Layne Staley – his Voice Range studied


Layne Staley

Someone finally did a study on Layne’s vocal range.. pretty interesting someone who actually took the time to do it right and KNOWS what their talking about..It’s really nice to see that people still care and that people see the genius in Layne that I personally saw the first time I heard him sing live. The man was just so talented. I’ll probably never get over how tragic the lose of Layne was to the world..and we lost him far before he took his last breathe. So unfair. However as one pretty deep dude once said…”Your pain is self chosen”.


Layne’s vocal range

Layne Staley – Vocal Range Study was originally posted at but now you must join to read it so I’ve posted it here so everyone can read it.

Voice type: Low tenor
Sung vocal range: F♯2-B♭5
Total vocal range: G1-A6

Significant high notes:

A6 (“False Alarm” live)
G6 (“False Alarm” live)
F6 (“Queen of the Rodeo” live)
B♭5 (Movie appearance)
F♯5 (“I Can’t Have You Blues”)
F5 (Movie appearance, “Over the Edge”)
E5 (“Sickman”)
E♭5 (“Queen of the Rodeo”, “Bleed the Freak”, “Love Song”, “Sickman”, “Fat Girls” demo, “Sickman” live)
D5 (“Over the Edge” demo, “I Can’t Have You Blues”)
C♯5 (“Queen of the Rodeo “, “Bleed the Freak” demo)
C5 (“Lip Lock Rock”, “Ya Yeah Ya”, “Sickman” live, “Queen of the Rodeo” live at the Marquee (Dallas) 1990, “Whatcha Gonna Do”)
B4 (“Don’t Follow”, “Wake Up”, “Heroin” demo, “Junkhead”, “Rooster”, “King of the Kats” demo, “Rooster” demo, “Sickman”, “I’m Above”, “Sealed with a Kiss”, “I Don’t Care”, “Suffragette City”, “Real Thing” demo, “Sweet Leaf” live, “False Alarm” live, “Rooster” demo)
B♭4 (“Man in the Box”, “Love, Hate, Love”, “Fairytale Love Song”, “Lifeless Dead”, “Would?”, “Social Parasite”, “Godsmack”, “I Can’t Remember”, “Killing Yourself”, “Chemical Addiction”, “Real Thing”, “Got Me Wrong”, “I Know Somethin’ (‘Bout You)”, “Put You Down”, “Again”, “Godsmack”, “Right Turn”, “Queen of the Rodeo”, “What the Hell Have I”, “Would” demo, “Dam That River” demo)
A4 (“Ring Them Bells”, “Wake Up”, “Rain When I Die”, “Junkhead” demo, “Dirt”, “Artificial Red”, “Hate to Feel”, “Sickman”, “Sea of Sorrow”, “Hush, Hush”)

Significant low notes:

G1 (“Rooster” demo)
E♭2 (“Frogs”, “A Little Bitter”)
F2 (“Bleed the Freak”, “Sludge Factory”)
F♯2 (“Frogs”, “We Die Young”, “Sickman”)
G♯2 (“Junkhead” live at Singles movie premiere 1992, “Sickman”, “Sludge Factory”)
A2 (“Died”)
B♭2 (“Angry Chair”, “Bleed the Freak”, “Love, Hate, Love”, “No Excuses”)


His vocal range video:

Two of my favorite songs…

I think it’s pretty obvious that he kicks serious ass!

I’d like to hear which songs or videos you think he sounds the most powerful? What are your favorite Layne songs be it on Madseason or AIC? I personally love the whole Madseason album and pretty much every song on Dirt by AIC.

Thanx to Ricki from the Fan Site for bring this post to my attention. It’s cool to find other web masters out there who have put time and effort into keeping the music and the story alive online. Keep it up.

Alice in Chains Fan site and Lyrics

Visit Renada’s Photobucket for more Layne pics..

  1. Tracy07-18-18

    The most powerful performance from Layne is when he and AIC did the unplugged show and played “Down in a Hole”. His range is Incredible and I get chills when I listen to it. Such a shame to have lost such a talent.

  2. Jessica06-01-18

    WOW! Someone feels what I feel when listening to Wake Up and River of Deceit . It always makes me cry.

    • Cindy06-01-18

      Layne’s voice always did & still does make me cry. I can feel his pain; he was the poet of pain. Such a tormented, talented soul.

  3. Mike06-22-17

    For me it has to be Private Hell

  4. Nick01-24-17

    Haley your thinking of “I stay away”

  5. Haley11-07-16

    There is this song stuck in my head but I can’t remember the name and the lyrics won’t come out the only way I can explain it is circus music..? and it’s not sickman … Help? All I can think if is “yayheeee” it’s driving me crazy, also I don’t think it went super mainstream.. idk

    • Sam11-24-16

      Could it be Junkhead?

    • grant12-06-16

      It got to be Junkhead, the live version. lyrics are disturbing to most, but this has got to be the most emotion/passion put into a performance, EVER. Layne was a god.
      Check it out, heres the link:

    • Jacky12-08-16

      Could it be Nothing Song? That’s the only one I can think of where he goes “yayheeeee”.

    • Dan02-04-17

      Haley the track is either got me wrong or caz u said circus music and it dint go mainstream ..queen of the rodeo

    • Dan02-04-17

      sorry it’s definitely “I stay away” from jar of flies EP

  6. Madonna12-08-15

    Finally some who’s agree that demo’s version of Junnkhead is better then original’s

  7. Ipo08-31-15

    One of those unique voices, gift to our ears and soul

  8. madseason.aic.laynestaley07-22-15

    Wow where to begin…as a hard core fan and he is my all time favorite vocalist…the whole entire Mad Season album! Bleed the Freak by A.I.C. also Down In a Hole, Man In the Box, Rooster, Nutshell, Sludge Factory and sooo much more, the real original band that he co-formed not the imitation with Duvall, as Jerry should have renamed the band especially not wanting to give Laynes mom her portion of earnings saying that when Layne passed so did his earnings??? That was Laynes former name of his band and Layne made AIC who they were…his mom was only wanting to use the money for the memorial in Laynes honor to help recovering addicts! Jerry if a true friend should have more than wanted that also…

  9. Lynne12-28-13

    Layne so trapped by his pain. No reason to analyze it; Layne was Layne – it’s that simple. “Now I can grow a beautiful shell for all to see.” (River of Deceit) He didn’t need to grow a thing. He simply was beautiful inside & out.
    >>>God Am: “Invite you in my heart, then
    When done, my sins forgiven? . . . All blooming life you’re feeding. Can’t hide sick ones you’re weeding”
    >>>Wake Up “slow suicide’s no way to go . . . The cracks & lines from where you gave up they make an easy man to read . . . For a little peace from God you plead, and beg”
    >>>Head Creeps: “Empty room sets the scene. Pick at me slow, pain fiend… Rise from the dirt I’m in. Hide in another’s skin. Stick black dress doll with pin. Your mouth takes on my grin
    So crazy, so crazy, so crazy…” LAYNE WAS EVERYTHING BUT CRAZY. RIP bro.

    • cindy06-22-17

      AMEN. Layne was a beautiful, tortured sole. RIP Layne.

  10. Lynne12-28-13

    Layne was a beautiful soul. Talented, honest, funny, intelligent. The “Poet of Pain.” Amen . . . Love Hate Love. “This is a song about pain . . .” His voice so pure, so haunting then, now & forever . . .

  11. Marry04-12-13

    Layne Staley was been one of the most beutiful man and singer in the world,like a Kurt Cobain,you now…

  12. Carol03-16-13

    I have to agree that ” Bleed The Freak” is great. But I think I really love every song he sang. I love the Mad Season songs. We’re All Alone just breaks my heart, but I do love it. And I like your site here. I just found it recently.

  13. Carol03-16-13

    I have to agree that ” Bleed The Freak” is great. But I think I really love every song he sang. I love the Mad Season songs. We’re All Alone just breaks my heart, but I do love it. And I like you site here. I just found it recently.

  14. Ann02-08-13

    I can’t claim to really understand it, but what I can say is that I think Layne Staley had possibly the most beautiful and unique voice of the last century. If you’re not a music expert but you listen with noise cancelling headphones on, you can hear just how amazing his voice is. My two favorite songs are Nutshell and I Stay Away. I think I Stay Away is incredible throughout, and esp. when he sings “why you act crazy, not an act maybe” — no other singer I have heard can do what he can do. Nutshell is beautiful, esp. the MTV Unplugged version. The first song he does, and I personally think you can hear he is nervous but despite that his voice comes through and he kind of flows back into it. Sort of heartbreaking to listen to that song (and all of Unplugged) now, seeing as he suffered in ways we cannot imagine in the years that followed. Really an amazing talent. No disrespect to other bands of that era, but AIC was the best and everything was far behind.

  15. Me02-07-13

    Where is the actual article about Layne’s range?

    • admin02-07-13

      Well it appears the link no longer works so I’ve posted the study into this post. It was originally posted at but now you have to join there to read anything. I believe there used to be more to the study but this was all I found so enjoy. It only makes sense if you know a little about music and voice range but it’s still interesting to read.

  16. Tiffany10-28-12

    As all of us Layne fans feel the same…there’s not a song that he sings that we don’t absolutely LOVE his voice in. For me there are two that I can literally listen to over and over. They are both from Facelift. “Love, Hate, Love” & “Confusion”. The powerful range he has in these two songs truly amazes me and really shows how VERY talented this man was.There is a different sound and style to so many of his songs that you get the full effect of what his voice could really do. It almost makes me cry at times to know that we no longer have this wonderful, beautiful talented Layne here with us. There are so many songs to choose from but these two really stand out for me.

  17. Tracy Johnson08-22-12

    The very first time I heard Layne sing was back at the Music Bank.He was singing a Blondie song and was in a band called Sleaze, then Alice ‘N’ Chains with Nick Pollack, James Burgstrom, and Johnnie Bakolas(sorry if spelling is wrong…).Later to join Jerry Cantrell, Mike Starr(R.I.P. I love you!) and Sean Kinney and become the Alice In Chains the world knows and Loves, atleast I do anyways.LoL. But the point is I new right then and there that beautiful, talented guy was gonna “be SOMETHING” and I was right!:) His voice gives me the shivvers and ain’t nobody can sing like Layne Staley, or ever will. They broke the mold after him!! I Love You, Layners! R.I.P. and Happy Birthday, my friend!

  18. Domenic08-05-12

    The unplugged show is absolutely unbelievable and these acoustic versions of many of the tracks are much, much better than the originals.

    Down in a Hole, Rooster and Nutshell specifically are spectacular. Based on this show you could make the arguement that some of AIC songs were detrimentally overproduced… I cant even listen to the standard versions of these tracks anymore.

    Rooster is a bit different because the guitar riff is not itself acoustically.

    Layne’s biggest vocal skill was dragging out simple words such a be, he, feed… there was an undulation of each word and it came out of his mouth as a solid wall of sound.

    Down in a hole and they’ve put all
    The stones in their plaaaaaeeeaaaeeeace <– this last word is dragged out for 4 seconds, and not in some off key high pitched or screamed vocal. Its pure, clean sonic goodness streaming right off Layne's vocal chords.

  19. Alexandra, PL06-25-11

    The most powerful song to my mind is Wake Up from "Above", and the most painful… I also appreciate Layne's vocal skills in "Man in the box", "Rain when I die", "would?" and many others… Probably I should mention every Layne's song as these mentioned are probably my favourite ones… OMG I'm also impressed by the song "All alone". It's amazing that this song is based on several words which are repeated all the time and when listening to it your heart is being torn apart… And you cannot stay indifferent hearing "We're all alone", you cannot. Especially when Layne uses his extremely powerful voice. It will always be touching my soul, everyone's soul who experienced some pain in their lives… Rest in Peace, Layne.

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