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falsetto vs head resonance

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Danielformica
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Falsetto is a term to describe a sound. Use of falsetto voice in western music is very old. Its origins are difficult to trace because of ambiguities in terminology. Possibly when 13th century writers distinguished between chest, throat and head registers (pectoris, guttoris, capitis) they meant capitis to refer to what would be later called falsetto.[1] By the 16th century the term falsetto was common in Italy. The physician, Giovanni Camillo Maffei, in his book Discorso della voce e del modo d'apparare di cantar di garganta in 1562, explained that when a bass singer sang in the soprano range, the voice was called "falsetto".[1] In a book by GB Mancini, called Pensieri e riflessioni written in 1774, falsetto is equated with "voce di testa" (translated as 'head voice').[1]

you don't sing m2(falsetto) in songs or music unless you are a women or want to sound like prince. that chesty sound is chest resonance(cord vibration, closer more frequent) no way around it but to train it. I'm sorry if i'm not using the fancy terminology but i will if you need me to but why confuse anyone more. modifying the vowel(raising the soft palate,tongue moving etc ) will bring in more head "resonance" not actual falsetto. You will still be singing in your chesty man voice but you won't have the same amount of vibration it does on the lower notes, per the tension of the cords stretching(ct) your job is to stay in your big boy voice(good closure) without to much squeeze or push but by "technique " and by not totally releasing the tension and flipping to falsetto

capisce?

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Good post and I wonder how the development of singing culture would have been different if some guy had not used the word "falsetto," which comes from the root word that means false, a lie, not real. It is a type of sound your voice can make, no more or less real than any other "part" of the voice.

I agree, be a man (or grown up, so as not to offend any women reading this,) put on your long pants, shave your face, pay your bills, and work at what you want to get done. And some of it may seem tedious.

So, a guy said that a basso singing the high parts was "falsetto." Probably because he could not imagine a low centered voice singing that high, so it must not be "real." Sounds like a mental thing, to me. (Really, ronws, do you have to keep bringing that word around?)

So, I am likely to sound even just a little bit like Jens. Even these descriptions of tonal qualities or degrees of fullness in the voice are constructs of our language and whatever baggage that language brings. And they can either be a help or hindrance. So, when I bring up a word like "goosenfrabe," (because I really like how it rolls of the tongue, so to speak,) it is to illustrate the slippery slope of semantics (alliteration provided by the late Robert A. Heinlein.) If goosenfrabe or some other words frees you, so be it.

I know others value what must appear to be "hard work." That some recognition should be given for hard work. And that sometimes, the beauty of the singing or what-have-you is in the "hard work" to be admired to achieve it.

My experience in the world of work has shown otherwise. Decades of physical toil, study, effective management of crew and materials. Only to find companies, in general, didn't need me after a certain point, no matter how hard or effectively I worked. I have circulation problems in my hands from working in sub-zero conditions until I could no longer feel my hands and feet. Digging ditches by hand and wrestling 1,000 lb switchgear. I have two bad spots in my back and one is a bulge. When I say that breakfast starts with ibuprofen, I am not being dramatic or painting a "story," it's the fact, Jack.

The company I work for now does value smart work, equal to hard work. And whatever good I have done in the past, I still have to perform to the ultimate, each and every day. It's not a matter of how "hard" I work. It's how well I work, each and every day. And perhaps that now informs my view of everything, including singing. So, when I do a cover song, I make no excuses, no disqualifiers. I am not going to say how tired I was or that my allergies were kicking my butt all day. I am not going to say whether it was a cold sight-read and first and only track, or ten attempts and this was full take number 1,049 (and a half.) All that matters is, how does it sound right now, this time? Whatever critiques and hits I take, nothing is to stand between me and that. And if others liked it, whatever "it" was, accept that and do it some more.

I know it seems like I am drifting a little. However, and this is the hard part, outside of pitch accuracy, which should be job number one, divorce yourself from what you think about the sound or how you are supposed to make the sound. Make the sound and see or hear, more appropriately, what it sounds like.

And like you would say, Daniel, apply it in song, not just endless exercises, though exercises are good at building some repeatable habit. However, I think there is sometimes a tendency, sometimes with good reason, to separate what is done in an exercise from what is done for a song. Not every song will be a slide or siren that starts at G3 and turns around at G4. And not every song is going to be a chromatic 8.

Finally, for me, it feels like the difference between falsetto and "full head voice" is a matter of degree of resonance.

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"Full head voice" IS falsetto. With balls. The basic mechanism of vocal fold vibration looks the same, but applying increased breath support and tight laryngial control results in taking the timbre of a male voice in M2 from Eddie Kendricks (the Temptations) to Tim Kotipelto (Stratovarius). Try doing some slow (10 seconds or more to climb from p to f) messa di voce in the middle of your falsetto range and you should see what I mean.

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"Full head voice" IS falsetto. With balls. The basic mechanism of vocal fold vibration looks the same, but applying increased breath support and tight laryngial control results in taking the timbre of a male voice in M2 from Eddie Kendricks (the Temptations) to Tim Kotipelto (Stratovarius). Try doing some slow (10 seconds or more to climb from p to f) messa di voce in the middle of your falsetto range and you should see what I mean.

My understanding is that falsetto is a disconnected sound. You cannot mess di voce starting in falsetto and going into full voice without a break. Also falsetto does not connect to your lower register.

Nick

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"Full head voice" IS falsetto. With balls. The basic mechanism of vocal fold vibration looks the same, but applying increased breath support and tight laryngial control results in taking the timbre of a male voice in M2 from Eddie Kendricks (the Temptations) to Tim Kotipelto (Stratovarius). Try doing some slow (10 seconds or more to climb from p to f) messa di voce in the middle of your falsetto range and you should see what I mean.

The description of M2 and the singers associated match, but I would not use the term "full head voice" to describe that. I just call that falsetto, I dont see why the need to have 10 names to describe the same thing.... And thats the problem.

People think that because they create a new fancy name for it, it will become something else...

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The description of M2 and the singers associated match, but I would not use the term "full head voice" to describe that. I just call that falsetto, I dont see why the need to have 10 names to describe the same thing.... And thats the problem.

People think that because they create a new fancy name for it, it will become something else...

Yeah, but do you see the problem? If Dan says something like this:

you don't sing m2(falsetto) in songs or music unless you are a women or want to sound like prince.

he either has to include a lot more guys alongside prince or guys like Kotipelko are just singing wrong. This high voice singing IS falsetto (M2) as a vibration mode, but the fact of being "connected" or not makes a world of difference in singing, so many schools separate that disconnected "girly"-falsetto from the connected "manly"-falsetto guys like Kotipelko use.

And because that type of falsetto is "manly" many guys consider it more as a continuation of their chest mechanism and not as a different way to sing falsetto.

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The problem is the voice is capable of so many sounds, also there are parts in your range where your "falsetto" can make the same sound as your "Big Boy" voice.

The problem i think is, people "grade" sounds. In a sense you can see this in this thread for example.

For instance if you ever want to be able to get above C5 in a good cool way you need a strong falsetto to lean on. I know alot of strongvoiced guys who hasnt trained falsetto and they stop dead around C5.

Anyways there is merit to what daniel writes, as there are alot of guys who get stuck in this terminologywar. Wich is easily putting focus away from the singing.

Instead of asking yourself the question "what is that sound?" wich easily leads you down a myriad of terms like curbing,chestvoice,edge,headvoice, overdrive, mixedvoice, callvoice, pharyngeal.

Ask yourself and others what sounds do i want? and how do I get there?

Cheers

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Just asking again. Does anyone here have a hard time distinguishing their own chest voice from falsetto?

It's not distinguishing the two in practice that's confusing, it's defining where you draw the line between the two, when communicating with other singers.

On a per student basis, it's simple, you just pick the terms you like, define them, and stick to that. I certainly have mine nailed down.

But the minute you communicate with other singers, they have different definitions that make you question everything. Then we have to try to agree on something but in the end it never works out perfectly and then in order to be articulate we have to bring out the vocal science and confuse everybody some more. It's a never-ending enigma and I don't think we'll ever get out of it. There will still always be confusion when you try to communicate vocal technique exclusively verbally.

I'm beginning to believe the terms really do more harm than good, regarding our individual vocal development. I think we'd all be better off categorizing our voices by the different sensations/behaviors/sounds we've discovered it can make, and then don't try to connect that with a term at all. The association with a term is one more unnecessary thing for the brain to think about and what really needs to happen is we just have to store these different configurations as muscle memory and rig up whatever vocal setup gets us the sound we want.

But I've seen members on this forum in the past that seriously thought their falsetto was chest pulling, so, to answer your question on behalf of some other singers, most certainly they have trouble distinguishing it and it may prevent them from accessing their full voice.

Me personally, I am aware of a lot of different configurations in my voice and how to control them and apply them in singing that's what matters. So no. In terms of physical distinguishing of configurations, no problem. Calling them terms that make sense to me and expecting the entire vocal world to agree with me? That is where all singers go insane. I like to just stop worrying about it.

This M1/M2 thing is definitely counterproductive you know? I have to remind myself to clear it from my mind when I sing now, it's a hazily defined useless distraction that reduces confidence. I wish I never tried to scope out an exact definition for it. All it does it make me fear a tiny vocal break and question where that break may happen. Screw that!!!

Perhaps we should just all keep doing our own thing. Sing our own way and don't question it.

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That's the thing Owen there is a line. You distinguish it and know that is it. You practice both. If you want you chest voice higher you practice it correctly. If you want your falsetto less airy you practice it. But you don't expect that falsetto gear to become your chest. In some people they may figure it to be but if you say to them "show me your falsetto? they will do mickey mouse and bam there it is its not there chest voice very simple. Now if they start going to extremes to show how close they are( higher pitches higher intensities) the game is changed but going back to do Mickey Mouse it will always show itself.

My advice what sound do you want? If its Mickey Mouse or prince or Philip bailey or maxwell or dangelo sing in that Mickey Mouse feeling. If its dio, Coverdale, Bruno mars stevie wonder sing in you chest and get technically better at it.. Don't sing like Mickey waiting for that intensity suddenly to become chest. Have a free Skype session with me and help you understand better. Seriously hit me up:D. I know you hate that. But that goes for anyone that is having a hard time with this:)

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So how about this:

(full) "head voice" describes a sound that is produced by the lighter set of gears but is more similar to the sound of the heavier set (mainly in terms of compression level).

In the middle part of the voice you can make very similar sounds using either the heavy or the light mechnism, so here it is more a question of what kind of technique you want to use (early vs late bridging).

Notes above the C5 are almost exclusively sung in the light mechanism regardless of sound.

@Dan: of course the use of "wrong" was provocative. Just wanted to say that it makes a difference in terms of mind set and technique if you sing like Prince in the high part of the voice or like Bruno Mars, even though it is both falsetto (the light gear set).

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I'd say it's a toss-up for equally awesome posts by Dan and Jens. Because singing is mental.

Like I was saying about the use of the word, falsetto. That alone drives much of this and similar discussions, as well as hard or easy work for singing students. How many people here are trying to "get away" from a "weak" falsetto? And when asked to define what is a weak sound can only say well, singer x, sounds stronger than this. Stronger where? "On (whatever) album." OH, you mean the album that took 6 months to record, another 2 months to mix, then another month or so in the mastering process, having been treated and processed all the way? Is that the one that you mean?

So, first off, we need to remove the "stigma" of falsetto. Both from what we think the word means and equally, remove stigma from the sound associated with it. I can't possibly care less if the sound is not used in death metal prog screamo goosenfrabe jazz, or not. Use it, accept it, then move past it.

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@Dan: of course the use of "wrong" was provocative. Just wanted to say that it makes a difference in terms of mind set and technique if you sing like Prince in the high part of the voice or like Bruno Mars, even though it is both falsetto (the light gear set).

No.

Hmm, just checked some vocal range videos by him and while he seems to have some modal notes in certain songs up to D#5 I think most of his C5+ stuff is still the light mechanism.

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Yes benny, above c5 it works, now listen:

There is an A#4 on that melody, he is doing on the same coordination as the high part of his voice.

NOW, this is a part of this style actually, if you listen to helloween and other melodic metal stuff, there is a lot of things done like this, and it sounds cool. And maybe, given the proportions, if you try to sing other stuff in the same way and not trying to bring that much lower than the A#4, you can get the job done.

However, trying to bring that lower, or even trying to force it to have more "body" on the A#4 area, is problematic. Even doing it like Kotipelto does places quite a lot of stress on the voice. On the middle voice it IS tiresome.

You can check his performances on Paradise, the chorus hit the spot.

Or better yet, try singing it like he does. Then move the whole thing up a semitone, you will see it becomes much easier to sing it. Thats what I used to do with any Stratovarius song so that I could just go into falsetto and forget it.

The only way to make that really stable and reliable, is to learn how to control modal voice very, but very well, and pass into it when you drop bellow the B4 (in my case), for lighter voices it may be a bit higher. OR, you dont equalize the quality and let the disparity be on the face of the listenner. Which is not acceptable for most stuff.

And frankly, if it really was the same, we would not be talking about it. You can hear it, I can hear it, so lets not try to place a blanket on top of it. Its there, ignoring it will not solve the problem, and I believe its even more important to know very well the difference if your intent is to do what Kotipelto does. You can really destroy your voice singing that high with tensions or fighting the registration.

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Yes benny, above c5 it works, now listen:

There is an A#4 on that melody, he is doing on the same coordination as the high part of his voice.

NOW, this is a part of this style actually, if you listen to helloween and other melodic metal stuff, there is a lot of things done like this, and it sounds cool. And maybe, given the proportions, if you try to sing other stuff in the same way and not trying to bring that much lower than the A#4, you can get the job done.

However, trying to bring that lower, or even trying to force it to have more "body" on the A#4 area, is problematic. Even doing it like Kotipelto does places quite a lot of stress on the voice. On the middle voice it IS tiresome.

You can check his performances on Paradise, the chorus hit the spot.

Or better yet, try singing it like he does. Then move the whole thing up a semitone, you will see it becomes much easier to sing it. Thats what I used to do with any Stratovarius song so that I could just go into falsetto and forget it.

The only way to make that really stable and reliable, is to learn how to control modal voice very, but very well, and pass into it when you drop bellow the B4 (in my case), for lighter voices it may be a bit higher. OR, you dont equalize the quality and let the disparity be on the face of the listenner. Which is not acceptable for most stuff.

And frankly, if it really was the same, we would not be talking about it. You can hear it, I can hear it, so lets not try to place a blanket on top of it. Its there, ignoring it will not solve the problem, and I believe its even more important to know very well the difference if your intent is to do what Kotipelto does. You can really destroy your voice singing that high with tensions or fighting the registration.

Well written, and very interesting. What I am reading out of it is that in your sensation the M2 mode is characterized by a very strong "forward" placement (almost sitting in your nose), because I think that is what Kotipelto does. And I agree. If you take that down into the middle voice it will probably hurt you. But I think you can safely bridge into M2 early if you use a deeper placement, just like Rob teaches it in TVS.

I am still unsure as to how to really sense M2, but out of intuition I would say I can do M2 on a note as low as D4 and it will sound like chest voice but it will be lighter in weight than "real" M1 and will feel as light as falsetto in terms of demand on support and ease of singing. But maybe it's just a very light M1? Will try to post some examples soon.

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Maybe Falsetto can be described as a coodination that uses the vibratory characteristics of M2. Falsetto is a locked coordination (locked on a laryngeal level). Once that coordination is "Unlocked" it is no longer Falsetto.

If all of you are saying regardless of the sound when ascending from say A3 and reach that wobbly place in the voice and smooth it out you are now in M2 connected sound or not. That is what it seems that most of you are saying, although in different terms.

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