Vocal Range: D3 – B5 – E7 (Bb7)
Vocal Type: Light-Lyric Soprano (4 octaves and a note)
Vocal Rating: Vocalist
Positives: A bright, warm, well-controlled instrument that is the product of natural talent but also years of technical training from a young age. Grande is not just an actress, but a vocal one as well, being able to mimic the tones and voices of other vocalists like Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, and Celine Dion. This ability demonstrates not only control of her voice unlike that of her peers but also a sharp ear to be able to identify the tonal qualities of others. Grande has become known for her exceptional talent that encompasses a wide, well-utilized vocal range, and solid technique.
Her tone is often slightly airy and porous, perhaps best exemplified by her acapella performance of “Dangerous Woman.” A natural rolling vibrato can be heard in belts up to G#5 and as low as Bb3, while she is able to move throughout the entirety of her range and between registers with ease. Notably, however, Grande over activates muscles in her jaw mostly while singing runs which furthers her tongue tension. While this is not technically ideal, her jaw wobbling seems to aid her personally in her agility. She is capable of complex, fast (but short) melismas (see “Hands on Me” and “Problem”), but seems to have more untapped potential here.
Her lower register, though often weak and inconsistent live (due to her high tessitura and breath support issues), is relatively strong for a soprano, supporting down to F#3 and extending to D3. While it is the weakest part of her range, Grande has comfort here in studio recordings and doesn’t shy away from utilizing it.
Her belts are achieved through a well-balanced mixed voice, having stretched up to Bb5’s successfully and consistently. As her devoted pedagogist stans will know, Grande’s qualities here have changed over time; in her youth she utilized a Broadway-style technique, carrying support up to C5 with a chest dominant and projected sound, but this has dissipated since. Now, she has developed glottal and tongue tension, which, while not a critical flaw, has its consequences. By far her greatest weakness is that her tongue tension leaves her diction unpolished and her lyrics incomprehensible at points (see the bridge of “Break Free”), though this has improved recently. Regardless, Grande has no issue staying in the soprano tessitura for extended periods of time (see live performances of “Break Free,” “Dangerous Woman” and “Focus”), and is where her voice and ease truly shine, as she can still apply a rolling vibrato as high as G#5.
Her falsetto is light and sweet and is also where the voice finds its ‘ring,’ being bright and reliable live up to Eb6. The whistle register is piercing, and the whistles do not have disconnected tones attached to them (polyphonic tones). She is able to sing vocal runs in this register (See “Emotions”), though even she has admitted that she does not have a great degree of control here (most likely referring to the 7th octave, as she consistently reaches up to G6 live).
Ultimately, Ariana Grande is a vocalist on a level that mainstream pop music has not seen in at least a decade.
C#3 – E7
Ariana Grande’s vocal range is four octaves and a whole step, approximately D3 – B5 – E7.
Yes, she is a Light Lyric Soprano.
Ariana’s highest note is an E7, the second E above Soprano C, or the E above “dolphin” C. She whistles this note in her cover of Mariah Carey’s “Emotions.”