Blog-Head Voice vs Falsetto-Differences-Sing Like The Pros Studios. Learn why head voice, & falsetto are different & the pros & cons of each. Why is head voice beneficial and falsetto harmful? This article may help enlighten you.
Before I started teaching and taking classes via The Speech Level Singing Technique, my Voice Instructor at the time (who is now considered a Master Instructor) once said to me – move towards falsetto, but maintain connection to chest voice. He & I both knew such a simple statement is easier said than done! We all are habitual creatures. We tend to do what we tend to do, which is what we’ve done in the past. Breaking those habits can be hard. In my case, I was yelling & screaming! The technical term is called “pulling chest” – which means yanking chest voice way too high to hit the high notes. Yet for those who have a falsetto problem (which is akin to dropping all connection to chest voice or disconnecting into breathy airy voice) the difference between head voice & falsetto can be very much a mystery. (Note: Just like Pulling Chest, Falsetto is also a problem – They both ruin vocal cords, literally. Too often, surgery is necessary.)
However, often times, when I am working with a new student who has a tendency to disconnect into falsetto, I will trick them into head voice. However, they will often say something like, but that feels like falsetto to me or it feels too lite… I will say, ‘That’s not falsetto. That’s head voice. That’s your head voice.” They will often look at me with a puzzled face, and I can see many want to refute my findings, out right! But before I allow it to go there, I will immediately sing one of my favorite songs, “Reasons” by Earth Wind & Fire, sung by Phillip Bailey, who is known for having a very high falsetto. It goes, “Now, I’m craving your body, this is real, temperature’s rising, I don’t wanna feel, I’m in the wrong place to be real…” You know the one. I will sing it in falsetto and then in head voice. Then I will ask them to identify which is falsetto & which is head voice, and almost always the student chooses correctly – Bingo! Now they know the difference between the two, and they know what their goal is! That’s important, for now we can go to work! Truth is, that head voice they feel, may feel lite at first, but I ask you, do Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion, Michael Jackson, Patti LaBelle, Stevie Wonder sing mostly in a yell (i.e. pulling chest) falsetto or head voice? Answer: They are most often in head voice – head voice can produce very powerful vocals!!! This may not happen at first, but over time, the muscles get stronger, and at times the layman cannot distinguish the difference between head voice and pulling chest! Yes, that strong, for example Chaka Khan! Its the “how” that one must learn. The benefit or up-side is that head voice is much easier too boot!
So when you go for the high notes, are you lacking power?
Allow me to restate the above tip, the same one the master instructor to gave me: move towards falsetto, but maintain connection to chest voice. This is actually quite instructive, one just needs to learn the “how”.
Truth is, to me, Head Voice does not feel like Falsetto, but how it “feels” really is an individual matter. Over time you can learn to distinguish the two different sensations.
Hope this helps:
Sing Like The Pros Studios