Vocal Range: B2 – G5 – E6 (3 octaves and a diminished fifth)https://therangeplanet.proboards.com/thread/2082/sara-bareilles
Longest Note: 15 seconds
Vocal Fach: Lyric Mezzo-Soprano
Vocal Rating: Singer-Vocalist
Analysis: A self-taught pianist and versatile songwriter, Sara Bareilles has a voice that’s strength often goes unacknowledged by the general public. Having sung in choirs in high school, acapella groups in college, and Broadway professionally, Bareilles has a strong technical foundation for her voice and great musical intuition. Her voice is well supported and well placed throughout, a clear product of her years of training.
One of Bareilles’ call cards as a mezzo-soprano is her strong lower register. Reliably being able to reach all the way down to C3, this register is well placed and beautifully colored, with a smoky texture at the bottom. Although she has forced her sound here at the extremes, this area is still dark and pleasant. Her midrange is also placed very well, being clean, supported, and rasp-less. This area is where she displays the most melismatic control and broadway-Esque brightness.
As she enters the fifth octave, her belts are strong with a forward mask placement. With the pitch rarely wavering, Bareilles’ demonstrates strong vocal control. While lower mid-belts (G4-C5) are chesty and where the voice finds its “ring,” she quickly brightens her voice above that point by blending her chest voice with the head voice. Her mix becomes very blended with her head voice approaching F5 and above, making technically sound vowel choices and removing excessive chest voice push. Although this comes at the cost of sounding more nasal, it also demonstrates how well-connected her voice is and her control of passagi. While she has pushed for texture in-studio recordings (“Brave”), her voice sounds consistently at ease in this range and throughout her voice live. One technical issue of note, however, is that she tends to tilt her head back when belting at C5 or above, which creates unnecessary tension.Sam Johnson, Vocal Analysis of Sara Bareilles Covering ‘Chandelier’ (Voice Teacher Reacts)
Bareilles is able to transition from a belt to head voice with ease, with this area being flawlessly connected to her chest voice (see “Gravity” and her cover of “Chandelier”). Her head voice is warm, full, and feminine. Her falsetto (“Bright Lights and Cityscapes”), is airy and light.
Another indication of her lyric fach is her ability to sing long, warm legato lines with ease. Her vibrato is relaxed and oscillates evenly, and can be applied from the top of the range to the bottom. She also demonstrates good melismatic control, being able to ornament her phrases with short runs and flourishes while not overusing the technique. Her delivery and phrasing are versatile, and always considerate of the nature of the music (“The Waitress”). Her dynamic control and her use of them is a notable trait as well.
Overall Bareilles is a stronger vocalist than one might initially realize, demonstrating care for her instrument from a pedagogical standpoint while also being comfortable eschewing some technical perfection to meet the standards of pop singing. She strikes a phenomenal balance between these – at times – opposing interests in a manner that should be admired.
What do you think of Sara Bareilles’ voice? Would you add anything to our analysis? Let us know by commenting below!
Sara Bareilles has a vocal range of approximately three and a half octaves, spanning B2 – G5 – E6.
Sara Bareilles is a lyric mezzo-soprano.
Yes, she’s a lyric mezzo-soprano.