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I HATE FALSETTO, HOW DO I GET A BIGGER TONE?

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Robert Lunte
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I don't hate falsetto! However if you are stuck with it then it's kind of iffy!:cool:

As for how to get a bigger tone, here's what I do.

Firstly I'll check my closure as I go up. If it's too few it turns into falsetto, if it's too much it turns into screaming.

If it's the first I work on twang, if it's on the second I'll work on allowing a beter stream of air, with for example a v exercise.

Then I'll check if I bring in enough headvoice for each given notes. If you sing softly you can easily pay attention to this, it's a good way to train it.

Also an exercise I like is Jaime's Mezza Di Voce where you take falsetto and lean more into it untill it becomes full voice.

I'm no Martin or Joshua, but maybe this was of some use.

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I don't understand the title of this post? I don't hate falsetto. It's a tool to strengthen the full voice and it allows you to expand your color palate. Listen to singers like Jeff Buckley who uses both falsetto and full voice in the high range. People need to understand that falsetto is a part of your tonal repertoire, but the goal is to NOT be stuck with falsetto alone.

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...[re: falsetto} It's a tool to strengthen the full voice...

i've seen a few posts on other message boards that debate this.

some say if you practce scales in falsetto,. ..you're only going to strengthen the falsetto coordination and the coordinate to adduct (into full voice) won't just happen over time.

others say (and i've seen instructional video too) that if the "flip" happens, ...don't worry about it. eventually, over time and practice, your break will smooth out and erase itself.

comments ??

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a flip is a flip , they are two different and separate vocal modes- falsetto does not turn into full voice. They are however paralel the register changes in falsetto generally will be a third in placement above the register changes in full voice. You should exercise and develope the falsesetto fully and independently from the full voice. Then learn to switch if your desire is to use and combine both. If you are seeking to turn it into full voice it's not possible, however it is a good guide post for placing the voice into the upper register and a safer way to learn then trying to force the chest voice through into the next register. It is in Opera and classical singing used to help develope overtone and great harmonics. As well as a tool to focusing the full voice to a narrow point. This is always done descending. Isolate the smallest( do not make this loud) placement and highest pitch you can find in falsetto. Begining on that note in the smallest buzz and lightest (misquito wing size voice lol) slided down the scale at the last note f the octave, belt the full voice into the head and slide down the second octave in full voice. This repeatedly will coordinate the full voice into the higher head placement and adjust the full voice tonal quality to that of the head voice falsetto adding more ring, overtone and harmonics.

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Agreed Darrison... Falsetto and Head voice are two different things. However Falsetto can be used as a tool develop full tones in the head voice... primarily by using Falsetto to learn the placement, or where that head tone "sits"... once you have the registration/placement situation worked out you can then begin to focus on tools such as strengthening the AES "twanger" to assist in focal fold closure in the head voice. Mind you, not all singers need to work out the AES, others do.. it depends on the anatomy. The point is, through strength training, you can build fullness in the head voice and the Falsetto is part of the work flow to learning how to do it... but it can not just suddenly turn into a full tone by singing in the Falsetto endless scales... thats silly. It requires some advanced tutoring around setting up your larynx properly... again, for some people.

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i agree that falsetto can be considered another vocal ´´colour`` for use if one wants too but that it is not useful if thats the only condition you can sing higher pitches in plus if you master the very light head voice there is actually no need for falsetto. of course there are certain singers that have made the flip and falsetto tone part of their signature sound. i would however also agree that from what i have been taught that true falsetto cannot be turned into a full voice for the same reason Darrison stated. i say true falsetto because like so many vocal terminologies one term or word can mean about three different things-some use falsetto to describe head voice, some use the term to describe a completely disconnected tone. to me falsetto describes the completely disconnected tone. also some very light head tones can sound very similar to falstto as they can sound so light,leading some people to believe thats it falsetto but they are not because the tone can be ´´swelled`` into a full voice tone if wanted. the difference being that although the tone is very light the cords are still very much adducted.

for instance some people might think that the lighter tones towards the end portion of this song are falsetto but they arent. pavorotti´s definately are not though i think domingo´s are nearer a falsetto condition but im sure he could go from that very light sound to a full voiced tone -thus making what hes doing not true falsetto

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=jmOEiB1LTPs

i also think that pitch has alot to do with it for instance i think that maybe falsetto can strengthen the very high head voice or what some call super head voice (say E and above tenor high C) because once the head voice is up that high its not as different condition wise but im sure there is no way you could strengthen a disconnected/flipped E above middle C to a connected full tone through using falsetto alone.

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yes i agree that falsetto can be very useful for people that have never experienced singing high pitches without tension. especially for those that always pull up chest, falsetto can serve as a guide to what it feels like to experience release whilst singing up high and then build on it from that way but of course as was said it doesnt just strengthen by itself, of itself, it needs dedicated excersises to bring about the differing and correct co-ordination.

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All,

Just as FYI, a great deal of the singing I did in college, and some in grad school, involved falsetto training. The issue for me at that age was the coordination with the lower part of my voice. I will come back to that in a moment.

I think to a certain extent, singing in falsetto is somewhat useful, but I do not think that it can be used to build 'strength' in the muscles which control pitch. Singing in falsetto stretches the vocal process without the resistance that would normally occur with Vocalis and Thyroarytenoid activity, somewhat the same as stretching your arm out straight with your bicep relaxed does not strengthen your tricep. What it does build is a full range of contraction motion for the Cricothyroid muscle (which tilts the Thyroid cartilege forward) and a full stretch motion of the Vocalis and Thyroarytenoids within the vocal bands. IMO, those things are both important, and very useful as part of vocal exercise in the case where the voice is low-dominated, as is often found in young male voices, just after puberty, and sometimes for older male voices just beginning study.

Except for the very extremes of highest and lowest notes, the full voice coordinates this set of muscles with varying degrees of activity, (generally referred to by singing tech geeks as registration) with appropriate adduction to get sufficient and consistent glottal closure. Particularly with tenors, the falsetto stage is not necessary at all... they can develop just fine without ever training, or even discovering, their falsetto.

But back to the original topic. For a voice which already has falsetto of reasonable range, I see no reason to avoid the real issue, which is to train the registration and the adduction in concert with the right amount of breath energy and type of resonance. That is, build the 'full', coordinated voice. You've all said pretty much that, I think. I am in agreement, then, that falsetto has its uses (and I do use it when training some students), but the real issue is training the coordinated voice.

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Hey Blackeyed, falsetto is most definitely a tool to strengthen the full voice because you learn how to move around your range without the extra weight. I was taught this by hands down the greatest vocal coach I've ever met...Jim Gillette. How do you think he learned to hit the Soprano D innthe song Freight Train? By practicing in a very tiny falsetto first...And he learned this from his Opera coach. But, as many have stated on here, it is not the ending. You HAVE to work the full voice as well. That is why I start with falsetto, work to Transcending the tone into full voice, then use very full voiced Sirens. They work very welol together.

I even had a kid come down for a couple hours of lessons (my youngest brother actually) who needed to be able to sustain a B below Tenor C in order to get a lead role in his school play his senior year. He could belt out a heck of a G already on his own. So we worked in falsetto for a bit until I had him up to around an Alto F, then we moved on to some messa di voce' and finally full voiced Sirens. Before he left, he was sustaining Tenor Cs and he was NOT belting; in fact he was laughing because he couldn't believe it was him hitting a full voiced C...He practiced every single day and within 2 weeks, he was singing in choir and he held out a Tenor D. His teacher almost passed out. She thought he was a freak of nature. Nope, he just knew how to work hard. I used falsetto to show him how to get there, Transcending tones to begin the serious development and full voiced Sirens to take him all the way. Needless to say, he's now in college and voice is his major:)

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I guess it all depends on what you call full voice and what you call falsetto. People are mixing so many different viewpoints on the matter here that it's kind of getting clouded.

Most classical teachers call the male headvoice a falsetto or a reinforced one. Others will say no, that's a headvoice, falsetto can't connect with chest, it's an airy coordination that gets weaker as you add more air.

I personally find it incredibly usefull to train headvoice to develop a stronger middle voice and to go even beyond that point. I add more headvoice to my chest as I go up in range so I don't in the end get stuck with just chest, which has a limit before headvoice wins from chest :P

As for the full voice, you can get a headvoice sound which sounds full. However then there are those that will say, full voice has to do more with your chest function, which pure headvoice lacks, so ...

So before we go tell right or wrong we should make sure we all use the same set of defintions here, cse it might turn out that we believe the same but just phrase it differently :>

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Jaime I agree- Opera terminology is different then pop terminology/more modern terminology. Much of what others consider full voice would be considered mixed voice in opera standard as the actually voicing quality is being changed with the register /pitch change rather then remaining of the same gage and tonal consistancy. It is however not falsetto by Opera terminology either. Broadway / Theatre also seems to have a different terminology from Modern(pop-Rock) and Opera. In general If you sound good the general public could care less what you term it lol. It is however depressing at moments to watch something like American Idol and see ignorant judges with poor terminology all the way round.

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I guess it all depends on what you call full voice and what you call falsetto. People are mixing so many different viewpoints on the matter here that it's kind of getting clouded.

Elrathion: This terminology fuzziness has been around as long as the term has :-) I've seen all sorts of definitions, and recommendations for use, in the literature.

Most classical teachers call the male headvoice a falsetto or a reinforced one. Others will say no, that's a headvoice, falsetto can't connect with chest, it's an airy coordination that gets weaker as you add more air.

I have noticed that, too. Very many classical teachers just carry forward the misconceptions of the teachers they admire, without looking into the way the voice functions. Sometimes, they call something falsetto which is really a light head voice. Sometimes, they call an actual falsetto a breathy head voice. gack!

I personally find it incredibly usefull to train headvoice to develop a stronger middle voice and to go even beyond that point. I add more headvoice to my chest as I go up in range so I don't in the end get stuck with just chest, which has a limit before headvoice wins from chest :P

I think so too.

As for the full voice, you can get a headvoice sound which sounds full. However then there are those that will say, full voice has to do more with your chest function, which pure headvoice lacks, so ...

And, in my experience, those would be the people that really do not know the differences between what is physically occuring when someone is singing in what is commonly called 'chest' voice, as compared to what is commonly called 'head voice'. While they are familiar with the characteristic sensations of the various tone qualities, they don't understand what the different motions are at the level of the glottis which correlate with the sounds and sensations.

FYI, a term has emerged among modern writers on the voice to call the powerful top voice the 'robust head voice'. I am sure that qualification will help a lot ;-)

So before we go tell right or wrong we should make sure we all use the same set of defintions here, cse it might turn out that we believe the same but just phrase it differently :>

I certainly agree with that. My own thought on the matter is that if falsetto and head voice are the same thing, we either 1) don't need both terms, or 2) we need another term to describe one or the other of them :-)

Forgetting the usage of the term in the singing world for a moment, the world of voice therapy (or voice pathology) has a pretty well understood use of the term. In that domain, there are four vocal registers, 1) creak, or vocal fry, 2) modal, 3) falsetto, and 4) whisper. Each has its characteristic mode of vibration in the larynx. Modal and falsetto cannot both be done at the same time. Its either one mode of vibration, or the other.

For them, the falsetto voice is characterized by oscillation only of the surface of the vocal ligament, and has a very slow glottal closing transition, and a short glottal closed phase. This can be achieved with the bands adducted well, or with a mutational chink, the latter configuration producing a more breathy tone quality.

This is contrasted with the characteristics of the modal voice, the vibrational pattern which historically is associated with 'chest' voice, which involves a more complex glottal waveform with a fast glottal closing transition, and a somewhat variable length glottal closed phase based on registration. IMO, its in the more-lightly-registered parts of the modal voice that some folks start mislabeling the tone as falsetto, or are unable to distinguish.

For the singer, the sine qua non of the well-modulated modal voice, when compared to the falsetto, is the ability in the singer to crescendo from very soft to very loud, and back, without a sudden tone quality transition. If the exercise is started in falsetto, there will be a change to the modal form of vibration at some point, even if it is finessed. However, the switchover is detectable by the ear even at some of the softest dynamic levels, and certainly audible as a crack if done at levels a little louder.

All that said, IMO there is still great value in training the falsetto for the reasons I mentioned. I also agree that soft modal voice training (that is, head voice brought downward) can improve the entire modal voice and smooth out the rough places in the scale of the voice.

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the only problem is that even the latest scientific knowledge can differ or contradict each other at times depending on the scientist. its a bit like the whole ozone layer debate. of course there are certain things that are acknowledge fact by all vocal scientists but some points are still disbuted amoung each other. the other thing is that i would only really trust the scientific findings if they are not backed by or associated to a particular method or school of technique. it has to be truely unbiased and objective.

on the subject of working by ear on developing technique, thing is that when vocal knowledge was first being put togeather they only had sound to work from (as well as obviously looking at what the singer was doing) as they didint have the science or technology to help them examine on a deeper level , and they did a pretty good job-so good infact that many of the techniques remain today. anyway if the very latest scientific knowledge said i should be doing some coordination that i thought sounded ugly or was uncomfortable or possibly damaging because they thought it was the ´´correct`` thing to do, then, no thanks i´ll stick to the methods that were developed by ear for hundreds of years. the scientists would probably find some other conclusion anyway 10 years down the line lol

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I don't know much about this so I should shut up really, but just for conversations sake, I'll add my theory (which noone new to singing should listen to), but my feeling is, if the voice is sounding natural, sweet, full, and your neck is feeling relaxed to teh touch and in the mirror, you must be doing something right without having to know too much about it...by that I mean that you can be doing lip rolls all day and be doing them wrong without knowing it. So if you feel your neck tensing up when doing them, or any other exercise, thats all the signal you (well I) need to know you're doing it wrong. And if your voice is sounding ugly, you're not there yet. A relaxed voice with the chords buzzing at a constant, comfortable level, is a pleasant sound.

Hmmm, I think this post ended up in the wrong thread. Can't remember where it was supposed to go though. Oh well.

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