Ep. 21 “Falsetto Vs. Head Voice” – Voice Lessons To The World

Ep. 21 “Falsetto Vs. Head Voice” – Voice Lessons To The World

November 20, 2019 100 By Kailee Schamberger


♬ Hi everybody! My name is Justin Stoney
and I’m the founder of New York Vocal Coaching
here in New York City. Welcome to episode 21 of
Voice Lessons To The World, the show where we want
to help you guys as singers by answering your
questions from all over. And I’ll give you a chance
to ask questions later, but our question for this week comes
from Nathan L. in St. George, Utah. And Nathan writes, “Dear Justin,
I’m a choral singer, and I enjoy singing, and I’ve looked all over the web for
the answer that I can never find. What’s the difference between
falsetto and head voice in a male?” Now Nathan that’s a great question,
because I know so many people want to know the
answer to that. And it’s not understood,
it’s a big debate out there. But I would love to answer this question
for you guys once and for all. So a male falsetto
versus a male head voice, they sound very similar and people mistake
the two for each other all the time. The first thing I’m going to do is a little
sound making- just in my speaking voice. I just want to show you the
difference in my speech what the sound of falsetto and
the sound of head voice is. So if I’m in this voice right here,
this is my falsetto. You can hear that it’s very weak,
very leaky, very breathy, and a very strange sound
for me to be making. So there’s your falsetto sound. Next I’m going to
do my head voice. So now if I move into
my head voice it’s still kind of a strange
sound for me to be making. It kind of sounds
similar to falsetto. But it’s not quite the same. You can hear that this falsetto
voice, this is a little bit lighter and weaker than this head voice
which is not too manly itself, but it’s different
than this sound. You hear the difference?
Falsetto, head voice. Very similar, but
not quite the same. So now we’ll talk about what.
What is falsetto? Falsetto is when the vocal
cords stretch out and lengthen and tilt the air to the back. So you’ve got long flexible vocal cords
that shoot the air to the back. That’s how the voice
makes high notes, is we’ve got muscles that
stretch the vocal cords. So when you do falsetto,
you’re stretching the cords. Long cords, and air
shooting to the back. So it’s this sound,
but it’s breathy. There’s not much compression and
it’s kind of leaky and breathy. Now, for head voice,
this is why it’s so similar. You have long cords,
they’re being stretched out, the air is being shot to the back
but this time you have, not just this, but a little bit of this. A little bit of compression
on the voice too. So it’s long cords, air to the back,
but not breathy, a little bit compressed. Now head voice is a form of a mix,
because a mix is some blend of coordinations. This is no coordination at all,
it’s just air to the back. This is air to the back, plus a
little bit of something else. Head voice has a little
bit of something else. And that thing is something
we’ve talked about before, which is compression. So that’s why they’re so
similar and that’s why people get them
confused all the time, is because both of them
have air to the back, both of them
have long cords. But the x-factor is the thing that’s
misunderstood: Compression. So Nathan, or anybody, if you’re ever
wondering what the difference is, that’s it. It’s just a little bit more
put together on the vocal cord level. Falsetto, not put together, head voice, some
degree of put togetherness. Okay? So next we’re going to just
talk about a few song examples where
you hear falsetto. Okay. The Beatles are famous for
doing their ♪ woo ♪ on the high notes. So that would be an example of when
you hear falsetto in a male, in a song. There’s tons of them, but
that’s a really classic one when the Beatles
do their, ♪ woo ♪ A style of music that uses head
voice, a lot of times almost exclusively, would be, like an
Irish folk song. So you hear an Irish tenor kind
of doing something like a, ♪ Toora loora loora ♪ ♪ Toora loora li ♪ And that’s not quite my
falsetto, ♪ Ah-i ♪ I put my vocal cords together
in a subtle fashion, and I get something from ♪ Ah-i ♪ And I come into
my head voice. So, you know, ♪ Oh Danny Boy the pipes the pipes are calling ♪ That kind of sound, is a very,
very light head voice. But it’s not falsetto. And then you got your songs that
come in and out of falsetto a lot and we’ll actually talk
about this really soon. But you have “Apologize” by Timbaland. ♪ It’s too late to apologize ♪ Right? ♪ It’s too late to apologize ♪ ♪ It’s too late ♪ So ♪ falsetto and then to mix ♪ ♪ It’s too late to apologize ♪ Coming in and out of that falsetto
coordination into your mix. So that’s a song
example of both, and some song examples
that use one or the other exclusively at different moments. So then what you
want to work on if you want to get a good falsetto,
or a good head voice, or both. Basically, what I encourage guys to
do is just not stop working on your falsetto. Falsetto is neglected so much
in vocal exercise and training. It’s your flexibility function you need
to keep on stretching that falsetto all the time. It’s not going to hurt you. There’s absolutely nothing
wrong with doing a falsetto. In fact it is very,
very good for you. And then, make sure you’re guiding
your air up and back for high notes. Head voice is a stronger
coordination than falsetto, but the problem with
how males often sing is they’re using so much of a thick
coordination, such a chesty sound, and so much power in
the voice all the time that they never send the air
up and back in a light way. So if you work on your falsetto
and you continue to have your notes moving this way, and
not straight out that way, you’re going to develop a good
head voice over time as well. But hopefully knowing the
difference between falsetto and head voice can get
you a little bit of a start. So Nathan and everybody, I hope that
settles the debate once and for all about the difference
between the two, and gives you a few
tips for working on them. If you have questions that you’d
like to see us answer on the show you can send an email to: [email protected]
[♪] We just encourage you not to
lose the joy, don’t lose the passion.
[♪] Get with a great voice
teacher in your area.
[♪] And if you guys are
in New York City
[♪] you can visit us at:
www.NewYorkVocalCoaching.com
[♪] And if you like these videos
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[♪] I’m Justin Stoney.
[♪] We’ll see you next time.
[♪] ♬