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Questions about head vs chest voice..

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Iridal
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Okay, so, been awihle since my first frantic post. ;) Things are going well, I have a much better teacher now that I've moved to Virginia. I've got a few questions though...

So, my training right now is pretty classically oriented. We focus on exercises that strengthen your head voice and chest voice, separately, and one "popping exercise" where you go back and forth between the two. I can actually hear and feel my head voice getting stronger, so that's great! My teacher says that in order to expect it to hold its own at lower notes, it needs strength first, and that makes sense to me. Here's what I find confusing though. Right now, my head voice is gaining strength, and some stuff I used to sing in my chest voice around the G4-A4 range, I'm wondering if I should be using my head voice. It doesn't sound as strong, but it does feel a bit easier. Should I be going with the head voice on these notes or keep it in a high chest?

Also, I'm pretty sure that even when I am singing those G4-A4 notes in my head voice, some of my chest has to be in play, because when we're doing exercises in class and I sing those notes my teacher works with me to take the chest voice out. (Not because its bad, but because he wants to strengthen the head, he admits people don't actually sing the this way.) My fiance says sometimes he can't tell the difference between the two, but I can feel it. Do you ever get to a point where you can't tell the difference, you just sing? Or do you always tell and consciously decide head vs chest?

It would be interesting to me if the registers are blending more naturally as my head voice strengthens, because I always thought I'd have to do those siren things everyone is talking about, and I don't even know what those are. I'm not saying I'm perfect, I'm definitely still a beginner, but something is changing! ;) And yes, I do listen to my teacher, and I'm sticking to his exercises - his answer to this is sing those notes in my head voice. I'm just wondering what other peoples' experiences are.

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iridal, i know all too well what you're trying to get a hold on.....i struggled with this for a long time.

oh boy, does your post ever hit a nerve.....lol!!!!

the performing voice, the voice you will use to sing with with few exceptions, is a blend of head and chest voice musculature. but due to the act of humans speaking, the chest voice received more use than the head voice did. you need to strengthen the head voice musculature and then unite it with the chest voice musculature....(over time).

as frisell would say, pure head voice is an incompleted voice. without the chest voice musculature involved, there is no performing voice.

i would like to suggest you view the voice as having no registers, just one unified voice. it will make things a lot easier. i find with the register approach, you think in terms of coming out of one register and going into another which makes it feel unnatural.

the voice is the voice. bob

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Bob, I completely sympathize with your struggle! I am lucky enough that my head voice wasn't as weak as most people that start this journey. When I was little, I sang in the school choir, and I was in the soprano section, so I at least learned that my head voice existed and that it was a natural part of singing at an early age. So many people I know struggle to even find it, to figure out how the muscles work that way, so I feel blessed that I grew up with this feeling natural. Thats also probably why I never developed into an unhealthy belter the way most girls I know did. ;) Still, its hard to be patient when I see all those girls belting out ballads and all I can do is work on my strength and hope that I can do it too one day. (And, maybe, just maybe, feel vindicated just a little when they get hoarse because they didn't listen...?)

But I am noticing some serious, positive changes. It does make sense to me to think of it as having no registers, I just didn't know if that was a normal progression. If I overthink it, if I just sing, my voice places itself somewhere natural - the A4 will be my head voice if I'm going with what feels natural, and the more I do this, the less concious that choice becomes. But it is hard to stop thinking about registers because it still feels like 2 "modes" or "positions" in my throat. Does that start to feel more like a smooth processes as you train more, instead of like a light switch with 2 positions?

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absolutely. when i train/sing nowadays i really don't concern myself with registers at all anymore. i'm more into aiming the tone and shading the vowels for the best ring and resonance.

i work a lot on support and fold engagement levels. i'm a belting, wailing, kind of guy by nature, but i'm always working on my control and dynamics....soft to loud and loud to soft.

singing is such a mind game..lol!!!

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