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ThePowerOfOne
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I keep reading that Axl's higher notes were sung in falsetto or reinforced falsetto.

Now, I'm aware Axl is a natural Bass or low baritone who spent most of his time singing in his head register, I'm just curious about the correct definitions of his singing style.

To me his higher singing sounds nothing like falsetto, it's all very connected and chesty sounding.

Let's take for example the last section of "Rocket Queen", one of Axl's absolute finest moments in my opinion.

That's pretty high stuff right there by anybody's standards, but it sounds nothing like falsetto to me.

Axl had plenty of volume, connection and power up there which leads me to the conclusion it's head voice action, and definitely not falsetto .

Which then brings this question, how would you call Axl's high head voice tone? it's obviously not a pure head sound, nor is it falsetto, it's too high to be mixed voice, but it still sounds plenty chesty even though at that point on the scale there isn't much chest resonance going on.

So what would you call this kind of head voice sound/tone?

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Why would you say "its obviously not a pure head sound"? On the contrary, it obviously is... and there is no such thing as a "reinforced falsetto". This is a moronic term that was created by people that think that falsetto and head voice mean the same thing and don't know anything about twang vocal mode. You can't 'reinforce' falsetto, certainly not in the context that you are referring to.

Axel Rose is singing in his head voice with aggressive twang and distortion. He also is not a bass and it is unlikely he is a baritone. There are no secrets to the way Axel Rose is singing.

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Why would you say "its obviously not a pure head sound"? On the contrary, it obviously is... and there is no such thing as a "reinforced falsetto". This is a moronic term that was created by people that think that falsetto and head voice mean the same thing and don't know anything about twang vocal mode. You can't 'reinforce' falsetto, certainly not in the context that you are referring to.

Axel Rose is singing in his head voice with aggressive twang and distortion. He also is not a bass and it is unlikely he is a baritone. There are no secrets to the way Axel Rose is singing. Its a lot of twang compression with distortion.

Hey Robert,

What I mean is that the tone Axl goes for in his head voice doesn't sound like a pure head tone to me.

When I say "Pure", I mean clean as in "Female - countertenor - operatic" type of head voice tone.

I also believe it's been well documented that Axl is a bass-baritone, going by his low speaking voice, the low register notes he can sing, and his own admission to being one as well .

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The singing of a classical female singer or high falsetti male singer, despite sounding good, are too open to be considered head voice in modern singing. In a classical world, vocal support/dominance and connection, might be considered head voice, but in the modern world, it's really falsetto for the sake of distinguishing between falsetto and head.

So, rob is correct. A fully developed head voice will maintain the tonality of the lower voice, have much less vocal tension, and when you add in twang and distortion it would become even more chest sounding. That's how he can ride that voice up to the e5 area with a tenor-ish quality, but still be a lower voice.

If axl removed that twang/distortion, he would still have good powerful tones up in his whole range, but it would be slightly easier to notice where his voice shifts from a powerful mix, to a powerful head voice. Don't take my technical word for it, but it has to be head voice at the very least.

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Yeah, I know it's head voice, I just don't get why everyone calls it falsetto, and I also don't get the tern "falsettist" that I've seen attached to men who sings high in head voice, and yet they insist on calling it falsetto.

Also It seems derogatory to me to refer to someone as "falsettist", as if he's doing something wrong or false? What's so false? It's singing, I can hear it, other people can hear it, must mean it's real.

I mean, if head voice is falsetto to "them", then what's head voice to them?? and what's real falsetto to them??

I don't know, all these different terms for the same thing sometimes get on my nerves.

Most of us here agree with Rob about one voice, no mystery 3rd register, what's the difference between falsetto and head and all that, mostly we choose to agree because it's simple to grasp and makes sens, but talk to someone outside of TMV and watch laughter or frustration ensue as you talk about the same damn thing and use 28 different words for it.

I can't think of any other field of study and research like voice training, where there's so much confusion and so many conflicting opinions on everything, when in reality singing isn't all that difficult once you grasp what you're doing.

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The entire way that singing is looked at today in a technical, physical, scientific basis has changed in the last 50 years. Even in the last 20 years it has changed just in the singing community. Many of the schools of technique considered anything above passagio in a male was considered falsetto.

For at least the last hundred years some of those that were teachers have been trying to get rid of the terms registers because it helps create confusion.

I asked a singer who in her younger days was on the Larence Welch show how to sing in head voice. I told her I could sing falsetto. She just looked at me and said Falsetto is male head voice.

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Hey Robert,

What I mean is that the tone Axl goes for in his head voice doesn't sound like a pure head tone to me.

When I say "Pure", I mean clean as in "Female - countertenor - operatic" type of head voice tone.

I also believe it's been well documented that Axl is a bass-baritone, going by his low speaking voice, the low register notes he can sing, and his own admission to being one as well .

My point is, and the facts are, head voice does not have a tone. Stop thinking that head voice and falsetto mean the same thing. Head voice is a 'place', a vocal register. Falsetto is a vocal mode characterized by an open glottis that sounds windy and feminine. That is the only thing head voice ever was and ever will be... you will never make 'head voice' a vocal mode and you are confused like too many others, when you use 'falsetto' in the context of it being a vocal register. To be clear, Axel Rose sings in his head voice and he can only sing different degrees of Falsetto, which he is obviously not or distorted twang.

You bridge to your head voice and sing vocal modes. You drive to Texas and see the Alamo. There is no such thing as a "pure head tone" because head voice doesn't have any tone anymore then the state of Texas has a tone. It isn't a phonation, its a place. In fact if truth be known... its actually only a metaphoric, picture word (which is a whole other set of confusion and problems) to avoid describing the complex acoustic and physiological changes from vibratory mechanism M1 to M2. So if you want to be super accurate about it, Axel Rose is phonating distorted twang inside of vibratory mechanism M2. That is what he is doing.

It's been well documented that Axel is a bass? Where is this documentation? Who claims that Axel Rose is a bass? You just heard he was? That's not good enough. A true bass voice is, first of all, rare and second Im not sure Axel Rose could do what he does if he had the physiology of a bass. And Axel Rose saying he is a bass in some interview doesn't give it credibility either, because I'm not sure that Axel Rose knows what he is talking about when it comes to what defines a real bass.

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The singing of a classical female singer or high falsetti male singer, despite sounding good, are too open to be considered head voice in modern singing. In a classical world, vocal support/dominance and connection, might be considered head voice, but in the modern world, it's really falsetto for the sake of distinguishing between falsetto and head.

So, rob is correct. A fully developed head voice will maintain the tonality of the lower voice, have much less vocal tension, and when you add in twang and distortion it would become even more chest sounding. That's how he can ride that voice up to the e5 area with a tenor-ish quality, but still be a lower voice.

If axl removed that twang/distortion, he would still have good powerful tones up in his whole range, but it would be slightly easier to notice where his voice shifts from a powerful mix, to a powerful head voice. Don't take my technical word for it, but it has to be head voice at the very least.

Male Falsetti, or Falsettoists and counter-tenors are singing in their head voice, you better believe it. It is true that if you remove the the distortion, it will sound thinner, but still connected. Distortion adds weight to the aesthetic.

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Why would you say "its obviously not a pure head sound"? On the contrary, it obviously is... and there is no such thing as a "reinforced falsetto".

I'm inclined to agree with this. Honestly, in all my years, I had never even heard the term until I saw it here on the forums a while back, and expressed how I found it contradictory.

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Jaime Vendera is a good coach and friend of mine, but this term "reinforced falsetto" has created confusion for a lot of people. It is an oxymoron, literally. A figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction. So when I say it is moronic, its not too harsh, it is literally the truth, it is moronic... Jaime is not a moron by any means... but when he came up with this term 'reinforced falsetto' it was because he wasn't clear on what twang vocal mode was. Today, Jaime would probably just say to you, "... ya, what I meant was modify your falsetto into twang".

It doesn't come down to how 'you' or 'me' define Falsetto... it comes down to what the definition of Falsetto is. Its not a subjective choice on how you choose to define Falsetto. Falsetto has an accurate definition that has long since been defined, in particular by the Estillians, neither you or I are redefining Falsetto. And in any case, if you 'reinforced' your falsetto vocal mode into twang as you say, then wouldn't it be twang? At that point, just call it what it is, twang.

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A register is a group of notes with a similer sound quality....

Falsetto is a fold coordination Full length vibaration of vocal folds without full contact...

The airy breathy sound is caused by the lack of contact between the folds.....

The register is defined by the airy quality... Does not need to be in head area or chest area. You could also consider it a mode.

Just my opinion. Other opinions may vary. This is why there is confusion when using this term.

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Falsetto has several different definitions by several groups of people, all (most) of which I totally understand and it doesn't bother me much.

It doesn't bother me all that much either but it does cause a lot of confusion.

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Some schools of technique do use the word falsetto to mean anything above the passaggio in male voice.

But the term itself suggests something False or different in the configuration....the fact that the glottis does not fully close. My definition incorperates all three catagories. When you actually put all three definitions together falsetto can mean only one thing.

Some schools who use falsetto as a register put it between Chest and head, Others put it after head.

In my use of register.... group of notes with the same sound quality... it can be in chest range or head range.

BTW I am not saying anyone else is wrong or that my definition is the correct one. It is one of many.

It is not my place to suggest that any deinition of falsetto is the one and true definition.

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This is a common issue not exclusive to singing. At one point in time, many arts, systems or training methods amounted to someone showing someone else something and saying "do this." "No Not like that...like this!" Then techniques were developed. As time passes someone eventually decides to give a technique or a "thing" a name. A "Label." That starts a problem right there.

When someone else comes along and thinks they have a better method or a better way of doing the same thing, they want to separate themselves from the standard and so come up with a new "label." This confuses things more. Another name for the same thing....but different (?). Not really. Multiply this by, in some cases, 100 years or more and now we have trouble. A label or a name automatically draws a picture in ones mind. That picture is usually different for every person. Then there is interpretation... oh brother. :o

If something sounds good it matters little what you call it. Just do it again...and again....and...

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Falsetto definition I know is the same coordination used by counter tenors. Head voice should be done using modal register, the same larynx coordination of spoken voice. head and chest, as Robert said, are the reonance strategies used to minimize the stress.

The use of covering causes a few ajustments in the larynx that DOES causes a small shift in the colour, but the emission pattern should not just change, even more break away from modal.

Falsetto is not by any means wrong, and can be used with beauty and even power on the range where it fits best. The only problematic area is exactly the transition between modal and falsetto, which does depends on tension to happen. Squeaking. Should be minimized.

BTW, you guys really think AXL is a reference for technique??? His last Cd only exists because of autotune....

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This is a common issue not exclusive to singing. At one point in time, many arts, systems or training methods amounted to someone showing someone else something and saying "do this." "No Not like that...like this!" Then techniques were developed. As time passes someone eventually decides to give a technique or a "thing" a name. A "Label." That starts a problem right there.

When someone else comes along and thinks they have a better method or a better way of doing the same thing, they want to separate themselves from the standard and so come up with a new "label." This confuses things more. Another name for the same thing....but different (?). Not really. Multiply this by, in some cases, 100 years or more and now we have trouble. A label or a name automatically draws a picture in ones mind. That picture is usually different for every person. Then there is interpretation... oh brother. :o

If something sounds good it matters little what you call it. Just do it again...and again....and...

Agreed! And the debate will continue. And before you know it someone will be calling what we know of as twang....Cackle. And it will start all over again.. If it sounds good sing it.

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Falsetto definition I know is the same coordination used by counter tenors. Head voice should be done using modal register, the same larynx coordination of spoken voice. head and chest, as Robert said, are the reonance strategies used to minimize the stress.

The use of covering causes a few ajustments in the larynx that DOES causes a small shift in the colour, but the emission pattern should not just change, even more break away from modal.

Falsetto is not by any means wrong, and can be used with beauty and even power on the range where it fits best. The only problematic area is exactly the transition between modal and falsetto, which does depends on tension to happen. Squeaking. Should be minimized.

BTW, you guys really think AXL is a reference for technique??? His last Cd only exists because of autotune....

I never saw Axle as being good representation of Headvoice or any singer in AC/DC. They all sounded more cartoony to me and I could sing in those voices but they only sounded right with those particular songs. To me the head voice that I would be looking for is the one that sounds like my own voice only higher not a cartoon or munchkin. Not to take anything at all away from Axle or AC/DC.

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Its called personal style and singing.. Swagger! He just does it,, he doesn't think I'm gonna use my sphincter, slide up into my reinforced falsetto balloon into headvoice and twang the shit out of it. Its called using what you have learned and tweaking the shit of it. He said to himself i want to sound like the singer in Nazareth so I'm gonna practice that sound and voila. :)

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Its called personal style and singing.. Swagger! He just does it,, he doesn't think I'm gonna use my sphincter, slide up into my reinforced falsetto balloon into headvoice and twang the shit out of it. Its called using what you have learned and tweaking the shit of it. He said to himself i want to sound like the singer in Nazareth so I'm gonna practice that sound and voila. :)

Actually, at one time, Axl's voice reminded me of Janis Joplin.

Rob Gardner, the original drummer in Hollywood Rose describe Axl as singing bass. Unofficial biography says that he sang bass in church choir. Other people have classified him as a basso-baritone. I do know this, he sings some low notes on "Shackler's Revenge that I will never get to.

I saw him recently in an interview on "That Metal Show." And his speaking voice didn't sound bass, more like baritone and I think Geoff Tate has a more boomy and slightly lower speaking voice than his.

So, I give up on classifying his voice. He does sing a clean high note in the song "IRS." So, he can do it when he wants to do it. It's just that he got known for "that sound." Kinda like Brian Johnson. Sung himself into a corner, so to speak.

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Using the term "Falsetto" synonymously with "Head Voice" will keep you confused on many issues for your entire career as a student of singing... I wish anyone luck of ever truly understanding vocal twang and getting the ability to train your head voice properly ..... who still have the notion that falsetto and head voice mean the same thing. Good you luck with all that... and drop me a line sometime and let me know how it all works out for you ...

In the meantime, I am pretty crystal clear on the difference between head voice, a vocal register known as 'vibratory mechanism' M2, which defined by the rate at which the vocal folds are vibrating and Falsetto, a vocal mode defined by little to no vibration in the vocal folds. At the source/filter level, they are completely opposite, its absurd!

If you judge Falsetto vocal mode by the standards of the current definitions of vocal registers (the rate at which the vocal folds open and close [M0 - M3]) you realize Falsetto isn't a register. There is too much wind through the glottis. It is completely off the chart to ever qualify as a register.

:rolleyes:

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