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Is Head Voice Pretty Much Full Voice ?

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My voice teacher has been telling me that head voice is full voice. We have been working on bridging from chest voice into head voice with no noticeable break and using middle voice to get their. Middle voice acts as a gateway to allow you to switch into head voice without it being so abrupt that head voice sounds like a completely different voice  My first question is: is head voice with a connection to chest voice full voice? Meaning it is a light and falsetto like sound without the connection and with the connection it sounds as full as chest voice, meaning you switch into head voice so seamlessly that it creates an auditory illusion to the listener that you are still in chest voice? So above middle voice, it still sounds like the same voice as chest voice, not a light disconnected sound? My second question: what is the difference between singing in a connected head voice and singing in a mix voice? I used to think that head voice was just a light disconnected sound for effect or for female opera singers. My third question: do male opera singers use mixed voice or head voice? Thanks!

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There are so many definitions of head voice.  Around here there is really not much attention paid to "middle voice".  A common definition of head voice, that I go by, is using the vibratory registers: M1 - chest and M2 - head.  Yet others go by "head resonance" which is a different thing than M1 and M2.

So, forgetting about middle voice for a second, yes, you should be able to bridge from Chest to Head with Head still sounding like Chest.  That is, if you would do a siren from very low to very high, you wouldn't hear a break.  Like you said it would be an auditory illusion.

Mix is yet another term that has many meanings.  Usually this simply means a well adducted Head Voice, or a Head Voice that has the qualities of a lighter chest voice.

You can get very confused by all these terms - they are not all agreed on - many definitions out there.

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#1.  You may find others feel differently or will modify this opinion.

Full voice to me, as a singer, means any phonation, on any note, in any part of your range where the true vocal folds are adducting throughout the duration of a note.  It can be a feeling or sense of a very strong seal all the way to a very light, but connected adduction. Basically, if you sing a note(s) and you are able to sustain it, you are in full voice. I don't believe in chest and head voice but more about where the resonance is.  Full voice contains consistent adduction. Falsetto has none or inconsitent adduction.  And falsetto is not restricted only to high notes. A low note with no adduction is a falsetto production just as much as a super high note.

#2. Actually, there is no diffrence.  A mix voice is a voice produced using both head and chest voice musculature in any possible combination.  The singer can choose the degree they engage the musculatures and in any combination.

#3 Both.  If you are producing a very rich, resonant, chest-like head tone, in most cases you are in a mix.  Head voice tones can range from a connected, yet flutey sound to a sound nearly identical to a chest voice sound.

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I used to study with JAPAN vocal training program,peolple in there use terminology like in your post,so maybe I call help.

Your teacher is right.Head voice sounds lighter compare to middle voice.

With good technique,you can improve head voice that won't sounds likes so falsettoy,but only middle voice sound and feel like chest voice.

To me,it's hard to say Head voice is disconnected sound or not because it does feel different than middle voice and LESS chestier.

Peolple say middle voice and head voice are full connected is becasue they don't want to sing that hard.

If you favor middle voice chest sound a lot, your middle to head voice switch will be more audiable.

If you stay in nice little boy voice sound(mix),not try to sing hard at first,than you can have a seamlessy sound all the way to the top,

But your chest,middle voice won't sound that belty and adult male compare to chest middle voice set up.

 

My personal training histroy is

STRAIN CHEST VOICE

TRAIN HEAD VOICE (BUT GOT IT WRONG AT THE TIME)

WRONG BRIDGE FROM STRAINED CHEST TO TWANGY HEAD VOICE(KNOWING I MUST BE WRONG

TRAIN CHEST VOICE RIGHT,GET LITTLE BOY VOICE(MIX

GET REAL MIDDLE VOICE(Belting B4,Bb4 almost feel like chest)

CONNECT MIDDLE AND HEAD VOCIE

 

I take about one year to get mix,and another half year to middle voice.

To me,mix is the foundation of the voice and i will use it if i want to sing politely,not to try add chest to the sound.

Again,sorry for my poor englis.

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I'm definitely not schooled in all the terminology but for me I only try to follow the resonance. Once you can follow that everywhere in your range it seems like you can lean on it and eventually make it sound as full or as light as you want it to be. It takes time though. A lot of time. 

Also for me, I prefer not to think of the voice as having different modes or whatever you want to call them. The resonance will connect everything so I prefer to just follow that. 

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I'm definitely not schooled in all the terminology but for me I only try to follow the resonance. Once you can follow that everywhere in your range it seems like you can lean on it and eventually make it sound as full or as light as you want it to be. It takes time though. A lot of time. 

Also for me, I prefer not to think of the voice as having different modes or whatever you want to call them. The resonance will connect everything so I prefer to just follow that. 

i believe i know who this Phil perry is and if i am correct he is an old friend and a great great singer.... :)

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Thanks for the replies everyone. I know everyone has different definitions and what not. My coach though classifies head voice, mixed voice, and belt as three different approaches to begin training your voice, with head voice being ultimately a different approach from mix and belt, with belt just being an add on or slight adjustment later on.

She terms middle voice and mix as being different, with mix having a later transition into head voice, the head voice approach transitions earlier.

I've decided to stop thinking about it as mix head or belt or yell or whatever and just go by ratios. I mean right here I have this much head coordination and this much chest, and this note this much head and this much chest.  She seems to mention one or the other as CT or TD dominant or something like that. 

But I probably want think too much in these terms at all from now on really and just take lessons and just song and go from their. 

By head voice approach she just means a head dominant type singing and mix as singing with a Chester sound (with some head voice of course but more more chest coordination than the head voice approach.

 

By head voice she means like opera or musical theater or even Seth Macfarlane (probably didn't spell that right) from Family Guy. By mix/belt she means a sound more familiar with contemporary genres like rock pop country Michael Jackson or something like that. It's all about if it is a chest dominant or head dominant type sound pretty much.

We are probably going to go with working on the "head voice approach" for now and once I can sing  with "head voice" (pretty much when you say oooo in that lighter function above chest like an owl) as sounding like the same voice as chest voice, we will work on mix/belt later on. This way I will be able to control how much head or chest coordination is apparent in the voice whenever and in the middle of a song even. I will be able to sing musical theater like Les Miserables or Seth McFarlane from Family Guy and the next minute sing contemporary rock or pop mix or belting like how the King sings "God done feeling alone" belteness in You Are not Alone. I'm going to stick with that.

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In the very last part of my last post I meant the last lines from You Are not Alone by Michael Jackson where he belts the hell out of it. It might be just stop being alone, but one lyric video had it that way. Could be wrong hahhaha. How does he get that grit?

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I actually started out singing higher notes pretty much a yell pulled chest and with a forced grit every couple notes. It impressed some people but the technique for the grit involved kind of pushing air through the vocal chords. "Grit is done by relaxing more than you might think". That is interesting to me. Wayyyyy later down the road I might look into that. And post the links if you want. That is my favorite part of You are Not Alone though haha.

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I'm definitely not schooled in all the terminology but for me I only try to follow the resonance. Once you can follow that everywhere in your range it seems like you can lean on it and eventually make it sound as full or as light as you want it to be. It takes time though. A lot of time. 

Also for me, I prefer not to think of the voice as having different modes or whatever you want to call them. The resonance will connect everything so I prefer to just follow that. 

This reminds me of what Debra Lynn says about getting all the sounds to feel as if they are in the same place. And this is achieved by letting the mechanism shift to keep resonance going.

 

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Ronws... Except, the sensations of placement _move_, if you have them.  Go back to Lilli Lehmann's 'points of impingement'.  This is a real experience for many as they negotiate the range.

I hope this is helpful.

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This reminds me of what Debra Lynn says about getting all the sounds to feel as if they are in the same place. And this is achieved by letting the mechanism shift to keep resonance going.

 

That's exactly what I try to achieve through warming up. And when it's going well it feels like there is a marble at the roof of my mouth that all sounds project from. Dirty, clean, loud soft...all of it. There is a lot of adjusting going on beneath that I'm sure, but I try not to focus on that. Just getting the sound to pass through that one small spot is what I go for. 

I'm not sure if my posts are helpful because I approach singing from a sensation and mental imaging point of view that might only be specific to me. But I'll keep posting til someone says stop :)

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That's exactly what I try to achieve through warming up. And when it's going well it feels like there is a marble at the roof of my mouth that all sounds project from. Dirty, clean, loud soft...all of it. There is a lot of adjusting going on beneath that I'm sure, but I try not to focus on that. Just getting the sound to pass through that one small spot is what I go for. 

I'm not sure if my posts are helpful because I approach singing from a sensation and mental imaging point of view that might only be specific to me. But I'll keep posting til someone says stop :)

   I keep posting even after someone says STOP.   .............. Anyway, ............. Sometimes it takes mechanical adjustments that seem pretty odd to find that pocket. When found yes, follow the resonance. I was trying to work my falsetto/headvoice down past/through passaggio and keep connected.......There was an area where I just could not get any sound.........Staying on that note and moving my tongue back and forth up and down I finally found the resonance spot for that area. Once found I could navigate it pretty easily. Finding it is the pain.

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   I keep posting even after someone says STOP.   .............. Anyway, ............. Sometimes it takes mechanical adjustments that seem pretty odd to find that pocket. When found yes, follow the resonance. I was trying to work my falsetto/headvoice down past/through passaggio and keep connected.......There was an area where I just could not get any sound.........Staying on that note and moving my tongue back and forth up and down I finally found the resonance spot for that area. Once found I could navigate it pretty easily. Finding it is the pain.

Agreed. To be honest, it all felt very unnatural to me at first. It takes a long time to figure out how to achieve that sound everywhere and without strain. Then it takes a long time to do it consistently and make it sound the way you imagine. But for me it took (and is taking) the longest time trying to figure out how to emote and be one with a sound that is inherently unnatural. 

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   It may be natural to scream, cry, laugh, and yell, but it is not natural to do all those things on pitch and with a pleasing sound through the entire range and for different genres.

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   It may be natural to scream, cry, laugh, and yell, but it is not natural to do all those things on pitch and with a pleasing sound through the entire range and for different genres.

Exactly! And that's why, in my very humble opinion, visualization and mind body connection is ultimately as important as any technique. Especially if you want to be the kind of singer that truly connects to people through their music/singing. 

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Agreed. To be honest, it all felt very unnatural to me at first. It takes a long time to figure out how to achieve that sound everywhere and without strain. Then it takes a long time to do it consistently and make it sound the way you imagine. But for me it took (and is taking) the longest time trying to figure out how to emote and be one with a sound that is inherently unnatural. 

I am tempted to paraphrase Jens. The entirety of the voice is "unnatural," being a product of environment as much or more than a genetic predisposition or inherent structure.

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Here are some examples of just some songs with the difference between "chest-mix" "head-mix" and "head voice" (which uses middle voice, but my teacher just calls this "head voice", as my teacher classifies them). She means head voice isn't a mix between chest and head, it is just pure head voice developed to where it sounds like you are still in chest voice when you are in head. These are all just terms to help singers go by to get an idea of what idea the sound and tonal quality may be. Head Voice would be closer to operatic (though it doesn't have to be full-blown low-larynx legit opera, listen to the third link of Josh Groban's singing I posted below. This is the Empty Chairs at Empty Tables song.This is not opera, but it is 'head voice' with more open vowels and in a more commercial style I suppose). "Head-Mix" actually sounds some-what lighter than 'head voice' alone because head voice includes a lower larynx giving it that warm opera tone.

Head-Mix: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyEokxi2hWY

Chest-Mix: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgqrqY3LUcQ

Head Voice/Middle Voice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrMZOyDrxBg On the higher notes starting at 1:48 (it has that somewhat operatic low larynx sound to it) with 3:19 being more head-mix, but that's only those couple notes from 3:19-3:21. 

Head Voice/Middle Voice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsYnhVITf9EListen to whole thing and when he sings louder. A lot of it has that low larynx operatic-type sound. 

Head voice/Middle Voice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvwcJUhIa0U Some of this might be head mix but a lot of it is head voice and middle voice. His highest notes are definitely belt. 

Head Voice/Middle Voice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VATmgtmR5o4

*Head voice uses a "middle-voice" on the middle notes which bridges earlier into head voice than mix. "Mix" would pull chest up to where middle voice is (in the "head Voice' technique/approach) and then start transitioning into head voice later in the scale. Head voice would be more on the lines of musical theater or opera but it doesn't have to be if you open the vowels and tweak them. 'Mix' would be more contemporary singing such as rock/pop/country/R&B. These are based on my singing teacher's terminology and many might have their own perspectives. I did not come up with these terminologies on my own. But when it comes down to it, I personally don't view them as being different voices. I believe it is all just one big singing voice, and these are just differences in how much chestier or head-like the sound is. Like a more chest dominant or head dominant sound. 

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Sounds like your teacher has it right and says something similar to other good teachers like Robert Lunte. If I were you, I would just pay attention to my teacher and ignore youtube. Just because it is on the "internet" does not make it true, valid, or useful.

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Sounds like your teacher has it right and says something similar to other good teachers like Robert Lunte. If I were you, I would just pay attention to my teacher and ignore youtube. Just because it is on the "internet" does not make it true, valid, or useful.

Exactly !!! Ron and I have discussed this in our conversations. It seems that ANYBODY and EVERYBODY is now professing to be a vocal coach on YouTube ! Yeah, right.....

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RonWS, if you were referring to the links from youtube I posted above, those are not voice teachers giving examples or teaching people how to sing. Those are links to songs of singers singing with different styles and resonance coordinations. I never watch youtube videos to learn or get advice any more. The advice comes from my teacher. The only time I watched youtube videos for vocal instruction was many years ago when I first started out and was pulling chest and started to realize I might be forcing it.

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Sorry, I thought I was agreeing with you and your teacher. Interesting that you capitalize the correct letters in my login. And, of course, your login id certainly bespeaks more than a passing knowledge of singing terms. 

So, do you also teach? It is not uncommon for teachers to also have advisors and coaches they seek out.

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