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Seamless head voice in melody?

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rkas1222
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Rank beginner here -- I can't yet even hold a tune. But curious about some things.

I've seen a lot of talk, and some demonstrations, of head voice. But it's still not clear if it can be used seamlessly in pop songs.

Let me give you an example. I seem to run out of chest register steam around D4 or E4. Let's say I want to sing, say, the Beatles' tune "I Saw Her Standing There." Paul's up around F4 all throughout the song, hits G4 a few times ("When I crossed the room..."), and throws in a A4 here and there. To my ear, this all sounds very full, very natural, and very seamless. Maybe for Paul, it is in fact entirely chest register. I dunno.

But regardless of whether it is for Paul, could someone whose chest register range stops short of F4 sing that in a convincing manner, by using head/mix/middle/whatever-you-want-to-call-it voice? Usually the demonstrations I see of head voice are 'flourish' notes, and not part of the normal melody. And if they can, does it ever become easy? Again, in some of the head voice demos I see, it still seems like it's not always easy to 'hit' the bridge notes.

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The answer is yes to both your questions. You definitely can learn to sing those higher notes in a tone that is like how Paul sings - with voice that seems to carry the chest voice seemlessly up high into head. If I could learn how to do it, you can too. And, yes, with practice it becomes easier and easier and easier. It can take a long time though and can require quite a bit of practice and discipline. As I have said before, there are those that naturally can sing up there so it is easier for them. But anyone can learn to do this - so that it becomes 2nd nature - just like those "natural" tenors.

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to add, it has a lot to do with your particular voice weight. a heavier weight voice, (even though they may be a tenor) will have a harder time of it because the tonal disparity between head voice tonality and chest voice tonality may be more severe than a lighter weight voice. with a lighter weight voice, there's less apparent tonal disparity.

a lot of beatles songs are challenging. they had a very bright tonality among them. keep working at it.

i posted this before, but it really drives the point home. compare the 3 vocals. listen for the weights of the voices.

if lou gramm or david cook tried to sound like the amateur guy, they may not be able to, they're heavier weight voices.

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Interesting. So, how would you characterize the registers used in those videos? The amateur guy sounded like an 'unconnected head voice', which I'm guessing you agree with since you called it 'not a performance voice'. I thought it sounded good, mind you, but not 'it.'

The other two voices I thought sounded great. Would you say the Lou Gramm and David Cook were using exclusively head register, switching between head and chest register, or something else?

FWIW, I thought they sounded great. So I guess I'm less concerned for the moment in matching the tonality, and just hoping I'll eventually be able to sing 'naturally' in key for songs that are out of my chest register range. And by naturally, I mean all of:

- The lines sound seamless -- there aren't switches between registers that are obvious to the listeners

- Easily -- I won't by worried about breaking when moving around in the passagio. That is, I hope singing at these ranges is eventually fun and easy (albeit perhaps not _as_ easy as a lower piece), and not stressful and worrisome.

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gramm and cook were using a combination of both "musculatures" i don't like using the word "registers" anymore because implies a "division" and sometimes i think you can get hung up on the perception of a division instead of looking at it as an appropriate usage of both musculatures in a balanced way.

i feel one of the best exercises to do regularly is the "may" "may" "may" exercise, because it really helps to tie in the pharyngeal connection. also, for me, the "may" seems to help solidify the tone. the technical reasons for this i'll leave up the teachers, but "mays" have helped me a great deal.

also, sometimes you just have to practise "holding on", and not letting it break apart into a weak head voice or falsetto, whatever term you want to use.

i know the sound you're trying to get to...you simply may not be developed enough yet.

there's no way around it....you must exercise the voice 5-6 times a week. i promise you, if you apply yourself in time this will come to you. it is harder, and takes more effort (not strain) initially, but the more you do it, the less effortful it becomes.

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Oh, I'm really just getting started in this -- I started doing Frisell-style exercises about 3 days ago, so I haven't had any time to despair about any lack of progress yet.

I'm just the analytical type, and so I like to understand things as I learn them. In the Beatles case, I was just wondering if it was possible to learn to sing their songs credibly even though they're out of my chest range, and the answer seems to be an emphatic yes (with a tonality/weight caveat). That's good to hear!

So thanks for that information!

Here's another example that's got me curious. Frisell seems to claim that all male vocalists' bridges spans roughly B3 - G4, with the break before F4. That implies that any song, such as the above-posted "I Saw Here Standing There", that spends significant time at or above F4, is sung with plenty of head voice.

As far as I can see, the possible options are:

a) Paul is in fact using mixed/head/whatever voice to sing this song

B) Paul is singing in a strained chest register

c) Paul is simply able to sing higher in chest register/lower musculature than most people, and so he can sing this in chest without strain. This option implies either Frisell is wrong or I'm misunderstanding him.

What do people think?

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as a beginner, if either one of your musculatures (head or chest) is weaker than the other, and most times it's the head voice that's the weaker, you will experience difficulty unifying or balancing both musculatures.

you'll either use too much chest/head voice musculature or too little when you first start out.

i'm sure you know just by the mere act of cracking.

those "mays" help you access your mix, which is the voice you need to pull those songs off with resonance and projection....

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