If you have recently researched what the different types of voices are or if you are new to this, then this is the article for you. You may have come to the concussion that you may possibly have an alto voice type. If you have an alto voice type, it is important that you find songs that suit your vocal range to enable you to perform your best.
Once you find the songs that you feel the most comfortable singing, you will then be able to grow your collection of songs and push yourself to develop your vocal range.
In this article, we will explore what it means to have an alto singing voice and what the best songs are for alto female and male singers.
What Is an Alto Voice?
If you have heard a vocal coach or a professional singer talk about what type of voice they have, they are referring to the range of notes that their voice can comfortably reach.
There are six different voice types that range across female and male voices. The six-voice types include The other six voice types include bass, baritone, tenor, alto, mezzo-soprano, and soprano.
Most singers can be comfortable singing in two different kinds of voice types but have a stronger vocal range for one voice type. Every voice and vocalist is different and therefore the range of notes you can reach depends on the person and also the singing routine of that person.
It can be very useful to work out what type of voice type you have so that you can be aware of your vocal range and see which kinds of songs suit your vocal range the best.
The Six Different Types of Voices – Including Alto
If you are a female singer then typically your vocal range will either sit in an alto voice type, mezzo-soprano voice type, or a soprano voice type. Whereas, If you are a male singer then typically your vocal range will either sit in a bass voice type, baritone voice type, or a tenor voice type.
Here are the six various voice types and their vocal ranges:
You will be a bass voice type if your lowest note sits between E2 to E4 and your highest note sits between C2 to G4.
You will be a baritone voice type if your lowest note sits between A2 to A4 and your highest note sits between F2 to C5.
You will be a tenor voice type if your lowest note sits between C3 to E3 and your highest note sits between C5 to E5.
You will be an alto voice type if your lowest note sits between F3 to A3 and your highest note sits between F5 to A5.
You will be a mezzo-soprano voice type if your lowest note sits between A3 to D3 and your highest notes sit between A5 to C5.
You will be a soprano voice type if your lowest note sits between C4 to F4 and your highest note sits between C6 to F6.
How to Work Out if You Are an Alto Singer
If you have noticed that you suit songs that were originally performed by female vocalists that have an alto voice type, then you may be an alto voice type yourself.
Knowing what vocal range your voice fits can be very helpful as it can help you find songs that are suited for you and help you work out what part you should sing if you want to sing with a large group of singers. Knowing your voice type and your vocal range can also help you care for your voice and make sure that you do not strain the voice or push the voice to try and sing in a different voice type that it can not manage.
Here is a simple way to quickly find out if you have an alto voice type or if you have a different kind of voice type:
Accept that you may not fit accurately into one range or you may fit into two ranges. If your voice does not fit perfectly in line with the set voice type then this is perfectly normal and you will still be able to find songs that you are able to comfortably sing.
Match the lowest note you can sing to a specific note on the piano. Try to make sure that you accurately match the lowest note you sing to the right note on the piano as this will give you a clearer guide of your overall vocal range. You should match your lowest note to the note you feel is the most comfortable to sing and should never strain your voice.
For example, If you can sing a B2 comfortably but can just about reach an A2, do not count the A2 as your lowest note. The B2 should not be counted as your lowest note as you have had to strain your voice to reach it.
Once you have matched your lowest note, match the highest note you can sing to a specific note on the piano. Just like before, try to make sure that you accurately match the highest note you sing to the right note on the piano as this will give you a clearer guide of your overall vocal range.
You should always match your highest note to the note you feel is the most comfortable to sing. It is easier to strain your voice when singing higher notes and you may feel you want to push your vocals but you should not do this. For example, If you can sing a B6 comfortably but can just about reach a C6, do not count C6 as your highest note.
Match your lowest and highest notes to the vice type references to see which voice type you are. If you have an alto voice type your lowest note will most likely sit between F3 to A3 and your highest note will likely sit between F5 to A5.
What Makes a Song Good to Sing for an Alto Singer?
Every voice is different and can reach different note ranges but every voice type is matched to a typical gender. For example, a tenor voice type is found more within males rather than females whereas an alto voice type is suited to female voice types rather than male voice types.
An alto voice type is typically the lowest vocal range that a female voice type can have. Although, it is common for female vocalists to be able to reach a tenor vocal range too.
What makes a song good for an alto voice type is if it sits within the alto voice type vocal range. If you are an alto voice type, then it will be better for you to pick songs that comfortably sit within this vocal range and do not reach any notes outside of the range. Many alto songs that are well known or known as pop songs sit within 1 to 2 octaves and therefore are easy to sing.
It is possible to find songs that are sung by alto singers but also use vocal ranges that tenor or soprano voices would suit best. If you are wanting to develop your voice then practicing songs like this will help you to further develop your vocal range and your vocal techniques.
Good Songs to Sing for Altos
Looking for good songs for altos to sing can be a challenge but we have compiled a list of the best songs for alto singers.
Female Alto Songs
If you are looking for the best alto female songs then you have come to the right place. It can be harder for female alto singers to find the perfect song for them, especially if you are wanting a modern pop hit.
This difficulty is due to the fact that most female pop stars have a soprano voice type and therefore their songs are pitched a little higher than what an alto voice type can reach. Nevertheless, we have found the best variety of songs that you can try if you have an alto voice type.
Here is a full list of songs that are easy to sing and perfect for alto-type voices:
- No Scrubs by TLC
- Believe by Cher
- Someone Like You by Adele
- Gimme One Reason By Tracy Chapman
- Feeling Good by Nina Simone
- I Have A Dream by Abba
- At Last by Etta James
- Back To Black by Amy Winehouse
- Here We Are by Gloria Estefan
- Killing Me Softly by Roberta Flack
No Scrubs By TLC
No scrubs is one of the most iconic RnB hits from the 90s that lives on today. Not only is No Scrubs still played on the radio but modern artists such as Jorja Smith are covering it during intimate performances. No Scrubs is ideal for a female alto voice as it sits comfortably within the vocal range and does not differ in melody too much.
Believe By Cher
Compared to No Scrubs, Believe by Cher is a bit of a jump-up when it comes to the song’s difficulty. Although, this hit should suit alto voices as Cher herself has an alto voice type. The lyrics are very memorable and impactful, allowing you to practice your performance technique.
Someone Like You By Adele
If you are wanting to practice your chest voice and your belting technique, this is an ideal song for you to try! Someone Like You does rely on the belting technique in the chorus but you will have an easy time during the verse as the vocal is performed softly.
Gimme One Reason By Tracy Chapman
Upbeat but impactful, this has to be my favorite song on the list. Gimme One Reason is an easy song if you are wanting to relax into the beat and practice character in your vocal rather than vocal technique. The melody during Gimme One Reason is very repetitive and stays all within one octave, making it perfect for alto singers that do not have a large vocal range. This 12-bar blues song is bound to help you feel the music and explore your vocal range.
Feeling Good By Nina Simone
Performed by both female voice types and male voice types, this is a song that is a favorite for artists to cover. This 1965 hit has remained impactful but when studied is actually relatively simple. The vocal remains within a small vocal range throughout the whole song and sits perfectly within the alto voice type vocal range.
I Have A Dream By Abba
I Have A Dream by one of the biggest pop groups is an ideal song to learn if you have an alto voice type. I Have A Dream may be a song choice that you would like to make later down the line on your singing journey as it can be challenging and test your vocal range.
At Last by Etta James
At Last is a good song to sing for Alto’s voice types, especially if you love soul. At last, has been covered by famous pop stars such as Beyonce and Celine Dion. If you have an alto voice type, this is a song that you can get creative with and practice vocal runs and alternating dynamics.
Back To Black By Amy Winehouse
If you are looking for a song to spark emotion, then Back To Black by Amy Winehouse should be your choice. This song is ideal for an alto voice type as the vocal range within the song does not sway too much and remains repetitive. Back To Black is a song that can give you a chance to express emotion while performing and also explore different tones within your voice.
Here We Are By Gloria Estefan
Here We Are by Gloria Estefan is a great song to choose for an alto voice type especially if you are wanting a song that is upbeat and features quick rhythms. The range of the song can be challenging for alto singers and therefore could be a song to practice if you are looking to further develop your vocal range.
Killing Me Softly By Roberta Flack
Killing Me Softly by Roberta Flack has been covered by a range of different well-known artists and is a well-loved song. Performers love to choose this song so that they can showcase their performing skills. This song is a great choice for an alto singer if you are looking to show off your vocal range and singing techniques related to expressing emotion in your vocal tone.
Alto Pop Songs
Are you looking for the best songs for altos? Then we have you covered. Often the good songs for alto voice type are slower in tempo and fit within the soul genre. We have found some good songs for altos that fit within the modern pop world and dance genres.
Here are the top 5 pop songs for altos:
- Bad Romance by Lady Gaga
- Rehab by Amy Winehouse
- Royals by Lorde
- Style by Taylor Swift
- Chain of Fools by Aretha Franklin
Bad Romance By Lady Gaga
Bad Romance by Lady Gaga is a catchy dance-pop song. The Dance-pop genre is a rare genre to use alto voice type vocals and therefore this is a popular choice for alto voice type to try out. The song itself became very popular in 2009 when it was released. The reason why many vocalists love the song is that it uses an upbeat tempo and a chorus that requires a belting technique.
Rehab by Amy Winehouse
One of the most famous Amy Winehouse songs of all time is Rehab. Rehab has been covered time and time again by fans and artists across the world. Rehab won Amy Winehouse three Grammy awards.
This song is ideal to sing if you are an alto voice type as the song sits comfortably within the alto voice type vocal range. This punchy song will allow you to practice your performance skill as well as trail out different vocal tones and see what works for you.
Royals by Lorde
If you are an alto singer, then Royals by Lorde is a classic pop anthem that you could easily perform. The vocal melody rarely changes and is quite repetitive with the vocal range keeping between one to two octaves throughout the song. The lyrics are the challenging part of this song as they are slightly different to normal pop song lyrics.
Style By Taylor Swift
Style by Taylor Swift is a modern pop song that is inspired by 80s sounds. The vocal performance on this song has been described as restrained and the lyrics are deep but easily memorable. The song features the sounds of synths and is easy to perform for most alto voice types.
Chain of Fools By Aretha Franklin
As an alto singer, Chain of Fools by Aretha Franklin will sit comfortably within your vocal range but it is a song that is medically challenging due to the number of vocal riffs. The lyrics of the song are very simple and easy to pick up. This song can be performed as a duo or as a solo artist as it can suit both male voice types and female voice types.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
There are hundreds of songs that are sung by famous alto singers and would be perfect for an alto voice type. The best trick to try is to find your favorite alto vocalists and start to learn all of their material. When you find famous singers that match the same voice type as you, you will be able to quickly find songs that will suit your voice type best.
There are plenty of iconic female alto singers that are famous for their fantastic voices. Some of the most famous alto voice types in the industry include Gladys Knight, Cher, Ella Fitzgerald, Patsy Cline, Bonnie Raitt, Adele, Liza Minnelli, Norah Jones, Amy Winehouse, Billie Holiday, Etta James, and Judy garland.
An alto voice type can normally range from low F which is below middle C and can also range to a high second D which is above middle C. This gives an alto singer approximately on average a vocal range of two octaves.
There Are Plenty of Iconic Female Singers That Have Alto Voice Types
If you have an alto voice type, then you should consider yourself lucky. There is a wide range of famous legendary female vocalists that all share the same kind of voice type. If you have an alto voice it means that you will most likely be able to sing their songs comfortably.
Before you pick which song is best for you, it is best to listen through all the choices and ask yourself what kind of song you are wanting. If you are wanting a ballad then you could choose an Adele song whereas if you are wanting something more upbeat then a Lady GaGa song may suit you best.
If you are a beginner singer and have just discovered that you have an alto voice type, it is best to suit a more simple song that ranges within one octave. There are plenty of songs in the list we have complicated that will also help you grow as a vocalist and develop your vocal range further.
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