When am I in Head Voice and When am I in Falsetto? This is a question I receive almost everyday.
Inside this video I’ll define both head voice and falsetto and show you how you can know whether you’re in falsetto or whether you’re in head voice when you sing.
When am I in Head Voice and When am I in Falsetto?
When am I in Falsetto?
I will define falsetto as a disconnected tone. You can be in falsetto on high, medium and some low notes. And you can be connected on low notes and break into falsetto. However, the pitch will change to a higher pitch when you do. [Demo]
However, you can only bring falsetto down from high pitches to somewhere around A3 before it must transition back into chest voice. If you do it loud or hard it is not a smooth transition. It’s a real clunk or break-like feeling back into chest voice. [Demo]
When you are in falsetto the vocal cords come together with just the outer edges. They barely touch together as you sing. As a result more air escapes through the vocal cords.
Please watch Episode 28 for more about falsetto vs head voice.
When am I in Head Voice?
In contrast, head voice is a connected tone. The vocal cords are coming together with more of the edges touching deeper into each other. [Mal Webb B roll 1] The result is that the tone, being already a connected tone, does not have to reconnect into chest voice. Since it’s already connected it blends smoothly into chest voice. [Demo]
Proper embouchure which allows brass players to play their instrument could be compared to head voice. Without the proper embouchure too much air escapes and it’s difficult to generate sound waves.[Demo]
With too little vocal cord making vibration, there’s too much air passing through the vocal cords which causes an imbalance between the air and vocal cord muscle. The results is a breathy, airy tone which can get louder to a certain point, but lacks deeper overtones. [Demo]
If we are unable to bridge and transition into head voice, we pull the chest voice higher and higher until it breaks into falsetto.[Demo]
Why Falsetto and Head Voice Sound the Same
Why is it often hard to tell just by listening to the sound whether you are in falsetto or head voice?
It’s hard because head voice and falsetto resonate in the same place…in the head cavities. [Demo]
However, falsetto is a disconnected tone with very little cord participating in the sound making. Whereas head voice is a connected tone with more of the vocal cord making sound but less air flow balancing with the vocal cords enables me to do it softly. [Demo]
Also, Head voice and falsetto can both feel very released without tension or reach. It can be confusing to us at first, because they actually feel similarly easy and light. [Demo]
Through the years I’ve learned to feel the difference between the connected tone with more vocal cord versus the disconnected tone with very little vocal cord.
Yodel and Falsetto
For example if I yodel, first my cords are connected then I disconnect them into falsetto. I’ll try it on different pitches. It’s easy for me to demonstrate a yodel in chest voice. You can really hear the disconnection. [Demo]
It’s harder for me to demonstrate a yodel in mix and head voice. I have a hard time doing it loud enough for you to hear. But I can feel it disconnect into falsetto. [Demo]
Falsetto Does Not Blend into Chest Voice
We’ve already touched on this, but if you are still confused, sustain the note above your first bridge in question and bring it down into chest firmly on “oh” until it either blends into chest or it clunks as it reconnects into chest. [Demo]
If it blended smoothly, you were in connected head voice. If it clunked or broke back into chest, you were in falsetto.
Keep in mind it is possible to break but reconnect into head voice. However, if you experiencing this, it’s likely the larynx is rising which causes the cords to slip into falsetto and the tone disconnect.
Do you know your vocal type? Your vocal type tells you what you tend to do as you sing through the first bridge of your voice. If you pull chest or flip into falsetto or are too light, you will always be dealing with breaking into falsetto and struggling to develop a strong head voice.
Knowing Your Vocal Type will Help Eliminate Breaking into Falsetto
Go to 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 all about your vocal type. Download the free exercises and start practicing them. They are designed to help you learn to bridge, which will enable you to sing into your head voice without using falsetto.
If you liked this video, give it a thumbs up, subscribe and share it with a friend. In the comment section below, I’d love to hear how you’ve learned to tell the difference between falsetto and head voice.
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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.