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Am I a soprano if I always sang falsetto?

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babystar
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Hey everybody!

I just have a small question about falsetto and voicetype. I sang in my falsetto voice a very long time now without knowing it and had a very weak chest voice, except if I'd squeeze it, then I could go as low as right under C3. Then it sounds very creakyish, not so nice.

If I sang in my falsetto voice my entire life, does it mean that I'm a soprano?

My speakin' voice is naturally dark too if that would give any help to the question. But I don't sound like an alto-girl. I'm gonna join a choir soon so I really hope anybody can help me. I would appreciate it a lot.

Thank you,

Claudia

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Hey everybody!

I just have a small question about falsetto and voicetype. I sang in my falsetto voice a very long time now without knowing it and had a very weak chest voice, except if I'd squeeze it, then I could go as low as right under C3. Then it sounds very creakyish, not so nice.

If I sang in my falsetto voice my entire life, does it mean that I'm a soprano?

My speakin' voice is naturally dark too if that would give any help to the question. But I don't sound like an alto-girl. I'm gonna join a choir soon so I really hope anybody can help me. I would appreciate it a lot.

Thank you,

Claudia

Claudia: Maybe. Very few females sing in actual falsetto... much more likely a light head voice is what you have been using.

Where is your transition to your top voice? If its at E5-F#5, its likely you are what would be called a soprano. What region of your voice is your favorite and most comfortable?

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Hello Steve Fraser,

Thank you for your answer.

If you mean my transition to head voice, I EXACTLY fall into headvoice around Eb5. And it feels most comfortable to sing in the "middle". It's both tough for me to reach very low notes like D3 and very high notes like E6.

Should I go for the Alto section or the Soprano section?

Claudia

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Steven can certainly correct me if I am wrong but if you don't have to shift to headvoice until Eb5, I would think that makes you at least a mezzo-soprano, if not a full soprano. But that might changed if you tried the lighter tones that "feel" like falsetto. Then you would be coloratura, especially if you get a C6. I don't know what your top note is, now. And different people view top note differently. Some, especially in pop and rock music, find that any note is usable. So, if you could sing a C6 with any kind of volume, it would be usable. Others hold the limit at the top note one can sing and still have some articulation.

I don't know if you are alto. You might be a soprano with a warm chest voice that causes the auditory illusion that you are singing in alto. It's analagous to a tenor with a light, warm bottom end that has a baritonish sound.

Some, such as myself, perhaps mistakenly, have partially, at least, defined range by volume, as in the volume required to sing on stage without a mic over acoustical instruments.

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Hello Ronws,

Yeh let's see what Steven says about it.

It's not really that I want to shift to headvoice at Eb5 but around Eb5/E5 is where I feel most comfortable to shift into pure headvoice.

I can reach notes above C6 but I don't feel I do it with that ease as if I sing lower notes around my mix.

What is a coloratura? :)

Even if my middle voice is not 100% balanced I still feel that's my power to sing in. There IS my comfort to sing. Low chest voice or high head voice feels harder to sing in, or is it easier to sing in middle voice than chest and head, once the middle is developed?

Thank you so much for helping me.

Claudia

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Hey everybody!

...

I just have a small question about falsetto and voicetype. I sang in my falsetto voice a very long time now without knowing it and had a very weak chest voice, except if I'd squeeze it, then I could go as low as right under C3. Then it sounds very creakyish, not so nice.

If I sang in my falsetto voice my entire life, does it mean that I'm a soprano?

My speakin' voice is naturally dark too if that would give any help to the question. But I don't sound like an alto-girl. I'm gonna join a choir soon so I really hope anybody can help me. I would appreciate it a lot.

Thank you,

Claudia

Claudia: Maybe. Very few females sing in actual falsetto... much more likely a light head voice is what you have been using.

...

Hi,

Few questions from me - firstly - how old are you ?

The reason is, Steven is correct - I would likely expect that from say G4/A4 up to E5 you have this light airy voice - would that be correct ?, the reason for asking is that say 8y/o through till 14/15 ish I would expect that, either that ... or you are older and are in 'early' training for voice and the A4 to D5/E5 is for women the hard to work over.

... and "if" you are older, with previous vocal training - then we would need to hear "ee" siren for diagnostic purposes (and then advise accordingly). You previous posts seem to point at Estill (for how long) and CVT (how long) and Bel Canto (how long).

You "may" have been working with a coach, who has trained head down to say E4 so the "airiness" may be as low as E4. Has the classical coach done this (as s/he "may" have introduced airiness within the range).

You say C3 for lowest note - then say you struggle to reach D3 in a later post (and previous posts has you only humming down that low ) ... What is your safe lowest singing note ? G3 or pushing it relatively easily F3 ?

you say, "My speakin' voice is naturally dark ", throughout training coaches are very aware to the colour of the voice and then through asking, asks where a student wants to go - and continues working within a required colour (or train depending on material the student wishes to work through). I have one who shows the most beautiful, dark velvet tone that just washes over you and is mesmerising. However next lesson and it's gone (laughs). ... I have edited the post as I would like to add ... with the Sops (even with this dark one), I tend to train to D6, but only if required, as most literature is well below (it's not everyday you'll coach for Miserere).

That's likely Why Ron posted, "You might be a soprano with a warm chest voice. "

I don't know your age and have only heard 1 previous song (I have searched previous posts), there is a little nasality in there. ... you also mentioned, "I EXACTLY fall into headvoice around Eb5", which is very technical and "theory" based, but most sops do seem to hit E5 and out comes this amazing sound.

I would go over your post, http://themodernvocalist.punbb-hosting.com/viewtopic.php?id=1537 and http://themodernvocalist.punbb-hosting.com/viewtopic.php?id=1341 and http://themodernvocalist.punbb-hosting.com/viewtopic.php?id=1264 (in this last one - do you still have this singing teacher - as I would expect a teacher of 20+ years to know the answers to your questions).

Lots of reading and looking forward to responses - We'll all help as much we can. If poss post a song or two as well - Also listen to guidance from Choirmaster too and tell us what (s)/he says.

Regards,

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Hello Stew503,

Thank you for givin' me help! I will answer my questions here very simple.

I am 20 years old.

Yes, I am familiar with Estill and CVT.

I took singing lessons for 3 years with an Estill teacher, but I mostly learned how to sing songs and less about singing technique. What I will always remember, is that after 2 years she said I have a very beautiful and stable middle/mix voice (in her words; mixing between head and chest very easily), which she said made me a secure mezzo soprano, until I started to loose trust in her and follow the CVT method. I didn't just trust her I didn't trust ANYBODY. And that time I never understood exaclty what mix/middle voice is, I just wanted so much to be a "powerhouse".

So I took singing lessons for about 8 months with 2 different CVT teachers. I'm not gonna get into this topic, but I teared my voice apart instead of learnin to sing better. There's NOTHING wrong with the method, but I was doin' somethin' wrong.

I went to a Bel Canto teacher for one month, but I didn't find the teacher enough inspiring.

I recently started out taking singing lessons with a Speech Level Singing teacher. I can finally feel it's fun to sing again and it feels like a fantastic journey to learn singing now. I don't wanna tell you that my teacher my God, but he's the one I will go to!

With the chest voice, I can go down comfortably to an F3. I can go healthily to E3, if I have a lucky day.

Yes, I can go as low as C3, but I tend to push, I think.

Most comfortable high head voice note would be around A5/B5. Higher pitches than that, I don't feel "home", but I can reach them.

Yes, I always sounded nasal when I sing. I don't really like it. Can the SLS method help me get rid of the nasality sound?? I would really be happy to get an answer for that.

Don't take me wrong, but the older posts I posted before are no use for me to follow or look back to anymore. I was desperate to learn to sing correctly and I posted stuff I thought I did, but I didn't. I believe CVT is a beautiful method, so is other methods too. But the previous posts I posted was kinda useless for me to post and I'm very sad about it. I was too eager. It didn't tell the truth of my voice, until I met my recent singing teacher. I understand what's happening to my voice right now, and I'm more than happy. I'm extremely thankful.

I hope you understand me, and I hope I also answered good to the questions. I may post a lot and confuse you a lot but now I took really time to write down my history of learning to sing.

So basically, I just wonder if I should join the Alto section or the Soprano section. Maybe it doesn't matter in the end? But it sounds a lot like soprano :)

I practice and sing a lot. I never wanna become a popstar! I wanna wanna be a better singer and sing good. I work hard to one day feel freedom.

Thank you so much for taking time to help me.

Claudia

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Hi Claudia,

Firstly - thank you for the response. Now the open-ness is there it'll help a great deal.

ok,

You said 3 yrs Estill (and mentioned Mezzo), 8 months with CVT and powerhouse singer ... Well done (bet you didn't expect me to say that!)...

In singing circles (and actually most circles) you have now completed your apprenticeship ... Likely 90% of everyone on here did EXACTLY the same. Even those who learnt from an early choir age probably ended up shredding to Bryan Adams and the rest of that era of music in later years.

... Over the years I have had mixed feelings about Estill. I respect the system and see coaches such as Yvie who are SO prevelant in the X-Factor world. There is SOMETHING to be learnt from every system.

I would come to say that it was a shame you left the system as it would be wonderful to talk to someone with many yrs of the craft under their belt (the nearest Estill trained coach to me is many miles away - so not like I can pop round for a coffee (laughs)). ...

The reason why I have this feeling is I see 10/11 y/o's belting and see distinct comparisons between 10/11 y/o's in classical circles and what happens to voices in puberty years and a few years afterwords within the differing systems.

F3-A5/B5 ... That old Estillian teacher (now you may look back), 'may' have done a very good job. When you approach a choir, ask for the Mezzo section and then let TIME and coaching with current SLS to see if you swing G3/A3 to C6.

I say this based on your words, "she said I have a very beautiful and stable middle/mix voice"

... So beauty in C4 - E5, rather than pulling chest to G4(ish) in Contr world.

I would .. currently, probably advise to stay within Mezzo circles for a while (HOWEVER ... I have NOT heard you). Choir "may" put you in sop circles - however be MINDFUL of the literature in B4 to E5(and up to G5) world (as choirmaster may be expecting a more Lyrical quality) - So opt out!!.

As for ANY previous coach not spotting / resolving the nasality issue - you have my permission to go thwap them over the head with a copy of James McKinney's book. As to your question about will the SLS system remove it. I would say likely not - HOWEVER the coach (with knowledge outside the system) should know. Mention this to your current SLS coach and ask him/her what they are going to do about it and post here (and if (s)/he doesn't give a satisfactory response - i'll thwack him one with the book (laughs)).

p.s. on this note - I work hard to one day feel freedom ... Excellent - that's the spirit.

Regards

Stewart

p.s. edited to add this from Openoctave, "the Mezzo-Soprano uses a balanced mix of Head and Chest Voices, resulting in a rich powerful tone production, that can be more flexible than the Soprano, and sit well as a section, more than capable of holding it's own in full bodied choral work with the other vocal sections."

Also wanted to add - this post rather than lower - is Mezzo vs. Choir as Steve has mentioned Alto in the Choir. If the choir is SATBarB, then I wholeheartedly agree for for the Alto, based on Steven's post. Just be mindful of grabbing notes C4 to G4 ish.

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Hello stew503,

Thanks for your help and all the information you give I appreciate it really a lot!

Just to add some more about me...

My Estill teacher was my singing teacher at my Music High School in Sweden. Later I moved abroad. Now I'm in the United Kingdom.

Yes, my Estill teacher also said, later I maybe will become a soprano, if I do classical training. If I remain with singing Pop, R&B etc, I will remain being a Mezzo Soprano, but there's still chances to become a soprano. She said something like that. It doesn't really make sense to me yet. :)

I didn't know there's a mezzo section in a choir. I will go for it and try out the soprano section too. Just gotta try it I guess!

No, I mean, all I wanted was to become a powerhouse singer. I am no powerhouse singer :P

I will look for that book, thanks! And I will ask my coach too about removin' the nasality. Maybe it's just a breath support issue?

About the openoctave quoete, yes, before when I had my middle voice, it was the strongest and most stable part of my voice, that I could sing with. I hope my teacher can give me back that.

There's so much information that you write I just have to say thank you again and I will keep in mind with everything that is written here. I will also put a recording here as soon as I can.

THank you so much,

Claudia!

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C6? That's stilll some coloratura going on, at least in the high end. Coloratura, lightest and highest of the sopranos. Comparable to castrati in males, just a smidge higher than tenore leggiero.

But you still might be mezzo-soprano through most of your range. Which is totally dead center for pop and hard rock female vocalists. In fact, here's a jazz vocalist doing one of her favorite rock songs and I think she sounds mezzo-soprano on this.

Fergie, from the Black-Eyed Peas, singing a song wrote by the guitarist she is singing with, on his birthday, no less.

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Hello ronws,

I personally think I dare to say I'm not a coloratura and I won't become a coloratura. I am not singing classical and all the sub-terms are no use to use in popular music. That's one thing what my Estill teacher also told me, without my interest to actually know it during that time. Coloratura is a special term within opera world, and it doesn't mean you're a coloratura because you can hit a high note. Please tell me if I'm wrong, 'cause I learned this a year ago or so.

What do you mean with "dead center" for being a mezzo soprano? Is it a bad thing to be a mezzo soprano?

Oh, I also wanted to go back to the question of my topic. I don't sing that airy anymore, or as I call it falsetto. But as you can see, I thought that could indicate that I may be a soprano. I just got back to learn to control the middle voice. And I learned where my first bridge and second bridge are placed.

I will keep myself updated.

Thanks that you keep helping me! :)

Claudia

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You're right, whether you realize it or not. Descriptions like coloratura or mezzo really relate to the meat of tessitura, which many people think means range but it really means texture or tonal quality. Mezzo is a fuller sounding, almost dramatic voice type. Kindy of an earthy sound. And yes, one can hit a high note and not be colratura. Just as one can sing an A5 and not be leggiero. Or even castrati.

Also, your tessitura can change a little with training. You could certainly be singing your notes more fully and less falsetto-y and that's why it's dangerous to type a voice before some training has taken place.

Also, as you pointed out, you aim to sing more popular music than classical, so you may get away from the sound-ideal world, even though you impose a sound ideal on yourself. In pop music, a wider range of sounds is acceptable. But you, for example, eschew the falsetto sound, to a large degree. So, you have your own sound ideal of what is acceptable and what is not. That is similar to what is expected in classical.

Just as in some circles, heavy metal and hard rock is thought to require singing with rasp. That is a sound ideal for that genre, at least for some people.

In country, one is expected to sound as you were raised in the southern states of USA.

R & B, one is expected to trill and arpeggiate syllables.

And it's hard to say where the ideal came from. In pop and rock, I don't think so much that someone decided rasp needed to be there. I think I bunch of raspy voices proved to be popular until it became the standard. Which is not to say that you can't develope rasp, as long as you use it wisely.

And like I was saying, being mezzo soprano in pop is totally in the center of it. That is, the most successful women singers, like Pat Benetar, Anne Wilson, are mezzo. Sheryl Crow I would probably cast as lyric. Chrissy Hynde has a low voice, which totally suits the vibe of the Pretenders.

Then, again, if as your instructor says, you can ignore fach designations, then it really doesn't matter what kind of soprano you are, as long as you can sing the song effectively.

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Also, noting your age. If you have always sang what you thought of as airy and falsetto, some of that change is just the maturation of your body from little girl to being a woman, now. The other change is the training you have received from your instructor.

Third will be a change in how you perceive what it is that you do and that is mental. So, let me give you a verbal math problem to figure out. Falsetto is characterized, in part, by an airy sound. But not all airy-sounding notes are falsetto. Just as not all notes sung a mezza-voce (half-volume) are falsetto just because they are not belted as a "powerhouse" note. You can have a light sounding note that involves good adduction, matched breath management and it is not falsetto. And one could have this note regardless of whatever fach designation their voice is typed as.

Jens in our forum regards himself as a baritone but he can muster a C6 and whistle registered a C#8.

My full volume range without mic is from about E3 to Bb5. In my normal, low volume speaking voice, I can speak between A2 and C3. When I get down to G2, I am flirting with fry. At F#2, my folds have separate and it's a gutteral growl for me, there.

Point being that how you speak or even what your nominal range and timbre is can be non-related, sometimes.

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Hello Steve Fraser,

Thank you for your answer.

If you mean my transition to head voice, I EXACTLY fall into headvoice around Eb5. And it feels most comfortable to sing in the "middle". It's both tough for me to reach very low notes like D3 and very high notes like E6.

Should I go for the Alto section or the Soprano section?

Claudia

Hi, Claudia.

In your current circumstance, and age... I suggest starting in first Alto for the choir, and in your private lessons, work on maintaining consistency of vocal production as you bridge to the top.

A great deal of where you will fit best in the choir is the nature of the tonal concept desired by the director. When you have gotten into it, have a chat about the tone quality and range that is desired.

The reason for my recommendation is that connection to the top, and consistency of quality, is very much expected of the soprano part. It lives most of the time in the octave from A4 to A5, and the voice must move with control and consistency. This is consistency that can be built.

I hope this helps. It would be great to have a recording of your voice to listen to.

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Hello everybody here!

First at ronws,

I also believe my voice will change as I get older.

Yeah I know that Jens can hit that high. Range doesn't really tell you what your voicetype is I think, but more where it feels "home" for you to sing. Where in your vocal range. And I basically just wanted to ask, that if I sang with my "quiet", "falsettoish", "whatever you wanna call it" voice, means I'm a soprano, or if one of my old schoolmates at high school sang with her chest voice all the time, would indicate that she's an alto. My Estill teacher was also a teacher for her, and she told me that she'd be 100% a soprano, when she would master her mix and head voice. My schoolmate REALLY wanted to be an deep dark alto, but her voice would sound 100 times brighter than mine. Funny...

Now at Steven Fraser,

Thanks for your answer and help. It definitely helped a lot! I will have a chat with my teacher and the choir director about it. I can be "over careful" with my voice, so it feels now much better to have recieved an answer for my question.

I will put up a recording as soon as I can. Thank you so much for all your help. I'm gonna read everything through again soon!

One more thing, which I think has to do with this topic, a little bit. I'm very inspired to a few voices in this world. One of them is Whitney Houston. I just wanted to ask, before in her past, was she a soprano, mezzo or an alto during the 80's?? I think her voice is not the same during the 80's as during the 90's. I just always wanted to ask this. :)

Another singer I like is Tanya Blount. You can hear her sing with Lauryn Hill the song "His eye is on the sparrow". Pretty similar to Whitney's voice but not so faamous tho.

Claudia

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I just want to comment on this whole "range" idea. As you mentioned babystar, for pop music, it doesn't matter what your "classification" is really. Unless you are a super low bass or super high soprano, then it's down to hard work and practising those money notes that people want to hear in contemporary music!

Classical classifications refer to the part of your voice which sounds the "best" for that style. For example, I can sing tenor range but the timbre is not acceptable for choral music, therefore I sing 1st bass in choirs.

Judging from what you've said, you seem to have a very interesting range! You said you could hit around C3-D3. I've heard Soprano friends of mine attempt to hit the C#3 in Beyonce's "Halo" and it just sounds terrible, way out of their range (and they freely admit it). But if you can sing up to C6, that is extremely high. So it sounds like for you, if you want to pursue popular music, it is a question of developing your style rather than worrying about hitting notes.

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Hi! Sorry that I didn't answer here for a while!

You're right Mr Bounce. :) Maybe I should just go any voice type, but alto for the choir sounds a good idea. And yeah style and better middle voice is what I'm workin' on thank you so much for your help!

Claudia

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