Falsetto And Head Voice Singing

What’s the Difference Between Falsetto Singing and Head Voice ?

Taking your singing voice higher is sometimes easier said than done. What range do you try for? Which do you leave alone? To reach the high notes you can either choose falsetto or head voice. There is a difference.

Learn why with this free singing lesson.

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Falsetto VS Head Voice – How to Sing Each

Q: Are falsetto and head voice the same thing?

Do you ever feel like you know just enough about falsetto vs head voice to be dangerous?

Let’s see if we can fill in some of the gaps with the latest info from falsetto vs head voice experts.

Think about what you’ve read so far on these pages about music and singing. Does it reinforce what you already know about falsetto vs head voice? Or was there something completely new?
A: No. Falsetto is the lightest vocal production made by the human voice.

It is limited in strength, dynamics and tonal variation. Usually, there is a considerable ‘jump,’ ‘break’ or ‘disconnect’ between your chest (speaking) voice and your falsetto.

Noted vocal coach and voice therapist Randy Buescher of Chicago defines Falsetto as …

“a coordination where the outer layer of the vocal cord (mucosa, i.e. internal skin or muscular covering) is vibrating, creating sound, but without engaging the actual musculature of the cord.

Also, there exists no medial compression. In other words, during the vibratory cycle, the cords never fully approximate.

In head voice, the cords approximate, but the vibration of the cord moves away from the full depth of the vocal cord (chest voice) to a pattern that involves less and less depth of vocal cord as you ascend toward the top of your range. ..

More Clarity on These Types of Vocal Genres

One of the biggest points of confusion in the world of singing technique is the erroneous belief that the terms “Falsetto” and “Head Voice” mean the same thing.

Sadly, far too many voice teachers also refer to the head voice as “Falsetto” and in doing so, are contributing to the confusion for their students.

What is Falsetto?

Falsetto is a vocal mode, head voice is a ubiquitous and popular metaphor that is used often to describe the higher register for singing.

As Robert Lunte explains in this very popular video, the problem is, if students of singing think that Falsetto vocal mode is the ONLY kind of sound they can make in the head voice, then they will never do the training required to develop vocal twang in the head voice which is required to sing with ‘connectivity’ in the head voice.

Develop Your Vocal Twang

That is to say, if you want to stop sounding weak and windy in the head voice, the solution is not to avoid the head voice register, but learn how to train vocal twang in the head voice.

Because Falsetto is the vocal mode the body intuitively wants to produce in the head voice, people erroneously draw the conclusion that this is the only kind of sound they can make in the head voice and thus, avoid the head voice strength and coordination work that needs to be done.

Learn more about vocal modes and how to make your head voice sound huge and ‘boomy’ by checking this page.

And, Randy Buescher Goes on to Say ..

“The highest notes of your range involve only the vocal ligament. However, there is no consensus among experts on the official definition of vocal registers.”

falsetto singingTake time to consider the points presented above. What you learn may help you overcome your hesitation to take action.

I hope this gave you some clarity about the differences between falsetto and head voice singing so that you can practice and use higher range without worry. Be sure and come again soon for more vocal lessons online like these. Have a great day!

22 thoughts on “Falsetto And Head Voice Singing”

  1. I really like your voice.Could you tell me how to twang when singing like
    you hit A4 note in 6s05.Thank you

  2. Robert Lunte

    You know, I can’t really “tell you how to twang for an A4” in a 500 word YT
    post to be honest. I guess the answer would be that you have to first just
    learn to twang. Forget about the note, the first thing you have to do is
    train twang vocal mode. Understand what it is, how to train it, how to do
    it. Once you have it down, you can then work it in throughout your range.
    Twang is King… as I point out in my vocal training system, “The Four
    Pillars of Singing”. Its all explained in my book & dvds.

  3. alexmcginness

    In my experience of what head voice is, I am 100% correct as “that” is my
    experience with it. Now you can use all sorts of terminology that youve
    gleaned from Greys Anatomy to describe muscle functions all you like, but
    how thats helpful to anyone is beyond me. If i sting falsetto and zip up or
    tighten my vocal chords so that its not breathy, to me, thats head voice.
    If i seing EEEEEEE it sounds like head voice but if I change it to AHHHHHH
    its falsetto again until i tighten it up.

  4. alexmcginness

    As I said thats my experience with it. “Proper” head voice then is a
    talent. Youve got it or you dont. Some can develop this falsetto/head voice
    some not. Ive been singing professionally for over 30 years and I have two
    registers, chest voice and falsetto. My falsetto/head voice sounds like
    Neil Youngs cat doing AC/DC. Its good for parodies but thats it. I get by
    with chest voice. This is a “talent” that some have and some dont. I make
    do with what I do have.

  5. Spenser Latson

    Robert, you are absolutely correct. I honestly can’t even figure out his
    logic behind anything he said. It doesn’t take years of study, practice,
    and experience to know what he is saying is absolutely ridiculous. At least
    you tried…

  6. Robert Lunte

    Spenser, YouTube is the worst of humanity in terms of people arguing with
    you that know nothing. Im not saying that Alex is completely ignorant, but
    something about YouTube makes SOME people be really rude and insulting,
    or… determined to argue with you just because they think they know what
    they are talking about. There is actually science and techniques behind the
    work that I do. I am an expert at this, its not really up for debate,
    especially with those that have no professional experience.

  7. Robert Lunte

    Of course Falsetto has an application, its just not as popular I suppose.
    Most students of singing technique are worried more about how to avoid it,
    then how to use it for singing. Regarding distortion for screamo, take a
    look at my vocal distortion videos… there are actually three that
    demonstrate different kinds of distortion. The general answer is, the
    screamo techniques, when done properly by creating noise in the vocal tract
    and not grinding tissue, are placed in more heady positions.

  8. Aramys Hayes

    You are a great teacher and u know what you are talking about and i
    appreciate the videos. Especially the “mixed voice is dead” i agree and
    thank you for explaining that. I cant tell you how many times ive heard
    this phrase and no one could explain it or simplify it to my understanding.
    You are awesome!

  9. this is informative indeed.. =) when I sing I use my falsetto voice and I
    was able to master it technically for a decade…

  10. Robert Lunte

    Great! Im excited to hear that this video has helped you to sing in your
    head voice better. But remember, its not really your “normal” voice that is
    singing the high notes, if you are referring to “normal” to mean “chest”.
    Your in your head voice engaging vocal twang. Yes, it has a connected sound
    that is similar to chest, but its not the same thing. Its only an illusion
    that its chest, but that is the point of the training. Hopefully you will
    become a client and learn more about it.

  11. Robert Lunte

    Not yet… we are working on it now… it will be available in 2014… as
    well as German, French, Dutch and Chinese.

  12. Nathan McMath

    Great video. I sing in head voice all the time when I am teaching children
    and this caused my voice to change a lot up there (for the better). I can
    sing in a much lower range than I used to be able to in head voice, and
    still retain power. But for me the twang seems like it is not exactly
    healthy for the voice.?

  13. Tommy Rahman

    Rob, are there any specials available on Four Pillars program now or any
    coming up in the near future, im saving up to get your program a.s.a.p. ?

  14. André Tajchman

    Hi I was just wondering how is the technique used to fortify your head
    voice used at 4:11?

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