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What is Head Voice?
Head voice is talked about as the falsetto register by some people in singing circles. There are certain resonance areas in your body when you sing and your head is one of them in addition to nasal cavities, diaphragm, etc. It’s almost as if you are singing from your diaphragm and you and push out the sound more through your upper mouth or almost into your nasal cavity a little. This could be called accessing your head voice. It will help produce your original sound and make things exciting. You can variate from head voice to chest voice too.
:Accessing Your Head Voice
Now when you’re trying to access your head voice, that doesn’t mean you should be raising your larynx. If you raise your larynx, you’re using wrong technique and you will really feel the difference. Look in the mirror and if your larynx is being raised as you try to access your head voice, it will start hurting your throat and things will get sore. This is a very common occurrence when singers are using wrong technique. It happens all the time even by people who have been singing for a long time. So first things first. Try to master keeping your larynx, or your throat, still and don’t let it rise or lower while trying to access your head voice or while doing any other kind of singing.
You also what to keep your throat open as possible while trying to develop the so-called head voice and finding resonance up there. Singers sometimes have a tendency to close up the throat as they sing higher notes. This is incorrect; you should always keep the throat open as possible even when singing high notes. This is really the soft palate that you’re opening up in the back of your throat to allow more air out while singing. It’s much much easier to hit high notes or low notes while your throat is open and you can also use the resonance in your head to use your own head voice sound.
What is chest voice?
Although there are many technical definitions of what chest
voice actually is, it is most widely known and understood as our normal speaking
and/or singing voice. For our purposes, chest voice is the range in which we
feel completely comfortable singing and speaking. It is marked by the majority
of the resonance being located in the chest. There are more specific
definitions than these, but the general outcomes are still the same.
I find that chest voice receives much less attention than it actually deserves. In fact, chest voice should deserves just as much attention as any other area of our voice. Why? Simply because we most often sing in our chest voice. Therefore I find it quite necessary that we engage and train our chest voice just as much as (if not more than) our head voice and mixed voice.
Somehow we get this faulty idea that since we speak and sing in our chest voice all the time, we are in no need of training it. Wrong! Your chest voice may be stronger than your head voice or mixed voice, but that does not necessarily mean it has been properly trained. And here’s why.
Even though we speak and sing in chest voice often, we never truly train our vocal cords to function in the proper manner. Since our vocal cords are not trained in the proper manner, they do not give the proper control over chest voice. It now makes sense why people could sing in chest voice for years and still be incredibly pitchy and inconsistent. They are relying on everything except proper vocal cord function. Even though their chest is strong, it still remains untrained.
So how do we train our chest voice?
1) We must first get to the root of the issue. An inconsistent chest voice is only a symptom of the real problem: improper function of the vocal cords. Vocal cord closure is an absolute necessity for properly functioning vocal cords. Getting the vocal cords to come together correctly is the first step in creating a smooth, rich and controlled chest voice. The proper amount of vocal cord closure implies proper breath support as well. Breath support is also key for developing your chest voice. Breath support is not the focus but rather a supplementary element of vocal cord closure. When you fill your diaphragm with the proper amount of air and control it correctly with cord closure, you have the ability to produce that rich and controlled sound.
Here is what I would do in order to start training your chest voice.
I would practice the exercises “mum” and “buh” on octave scales, repeating the “mum” or “buh” 4 times at the top and holding out that note. If I were to write it out, it be like this:
mum-mum-mum-mum mum mum muuuuuuuuuuuuum-mum-mum-mum
buh-buh-buh-buh buh buh buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh-buh-buh-buh
As you ascend up the scale, focus on controlling the notes as you sing them.
You can also work on developing your chest voice by humming a particular note in your chest voice and holding it out for 10 seconds. Go to the next note higher, hum it and hold it out for 10 seconds. Focus on controlling the sound you are making. As you begin to gain control, increase the amount of time you spend holding out the note. This will help regulate your breath and develop your chest voice.
So what are the benefits of having a solid chest voice? Here are 2 tangible benefits:
1) excellent control over your vocals
2) a launching pad for adding energy into your mix
Like I said earlier, vocal cord closure is quite important to developing that rich sound in your chest voice