Ellie Goulding: Voice Profile and Vocal Range (2022)

Ellie Goulding Voice Profile Pop Smarts

Vocal Range: C3 – F5 – G6 (3 Octaves and a perfect fifth)[1]https://therangeplanet.proboards.com/thread/664/ellie-goulding

Vocal Fach: Light Lyric Soprano

Vocal Rating: Singer-Songwriter

Analysis: Perhaps the leading woman in EDM music, Ellie Goulding has been a pioneer of the male-dominated genre since debuting in the early 2010s. While her style was initially more in-line with her inspirations like Joni Mitchell, she subsequently shifted her artistry more towards acts like Björk and Kate Bush. Goulding’s voice is instantly recognizable, given its child-like brightness, nasal placement, rasp, and pseudo-operatic stylings. Her voice tends to polarize because of its unique blend of qualities and some inconsistent live performances, but at her best, Goulding is a respectable vocalist.

Goulding is easily identifiable as a soprano, given her bright, girlish, timbre. She excels in the soprano tessitura, and although sparingly, she surpasses soprano C with relative ease. There is an understandable debate as to whether Goulding is best identified as a soubrette or a light lyric soprano. Soubrettes lack a significant upper extension, which along with physical attributes, separate the fach from the light lyric soprano.[2]For more, visit our Vocal Classifications and Fachs page. Given Goulding’s ability to ascend up to G6, she best fits the lyric soprano fach, though again, this upper extension isn’t fully developed. Given her small vocal weight and output, she fits into the light lyric category.

Goulding’s voice carries a sweet and wispy timbre throughout all registers, giving it an ethereal quality ideal for electronic music. Her lower register is reasonably strong for a soprano, maintaining tonality down to around E3 while phonating down to C3. As she ascends her voice picks up clarity until around A4 when a coarse rasp starts to set in. While her natural ease allows her to ascend up to her second bridge around C5 repeatedly, she pulls her chest voice up to do so, when it would best serve her to blend her chest and head voice. To compensate for this, Goulding uses a variety of tactics like giving her voice a more nasal placement or tilting her head back which is a less admirable technique. Belts at D5 and above are thin and pinched (see the F5 in “Salt Skin”). This area of her voice is easily the one with the most room for development – given her soprano fach and strong head voice, she could build an impressive mixed voice with training.

Her head voice is where her voice finds its best qualities; in that register, the voice is nimble and agile enough to move through melismas with ease, while even demonstrating pseudo-operatic qualities (see “Explosions” and “Intro [Delirium]”). This register is where her voice finds its “ring,” and seems to be where Goulding is the most confident. She can slide into her flageolet up to G6 but hasn’t completely mastered this region of her voice. Her chest-to-head voice transitions are executed well, demonstrating some control of her passagio, but the two registers seem disconnected as Goulding typically flips between them rather than blending them (“Only You”).

Overall Goulding is an above-average singer-songwriter voice but exemplifies some of the technical shortcomings typical of the group. Given how she’s been able to develop strong qualities of her voice without vocal training, she could certainly become a stronger one with it.[3]As Goulding told Carson daily: “I think sometimes it sounds like my voice is like, out of control… I have to really control it because it just kind of goes everywhere. Like, sometimes … Continue reading

What do you think of Ellie Goulding’s voice? Would you add anything to our analysis? Let us know by commenting below!

What is Ellie Goulding’s vocal range?

Ellie Goulding’s vocal range is approximately three octaves and a perfect fifth, spanning C3 – F5 – G6.

What is Ellie Goulding’s vocal fach or voice type?

Ellie Goulding is a Light Lyric Soprano. She possesses a very light and agile voice along with the weight and tessitura of a lyric soprano.

What is Ellie Goulding’s highest note?

Ellie Goulding can slide up to at least G6, the first G above soprano C (C6).


1 https://therangeplanet.proboards.com/thread/664/ellie-goulding
2 For more, visit our Vocal Classifications and Fachs page.
3 As Goulding told Carson daily: “I think sometimes it sounds like my voice is like, out of control… I have to really control it because it just kind of goes everywhere. Like, sometimes stuff comes out that I don’t expect. A lot, actually […] It’s so funny because my favorite thing to do is imitate opera singers, but I’ve never had a singing lesson. Oh, I had a lesson just to teach me how to breathe better, but I never really had a singing lesson.”

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