#1
Alright so I've only been singing for around half a year and recently I've been trying to get down the chorus to Iris by the goo goo dolls. I can hit the notes fine, but it sounds really chesty and shouty, not strained though. I've concluded that I've been singing mainly or almost entirely with chest voice ever since I started singing.

From what I understand normal singing is meant to utilize both head and chest voice in a so called 'mixed' voiced. This is what I'd like to start learning.

and so I have a few questions
1. Basically, how are you meant to use head and chest voice effectively at the same time?
2. When singing how do you know when to use more head voice than chest voice and vice versa? Does it depend on how high the notes are, the mood of the song etc. ?
3. How do you get a strong head voice? Whenever I try singing in mainly head voice it sounds frail and wispy compared to my chest voice.

Thanks, sorry if anything doesn't make sense.
#2
Great questions, before I answer any I will say. I learned to use my head voice by aiming low but singing high. Just the way you think changes the way you use your voice.

1. I would call it singing in your modal range rather then mixed voice. Which sounds more of a modern term singing R&B. It takes alot of practice and you must be completely relaxed. One of the most important things for your vocal stamina and quality is going to be allowing your voice to resonate freely in your nasal cavities. light hmms with your mouth closed may help you.

2. Once your doing everything correct you will know. Its best to start low and try to sound like an opera singer. Because even tho it sounds like pure chest voice. they are really singing in there modal range .

3. Your head voice gets stronger when you learn how to support it with your chest voice..

Your voice will be free as a bird theres no mistake for this..but believe me it will take alot of practice. The best advice is to stay in your range. dont focus on those high notes they will come naturally with a free voice.
#3
Thanks for the reply.

When you say to allow your voice to resonate in the nasal cavity what's it meant to feel like? Closing my mouth and doing the hmmm thing it feels like my nose is vibrating a bit, is that what it is? I can't achieve the same result with my mouth open though.
#4
For a bit of a different take....

Quote by Citizen Swag
it sounds really chesty and shouty, not strained though.


Shouty is what you get when you lack resonance. You need to learn resonance and the shoutiness will go away.

Quote by Citizen Swag

From what I understand normal singing is meant to utilize both head and chest voice in a so called 'mixed' voiced. This is what I'd like to start learning.


Yes. Consider this: Your chest voice is like the woofer of a speaker. Your head voice is like the tweeter. Individually, they both sound like ass. Put the two together, and it's magic. The good news is, just as it is pretty much impossible to play music through just the woofer or just the tweeter (barring disconnecting any wires....), it is also pretty much impossible to sing in *just* head voice or *just* chest voice. There will always be a natural combination of the two. It's just the proportion that changes - just like a speaker.

This is why I really dislike the terms "head voice" and "chest voice" because they suggest an exclusivity which is impossible and impractical to achieve. If you think of it as "mixed voice" and "falsetto" the delineations become much more clear.

Quote by Citizen Swag

and so I have a few questions
1. Basically, how are you meant to use head and chest voice effectively at the same time?


Well, you can't really use them exclusively. Higher notes will resonate more in the head, and a little bit in the chest; lower notes will resonate more in the chest and a little bit in the head.

Quote by Citizen Swag

2. When singing how do you know when to use more head voice than chest voice and vice versa? Does it depend on how high the notes are, the mood of the song etc. ?


Part of it will happen automatically. If you try to use too much head voice in a low note, you won't hit the note. In order to hit the note, you will automatically adjust the proportion.

Part of it is also the placement of the voice within what is called the "mask" of the face.

Quote by Citizen Swag

3. How do you get a strong head voice? Whenever I try singing in mainly head voice it sounds frail and wispy compared to my chest voice.


Your description sounds like you are actually singing in falsetto than in "head" voice. Head voice sounds bright and full - not frail and wispy. Think Alice in Chains on the high notes... that's a good example of so-called "head voice." He rarely goes into falsetto, as far as I can think of.

Check out www.thebelcantotechnique.com for a lot more information and even some videos.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#5
It's helpful to think of chest voice and head voice being on a continuum, with the chest being thick and head being thin. Dynamics as well as pitch control the how thick or thin the voice is at a certain pitch.

The chest voice of most untrained male singers is too thick and thus an exercise involving the head voice is used to thin it out (the problem with being too thick is as you described - shouty, yelly, hard to do). You do a descending octave slide in head voice with "ooo" and bringing that quality down. Start fairly high, then go lower. Allow the voice to transition the way it wants to i.e. don't force the head voice down. Over time, this conditions the chest voice to find a hybrid condition. This hybrid condition is the ideal foundation to sing from because it's thin enough and flexible enough to allow us to sing higher pitches without it feeling too heavy. Then the emotion of the song and the words tints the voice to a lighter or heavier sound as desired.