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High falsetto: problem

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Dear all,

Being new to this forum, I'd like to start out with a matter that has been bugging me lately. I hope some of you can give me some advice.

I'm still learning the basics of singing, having had apx. 20 lessons with a good coach starting about a year ago. I sing pop styles for myself and classical in a choir (no belcanto). I still have several problems, the most frustrating being the following:

I'm working on increasing range. I know I have a limited range in my modal voice (I'm told I'm a baritone, although some teachers thought there might be a tenor hidden somewhere deep inside). The thing is: my falsetto really disappoints me. There seems to be a lock inside me, preventing me from getting to a decent height, that is sometimes useful in the choir I sing in and in my solo work. It's like a barrier I can't seem to get through. Also, I find it hard to articulate clearly in falsetto.

UNTIL this afternoon: suddenly, just out of the blue, I was able to reach heights with falsetto I never had before: it much sounded like a classical countertenor / alto voice and I was really amazed by it. It was controlled (not squeeled) and I could sing softly with a good breath support.

All good right? No, because as soon as I got home, it was gone and I couldn't trigger it anymore: it felt stuck and locked again, just like before. It's really frustrating to suspect I can do something but it's restricted within me and I don't know how to release it.

Do you guys have any suggestions on how to free my voice? (Perhaps it will help free my modal voice as well.)

(I know the procedure would be to take lessons again, but I can't afford them at the moment.)

Any help is appreciated!

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Dear all,

Being new to this forum, I'd like to start out with a matter that has been bugging me lately. I hope some of you can give me some advice.

I'm still learning the basics of singing, having had apx. 20 lessons with a good coach starting about a year ago. I sing pop styles for myself and classical in a choir (no belcanto). I still have several problems, the most frustrating being the following:

I'm working on increasing range. I know I have a limited range in my modal voice (I'm told I'm a baritone, although some teachers thought there might be a tenor hidden somewhere deep inside). The thing is: my falsetto really disappoints me. There seems to be a lock inside me, preventing me from getting to a decent height, that is sometimes useful in the choir I sing in and in my solo work. It's like a barrier I can't seem to get through. Also, I find it hard to articulate clearly in falsetto.

UNTIL this afternoon: suddenly, just out of the blue, I was able to reach heights with falsetto I never had before: it much sounded like a classical countertenor / alto voice and I was really amazed by it. It was controlled (not squeeled) and I could sing softly with a good breath support.

All good right? No, because as soon as I got home, it was gone and I couldn't trigger it anymore: it felt stuck and locked again, just like before. It's really frustrating to suspect I can do something but it's restricted within me and I don't know how to release it.

Do you guys have any suggestions on how to free my voice? (Perhaps it will help free my modal voice as well.)

(I know the procedure would be to take lessons again, but I can't afford them at the moment.)

Any help is appreciated!

can it be something as simple as you weren't totally warmed up?

also, try singing "oo's" and "oh's" with your falsetto with a nice relaxed throat and open, loose jaw. those vowels tend to bring the folds a little closer together. are you using good breath support? i personally find it's easy to forget to use my support when doing falsetto because of the perceived ease of production. hope i helped.

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I'm going to take a wild shot. Were there anything different in the room you were in? A state of your body that was different (relaxed, rested etc). Do you have any allergies? Is your home practice space clear of dust and people. Any different moist in the air that day? Warmed up and prepared? There's a lot of things you can check in your surroundings that could affect your range, especially if it's a newly found sensation.

I believe with proper technique and training almost everyone is able to expand their range beyond the classical definitions. You've found a gem so it is there somewhere. You just need to experiment your way back to it.

To anecdote, which I seem to do best as I have little experience to share, I find I reach my high notes the easiest when I am on my way to work trudging along the mountainside and listening to my iPod. I am often amazed I can sing relaxed along with Aretha Franklin in the same pitch as her. As soon as I get home and try it loudly there is almost no way I can hit it without struggling. Getting there however.

Cheers

Fred

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Thanks for the replies!

In fact, when I hit those notes, I wasn't warmed up at all and I didn't pay attention to breath support. It felt effortless. (I guess if you try to do it effortless, there's still effort...)

When it happened, I was in a room with people with whom I was about to sing. Probably I was more relaxed by chance.

My home is not people or dust free, and I'm sure house mates (non-musicians) hear me pretty loud: this might be a restriction. There's no place I can be absolutely alone with my voice.

Every time I try now, it sounds squeeled again... :(

Anyway, I'll keep trying. In the mean time, I appreciate any word of advice...

Thanks.

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Thanks for the replies!

In fact, when I hit those notes, I wasn't warmed up at all and I didn't pay attention to breath support. It felt effortless. (I guess if you try to do it effortless, there's still effort...)

When it happened, I was in a room with people with whom I was about to sing. Probably I was more relaxed by chance.

My home is not people or dust free, and I'm sure house mates (non-musicians) hear me pretty loud: this might be a restriction. There's no place I can be absolutely alone with my voice.

Every time I try now, it sounds squeeled again... :(

Anyway, I'll keep trying. In the mean time, I appreciate any word of advice...

Thanks.

if your falsetto is too breathy, as you ascend in pitch, it will become increasingly more difficult. are you perhaps too breathy?

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Another thing to remember. Falsetto has limited use through part of the range. There are notes that you could possibly do that are higher but they won't be falsetto because of the breath support and vocal fold adduction required to get that note. But one thing that helps keep my falsetto coordinated is light volume sirens, high to low. And do them through the different vowels because you will feel slight changes in structure for each vowel.

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