What is Head Voice?
So what is head voice? How do we develop or grow it? And how do we get it to fuse with our chest voice to create one long, powerful note?
There are a lot of definitions at a lot of different terms for head voice, and it means different things to different people. You will need to understand the difference between head voice, chest voice & mixed voice to sing better.
Improve your vocal registers right now.
Head Voice vs Falsetto
Before we’re going further, I’d like to talk about head voice & the falsetto.
A lot of controversy. They have difficulty describing it.
There’s a definition that, that you go by, in terms of the actual movement of the, the actual position of the vocal folds itself to produce the falsetto.
I think the best explanation is that falsetto is using the outer edges of our vocal folds and the stronger inner parts of the muscle of our vocal folds doesn’t move.
And we’re just using the outer portion of our vocal folds.
The falsetto is what most people describe as that fluty type of weak sounding breathy high voice.
I was going to say head voice but then that’s what the controversy is.
So that’s kind of my point that, that the head voice or the falsetto is a breathy head voice. I don’t understand why it has to be called a different sound.
It was named a falsetto because it means false voice in. Italian? It’s a false, false voice. That’s why, the term falsetto.
But when people are demonstrating it, it sounds like a breathy head voice.
Or, is there such a thing then? Is there a breathy head voice? And if not, then, why isn’t there a breathy, why isn’t there a breathy head voice? There’s a breathy chest voice.
There are actually three singing techniques we use in our daily song. I will do my best to help you understand the differences between these three registers.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask.
We will start with the first record:
The chest voice, also called full voice it is our singing technique which is used in many styles and millions of songs.
It is a basic technique, we can say that it is the vocals of our speaking voice. It is a book in which you can sing loudly with power to resonate your voice during which your vocal cords tighten.
You feel your voice resonate, you can make it vibrate.
This is your singing voice every day, usually it goes from low to high.
There are people who use it to medium-high, but in principle we can climb high in chest voice but the chest voice stops at a certain height if you want to progress in chest voice.
The head voice, also sometimes called the falsetto, is a technique that allows you to sing with a fine voice, with less power and resonance.
If you try with the chest voice and reach the high notes in full voice you notice that you are unable to push, and your voice gets lower you more air. That means you are in head voice.
Often head the voice is associated with the acute but in fact, this is not entirely accurate because for me, the head voice is a separate technical which can also be used in the medium and even in the grave but it confronts in the treble.
This is why we associate head voice to acute but in fact it is a separate technique that allows us to vary our song.
Now what does the mixed voice?
This is a technique that makes it sound like your voice something between chest voice and head voice in general, it appears the transition between the chest voice and head voice.
When you ride and notice this difference in levels, and you have to equalize then you get this sound, which is not really a chest voice, which is not a head voice because it has no air, and it’s not a chest voice because it has no power or a lot of resonance but between the two, and it helps you make the transition it allows you to go up and sometimes when you control it well.
People who hear you do not even notice the difference they think that you are in full voice.
This can also help when you are not fit, or you are sick, or just tired you can use it to “pretend” you are well.
Of course, you will not have much power but if you have a concert, and you are forced to sing while you’re sick, that’s it.
Mixed voice may also sound like nasal voice, it passes through the nose. You can feel it every time you sing into a particular technique. As if you had the resonators in the sinuses.
It does not take much air as you put your voice power and this voltage is concentrated here not in your throat, but in the sinuses.
How to sing in Head Voice
There are 5 main areas that you need to think about when you want to sing in head voice.
Strong solid support
Here is where we are talking about how to engage the other bigger muscles in your body.
So that you’re not relying on the teeny tiny muscles in your throat.
Namely what we want to do is be able to maximize the use of your diaphragm muscle and the support that it offers and also to expand in your rib cage so that it offers a skeletal support that is just so helpful in singing.
How do we do that? If you just put your hands on your rib cage right now, and make sure you haven’t got your hands too low.
Now I want you to take in a good breath and expand to where your hands are and you should expand sideways.
And let it go. Again. Let it go.
When you do this properly you allow your diaphragm to draw down and it actually presses down onto the abdominal muscles which gives you support.
So you’ve got this sideways support happening with your rib cage expansion and you’ve got this lower support as your diaphragm draws down onto your abdominal muscles, giving your voice added strength and power and taking the pressure off the poor little throat.
Resonance is where we want to be able to sing in such a way where the sound that we are producing is not coming from the throat.
The way you do that is you make sure that you’re placing your sound right around the eye area.
You pretend that you’re wearing really big swimming goggles and you pretend that the sound that you’re producing is coming out of those goggles right in front of you to the wall opposite.
So whatever you’re singing, you’re sending it over there.
One really good way to develop this is to hum through the song, feeling that buzz in the nose, feeling that forward traveling of that sound and then go ahead and sing the words in that space after you’ve hum it through.
You must have an open throat
High notes require space, one of the things that you need to begin to cultivate is the habit of opening your throat as you breathe in.
It’s a simultaneous action that happens at the same time.
As you breathe in, you can think about the sensation of like you’re about to yawn, or you’re about to sneeze or if you’re feeling surprised.
Then if you can incorporate that as you breathe in.
Your throat is going to be open and ready to sing those high notes with strength and power.
Develop a strong head voice
I can’t reiterate this point enough.
Too many people write to me or come to me for lessons and they just want to be able to belt out those money notes, straight away even if they haven’t even worked one-minute on their head voice.
That is a really dangerous thing to do singers, you need to make sure that you develop your head voice first.
One great thing that you can do is to start practicing scales where you isolate just your head voice.
So you think of yourself as an opera singer and you sing with high notes.
Think of yourself as opera singer, really put that opera voice on, cause that’s going to facilitate the most openness and the most freedom and the ability to go really high.
So do not discount the head voice in your sound.
Develop a strong chest mix
Here is where you combine your highly developed strong head voice with your very good chest voice together to make a very balanced voice.
We never want to pull our chest voice up.
That’s just going to hurt and it’s not sustainable, and you’re going to feel lots and lots of strain, it’s going to sound awful, you’re going to be flat.
What you always want to do is mix.
Now one of the things that you could do is to begin to incorporate your high sounding calling voice, into your singing.
For example, I was trying to get that chorus in “Since You’ve Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson, that’s pretty high, right Typically singers don’t want to sing that in just head voice.
That’s usually not good enough for most people and we want to be able to really belt that out.
Now if you want to be able to do that, you want to incorporate your high loud speaking voice. Try to find that space and sing it there.
If you have any thought or more tips please leave a comment below and I will definitely include it into this guide.