recording session, dovetails better with that most important part of the human body, as far as singers are concerned, and that is the ears of the billions who are prone to listen to it, especially for the first time. About 15 years ago, I read a story from a London hospital which reported having used a few of Presley’s most neo/classical ballads to soothe patients. Some of these songs aren’t even known to the general public, yet there’s no denying that Presley’s ballad vocalizing, to give just an example, are perfectly suited to the human ear. Yet, he could grunt and growl, go up and down, sing fast, slow, or mid tempo, and he delivered brilliantly at whatever style he chose. He was the world’s most ecclectic singer, and the most important…
The only other act in music history, to have sold about the same amount of records than Presley, worldwide, are the Beatles. As a huge Beatles fan myself, and an admirer of both Paul and John’s voices, the opposites, in tinality, as every one knows, I understand how millions of other listeners around the world, since 1962, ar so taken not just by the tremendous range of music styles they showered upon us, until their disbandment, but by the difference they showed in their vocal styles. I can’t imagine Paul doing a better, more earnest version of “Twist and Shout” than Lennon did, nor could I expect John to outdo Paul in “yesterday”, let alone “Long Tall sally” Not even Little Richard sang that song better than Paul. Other groups may have taken music to higher plateaus, technically, but just as in the case with Presley, singing it’s not just a matter of virtuosity, but of inadvertantly hitting the right notes so that more millions feel as equally at ease, as it makes them feel excited, when that voice finally hits their eardrums. It is as simple as that.
And Brad Delp can sing ALL of the Beatles, in some instances sounding better …
Brad Delp & BeatleJuice at Salem NH High School: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLn5RbNEqLYDLe8yugkoVS_QC9Ji6n-n1j
I can produce D#2 and F6 notes but can ‘sing’ between about E2 and at least A5. Oh, and when it comes to vocal range, there is not 1 singer I have heard that is better than Rob Halford so this list sucks… just saying!
In my humble opinion, there are many singers I like and listen to with great pleasure. However, I have never heard anyone who comes close to Freddie Mercury! I mean, this guy can jump into genres like a bee on different flowers and rip the song apart… When he sings covers, he actually does them better than the originals! I know others were mentioned that supposedly have/had the ability to sing well in different genres, but if one should be objective, Freddie is in a league of his own. And this is only scratching the surface when it comes to what kind of talent and abilities he actually possessed as a singer. How about a scene presence? Ability to sing live just as good (according to many even better) as he does in a studio? Ability to actually write his songs (music and lyrics) and score hits in different genres? And there is much more in that package!!!
Also, having a great range does not automatically make you a great singer. There could be others who have as good range as Freddie, but that is only one tool that needs the ability to be utilized in a way that pleases. Plus, how many of the aforementioned singers actually made album after album in different genres with the success of Queen? When I think about it, nobody comes to mind…
3 shouts for great vocalists based on range and technique:
jeff buckley (4 OCTAVES)
tim buckley (5 OCTAVES – no [joke]….he was superhuman)
matt bellamy (power in falsetto)
Paul don’t count.He was not a singer.
Sebastian Bach…..Heard of HIM??? Come on people!!!!! This man can not only SING but can hold it with vibratto. His voice is not only for rock but for the stage as well…Axl cannot say that neither can MOST (and yes I can say that) of the other singers that anyone has mentioned here. Bach has a voice that just keeps going. I have NO idea his octave range and for one I dont care, as long as he ca sing like a GOD it doesnt matter.
I totally agree with you about Sebastian Bach. Just listen to “Wasted Time” or anything he sang while performing in”Jesus Christ Superstar” and you will have to agree that he has a some serious pipes. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Freddie and Queen. Been listening to them consistently since 1977, but i have to throw this.out there, but what about David Coverdale?? Why the hell was Rob Halford, Bruce Dickinson, Steve Perry, and Geoff Tate left of this list?? Hell for that matter, where is Ann Wilson??? I think the author of this article needs to do more research on this particular topic.
Nilsson was quoted by both John Lennon and Paul McCartney as being THE best singer.pretty good authority I’d say!
Roger could hit notes as low as G4, and he could go all the way up to A5 (sometimes even over it- father to son – queen II. That is really impressive considering he was ‘only’ (he was much more I know) the drummer of Queen.
What about Paul McCartney? Has nobody ever heard Tomorrow or Wanderlust?
no one could use there voice like freddie mercury
I BEG you to listen to some nilsson! Freddy was good .i think you’ll love harry also.
Every wonderful thing about Freddie Mercury and more is true. From a boarding school in Zanzibar at age eight to Ealing Art School in London. He was a one of a kind, super talented of course, a force of nature on stage and shy off stage. He’s strange, wonderful and mysterious. A unique and beautiful man.
Queen for ever
Brent Smith from Shinedown. This lad has it all.
Agree………listen to the Sound of Madness everyday.
Rob Halford of Judas Priest? He has a 6 octave range.
Ronnie James Dio (Black Sabbath, Rainbow) and Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) have much more range than Axl Rose and Elvis Presley.
Is it possible to have a 6 octave range and have no talent? Just asking.
He actually has close to 4, including falsetto. He’s a very good singer. As for having no talent? You must be talking about Rappers.
I KNOW you CANT POSSIBLY be talking about Rob Halford when you say no talent. If so, you know absolutely NOTHING about Rock and Metal singing. There is a VERY good reason he is called The Metal God. And if you only like clear melodic vocals, listen to “Dreamer/Deceiver” off of Sad Wings of Destiny. You wanna hear an orgasm of range? Listen to “”Victim of Changes” off of Sad Wings as well. Listen to their cover of “Diamonds and Rust” by Joan Baez off of the live album “Unleashed In the East”. Yes LIVE. I just saw him and at 65 he’s still singing G5s full out. That man has more talent in his pinky than most will ever have in their lifetime!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Just remembered Jay Black of Jay and the Americans, heard recently he can still hit the high notes of “Cara Mia” and he is in his 70″.
Anyone ever here of the great Harry Nilsson? Three and a half octaves.
For Range how about Freddie Curci of Sherriff and Alias. Slso try Jackie Wilson
Agnetha Falskog from Abba!!!! Anne Wilson from heart
Now we’re talking. Also the greatest Pat Benatar!
im surprised no one mentioned ozzy 😛 one of the truly remarkable voices of the -60 -70 and -80s as well as today
a lot of people are confusing power with range and control. Very different things. However all you need do is listen to Roy Orbison’s ‘Only the Lonely’ to understand what real range and control means. The final verse goes through four – arguably a five – octave range with complete control AND power. Everyone mentioned above are all phenoms in their own right, but Roy is it. The end all and be all for male singers. Period. And…if you asked most of those guys I’d bet dollars to donuts they’d all agree too.
ELVIS ALL THE WAY! “THE KING” COULD SING IN ALL GENRES AND IS THE ONLY ONE LISTED WHO SIMULTANEOUSLY TOPPED ALL THE MAJOR SINGLES CHARTS. HE ALSO CHARTED OVER 70 NUMBER ONE HITS AROUND THE WORLD AND OVER 30 NUMBER ONE ALBUMS.
A very interesting article but I am surprised not to see some of the truly amazing female vocalists, for instance Kate Bush, Anne Wilson and Dolores O’Riordan to name but a few in a very long list. Any views on this?
Where is Steve Perry?????
Steve Perry’s milking cows in Ripon, CA. No [kiddin]. I just talked to him.
Thats funny, I grew up in Ripon CA and there was always this rumor that he lived in the gated house out on I believe Austin road, South of an Almond orchard
Ville Valo has a four octave range, so I’m a bit surprised he isn’t included here.
Mike Patton is hands down the best, most
Talented vocalist. No one exists that can do
what he can. Check his Mr.Bungle work.
I vote Mike Patton number one, seriously
Corey Taylor is right behind him with 5 1/2 octave range, a much better lyricist Stone Sour to Slipknot, and So many side projects. Turned down the Anthax job, almost in Velvet revolver. Just listen to his beautiful lyrics. Unmatched!!
It’s about damn time someone brought up Corey!
He’s one of my favorites. His ability to throw out the growls and screams of Slipknot and go right over into the melodic Stone Sour sound is incredible.
Some of the singers with great vocal range not mentioned here are:
Steve Perry (Journey), James Labrie (Dream Theater), Steve Walsh (Kansas), Thom Yorke (Radiohead), Todd Rundgren (Utopia), Darryl Hall, Jon Anderson (Yes)… As a matter of fact, let’s write the article over again starting from the top….
Having the voice is one thing, utilizing it like Freddie is the difference.
Axl Rose (Guns n Roses)
Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden)
Steve “The Voice” Perry (Journey)
Joey Tempest (Europe)
Geoff Tate (Queensryche)
Miljenko Matijevic (Steelheart)
Dave Coverdale (Whitesnake)
Sammy Hagar (Van Halen)
Freddie will always be #1. From his soaring vocals to his low growl. And a back story that can’t be best. He has it all. Other great singers were just to screechie. Freddie’s voice is like sweet honey. I miss you Freddie, no one like for me. R.I.P.
Seriously how can everyone forget Metijevic? (Singer from steelheart) and Mark S\aughter?
Quite surprised that none of you mentioned a singer that has an 4 octave (seen a video of him where he says “on a good night 4 octaves”) range and uses it as a great instrument. As a musical instrument and as an instrument to inspire people. I am talking about Bobbie McFerrin, yes the “dont worry be happy” guy … Look him up and be amazed at what he does. Even if he in not mainstream i do believe he at least earned a mention in this list.
I idolise Bobby. I have the hugest professional crush on that man. But this is a “rock” list, and I doubt Bobby would take kindly to being so limited by that label… 😉 He is all about the sound/music – I don’t think he’d even really think in terms of his range – he just *does* it. 🙂
Sebastian Bach, George Michael, Freddie Mercury and Michael Kiske would be my four picks. They all have incredible range, stamina, power and feel to their voice, some more subtle than others, and people who only know their “hits” probably wouldn’t be familiar with their talent. As far as range goes, I doubt anyone could outsing Michael Kiske.
Don’t Forget Rik Emmet of Triumph…….Back in the day!
I just can’t imagine placing *anyone* above Freddie Mercury in terms of range (is anyone else thinking of his obvious lows as well as highs? Listen to the song “Brighton Rock”!!). Aside from the amazing range, he had power, staying power, could sing any sort of music, including opera… I could go on and on about Freddie. Then there is how AMAZING he was live; you never caught that man off-key or unable to sing a certain song. He wasn’t a only a “studio singer” like so many (TOO many) singers. Live, he sang perfectly while all but doing gymnastics physically… simply astonishing.
I’ve been smitten with Freddie since I discovered my father’s copies of their first 8 vinyl record albums as a VERY young child. It’s never gone away. That man was a vocal and music-in-general prodigy. Being a RARE singer that DIDN’T lose his voice as the years progressed (it always seemed he actually got *better*!), even as he sickened and wasted away, is another testament to his unbelievable ability, as is the fact that he had always had a problem with *very raw vocal chord nodules*, which actually causes hoarseness and a *reduction* in vocal range, as well as other major strains on the voice. Imagine that…
I agree that Bruce Dickinson had a great voice, and great staying power. It’s too bad that he’s lost much over the years… something expected of singers; not Freddie Mercury, though! ;D
God rest Freddie’s soul. It seems a piece of myself has been missing since he died when I was an 11 year old girl.
I think that Warrel Dane of Nevermore and Sanctuary has one of the most impressive vocal ranges I ever heard.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcrPujL1tn0, A video demonstrating his vocal range.
Am shocked michael jackson is not included.
Michael, rock? :_
MJ, Geoff Tate, Bruce Dickenson… All unfairly left off the list. I never could stand OR appreciate W. Axl Rose.
where is geoff tate of queensryche and bruce dlckinson of iron maiden.
I really appreciate and agree with the picks. Of-course there are more out there who are great. Many of you have posted many of them.
Freddie mercury – with his diversity and ability to sound sharp, falsetto, crisp, gravel, and then smooth – WOW – He is the real deal. You can see that he loved all genres of music and he and Queen were like mad genius’ You can so see where ELVIS & Aretha were a heavy influence on him. I thought it refreshing that they went all over the place with their vocal styles and often used Gospel and operatic harmonizing. I started finding all I could about him and Queen and now am hooked.
I recently bought their Special “Platinum Collection” 3cd’s I had no idea they wrote all of their songs! lyrics and compostion. To top that off they co-produced everything. I love to hear Elvis and look at him but I have to say Freddie in my opinion and in many others based on fact, popularity and sales is the Best Male Vocalist overall. Like I said his range and diversity and the Quality seal the deal. Some may not like his music or him but that doesn’t change facts and truth. Check out “Freddie Mercury the Untold Story” short film and Biographies 2011 (all new) Queen “Days Of Our Lives”
Elvis – So appreciative of why you explained why he is an amazing vocalist! I’m 38 and fully understand that he was gifted and sang from his heart and soul. Today there are so many tribute artists and impersonataors that alot of the younger generations are not able to truly appreciate the Quality of “The Real ELVIS” He was so good looking, and he could move too. He’s a pop culture Icon more than a music Icon (this means he’s both)There is no other Entertainer with more fans, tribute artists, look alikes, and impersonators. Even if I didn’t like him or his music there is no denying how much love and power he still holds worldwide. Geeezz The Asians alone spell it all out. Long Live The King
Rodger Taylor – I was surprised but thought you were right on. He did have that whistle pitvh thing going but had that comforting gravely voice that is so soothing and awesome for story telling which is what music is. He has that “it” similar to Rod Stewert & Ray Charles.
I like Axle Rose but never really thought of his sound as singing really. I do get & understand his range.I appreciate his music and respect him for his unique sound.
Well, thanks for listening to me go on and on LOL So many out there we could list but Freddie Mercury & Elvis are it! Because; of their larger than life legacy, vocals, ability to move millions of people all over the world to this day wether we like it or not. kings of the stage and because; their love & need for music was so profound.
sebastian bach and brad delp have some of the biggest vocal ranges.
Axl is ver whiney and nasally… The best rock singer would be Steve Perry hands down. His timbre was consistent and steady and chesty regardless what note he sang… Don’t forget Michael mejevw (sp) from steel heart
Don’t forget Mickey Thomas from starship…. Mickey Thomas, Steve perry, Sebastian Bach , , Geoff Tate, dude from steel heart, James La Brie….mall these singer had better timbre, chesty tone and technique that those listed on the initial post… Whoever posted the initial post clearly doesn’t know anything about the topic…and contrary to some other sites, you can extend your vocal range
Hey, if you think that Freddie doesn’t have technique, I would suggest you to listen to this:
Freddie Mercury – Let’s Turn It On (A capella Version)
Look for it on youtube, it’s not a real capella song, it’s the original voice track from the studio version.
All the voices on that song are sang by Freddie, he overlayed many voices to create different tones and colors, and he used very different techniques on his performing of each of those voices… Well… just listen, it may let you know something you didn’t know about this legend.
Amazing, right? Freddie IS truly the greatest singer ever, not only in rock! His voice goes from sweet and soft in My Fairy King, to powerful and epic in Keep Yourself Alive, which are both from Queen’s first album. A lot of bands start out with OK music, and gradually become better. These guys were wonderful from the start, and that never changed. Queen never ceases to amaze me.
I heard cyndi lauper and geoff tate were the best at ranges in the 80s. Mariah Carey could hit notes in the dolphin range
Miljenko Matijevic has a range of E♭2-B5
i totally agree with u 🙂 but freddy mercury was the one who is beyond any comparision 🙂
My vocal range is D3 to F5
Thats pretty good(=
Very impressive and informative…I was wondering, though, what is Chris Cornell’s VR? Sebastian Bach? Thanks!!
@Mesonsdad I believe it’s 4 octaves. He has extreme command of full voice, and his falsetto is unbelievable. I have heard many say that Cornell is a Tenor, but based on songs like the demo version of “Beyond the Wheel” and “Right Turn”, I definitely think he’s a baritone. He doesn’t overexert himself to sing the darker, lower and deeper notes of these songs, and after all a tenor would never sound as deep.
I’m surprised that Ian Gillan from Deep Purple isn’t on the list. Back in the day he probably reached at least 4-4.5 octaves in range. I think “Child in Time” really showcases his range very well.
It’s a sin that Queensryche’s Geoff Tate is not on this list. The worst singer I ever heard in the 80’s/early 90’s was Axel Rose….he can’t shine Tate’s shoes.
Even when I don’t like Axl’s voice that much, you canÂ´t deny that his voice not only had an impressive vocal range but he also had a lot of Stamina, he had one of the best sustained notes ever, a lot of power and attitude, and he had a lot of soul he always gave everything in every show, now maybe what you dislike is that he have a better dirty 80s raw voice, and he loves to shout and run around starting fights, but you canÂ´t deny he was one of the best in terms of talent
Agreed. Rose is a mentally unstable hack who never met a voice coach he liked.
As a huge QR fan, I’m happy to see this! There’s been a couple mentions for Geoff but not many. Very talented singer/performer. How does he maintain power with all the movement and “acting” he does onstage? I dunno, but I love it!
While I understand that his voice isn’t exactly polished and therefore doesn’t really have a place in this list, bass vocalist Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top has a 5-octave range.
5 octaves? I seriously doubt that.
Actually, Elvis’ vocal range is D2 to C#5. That’s half a note short of 3 octaves. 😉
Bruce Dickinson has a for octave voice and should be on that list
“Yes…THE Bruce Dickinson…”
Geddy Lee sure can hit some high notes… but he has about a 3 octave range.
Roger’s the one who hits the high notes in In the Lap of the Gods, ’39, My Fairy King, the finale of the opera section in Bohrap, among more. really clear head voice, and surprisingly rough and bluesy normal singing voice (Loser in the End, Tenement Funster)
Ronnie James Dio surely had a better range than Axl. As did Roy Orbison, as mentioned above.
Actually Ronnie James Dio was never known for range, but rather for his power. His strength lied mainly between C4(middle c) and A4. Axl rose did have a tremendous range, singing notes low enough that only a true bass could hit them, while singing up above the treble clef in full voice.
Rob Halford of Judas Priest? He has a six octave range.
anyone cant have 6 octaves [removed]..freddie is the best singer in the world,if you dont belive go and [removed] look his song..type show must go on and how can i go on with montserrat caballe..do you want anymore??type Freddie Mercury Ensueno,,anyone can sing it,just Freddie..In the world cant be anyone like him.that can sing rock,hard rock,blues,low notes and Operah like Lucianno Pavarotti.
it is only claimed he had six when younger, 4 presently.
Why…….Geddy Lee of Rush Fame has the Highest vocal/Octave voice range of them All!!!…….listen to 2112 and you will Hear!
You’re talking about upper register. Geddy Lee and Rik Emmett had HIGH voices…but overall range is what we’re discussing here.
There are singers that have bigger full ranges. E6/F6 are hit in It’s Late from News of the World in falsetto.
If we count falsetto Adam Lopez has him beat by about an octave. He’s the world record holder for largest male range
Halford is 4 octaves also. And to call Assol Pose a singer is hilarious.
michael matijevic his vocal range 7 octave
He has about four octaves. Mike Patton is the only one in the world with six octaves
That’s not even close to the record this guy has a 10 octave voice. He is the world record holder for the lowest voice and the widest range for any human male.
You hit the nail on the head, Sebastian, at least in terms of popular music and vocalists we’ve all actually heard of, Mike Patton of Faith No More tops the list at 6 octaves, you may not believe it, may not like it, but it’s true. Sound engineers in modern times can use computerized frequency analysis to determine “true” vocal range, and Patton is the top dog, numbers don’t lie. Mike Matijevic of Steelheart is always one of the names thrown out and he’s not far behind Patton, at least pre-accident he wasn’t but he was never at six octaves, much less seven. Range isn’t everything though, there are a lot of vocalists who over-focus on their range and forget all about tone and pitch, then they wind up sounding truly dreadful. About 80% of the vocalists inducted into the Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame have about two octaves of range at best, it’s what they did with those two-octaves that people remember. There are far easier ways to hit spooky-high than actually being able to hit them. I’m a baritone and I can hit every note Mark Slaughter can even though he’s a tenor bordering on contralto, or was prior to his recent vocal meltdown. Why, because baritones, in most cases have a lot of unused vocal power and not much range, at least in my case, but I can do 80s metal screams all day long and hit the right notes, just not for very long and after a while you learn to disguise the scream and people think you have some kind of bizarre range. People ask me what my range is pretty frequently and also ask the dreaded, pretentious “Duh…What kind of tenor are you?’ and I tell them “I’m a baritone not a tenor and at best, my range is two maybe 2.5 octaves, the high notes are a trick, I can’t really hit those, not even close!” and they look at me like I’m trying to mislead them or keep some kind of arcane vocal knowledge out of their grasp. My advice is don’t even f**k with all the range stuff, the bottom line is yes, you can drastically increase your range but some other area will suffer as a result, People like Steve Perry, Freddie Mercury, Mike Matijevic, and Mike Patton were born a few octaves ahead of the rest of us, somewhere in the 3.5-4.5 octave range, so they had a bit of a head start. Even dudes like Mark Slaughter, as we all know now, just can’t sing like that all the time without doing some serious damage. You’ll notice most of the 80s metal singers don’t sound quite right anymore, range gone, power gone, tone gone, done deal. Just worry about sounding good, when people get fixated on range they usually start making bizarre “seven octave” claims and using heavy-duty pitch correction and numerous other highly unnatural digital effects in an attempt to back up their claims. The only problem is that most of that technology is designed to function optimally in a soundproof recording studio-type environment. Ever noticed the dramatic difference in David Lee Roth’s vocal abilities in the studio as compared to on stage? He doesn’t even sound like the same due…Just my opinion.
And how are you able to reach those notes then? Is it more a scream than a properly supported note? Like Mike Patton’s high notes aren’t really sung, but rather screamed or shrieked? If it’s very airy, does it count as a sung note or something else? I think your singing range is more or less limited by your body, and there are some tricks to get higher, but that doesn’t count as singing.
I am surprised that Roy Orbison was not included in this list (I would include him in the category of “Rock Singers”). Although I don’t know what his vocal range was, it is frequently stated to be 3.5 octaves – and some sources say higher. Regardless of it’s range, it was truly a force of nature.
Actually, when it comes to Roy Orbison there is a strong belief that he may have had anywhere between three to five octaves. This is a massive, and very rare, vocal range.
Good call. Heard immediately what you meant.
And if “effort” is factored in, Roy rises even further. Because, man…that guy looked like singing was as easy as breathing.
Does it really matter, who would ever use 4 octave range ? The really low and high notes would not be pleasing to the ear. Most singers only use a two octave range. Modern pop, soul, pop, is sung for males mostly in the tenor range so I think a higher voice is more important. I am a baritone and can only sing 50 percent of the music in its original key I hear on the radio. Baritone is better suited for country.
All you need is a 2 octave range and a unique tone and quality. When I was younger I wanted a heavy metal / hard rock voice but a lot of these singers are generic and sound the same. Now I would rather have a Joe Cocker type of voice because it is unique.