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Justin Hawkins - No falsetto?

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Nick
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I came by this tweet of him a while ago:

"I use head voice for softer high singing but mostly it's high belt. Journalists call it falsetto, but that is mostly incorrect!"

I always considered him a major user of falsetto so I was surprised.

Any thoughts on this?

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It's a matter of how forceful the note is. I am one of the few here to cover two songs by the Darkness. A few parts felt like falsetto to me and the rest, mostly higher notes, were full voice in head. We had discussions about this, before. And how people thought Hawkins was doing all falsetto on the higher stuff when he is not.

Who knows if he is using correct definitions or not. And many journalists are also not conversant as we are on what is falsetto and what is not. But I, too, have had people say, "that was a nice falsetto note" when it really was a full voice in head, but clean and with not so much volume.

And also, review of such things often comes from people's own perspective. There are many heavy voiced people, in all ranges, who simply cannot contemplate that a guy can have a light voice. If you actually listen to a few interviews with Hawkins, you will hear that he also has a light speaking voice.

It be like me,being 6' 6" and saying all you short guys aren't working hard enough to get to my height. So, find a rafter and start hanging.

But yeah, most times, I think he is alternating between falsetto and full voice. But because he has a light voice, it can hard for some, especially those with lazy ears, to tell the difference.

And maybe I am just replying from my perspective of how I covered the songs.

If you like, I can email sound file links to you.

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Agreed, Jens. And it still sounds cool, to me, anyway.

And my head full of trivia remembers how you mentioned winning a karaoke event with "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" while you are were at least halfway lit up, if not actually tipsy and ready for a cab home.

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It's a matter of how forceful the note is. I am one of the few here to cover two songs by the Darkness. A few parts felt like falsetto to me and the rest, mostly higher notes, were full voice in head. We had discussions about this, before. And how people thought Hawkins was doing all falsetto on the higher stuff when he is not.

Who knows if he is using correct definitions or not. And many journalists are also not conversant as we are on what is falsetto and what is not. But I, too, have had people say, "that was a nice falsetto note" when it really was a full voice in head, but clean and with not so much volume.

And also, review of such things often comes from people's own perspective. There are many heavy voiced people, in all ranges, who simply cannot contemplate that a guy can have a light voice. If you actually listen to a few interviews with Hawkins, you will hear that he also has a light speaking voice.

It be like me,being 6' 6" and saying all you short guys aren't working hard enough to get to my height. So, find a rafter and start hanging.

But yeah, most times, I think he is alternating between falsetto and full voice. But because he has a light voice, it can hard for some, especially those with lazy ears, to tell the difference.

And maybe I am just replying from my perspective of how I covered the songs.

If you like, I can email sound file links to you.

Yes, I am aware he has a natural light voice. But alot of times he sounds like using the falsetto to me. I think, it's because alot of times he uses this very "opera-esque" kind of tone, which falsely reminds me of falsetto then. Good example is this one:

Anyway, I'm sure that a trained singer like him probably knows what he's talking about, so I defintely don't deny what he says.

Thanks for the e-mail btw. I already checked out your Darkness cover when I was looking at a thread about Justin a while ago

Can someone enlighten me a bit more about what "high belting" is? I've come by the term quite a few times, but I'm not 100% sure on what it is.

Who cares what it is? :) it sounds like falsetto... And then if it's a high Belt does it really matter? Still sounds like falsetto

I like to know the right terminology behind sounds. Since the Darkness is one of my favourite bands and I sing it quite alot, it's quite informative to know when there's head/falsetto/belting

I recorded a cover of "I believe in a thing called love today", 'cause I wanted to see if I could sing the notes I thought were falsetto in head voice. I couldn't, so I just sung how I always sing it (and how Justin seems to sing it live)

Feel free to check it out :) (I also posted it in the "Critique my singing" section)

https://soundcloud.com/pistolhead/i-believe-in-a-thing-calles

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I forgot to add in my review that yes, your vocal line was from the live version, like the Download 2011 festival.

Cool beans, now, cover "Growing on Me."

Haha, yes maybe tomorow, I already found the instrumental version today haha

By the way, my previous post was pretty long so it was probably overlooked, but could someone please clarify a bit what high belting is exactly? I've come by the term before, but I don't know what it means yet

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A lot of it sounds like falstetto to me - you can hear a distinct change in tone as he descends into a chestier head voice on a lot of those phrases. It isn't a connected transition at all though, which leads me to the conclusion that it is falsetto. And when he screams up there it sounds like edge - not falsetto. He has a lot of control going in and out of falsetto like that. That takes some skill.

His term "high belting" seems to be his own description of what he is doing. He thinks he's belting - maybe thats when he's screaming, but when he is singing normal phrases up high it doesn't sound like belting to me. Sounds like falsetto. I think he'd have a difficult time convincing people that it's not falsetto.

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Hawkins does make use of falsetto, as you can hear audible breaks in some of what he does. But he does sing beyond "chest" range in a full sound as well on some songs. The biggest debate on this forum re Justin Hawkins tends to center around whether he's singing in cry/tilt (head voice) or falsetto in the E5+ range. At that point, the two begin to sound very similar and so it's not so easy to differentiate.

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nick,

don't believe for a minute this is a difficult vocal, because it's not.

this is basically controlled yodeling, and you need to be very relaxed in the vocal tract and stay very opened throated to get the switching fluid.

you have to switch like a yodeler...

the strong sounding notes are light mass head tones a notch away from falsetto.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftVoTP41el8

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nick,

don't believe for a minute this is a difficult vocal, because it's not.

this is basically controlled yodeling, and you need to be very relaxed in the vocal tract and stay very opened throated to get the switching fluid.

you have to switch like a yodeler...

the strong sounding notes are light mass head tones a notch away from falsetto.

Thanks, this is what I suspected it to be, though I didn't have the right terminology for it

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"don't believe for a minute this is a difficult vocal, because it's not."

Present it...:D I dont think i know anyone who pulls this of with the honor intact including me :P

Lightmass headtones à notch away from falsetto? Gimme abreak your just afraid Justins gonna be butthurt, if thats not falsetto nothing is falsetto...

;)

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I echo Jens.

Come on, Bob, do it! You dared me to do it and I stepped up to the plate, swinging for the fences.

(ducking the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune ...)

edited to add:

your choice: album version, like me, live version, like Nick.

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Hitting the pitches yes no problem. But an artist is alot more than that, i can hit all Lou grams pitches to... See where im getting at? ;)

He's an artist who has his own style very few sound like him, wich makes it hard to get right because of his style and art.

We can take an other example of a Guy with an unique style. mercury, many guys on this forum can belt as High as him, however thats not what makes him unique and hard to cover

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when you say it that way i totally agree jens.

i was saying it wasn't a difficult vocal from a technical p.o.v.

stylistically, yes that's something else...when i try to sing some of this early motown stuff, it's a challenge both ways......got to get back to church...lol!!!!

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There is a register change in there, its not modal voice. Most people will perceive this quality and call it falsetto, the name he wants to place on it does not mean anything. M2 if you will.

More importantly, head resonance, low dynamics. I think it can be made work using either full voice or breaking, retainning the same idea of the original interpretation.

As Jens pointed, placing names on stuff is easy, singing is another entirely different matter. I dont think the difficulty of this song is on the registration, its quite evident, but on the interpretation. A lot of work. :).

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i'm sorry folks, respectfully, i simply cannot see this song as a "lot of work."

i'm not going to sing it, not my cup of tea.......

this to me is "a lot of work" and it has nothing to do with his rasp:

early and late, cannot make up mind which one i like more:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWcWktc2Qgc

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And Bob refuses my challenge to show us how easy it is. It's like I didn't say anything, at all.

For quite some time, I had asked Jens to post a version of it since he said he rocked a karaoke night with this song, while under the influence of alcohol. (Would that SUI, singing under the influence?)

So, Bob piped up, probably thinking I would back down, and said, in so many words, Ron, you have a light voice or so you say. Maybe you should try it. And I did. Then another member who is a fan of the Darkness liked "Growing on Me." So, I did that one, too.

Muchas gracias to Keith for providing the karaoke tracks and post-recording mix and editing.

I just wanted to see how Bob could show us how it was easy. I guess I can keep on wanting.

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