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Is this head voice?

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guitarheaven
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I think I'm this is probably falsetto because it feels like it has no substance to it, but I would like to know what you guys think. I can siren without any audible breaks, but is that possible if I'm singing in falsetto? Could I be singing in head voice? If not, could working more on my falsetto and bridging help me find head voice? Here's a major scale on 'lah' and a siren.

https://www.box.com/s/91yck6rwdvc793ug91xs

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sounds more like head voice to me. Head voice, you can tell that it sounds relaxed and the breath pressure isn't being forced, while in falsetto you hear the breath being pushed all over the place which makes that falsetto sound.

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want to hear/find/build head voice?

start at a comfortable part in your range using the word "wuhp."

do a basic 5 tone stacatto scale starting with chest voice musculature and work up....

as you get near your point of transition to head voice musculature lower your larynx just a bit.

wuhp by its design will allow you up without causing you to constrict. keep the "wuhps" short and use a good volume with support.

let me know how it goes. remember, start strong and stay strong. "wuhp" as in "i'm gonna give that boy a good whoopin'."

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Good exercise.

First recording, head voice, though you did a lift up pull back in the passagio area of your siren. Nothing wrong with that. Lift up pull back is a key part of Lunte's 4 Pillars.

But I liked your whoop exercise, too. Except for what sounded like some phlegm on your voice, it stayed strong all the way through.

But no, you were not singing in falsetto, that I could hear.

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Awesome! But is there another way to bridge? Or will my bridge strengthen if keep using the 'lift up pull back' method you talk about? I find that I have to lessen the breath pressure when I bridge or I'll have a break. Do I just have to gradually add on more substance?

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Not falsetto, though it could be a little stronger and yeah, you should be digging deeper in general IMO and you won't have to open the ligaments so much which will eliminate the falsetto-like quality. That will come at the cost of having to use more airflow and condensing it below the folds.

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it's so hard to explain this in words but as you move up the scale, the sensation i get which i'll say to you is the feeling like the tone is going through an upper narrow tunnel and it can feel like you have no vocal folds.

for example, you can feel a vocal fry... when you fry... you sense the folds gently rattling. but when you whoop you won't feel vocal folds up high....more of a very resonant narrowed tunnel.

when whoop is sung up high it's head voice musculature that is being used..this exercise helps isolate head voice..............

i sure hope i'm getting it across.

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it can feel like you have no vocal folds.

Thank you so much for posting this. I have always tried to sing in a mix voice even when it doesn't work and have just recently gotten my head and chest voices separated and I now know where everything is supposed to go for both and when mixing them.'

Anyway, I've been switching from chest to head in the same song and thought of this line. I was under the assumption that the head voice is in the back of your throat and had been ignoring the front near the larynx. When I thought of your comment I could actually feel the transition of a lot of resonance in my vocal folds and opening totally disappear when adding the head voice in. Before I was sending the air straight up into my soft pallet and this corrected a big problem.

My biggest problem was not recognizing the sensations that only happen with a head or chest voice and was mixing up the techniques to spectacularly awful results. It is mind boggling when this happens, you are sure you are using good technique after correcting the last bad ideas and moving on but the quality doesn't stick around once you start ignoring things you can't feel and I thought were not important.

Again, this comment helped a lot. I had no idea that you could sing in two different ways and get the same sensation out of it because part of the vocal tract feels like it is gone.

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Not falsetto, though it could be a little stronger and yeah, you should be digging deeper in general IMO and you won't have to open the ligaments so much which will eliminate the falsetto-like quality. That will come at the cost of having to use more airflow and condensing it below the folds.

I was wondering, which ligaments? I never could remember all the 2 dozen muscles and ligaments in the throat that are involved in making a sound.

This "digging deeper," does it affect just the ligaments that don't have to open so much and how does that happen?

Interesting descriptions, I'm just hoping for more details.

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The vocal ligaments are attached to the top of the vocal folds

Digging further back into the vocal tract and lowering the larynx a little more combined with slowing down the current flow of your voice will situate it lower and deeper. The current flow thing is something I can't really explain. Trained singers I have seen call this energy, but that's not really all that descriptive of a term.

Lowering the Larynx and moving it a little bit further back affects the angle at which the vocal folds sit and opens the folds more so when you close them it is not as tense or breathey.

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I understand lowering the larynx, from Jaime Vendera's bullfrog exercise to intrinsic anchoring and laryngeal dampening in Lunte's 4 pillars. But I am not sure how you move the larynx back. As in back to the vertabrae in the neck? How is that accomplished? how much flex is there in the cartilege to do that?

I still don't understand the digging metaphor.

I do understand current flow, because of my occupation but lowering current flow in electricity and electronics is a matter of resistance. Whereas, from what I have understood in singing, slowing the flow of air or keeping too much of it from flowing is a matter of support in the lower body and not a function of the folds, alone.

Though, I could be wrong. And the energy thing is new to me but then, by some people's estimation, I am not a trained singer and that may be a factor in my ignorance.

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If you spread them wider horizontally they go backwards too because you are really rotating them, that's all I mean by that. The current flow comes from the diaphragm IMO. Current flows in both directions, remember and you want the "back EMF" to increase in strength to slow things down. This comes from reflecting the sound back down the vocal tract. The first time you hold a note a feel like you'll never run out air is the day you discover how to do this.

I can't remember exactly how to put it, but you want to create hysteresis or the avalanche effect of semiconductors. The vocal system works like a Thyristor and a RCL circuit simultaneously. I'm not exactly sure which components are where quite yet because that is my own discovery and I haven't isolated everything that far. I can tell you the lungs function like a capacitor and the diaphragm functions like a inductor. I would say the windpipe is like a negative resistor. And that's before you even get into the vocal tract. Just remember that once you start thinking of the voice like a circuit, everything past the windpipe functions like a semiconductor and not a simple circuit, so you are dealing with current flow in both directions and also the "holes" flowing in super symmetrical fashion.

I suspect the area beneath the vocal folds to be capacitive and the resonant ringing off the vocal folds from closing the ligaments in direct proportion functions as an inductor.

Remember like you learned with circuits parallel resonance cancels and series resonance strengthens.

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Actually, the problem for me is that I understand the electronic concepts you are mentioning but I am not seeing so much as relating to the voice. The closest analogy I can make is that the volume of air in the resonators is similar to the current flow from emitter to collector in a field-effect transistor, with the vocal folds being something of gate. A small tickle has an effect on the larger current flow from emitter to collector.

Breath support would be likened unto biasing the transistor, if you will. But if you don''t got the flow from emitter ot collector, you ain't got nuttin'.

But, really, I get more basic than that. A wave has to add to itself, creating an increase of amplitude and the amplitude is volume and the adding of the wave back onto itself is the effect of resonance in the right size and shaped space. And the increasing of amplitude creates a decibel increase, which is actually a logarthmic function.

In my own redneck way of understanding.

But I still don't know which ligaments you mean and how you would spread them horizontally, as you say.

It sounds neat but I am not getting the mental image, I guess ...

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Yawn, you'll find the larynx figures it all out for you. Then just find a way to get the same movement and which muscles keep the larynx position there.

When you open and close the vocal folds, which I think a lot of people call "covering" you are using the vocal ligaments.

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Thank you so much for posting this. I have always tried to sing in a mix voice even when it doesn't work and have just recently gotten my head and chest voices separated and I now know where everything is supposed to go for both and when mixing them.'

Anyway, I've been switching from chest to head in the same song and thought of this line. I was under the assumption that the head voice is in the back of your throat and had been ignoring the front near the larynx. When I thought of your comment I could actually feel the transition of a lot of resonance in my vocal folds and opening totally disappear when adding the head voice in. Before I was sending the air straight up into my soft pallet and this corrected a big problem.

My biggest problem was not recognizing the sensations that only happen with a head or chest voice and was mixing up the techniques to spectacularly awful results. It is mind boggling when this happens, you are sure you are using good technique after correcting the last bad ideas and moving on but the quality doesn't stick around once you start ignoring things you can't feel and I thought were not important.

Again, this comment helped a lot. I had no idea that you could sing in two different ways and get the same sensation out of it because part of the vocal tract feels like it is gone.

the throat shape (vowel) plays a very important role in training and developing the voice. for example, if you are out to develop the head voice musculature (notice i always say the musculature) you need to select vowels that are by their very nature "narrowing" vowels or vowel shades.

if you were to use a vowel much less narrow such as an "ah" you'd be engaging more chest voice musculature and probably get back the sensation of having vocal folds.

when you get hooty sounding (with narrow vowels) like "oo" and "ee" you can find that you are hooty but very resonant.

for training purposes, there's nothing wrong with training head voice apart from chest voice (isolate head voice musculature, no chest voice musculature) to bring it up to the same strength as chest voice musculature which is often much more developed (it got a head start) by the mere act of speaking all of our years since birth.

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I talk in a mixed voice fortunately. My problem for years has been trying to attack the vocal folds too high up and overaccentuating the overtone series as a result. I mostly copy Italian singers and frankly didn't try to learn the lyrics until I know i am using the right vowels because those guys mispronounce things. "ode-a-see" instead of "odd-e-see." I think learning how to use someone's style implies learning how they pronounce words. so when a word like "feather" is pronounced "feether" you start off using the right note and can mould the right pronunciation around it later instead of trying to shoehorn an awkward note in there.

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you talk in a mixed voice? meaning....?

I learned how to talk in falsetto mixed with a head voice and chest voice replaced the falsetto when I was about 6 and as I got older this pretty much stayed the same. I think I mentioned having breathing problems as a baby and them giving me steroids tpo bulk up my breathing muscles. I talk with only the top of my voice and with my larynx raised and my nasal passages resonate, but I do not have a nasal voice really. Find a video or maybe you know what geddy lee sounds like when he talks. I don't think this is normal. It's like my vocal folds stayed "sheathed" when I talk and the resonance gives it the volume. Trying to sing this way at all the time is a disaster, obviously, which is why it took so long to learn good technique.

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When you open and close the vocal folds, which I think a lot of people call "covering" you are using the vocal ligaments.

From what I have read and understood, even from the coach I consulted with, covering is related to lowered larynx and even some dampened larynx but was not related to how open or closed the vocal folds are. Which means I was taught wrong, I guess. The coach has only been teaching singing and piano for about 40 years. (yeah, he's an old guy but I am getting old, too, so maybe that's it. :) )

Although, some have described covering as singing on closed vowels.

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I think we are talking about the same thing. I am able to control all of those functions independently, so it would be a matter of cause and effect, I guess. Lowering the larynx will tighten the folds in my experience and that is just another way to close them. I would be weary of any advice from anyone. I have read things that are just flat out wrong by experts and are perpetuated by classical singing instruction as a whole. I can't think of any examples off hand, but this is the main reason I trained myself. I didn't need someone arguing with me that I can't sing as a Tenor and as a Bass within the same song or that using other people's tone or singing for 10 hours a day was bad when I know these things are not true for me. It's simply a matter of what works for you. Everytime you read or hear anything be prepared to completely ignore it once you put to the test and once it's relevance is examined. Take absolutely everything with a grain of salt, no matter how accomplished or how good their credentials may be.

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part of becoming a great vocalist is a ton of experimentation....a ton....

I don't know if I'm a "great vocalist" or not. It depends on who you ask and what day of the week it is.

But I do experiment, a lot.

Live, no one has ever complained and I often get applause.

The only time someone asked me to stop singing was my wife. And it was only one song. I had learned "Leader of the Band" by her favorite singer, Dan Fogelberg. And I did it so close to the original, that she started to cry. He had recently passed away from prostate cancer. The memory of that song, what it meant in her life, her love for his voice and song, it was too much.

So, I can officially say that my singing has brought someone to tears, though that is probably nothing to brag about.

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