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Question about Head Voice and its development

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JohnGalt
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Hello everyone! This is my first time posting on the forums, so here goes nothing! I have recently seen the video posted by Mr. Lunte on the topic of twang, and have become interested in developing the head voice to be able to sing such high notes, but after reading some of the posts on here and other forums, I am uncertain whether or not I am even singing head voice or if I am using falsetto. I have uploaded two sound files to my purevolume account as reference for anyone who happens to read this question. The second one is me singing in what I think is head voice, but what I am curious about is why it sounds (and especially feels) so different when I sing op vowels. When I start from E4 and F4, I sing the sounds OOH and EE, respectively, I can feel a sort of tension/vibration in my skull, but when I sing AH starting from F#4, not only does it sound weak, but I also lose that feeling of "resonance". Does this mean that my voice is simply too weak on that vowel and that I have to train it?

Also, I posted another file in which I sing a chorus in what I think is head voice for the first two lines, and then sing in a somewhat different voice for the next two lines. When I sing in that second voice, it feel different, as though my throat is working in a different way, and it feels somewhat more coordinated. Does anyone have any idea what "mode" that might be, if that is the correct term? Is it possible to strengthen one of those two (or both) voices to develop a "chesty" sounding voice in that range? Thank you in advance for your responses, and I apologize for my horrible voice :P!

Here is the link:

http://www.purevolume.com/JohnGalt81922

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john i'm not knowlegeable with regards to cvt but you are phonating lightly in your head "register." the "ee" as in "see" vowel is a more forward vowel in terms of where it resonates vs. the "ah" as in father which is a more backward vowel. the "ee" naturally has a higher frequency than the "ah" and the "ah" is a little more difficult vowel to produce.

can you sing that same scale starting on d3 using the "ng" sound as in "sing"?

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Hey videohere, thanks for the explanation! If I keep singing in head voice, will it eventually become "heavier", or is there a fundamental flaw in my technique which will prevent it? I tried recording the "ng" sound starting from D3, tell me if it is what you meant, I uploaded it on the same link. Would it be possible for me to make the "ah" eventually have that same feeling by just practicing it enough? Ahh, EvilSoup you caught me red-handed! :lol: and jonpall, I LOL'd at your comment. Hey ronws, is the link just not opening anything? Thanks for all of your replies!

P.S. That is so awesome that you guys know Atlas Shrugged, I am glad to know there are so many out there!

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So that IS headvoice and not falsetto? I would've asked the same question and am walking in similar territory these days doing the la____ slide from chest to head. VH is correct in that the Ah is more difficult to produce. It's even more difficult for the slide. Somehow, the EES and OOS come way easy. The more open A or Ah, not so much. One thing that is really helping me that I've never heard mentioned:

When you do the lip bubble thing and you go into the lighter top notes, switch the top note to a vowel in the middle of it. For example start your bubble on middle C and slide to the next C with the lip bubble. HOLD the top note with the bubble and transition from that to EEE or A (as in fate). It REALLY helps me find the sweet spot for those types of notes. After years of doing lip bubbles, I realized recently that I was kind of singing my normal stuff and the lip bubble stuff in different.... "pipes". Using the bubble really helps me to zero in on what the proper placement is.

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Everyone of those phonations is Falsetto mode, inside your head voice. Its perfectly obvious and clear to me. Your singing Falsetto, in your head voice. Your phonation is nothing more then the default, intuitive response the body phonates in when you have no twang, no compression, no pharyngeal dumping, etc...

Its just Falsetto in the head voice.

I can teach you how to turn that into a sound that is more "chesty" and sound huge.... but you have to make a commitment to training and actually workout on the home work I would give you. It would take you, as it does most people, about 2-3 lessons and you would be able to do that in your head voice, but it wont sound like a little girl, it will sound "boomy" and huge.

The choice is yours...

I hope this helps...

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Hey videohere, thanks for the explanation! If I keep singing in head voice, will it eventually become "heavier", or is there a fundamental flaw in my technique which will prevent it? I tried recording the "ng" sound starting from D3, tell me if it is what you meant, I uploaded it on the same link. Would it be possible for me to make the "ah" eventually have that same feeling by just practicing it enough? Ahh, EvilSoup you caught me red-handed! :lol: and jonpall, I LOL'd at your comment. Hey ronws, is the link just not opening anything? Thanks for all of your replies!

P.S. That is so awesome that you guys know Atlas Shrugged, I am glad to know there are so many out there!

rob lunte gave the answers above. this is a phonation that will not get stronger without (again see rob's post above). there's no compression, at times it was a little breathy.

however the 'ng" thing sounds too high. i was looking for d3 starting in chest (one octave below d above middle c). 5 note scale.

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Rob is right

You are trying to 'thicken' a falsetto sound - never going to happen! Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but once again I must reiterate:

Falsetto has no place in the development of full voice. Period. Don't waste your time on this. Good singers can transition between 'head' voice and 'falsetto' because they are good singers and they never acquired their full tone by working on falsetto - it can't be done and the exercise of this is futile.

Tony

Sorry for my extreme negativity here but it's true - don't start me on 'lip burbles' - that's an even bigger waste of time

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Interesting about the lip bubbles as everyone from Seth Riggs, to Brett Manning, to Ken Tamplin, to Lis Lewis, to Jaime Venderra, and others recommend them in all their programs.

Dear voice teachers, please send me a refund!

;)

BillyBudapest: Well.... here is my 2 cents: lip bubbles are for something, its just not the strengthening of the falsetto. They are one of the tools for lightening the registration in chest voice, encouraging flow phonation, and appropriate for singers who use too much medial compression and thick-fold phonation habitually. That is not everyone, just very, very many male singers.

On the uses of falsetto in the training of the full voice... some teachers do... some don't. For myself, there are some male students who are so locked laryngeally that a falsetto can help break the psychology of it. I know fine singers who have been trained with it, or without it. IMO, it depends on the specific circumstances of the singer.

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Interesting about the lip bubbles as everyone from Seth Riggs, to Brett Manning, to Ken Tamplin, to Lis Lewis, to Jaime Venderra, and others recommend them in all their programs.

Dear voice teachers, please send me a refund!

;)

Billy,

Maybe I overstated my point. Some teachers find value in them, I don't. In order to produce lip burbles/bubbles you MUST let air flow through the glottis! Think about it, most students who come to me initially have too much air in the voice and lip bubbling exercises only contribute to this problem. I like to encourage good vocal fold closure and clean tone production and lip exercises do not fit in with my pedagogy. A similar exercise which is of far more beneficial use is tongue trilling. Regards :)

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Steve - can you explain medial compression?

guitartrek: Sure. The definition is not unique to me, btw. Its a defined term among those who study the motions of the laryngeal parts during phonation, and in phonetics in general.

Simply stated, medial compression is the force of the vocal bands on each other, which happens when adduction proceeds to the point that the arytenoid cartilages touch.

Here is a url which shows a nice little diagram of the direction of the force, and a short explanation of what causes it.

http://www.ims.uni-stuttgart.de/phonetik/EGG/page10.htm

I hope this helps.

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First, to Rob and Vocalpower, I am very glad about what you are telling me, because you are helping me to avoid wasting time in achieving my goals! :)

Also, Rob, in regards to the "homework" you spoke of, I haven't the slightest worry about commitment to training because I sing for about 2 hours every days anyways, so I would be happy to spend that time on actually helping my voice to develop! It seems to me that there is no choice to make, because there is nothing that I would love more than to learn how to actually sing in head voice. Thank you all for your replies, this has been very helpful!

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I am curious about is why it sounds (and especially feels) so different when I sing op vowels. When I start from E4 and F4, I sing the sounds OOH and EE, respectively, I can feel a sort of tension/vibration in my skull, but when I sing AH starting from F#4, not only does it sound weak, but I also lose that feeling of "resonance". Does this mean that my voice is simply too weak on that vowel and that I have to train it?

First, I don't think you have a "horrible voice" at all. Your pitches are pretty clear up high and all you really need is some meaty support to get out what you want to get out.

Another thing to remember is that all vowels tend to mesh or merge or mush together into a sort of "uh" sound as you go higher (some will argue with this but that's ok). I mean you can work and work and work to get clear vowel sounds up there and that is a good thing, but ultimately, you will want to release a mental restriction that we all tend to place on ourselves, which has to do with wanting our voices to be "perfect."

All who know me on this forum know that I don't go in much for a lot of terminology (although I can do that) because I believe that the essence of singing freely has to do with releasing all constrictions, including trying to mentally/intellectually/academically fit in our voices to this muscle position or that muscle position.

Learn everything you can about all of that and then let it all go.

When you connect your emotions and what you want to express in singing with your lower ab muscles in a natural and balanced way, you will have no problem with the vowels up there because, again, the power of what you are expressing is more important that the vowels themselves.

This is not to say that you should abandon any study of the technical aspects of your voice, but I will caution you not to spend too much time on it. I have worked with so many people who have never found their authentic or true voices by going too far in trying to understand the terminology route that they get stuck there and stay constricted or frustrated.

I also see that you are in the Beverly Hills area. I'm going to be down there on the Westside next weekend and if you want to meet for coffee somewhere near the Playa Vista area just to talk about your voice, I might be able to work that into my schedule. Let me know. No charge but I'll let you buy the coffee! :)

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Hey singingmastermind, thanks for the post! I understand what you mean about technique, but I really do want to develop a powerful head voice before I start worrying about my own style, especially since this is for my own enjoyment :D Perhaps you could help me figure something out, because I certainly did not intend to suggest that I live in the Beverly Hills area, since I live about 3000 kilometers to the east :lol:

Thank you very much for the offer though, I am sorry that I am not in the vicinity of Beverly Hills, that sure would be nice!

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VIDEOHERE, I really wish I could, but I am unfortunately on the other side of the continental US :| Oh, also I understand now what you mean about the D3 NG thing, I reuploaded the NgSound file at http://www.purevolume.com/JohnGalt81922 with the chest voice this time! :cool:

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VIDEOHERE, I really wish I could, but I am unfortunately on the other side of the continental US :| Oh, also I understand now what you mean about the D3 NG thing, I reuploaded the NgSound file at http://www.purevolume.com/JohnGalt81922 with the chest voice this time! :cool:

that's it!

transition up by half steps nice and gently at first, but keep connected and you see how you are able to transition into your head register without locking up. i love this very basic exercise because it prevents you from straining. i got this from "singing and the actor" and guys on the forum.

you could also use "hung."

good luck.

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Thanks for the tip VIDEOHERE! I tried going farther up, but I found that if I tried anything above G4 I lost all semblance of stability and was basically screeching the notes :lol: Does this mean that I am simply trying to pull up my chest voice (I think it may be so because I feel tense) instead of transitioning into head voice, or do I just have a very low range for head voice? If you would like I can post a recording of me shrieking the notes in that area :lol:

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Thanks for the tip VIDEOHERE! I tried going farther up, but I found that if I tried anything above G4 I lost all semblance of stability and was basically screeching the notes :lol: Does this mean that I am simply trying to pull up my chest voice (I think it may be so because I feel tense) instead of transitioning into head voice, or do I just have a very low range for head voice? If you would like I can post a recording of me shrieking the notes in that area :lol:

sure send it over.

questions:

have you warmed up a bit first?

are you phonating with just enough consistant volume to stay connected?

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All right VIDEOHERE,I have recorded myself starting from what I think is middle C, and doing scales up until the top note B4, but I feel very tense at all of the upper notes.

In regards to the questions:

Yes, I did warm up, I sang some scales in the "ng" voice

Also, I find it difficult to phonate with consistent volume, I can't help but get louder when I sing the upper notes

Thanks for your time! http://www.purevolume.com/JohnGalt81922

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Hi JohnGalt

On the top notes, you are singing in falsetto. I know that I am opening the biggest can of worms debate but it is fact. You are flipping into a falsetto sound far too early for your vocal setup. This is only my perception having heard your mp3. Regards, Tony

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