As a music teacher and vocal coach for many years, one of the biggest issues singers face is how to control and empower their falsetto and head voice to sing those unforgettable and beautiful high notes. Mastering this technique within your musical journey will dramatically expand your repertoire and make your audience gasp in amazement.
In this article, we will learn How to Sing Falsetto and Head Voice with Power!
Falsetto and Head Voice: What They Are?
Falsetto and head voice are terms in music when singing in much higher registers. Many musicians remain confused about the various terminologies when differentiating the two.
When females sing in higher registers, common to classical sopranos, the vibrations from the connected vocal cords is felt primarily in the head. Hence is why they call it your “head-voice.”
For men, the vibrations felt in the head when singing in higher registers is known as “falsetto.” This term differs from a female’s head-voice because of the actions of the male vocal cords which are, more often than not, disconnected. Generally, a male’s falsetto can be quite breathy or flute-like because of this disconnection. That being said, some male falsettos can be extremely powerful.
For today’s lesson and the sake of argument, a female’s head voice is described as being the same as a male’s falsetto. Empowering your falsetto/head voice still requires the same techniques and exercises.
How Do You Sing in Falsetto?
I highly recommend watching the following video to get a better grasp of what Falsetto really means:
Empowering your Falsetto and Head Voice
Empowering those high notes is actually easier than you might think. All it takes is remembering a few crucial tips using your larynx, jaw, breathing, and the confidence to make it happen!
According to Wikipedia, “the larynx houses the vocal folds and manipulates pitch and volume, which is essential for phonation. It is situated just below where the tract of the pharynx splits into the trachea and the esophagus.”
In order to captivate a stronger falsetto/head voice, we need to utilize a lower larynx. With a lower larynx, your voice sounds deeper, fuller, and allows your voice to invite more power.
The easiest way to form a lower larynx position is to try imitating the beginning of a yawn. Without forcing your tongue back into the throat, keep your tongue pushed down at the bottom of your mouth.
Our speaking voice is commonly known to be in a more neutral larynx position without forcing higher or lower registers in our everyday speaking voice.
Forcing your voice with a higher larynx typically makes your voice sound squeezed or weak.
Here’s a great example of how to control your larynx!
Loosen the Jaw
Next on the list is about the importance of loosening the jaw. While this may seem obvious, tight jaws are still taking over the vocalist world by storm.
By keeping your jaw loose with zero strain, this will make controlling your lower larynx A LOT easier. For instance, try singing a tune while tightening and straining your jaw while keeping a lower larynx position.
How did that work out for you? Not only does it hurt, but a tight/strained jaw makes it almost impossible to keep a relaxed lower larynx. Unless you want to sound like Kermit the Frog, I don’t recommend this while singing.
The third topic on the list focuses on breath support. If you are already a vocalist, you know that controlling your breath is essential no matter what style of singing you’re into. Singing in higher registers means you need to leave more room for air in your body because your vocal cords are more contracted.
When it comes to maximizing the power behind your falsetto/head voice, your breath can’t come too much from your shoulders or contain too much “oomph” from your diaphragm.
You know you’re doing it wrong if you inhale/exhale, your shoulders move up and down. This means that your abs become tense. A tense abdomen makes supporting your breath more difficult.
You’re also doing it wrong if you inhale/exhale and your stomach drastically expands and contracts. This is typically what you would want when singing in your natural range.
We want to find a medium for when you inhale/exhale, your entire core remains stable. You know you’re doing it right when you inhale, your chest and abdomen rise as one. This will hold the air back with your body and create subglottic pressure which will help you to be stronger when singing in higher registers.
Subglottic Pressure – “The amount of subglottal pressure generated is determined by the airflow through the leakage of air between the vocal folds and the resistance to that flow during speech or singing.”
Last but not least is your overall boldness and commitment to the attack towards singing using falsetto and head voice. Be confident!
When practicing an instrument or singing, trying to sound good is not always the best way to actually sound good. Sometimes you have to make mistakes to learn what to do and what not to do.
Unlocking your falsetto/head voice power may, at first, sound like a screeching violin or a dying cat…which usually sounds the same anyways. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take right?
So remember, lower larynx, loose jaw, breath support, and commitment! Let’s try a couple of exercises to unleash those powerful high notes.
Note: If you’re learning this for the first time, you will most likely strain or tire out your voice so be sure to take a break!
Falsetto Vocal Exercise
I highly recommend you checking out the following video for some awesome Falsetto vocal exercises:
Quick Head Voice workout
Try to implement the following workout. It’s extremely useful.
Here are some of the masters of FALSETTO!
Now take a break and let this video inspire you:
All in all, no matter how naturally talented you may be, it takes a tremendous amount of efficient practice to accomplish whatever goal you set your mind to. Over time, your body will adjust. The goal is consistency and efficiency.
Sometimes a 20 min practice session will accomplish more than a one-hour practice session. Understand and respect your body’s limits, everyone has them.
To reiterate what we’ve learned today to empower that falsetto/head voice, remember to:
- Lower your Larynx
- Loosen your Jaw
- Control your Breathing
If you follow these four important steps, your falsetto or head voice will blow everyone out of the water. Hopefully, it won’t break the windows.
Here are a few of our related articles that will help you improve your singing skills. Just check them out by clicking on links:
How to Hit the Right Pitch When Singing
How to Hit the Higher Notes With Power and Without Straining
And finally, if you are a beginner and just starting, this article is for you: