Singing in Head Voice? What is Head Voice? There’s a huge misunderstanding about head voice. Do you know what it is? Inside this video I’ll reveal this misunderstanding. Clearing up this one thing will make you a better singer. Watch!
Singing in Head Voice? What is Head Voice?
The huge misunderstanding is this: Head Voice does not mean falsetto. (Be sure and watch Episode 28, Which is: Falsetto vs Head Voice.)
I define Head Voice as the vocal register above Chest Voice.
Clarification: Immediately above the Chest Voice is the Middle Register sometimes called the “First Bridge” or “Passaggio”. The First Bridge is the area of the voice where the chest voice and the head voice should begin to blend or mix together. Above the First Bridge is the Head Voice Register.
Falsetto is not a vocal register. It’s not an area in the voice. Falsetto is a condition of the vocal cords where they have disconnected. This can occur in both chest or head registers. Anytime the vocal cords disconnect you are in falsetto, speaking or singing, low or high notes.
If you are singing in the vocal register above the chest voice with connected vocal cords, you are in head voice. If your cords disconnect, you are no longer in head voice you’re in falsetto.
Four things must be present to be in Head Voice:
- Your vocal cords remain connected [Demo]
- Your vocal cords thin as they reduce in mass and increase in length and tension [Demo]
- The resonance has shifted into your head cavities above the mouth [Demo]
- The notes you are singing are above the the first bridge of the voice
Singing in Head Voice for Men
For most men the head voice register is the notes above the F# above middle C.
Many men may not be aware there is such a thing as head voice. This is because they have never sung above the F# (the first bridge in their voice) without breaking into falsetto. They think falsetto is head voice. Many men believe their voice tops out, or ends at the E or F above middle C.
I didn’t know about head voice until I learned how to sing through the first bridge and discovered my head voice. That was life changing for me.
Singing in Head Voice for Women
For most women the head voice register is the notes above the F#5 above High C. This is actually above the 2nd bridge in most women’s voices.
However, for most women there’s a middle area after the first bridge. This begins at the D5 (The “D” one octave above the D next to middle C). From D5-F#5 is often called “Middle” register in women’s voices.
When the vocal cords stay connected in this Middle, there is chest and head mix. Not until passing through the F#5 has virtually all chest resonance dropped out of the voice. From there it’s essentially only head resonance as the pitch moves higher.
The head voice register is the largest area of the female voice. However, there are many women who can’t sing past the C above (an octave above middle C) without breaking into falsetto or pulling their chest voice too high.
Why is Head Voice Important?
Head voice gives us songs and singers like this: Anna Netrebko, Journey
Head Voice gives our voices an intense and penetrating sound. The higher pitches enables the human voice to be heard even over a full orchestra. Listen to Jussi Bjorling.
Just as important is the physical relief it provides our voices. The weight and thickness of the vocal cords in chest voice is gradually eliminated as you sing into your head voice. This gives our voices a release and freedom that is both heard and felt. Listen to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
This is not only good for our voices, but it allows our audience to soar with our voices through the beauty of the head voice. Listen to Josh Groban.
Head voice completes our voices and our singing. If we can sing in head voice, we can sing so many more songs. Nothing intimidates or limits us as singers.
Head voice gives us many more notes to tell our story in song. Listen to Emmy Rossum and Patrick Wilson.
What is Head Voice vs Vocal Types?
There are several vocal types that are not able to use head voice. Pulled Chest-High Larynx is unable to transition into head voice because the resonance is not shifting into the head and the vocal cords are not reducing in mass.
The Flip-Falsetto vocal type is unable to sing in head voice unless they can reconnect their vocal cords after flipping or breaking.
Do you know your vocal type? I’m not referring to whether you are soprano, alto, tenor or bass. Your vocal type is what you tend to do when you sing.
Visit PowerToSing.com and take the vocal test, which I call the PowerTest. Take the quiz and discover your vocal type. Then visit the Knowledge Center and learn about your vocal type. Download the exercises for your unique voice and start improving your singing immediately.
I’m Chuck Gilmore with Power To Sing. You can sing higher with beauty, confidence and power.
I’ll see you inside the next video. (Listen to Sissel)