The Depth Of The Bass Vocal Range Tuesday March 22 2022, 4:54 PM
Yona Marie
Singer, Songwriter, Producer.
The Depth Of The Bass Vocal Range

Bass Vocal Range 

Men with the lowest vocal ranges known to humans are also known as bass vocalists. Rich and full of beautiful darkness, a bass vocal tone can send chills right down your spine.

These chills are why bass singers are often cast as the villain in musicals and operas when they have such deep voices to match a character's storyline with. 

In the classical music world, basses are often divided into two or three categories. To keep things simple, basses can be divided by bass one or bass two.

For more technical ways to label basses into three different categories in Italian culture, they can be referred to as a Basso profondo, Basso buffo, or a Basso cantante.

A Basso profondo has very low notes, while a Basso cantante is more like a baritone. The Basso buffo is for more comedic basses who are character-acting. 


The Bass Vocal Range Is Critical For Choirs 

Like the tenor vocal range, finding a true bass is a pretty rare occurrence as well since most men fall in the range right between the two, referred to as the baritone range.

Richness does come from the tenor and baritone vocal range, but the bass is like the glue that holds all the vocal parts together in a choir or polyphonic setting. Similar to the bass guitar in a song, the bass vocal range provides completeness to a chord. 

In the same vein, basses must be held to a higher standard for having excellent pitch control since they hold it all together. If a bass goes flat or sharp, the foundation of the chord will feel like it has crumbled within a song. 

The Typical Note Range for Basses

Screen Shot 20210414 at 11.00.27 PM.png

A bass can usually sing from the range of E2 to E4, right above middle C. The bass clef comes in handy for this range since the notes found on the clef are where basses find their most comfortable singing range in.

It is also common to find basses that prefer not to sing above middle C. Basses sometimes have the gift of a lovely falsetto and can hit soprano notes, but this is more commonly found in baritone and tenor singers. 

The actual vocal range for basses differs heavily depending on the cultural music standards. In religious settings in Russia, basses are expected to sing as low as A1, which seems almost impossible until you look into the Guinness World Records.

Singer Tim Storms holds the record for the lowest note ever sung at G7 (eight octaves below the lowest G on the piano).

Related Post: Understanding All Vocal Ranges For Singers


Other Facts About The Bass Range 

Subcategories Of Bass

Within the bass vocal range, there are subcategories that help describe specific qualities and characteristics of the voice.

These subcategories include lyric bass, bass-baritone, and basso profondo. Each subcategory represents a different timbre and vocal weight within the bass range.

Vocal Artistry

Bass singers bring a unique artistic interpretation to their performances. Their deep, resonant voices allow for expressive musical storytelling, evoking a sense of power, depth, and emotional impact.

Basses excel in conveying a wide range of emotions, from introspective and melancholic to commanding and authoritative.

Subharmonic Singing

Some bass singers possess the ability to perform subharmonic singing, also known as vocal fry or overtone singing.

This technique allows them to produce two pitches simultaneously, creating a unique and mesmerizing sound. It involves manipulating the vocal folds to create additional resonance and harmonics.

Related Post: Choir Sections Explained - How Many Are There?


Popular Bass Singers (Who's Songs You'll Sound Great On As A Bass)

Here's a list of famous vocalists that are truly bass legends with rich tones, similar to alto singers. You'll find names from several genres, including pop, rock, soul, and classical music on this list.

Challenge yourself with songs from any of these artists and see how low you can go!

Barry White

Boris Christoff

Ray Davis

Johnny Cash

J.D. Sumner

Tim Storms 

Leonard Cohen

Freddie Mercury

Kurt Moll

Elvis Presley

Yona Marie

As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 300 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, and features, Yona spends her time creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Check out Yona’s latest releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share if you like it!

If you are in need of singer, songwriter or song producer services, see what Yona Marie can offer you on her services page.

Check Out My Latest Single Release Below:

You May Also Like