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When is it head and when is it falsetto ?

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Working through some exercises at the moment (Mastering Mix) and I've suddenly become aware of something and would welcome any advice.

I will work on uploading some audio examples soon.

Basically - to reach some of the high notes, I feel that Im going falsetto sooner than I should. Now I've made an effort to reduce the airflow - so its not a breathy falsetto - but does this still count as a falsetto ?

I can feel it in my head when I sing these high notes -it sounds 'hooty' but the pitch is correct and Im not sure whether I need to make the head voice have more 'bite' or whether Im totally going down the wrong path and need to concentrate on not going into falsetto so soon.

Again - its not a breathy tone Im coming out with - and it sounds fairly strong and not so airy - so maybe its just a head voice and Im getting my terminology wrong.

I know there's currently no audio to back this up - but any comments/suggestions would be welcome.


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Yep. It's head voice.

Falsetto is exactly that breathy sort of sound that you make in the head voice configuration.

If it's not breathy, it's head voice. The bite comes later though, after you've practiced for a time in this boy-soprano-like clear head voice. Once the muscles which control this sound are strong enough, you learn to twang and modify vowels.

For now, I'd say practice with the "ooo" and "eee" vowels, also with a mixture of them that sounds somewhat like "ewww". Start, say, on an A4 and sing scales downwards, preserving the clarity of the head-voice. I predict that once you go below F4 it's going to be a bitch to keep the resonance: you'll probably end up with falsetto below F4, but I would say that it is very important to strengthen it in that A3/F4 range, especially if you're a natural baritone.

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Oh, something else: don't let yourself tense up trying to sing in a clear head voice below F4. If it's soft at the start, let it be soft. If it's breathy, come to terms with it. The best you can do is keep at it; don't do stuff with your jaw, lips, tongue or throat in order to preserve the sound. Keep them relaxed, especially the tongue and the jaw.

Best you try doing the "ewww" scales through a straw, making sure air comes out only through it and not through your nose. As a (pretty fantastic) bonus, this will alert you to the feeling of breath support as well, in your back and belly muscles.

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great advice trip.

how about you send a sample? let's hear what you are doing...if you are "disconnecting" too early, you may be unproductive in your exercises. you really don't want to be "letting go" too early but rather each time you want to develop more to be able get a little more connected and stay connected.

you want to train the muscles involved with adduction to close and remain "appropriately" closed for levels of adduction and connection, light through tight.

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Videohere - yes that's exactly what Im going to do. I'm still a bit new to post up songs on the internet but I will try and get some exercises uploaded.

Interesting you bring up the point of disconnecting too early - I've just done cd 6 of MM and I noted that I had a tendency almost to slip into head voice too quickly. It just felt more comfortable but of course didn't have the 'bite' I wanted.

Can you suggest good examples to train the muscles to close ?

Trip - Thanks for the tip. Bought a whole new box of straws yesterday...This is how I roll :)

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WebandNet - really good video, helped a lot.

Videohere - I haven't gone through all the cds yet so hopefully it will become clearer later on.

Thanks both of you.

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it's important to note that while these are two well intentioned videos are helpful, what will never go completely go away is the usage of the terms in voice study. unfortunately, ambiguity in the terms is destined to remain depending on who is using the term.

some will use the "term" falsetto to mean head voice "terminology" wise....example anthony frisell.

it just what some folks have been taught as the term to use to explain head voice.

so when you read books for example, try to see how the terms are used.

if the author speaks of just falsetto and chest voice, this is a good indicator that he is meaning head voice.

if the author uses both terms "head voice" and "falsetto", it's pretty likely they are a fan of differentiating the terms as kevin has in his video.

when i had my frisell lessons, he didn't speak of head voice and chest voice, but rather head voice and chest voice musculature.

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