Manning's Big Singing Lie #5
Big Lie #5 -
You must develop a strong "falsetto" to
sing very high notes.
Your voice will make several
coordinations, none of which require a great degree of
effort. There is the "chest" voice, the "head" voice,
falsetto (sometimes confused with the head voice). Our
also add what we call the "mix" voice, which is a mixture of
chest and head
First, let's identify these voices.
Put your hand on your chest and say "AAAAh" in your regular
speaking voice. Do you feel the vibration of your chest against
This is called "chest voice" and it's what you naturally use
when singing lower notes. We call it the chest voice because
much of the resonance (sound waves becoming stronger by
building upon one another) takes place in the chest cavity in
your lower range.
I guess I better explain "resonance" a little
It's pretty easy. Imagine the sound made by slapping your
hand against a boulder the size of a washing machine. That
impact is like one vibration of your vocal cords. Your hand
against the boulder would make a fairly tiny sound (more like a
"snap" than anything).
Now imagine slapping the side of a real washing machine.
What sound comes from that? A big, giant BOOM! Why? "Because
it's hollow," I hear you say. But WHY does that make such a
It's because the hollow space in the washing machine serves
to amplify the sound by "resonating" or vibrating, moving a
larger volume of air than the initial slap by itself would have
Your vocal cords are only about half an inch long! They're
stretched across a little pipe the same diameter (half inch).
If they were vibrating out in open air, you'd have to put your
ear right next to them to hear them at all.
But they are part of a system that includes several
resonating cavities. The biggest is the chest. It's got the
"boom" of the lower notes and it can sound "explosive."
The cords make the air
vibrate, and the chest amplifies that
Next voice--the "head" voice.
Why do they call it the head voice? I hear you saying "I bet
it's because it resonates in the head." Yep. You're right.
But we think of the head as a solid block most of the time,
expect maybe for the mouth. The truth is, there are hidden
pockets of air in your head! You see those 2 little nostrils
and you think they are just pipes to the lungs. But they
lead to the "nasal cavity" behind your nose and your cheek
bones. And those cavities are quite large. Then there are also
sinuses (around and above your eyes).
Still another resonator is in the back of the throat, just
above your vocal cords.
As you sing higher, your vocal cords are designed to thin
out (almost as if you are changing from a thick guitar string
to a thin one). When your vocal cords "get thinner" like they
are supposed to do, they throw the tone more upward and forward
into these resonators in your head.
Let's find that head voice tone right now.
Put your hand on top of your head. Now make the very happy
sound: (very high) "Wheeeeeee" like you're on a swing at the
park. Did you feel your skull vibrating under your hand?
Now if you put one hand on your chest and the other on your
head and alternate, "AAAAH" down low, and "weeeeee" up high,
you'll feel the difference in resonators.
Now for falsetto.
This is not really a "voice." It's more of a defense
mechanism to keep you from straining your vocal cords when you
try to go too high in "chest" voice and don't know how to shift
gears into head voice. If you sing a very high, light, airy
tone, you won't feel much resonance anywhere.
This is because the cords are not really even coming
together. Instead, they are coming near to one another, then
vibrating as air passes between them. The airy sound is from
all the air that escapes through the cords in this
In singing, you can use this "false voice" as a sound effect
communicate soft emotions). But you don't want to be limited to
The chief difference between "head" voice and falsetto is
that in head voice,
your vocal cords are actually coming together and closing off
some of their
vibrating length. The tiny space left to vibrate is what is
used to make the tone.
When done right, it sounds clear and clean, and it's easier
and takes less breath than either chest voice or falsetto!
The fun (and the power) comes when you learn to mix the
chest and head voices so that they "fade" into one another,
creating one long block of usable range! It all sounds like
just "your voice."
That is the power of Brett
Manning's Singing Success Vocal Program. It uses simple,
easy exercises to train your head and chest voices to mix in
the middle ranges... thus erasing the "break." It's effective
and it's backed with a 6 month money back guarantee.
Join the thousands of satisfied customers who sing with
power, resonance and confidence with Singing
Next time, I'll tell you about the most debilitating lie
that a singer can ever believe.
Read our Singing Success Review
Manning's singing lie 1 - about how to sing properly
Manning's singing lie 2 - about classical singing
singing lie 3 - about vocal range
Manning's singing lie 4 - about breathing correctly for
singing lie 5 - about falsetto to sing high
Manning's singing lie 6 - about natural singing
Manning's singing lie 7 - about the muscles used for
Manning's singing lie 8 - about singing being pure
Manning's singing lie 9 - about singing power
Back to The 9 Biggest Singing Lies