• Broadway Beat

QUIZ: Is That Note Really Out of Your Range, or Are You Just Chicken-Shit?

by Tyler Mootz.

We’ve all been there: you’re singing along to “At The Ballet", and Maggie’s crescendo arrives. You begin climbing up in your range, and just when that glorious high note arrives, all that comes out of your dry mouth is a screech, a growl, or possibly a violent sob.


Many Broadway show-stoppers have, indeed, stopped brave belters in their tracks, including you... but are those notes really out of your range? Are you a bass-baritone who will not be “waving through a window” any time soon? Or are you just too chicken-shit to sing the notes? Take our quiz below to find out!


1. When warming up like your voice teacher told you to, what notes are you topping out at?

  1. Probably a D-natural? That’s definitely near the top of my range

  2. I don’t warm up

  3. I’m still working on my upper register so I can’t answer that right now, thank you

  4. Not sure of the note, but it’s high and screechy

2. The music director has asked you to take the top line of the chorus harmonies. How do you react?

  1. Power through it until the music director reassigns me to the lower harmony or asks me not to sing

  2. I only sing melody

  3. Pout about it and sing in a wispy falsetto so no one can hear me

  4. Sing a high, off-key riff that I did at the farm

3. What’s your beverage of choice?

  1. Alcohol; not specified

  2. Cigarettes

  3. My voice is a fragile porcelain doll, so I drink a blend of ayurvedic chai, herbal green tea, marshmallow, and honey

  4. I’m on a strict diet of water and corn

4. How would you describe your approach to high belt notes?

  1. Just go for it and accept the vocal damage that comes with it

  2. Butcher the friggin’ notes and slyly remark about someone who pissed themselves at the audition

  3. Piss myself so that I have an excuse to leave the audition

  4. Think about the 6am sunrise and let out my best cock-a-doodle-doo

5. Think back to last time you were singing an eleven o’ clock number at your audition. How did that series of high notes go?

  1. The casting directors all said, “WHY ARE WE YELLING?”

  2. You bet your sweet potatoes I didn’t sing those notes, do you know who I am?

  3. I sounded like a middle school soprano and cried like a little bitch

  4. Bawk?

6. Finally: what is your biggest fear?

  1. Missing the specials at Denny’s after the show

  2. Having to do another take of “Ladies Who Lunch” while they record a documentary about the show I’m doing

  3. Losing my whole career because I might sound a little bad on one god damn high note at one audition that I won't remember, anyway

  4. Butchers

Time for results!

If you answered:


Mostly As: Sweetheart, those notes are just out of your range. You’re still a star but a Ben Platt or Edin Espinosa you are not. Take care of that voice and stay realistic: you might not be a Christine Daae, but you’ve got the stuff to be a Sally Bowles or Reno Sweeney. You’re a dancer, right?


Mostly Bs: You’re actually Elaine Stritch! You’ve got confidence, moxie, pizazz, and an 8-note range that just won’t quit.


Mostly Cs:

Take a big whiff; smell that? It’s you, chicken-shit! You are wildly afraid of those high notes and your “deer in a headlights” facial expressions say it all. It’s cute how you think you can characterize “I’m Not Afraid Of Anything” when being told to sing soprano puts you in a catatonic depressive episode. Don’t mind me, I’m just replacing your prissy-ass tea blend with your chicken-shit tears!


Mostly Ds: You are literally a chicken.