General Question

josrific's avatar

Should I change to alto?

Asked by josrific (2575points) April 22nd, 2012

For my fellow singers…

I was asked to sing with a choir and I haven’t sung in probably 2 years. I’ve had illnesses and medication changes that have surprisingly changed my voice. I was/am a soprano that could hit a high A. Now I’m lucky if I can reach a D an octave above middle C.

Should I continue to be soprano and hope through lots of practice that I can get back into my higher range, or should I bite the bullet and tell the director that I now sing alto? I would hate to think that my voice is permanently altered.


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9 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Why not start as an alto and see how your voice responds. You can always switch if it makes sense.

There’s a big difference between D an octave above middle C and the high A. You don’t want to risk straining or damaging your vocal chords.

Think of the lovely operatic roles for mezzos.

Judi's avatar

I would ask the director to re evaluate you and go where he puts you. If you want to go back to singing soprano, then tell him that and the two of you can work together towards regaining your range.

Facade's avatar

I’d sing whatever is comfortable, and then work on expanding your range later. You don’t want to risk injury.

Sunny2's avatar

I agree with @Judi. Your director should want to hear you sing, if you haven’t for two years. First alto is just a few notes lower than the second soprano range and getting your voice back in shape may take a month or two, but let your director decide where you should sing.

Kayak8's avatar

You haven’t indicated your age and that plays a major clue in answering your question. If you are 50 and joined the church choir, you are likely an alto for life. If you are 20, the above advice is sound.

marmoset's avatar

Please don’t push your voice. You could do damage long-term by trying to sing higher than you comfortably can. By the way, the exact same thing happened to me (minus the medications—just time away from singing and not keeping the muscles active).

josrific's avatar

@Kayak8 I’m 33, so still young.

Thank you for the advice so far I’ll talk to my choir director and see what she says.

submariner's avatar

What about your low note? Can you hit the bottom of the 1st alto range? I agree with those who advise you to talk to the director and above all not strain your voice.

What so great about being a soprano/bad about being an alto anyway? It’s a choir—you’re a vital part of the team wherever you are.

yankeetooter's avatar

I don’t know how old you are, but a lot of people don’t realize that women’s voices change too. I agree with others, that I would not push your range past what now feels more comfortable. Besides which, being an alto is more fun (I’m an alto, lol!)

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