#1
Hey guys. I'm fairly new at playing guitar (1.5 years) and even newer at singing. I'd been kind of suspicious about this for a while, but I'm kind of worried. I originally started playing a song (Beautiful by Phil Wickham) in the key of C, but after seeing a live performance, I realized it's in E. When it was in C, I had issues with the falsetto parts and now that I'm trying to do it in E (it sounds a lot better in E), I'm really struggling to hit the high notes. I've also not sure if I have a head voice, since I've never taken lessons.

I guess what I'm asking is a two-part question. 1) How do I tell if I have a head voice/falsetto? and 2) How do I access/expand that higher end or I am just going to have to Hayley Williams it up? Thanks in advance.
#2
Everyone has a head voice and falsetto.

It starts like this. You have your chest voice, which likes its coming from the very bottom of your throat. As you get higher, eventually theres a mini 'crack' and you switch to feeling the note is buzzing around in your head. Finally, if you barely push and try to go higher you get the really airy falsetto notes.

Youtube some vocal lessons on expanding range, I'm a tad busy to explain it.
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#3
Well one way to identify whether you have a head voice is to identify if you have a head. If you have one, you have the voice. Same goes for chest. Easy.

Now the problem that you're encountering here is that you may be singing a song that is out of your range. Even if you were a professional, you mayn't be able to access the high notes in your full voice (voice below falsetto) anyway. You should see a vocal teacher to identify your range. If those notes are within your full voice range, it's a matter of learning the proper techniques to introduce enough of the lower chest-voice frequencies to support the higher head voice ones. Know that a sound is always a combination of the head and chest voice (in your full voice anyway). Think of them as the bass and treble knobs on your guitar amp.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#4
Quote by AlanHB
Well one way to identify whether you have a head voice is to identify if you have a head. If you have one, you have the voice. Same goes for chest. Easy.

Now the problem that you're encountering here is that you may be singing a song that is out of your range. Even if you were a professional, you mayn't be able to access the high notes in your full voice (voice below falsetto) anyway. You should see a vocal teacher to identify your range. If those notes are within your full voice range, it's a matter of learning the proper techniques to introduce enough of the lower chest-voice frequencies to support the higher head voice ones. Know that a sound is always a combination of the head and chest voice (in your full voice anyway). Think of them as the bass and treble knobs on your guitar amp.


The issue with this analogy is you can get really trebley in your chest voice and really bassy in your head voice. It has to do with which frequencies you're accentuating, rather than what "voice" you're using. If your example were analogous, you would be able to pull your head voice all the way down to your lowest note, and your chest voice all the way up to the highest note without much difficulty. It's a small but important distinction.

The difference between head voice and falsetto is physiological in nature. Your vocal cords are together when you're in head voice, and blown apart with the edges barely touching in falsetto. With regards to tonality, the airiness and lack of harmonic complexity is the dead giveaway for falsetto. The easiest way you can tell when someone's using falsetto is it sounds "fake." It sounds like they're pretending to hit the note, and even when the falsetto's well supported, it sounds very tonally different than their chest voice and kind of silly.
#5
Quote by Chaingarden
The issue with this analogy is you can get really trebley in your chest voice and really bassy in your head voice. It has to do with which frequencies you're accentuating, rather than what "voice" you're using. If your example were analogous, you would be able to pull your head voice all the way down to your lowest note, and your chest voice all the way up to the highest note without much difficulty. It's a small but important distinction.


Changing the bass/treble knobs on my amp does not change the note the guitar plays. You can turn the bass all the way up on the highest note, but it's not going to change what note it is, just it's tone.

Perhaps you can give a better analogy?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#6
Quote by AlanHB
Changing the bass/treble knobs on my amp does not change the note the guitar plays. You can turn the bass all the way up on the highest note, but it's not going to change what note it is, just it's tone.

Perhaps you can give a better analogy?


That's what I'm saying. You can cut the bass entirely on your guitar amp and play an open E. There is no way anyone could sing that E in their head voice.

There really isn't a perfectly analogous scenario that I'm aware of. The closest I can think of is the switch from chest to middle to head voice is kind of like the switch from walking to jogging to running. Maybe a better analogy would be like switching gears in a manual transmission. I don't know, traveling between the registers is sort of a unique experience.
#7
Ok, so the voice doesn't go to the same extremes as a guitar amp, but in the full voice range I like to think that the chest and head voice play similar roles to bass/treble knobs. I guess the main problem with the analogy is that they don't work independent of each other like the knobs would. So it could be like two weights pulling at eachother or something
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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