Unfortunately, people often misunderstand the term “falsetto.” This is a term that is often confused with “head voice” in men and many people don’t think that women have it at all- but according to the experts, they most likely do. Falsetto actually lies toward the top of your range and is light and airy compared to your other voices.
Find Your Falsetto – Tips for Singing Falsetto
The very first thing you must do is find your falsetto. You can do this by doing the following:
Start by making a siren noise at the top of your register- which is where the falsetto register lies. This is a different voice that you can find by experimenting with high pitched “sirens” such as the noise made by a police car or fire engine.
You will make the siren from the top- not at the top- of your register. That is, you will start as high as you can and come down. You don’t have to sound good, but it should be a legitimate note.
Little Boy Voice
Next, you will make a “little boy voice.” Many voice coaches will have their male students to start talking as if they are 3-4 years old. You should be able to hear and feel the difference- it will feel more up and back, in your sinuses.
If this isn’t working for you, try to mimic a female voice. This is a more breathy and airy tone, much like Marilyn Monroe. This is your falsetto.
Chances are, you may be going back to your head voice, which is different. This will sound a bit stronger and a lot like Minnie Mouse.
If this is accurate, find a register that you are able to feel in your throat. Many singers say they have a feeling of “muscle relief” when doing a falsetto.
Chances are, unless you are like Pavarotti, you’re not going to be able to create very much sound with your falsetto anyway. So, when you are trying to find it, don’t force it and don’t use your throat.
Try to keep it quiet. Pretend you are Marilyn Monroe speaking in a hushed voice, not a pop start screaming at the top of his/her lungs.
You may find that when you try singing louder, you fall into your head voice. If you start to hear the resonance of your voice changing or you feel it in your body, then you’ve lost your falsetto.
Use Your Vowels
Due to the way your vocal cords and throat are constructed, “oooh” and “eee” work best for falsetto instead of “aayyy” and “aahh”. That is because the “ooo” and “eee” get your sound up into your head and allow your vocal cords to let go.
On the vowel you choose, slide up and down. Notice the change in your timbre. Toward the top, it will get really light and you will feel fewer internal vibrations. You have found your falsetto.
Correct Placement of Falsetto
You should be able to feel the falsetto in your forehead and sinuses. The tone you are producing should be thought of as an elevator in your body. Low notes are produced deep within and resonate in your core.
On the other hand, a high note (falsetto) is in your head, coming out of the top of your body. In addition, it’s forward. When you place a falsetto in the back of your mouth/head, it will be a very muffled sound.
Your tongue should be kept forward, flat on your teeth.
Your head should be kept open. If you have ever worked with a singing coach, you know that most of coaching involved abstract metaphors that make sense and are effective for improving your sound.
One of these metaphors is “open up your head.” This just refers to what it sounds like and it works because it has you putting your focus on producing the sound where it needs to be.
Basically, everything should be kept open. After all, singing should be tension-free. In order to produce a good falsetto- or sound, period- your center, your lungs, and your mouth need to be open.
Don’t worry too much about vibrato at this moment. For most untrained singers, it can be quite difficult to produce vibrato in a falsetto voice.
This is due to the fact that the vocal cords are barely touching, which makes it hard to control the air flow through your throat.
Falsetto is a term that is often misunderstood and misused. However, these tips will help you learn to produce falsetto when you are singing, which will give you more flexibility in what you can sing.