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Beatles, The/John Lennon's vocal range

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Jacob Marks wrote at 2009-09-18 16:36:46
Well, in "This Boy" he sings an A full voice in the bridge, and the scream at the beginning of Mr. Moonlight begins on a Bb above that. At the end of "Happiness is a Warm Gun" he sings up to the D above the male high C, but I'm not sure if that's falsetto or not. The lowest note he ever recorded was the low G in "I'm a Loser."


The_2000_Man wrote at 2009-12-11 17:21:49
Lennon was a baritone that could extend range on the high end a bit. The G2 is the lowest I know of Lennon hitting, in "I'm a Loser" and also the octave harmony in the middle part of "Love Me Do." He sings a high A note on a number of songs (I think it is considered an A4). He hits this note on "Anna(Go to Him)" and "This Boy," for example. Therefore, my answer is G2 to A4. He may have been able to hit notes lower or higher than those, but to my knowledge never tried it on record.


anoBro,Sis wrote at 2010-10-07 14:47:50
Actually his range went from ~F/G2 as can be heard in Happiness is a Warm Gun during the Mother Superior part, and later in the same song (in the backing vocals) during the doo wop part (though his effective range down there was probably closer to A2 as can be heard on the back vocals for plenty of songs, such as Back in the U.S.S.R, Your Mother Should Know, etc.).  The highest note I can recall him singing is an E5 towards the end of Don't Let Me Down, he also sings a D5 during the "My Baby Don't Care" part of Ticket to Ride.  Those are the only examples I can think of right now, but, as the other guy said, just listen to their stuff and you'll find plenty more.


Sadhu wrote at 2010-12-17 21:20:26
It is of my opininion that Lennon had a solid tenor range... but below that of McCarney or Harrison. You can often hear him hitting the high "A" above middle-C on songs like COME TOGETHER, and HAPPINESS IS A WARM GUN. But with that said, he was 'belting it out', and would strain past the "A" or "Bb". He purposely sang in lower keys on many songs, so there would be no stain in his voice.  He actually sounded better.  He wrote STRAWBERRY FEILDS orignially in Key of C, but then lowered it to Key of A when he realized his voice sounded better.  Hope this helps.  JBM.


Jimmy wrote at 2010-12-26 23:07:34
Sorry but this answer cannot possibly be right. I believe that Chalk has got his octaves muddled up. Almost any man can hit the G one and a half octaves below the middle C. If he were only able to hit half an octave below that the likelihood would be he hadn't gone through puberty.



The G he hits in Imagine is only half an octave about middle C. The highest note I know for sure he hits is an A4, the A above Middle C (take Middle C as C4). He does this at the end of the bridge to Twist and Shout, and I've heard this note wrecked his voice most of the time so they tended to leave it til the end of the set.



I've no idea of the lowest note but a G2 (one and a half octaves below middle C) is a safe bet, as most men can hit that regardless of where their range lies. That makes him a high baritone/low tenor rangewise, but his timbre of voice was more tenorish in my opinion.



Also John was well known for using falsetto or head voice for effect, you can hear it in Imagine or A Day In the Life ("having read the book").



Jimmy


Don B. wrote at 2011-02-01 11:31:09
Lennon was definitely a tenor. He had a tremendous range. The timbre of his voice was on the high pitched side. His range on the Beatle recordings was G2 on the bottom to Bb4 on the top in full voice and up to E5 in head voice. He could ride on a F#4 all day with relative ease. His head voice was very strong and because of it, he sang many of the high notes on the harmonies. One example among many would be on the chorus of the song 'Help'. He sings each time a C#5 with such power, you can't tell if it's in full voice or head voice.


Al3 wrote at 2011-04-23 22:16:50
Lennon was definitely a baritone with high reaches, McCartney was a tenor


Barbara, professional vocal coach wrote at 2011-05-19 03:05:46
Wrong! Lennon & McCartney were both tenors just like the Everly Brothers. McCartney is a 'Lyric' tenor and Lennon, in particular during the early Beatles recordings when he was in his most powerful voice, was a 'Dramatic' tenor. Anyone who knows anything about music & voice will tell you the same thing. Not all tenors have the exact same range and not all tenors have the exact same timbre of voice. Lennon's timbre was high pitched and he could sing a high A with relative ease. He also could sing much higher in a strong head voice.  


Frank wrote at 2011-06-21 00:01:53
I agree with the majority comments about Lennon. I too believe he was a Tenor. However, there are slightly different kinds of Tenors. For example, in classical music, Pavoratti was a Lyric Tenor and Placido a Dramatic Tenor. I'm not sure what kind of Tenor Lennon was, but his vocal timbre was most definetly a Tenor. Also, on the song 'I'm So Tired' from the White Album, He hits a High Tenor B, in other words, a B4 in Full voice. He also had a strong Falsetto like a Counter Tenor, which was a good extension of his upper register.  


keithmoon wrote at 2011-07-02 13:07:07
Actually, John has reach C#2 on the Beatles 1963 Christmas Record. His lowest notes are: C♯2 ("Christmas Record")

E2 ("P.S. I Love You", "Imagine" demo)

G2 ("I'm A Loser", "Happiness Is A Warm Gun", "Love Me Do", "I'm Down", "Instant Karma!")

G♯2 ("Julia")

A2 ("Words Of Love", "Your Mother Should Know", "Happiness Is A Warm Gun", "I Want You", "I'll Get You", "Get Back" Paul McCartney's version)

B2 ("Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)", "The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill")



He can sing at least higher than C5:

E♭5 ("Mother")

D5 (""Cold Turkey" live at Madison Square Garden 1972", "Sexy Sadie", "Happiness is a Warm Gun")

C♯5 ("I'm So Tired")

Maybe some other high notes?




keithmoon wrote at 2011-07-24 16:12:48
Actually C#2 'Beatles 1963 Christmas Record/Good King Wencelas' to D#5 'Mother'


keithmoon wrote at 2011-08-31 12:26:29
Edit: his lowest note is B-flat 1 or Bb1 in You'll Be Mine from the Anthology 1. So his range is Bb1-Eb5.



Note: I don't think he's a tenor. His high notes are really strained so he's a baritone with high reaches, like what Al3 said. And the D5 in HIAWG (Happiness is ....) is falsetto.


keithmoon wrote at 2011-09-13 09:28:24
Edit: Sexy Sadie and HIAWG's D5 are falsetto. Found C5 in Mind Games and C#5 in Well Well Well, and both modal (not falsetto). His highest falsetto is a Bb5 in a live version of Cold Turkey, though there could be a C#6 falsetto in EGSTH(EFMAMM) (Everybody got something to ...).


keithmoon wrote at 2011-10-25 02:14:42
Lennon has many strong low notes, such as a B1 at about 4:29 in the Anthology version of You Know My Name, but has plenty of high notes in numerous songs (This Boy, Twist And Shout, Run For Your Life) albeit with strain.


Don the Vocal Coach wrote at 2012-01-01 11:14:53
Keithmoon, Stop naming notes because you have the octaves mixed up! A Bb1 is way way down low. A Bass singer in Opera never even sings that low! What you mean is Bb2 Not a Bb1. Lennon's lowest note is G2 which is a 5th above a Bass C WHICH IS A C2. Nbody sings under a C2. Lennon's range was a G2 on the bottom up to a Bb4 on the top which is one step below the high tenor C which is a C5. His/head voice was very string and he sang up to a E5. Middle C is a C3. Everthing else is relative to this note when talking about note connotations.


john wrote at 2012-01-01 11:33:16
Lennon never sang notes around a bass C2. His lowest notes SUNG, not moaned or groaned on record are G2's. Not anywhere close to what you said keithmoon.


Barbara, Voice Teacher, Classical wrote at 2012-01-01 11:43:45
Middle C IS A C4. LENNON NEVER SANG A LITTLE OVER TWO OCTAVES BELOW MIDDLE C. NO WAY. KEITHMOON YOU ARE MIXED UP AND I DON'T KNOW WHERE YOU'RE GETTING YOUR INFORMATION. LENNON'S RANGE ON RECORD IS A G2 UP TO A E5. THE G2'S ARE ON I'M DOWN, I'M A LOSER & LOVE ME DO. THE REAL HIGH E5 IS ON BACK IN THE USSR. IN REGARDS TO DON THE VOCAL COACH, AGAIN MIDDLE C IS C4, THE HIGH TENOR C IS C5, THE LOW BASS C IS C2 WHICH LENNON NEVER SANG! WAY TOO LOW FOR HIM. LENNON WAS A LOW TENOR.  


Dominic, Vocal coach N.Y. MET wrote at 2012-01-02 14:37:50
I completely agree with Barbara the voice teacher. Lennon was a Tenor. In the early days, he had more power to his voice and a little more fullness. He would be classified as a Dramatic Tenor, McCartney would be classified as a Lyric Tenor. Middle C is called C4. Tenors rarely sing below C3. Lennon sang G2's on the records which means he probably could have vocalized down to maybe an E2. That's it. on the top He had some Bb4's and maybe a quick B5 in full voice and could extent up to a E5 on record in a strong falsetto which means he could probably vocalize up to a G5. he never could sing a C6 or C#6. There is no evidence he ever eeven came any where close to those notes! Those are Soprano notes. This keithmoon fellow is way exaggerating the range. Lennon's range was tremendous, but it was not over 4 octaves. No way. It was over three octaves, not 4. Like I said, based on the actual notes sung on the records, it would be G2 up to E5. Then you could add a cpouple more notes each way for total range.


Alexander wrote at 2012-01-21 03:35:20
Listen to "Mother" by John Lennon and you can hit the notes on the piano in the end of the song when he sings "Daddy come home" and so on. I think he reaches his limit in that song since he has problems reaching them live.



Peace!


The Voice wrote at 2015-08-19 11:53:18
Lennon was a 2nd Tenor or what someone above called a Dramatic Tenor. The timbre of his voice was on the high side. If you try and sing some of Lennon's lead vocals in the Original key, you would have great difficulty doing so if you are not a tenor. His tessitura was of a Tenor.


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There was something in Paul's voice when he sang the phrase "Love Me Do" at the end of the verses that told me everything in Pop was going to change, and it did! I left my first band (which I had founded), partly because the other members thought I was a bit weird to want to change our style to reflect that of the Beatles! As a rock musician, I appeared with them in the ABC Theatre in Blackpool, England in 1963, and my songwriting has always been influenced by theirs.

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