Brett Manning's Big Singing Lie #5

Big Lie #5 - You must develop a strong "falsetto" to sing very high notes.

Truth - Your voice will make several coordinations, none of which require a great degree of effort. There is the "chest" voice, the "head" voice, and
falsetto (sometimes confused with the head voice). Our technique would
also add what we call the "mix" voice, which is a mixture of chest and head

Brett Manning's Singing Success 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 your hand?

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 more.

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 difference?

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 moved.

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 vibration.

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 position.

In singing, you can use this "false voice" as a sound effect sometimes (to
communicate soft emotions). But you don't want to be limited to it.

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 more range,
power, resonance and confidence with Singing Success!

Next time, I'll tell you about the most debilitating lie that a singer can ever believe.

Read our Singing Success Review

Brett Manning's singing lie 1 - about how to sing properly
Brett Manning's singing lie 2 - about classical singing
Brett Manning's singing lie 3 - about vocal range
Brett Manning's singing lie 4 - about breathing correctly for singing
Brett Manning's singing lie 5 - about falsetto to sing high
Brett Manning's singing lie 6 - about natural singing talent
Brett Manning's singing lie 7 - about the muscles used for singing
Brett Manning's singing lie 8 - about singing being pure skill
Brett Manning's singing lie 9 - about singing power

Back to The 9 Biggest Singing Lies Index