Recently we went out for dinner with Simon Horn from Audient. As a Voxtrain user himself, he fired a couple of questions at me regarding falsetto and head voice singing. This prompted me to write on the topic. Thank you Simon!
Most people refer to falsetto as a certain tone quality in high male singing, while ‘head voice’ generally refers to the highest register. When is it falsetto, and when is it head voice? Can women sing falsetto.
To clear things up, here are a couple of thoughts on falsetto and head register:
- I subscribe to the three register system (chest, middle, head). A group of pitches vibrate in a similar pattern which need a similar muscular setting.
- The ‘breaks’ in the voice happen when the muscles have to adjust moving from one vibratory pattern to the next.
- Regardless of register, the vocal cords are used entirely. They might lengthen to lower the pitch or shorten to heighten it, but they are vibrating completely.
- Falsetto is different. Firstly, with falsetto, only the ligamentous edges of the vocal cords vibrate. Secondly, the vocal cords do not close completely, giving it that airy sound commonly associated with falsetto singing.
- By implication, this means that you cannot belt your falsetto. So, if you’re singing high and loud, you’re using your head register setting.
- It was previously said that women do not have a falsetto voice, but recent research has proved that women too can achieve this falsetto setting. Women probably use it less frequently as their head register already contains pitches and tones similar to their falsetto sound.
- The falsetto sound makes it easier for men to sing higher notes, as it does not require as much muscular support. In fact, the more you relax your muscles, the easier you will achieve a falsetto sound.
Voxtrain is about singing made real. Always aiming for practical application to theory. So here are some tips on developing your falsetto:
- Never push too hard on falsetto. The more you release the throat muscles, the more beautiful your falsetto sound will become.
- Falsetto is not fake singing. It is a legitimate way of singing that requires skill and technique. It’s a wonderful addition to your palette of tones.
- The most empowered singer is the one who knows how to feel the right vocal settings from the inside, a singer who has internalised the theory and made it personal.
Use the exercises on the Range and Resonance lines in Voxtrain, to develop your ‘feel’ for your own head and falsetto voice settings.