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Unread 02-24-2003, 06:46 PM   #1
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Falsetto

I am in a band and I thought doing some falsetto, like Rivers Cuomo does in "Hash Pipe" and " Say it ain't so".(Not that the first one is a great Christian song), might make some songs sound cool. How does a guy do that?

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Unread 03-22-2003, 10:00 PM   #2
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i don't understand why people think falsetto isn't a good thing. i don't know if you're thinking rock or ballad style music, but falsetto is very nice on balads.
on rock music, it is definately considered different.
i've found that with a microphone and a well exercised falsetto, most people can't even tell that you're switching over.

falsetto (or head voice) is a range above your full voice (chest voice)
falsetto is lighter sounding, sometimes raspy(though its not if you practice it alot)
you can find the "break" in your range by singing up a scale multiple octaves. when you feel your voice change because you can't sing that high, thats your break, and where you need to start singing falsetto.

to strengthen your falsetto( and get a bigger range in full voice in the process) sing 5 note scales (do re mi fa so fa mi re do) and move up in half steps after each cycle. practice making a smooth transition between head and chest voice. theres alot of other exercises i do, i'll explain more of them if you want.
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Unread 03-23-2003, 01:36 PM   #3
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Thanks and please

Thanks for the info on falsettos and yes, i would like more information.I do sing rock music and I am interested learning more about how to increase my vocal range without screaming and harming my vocal cords.
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Unread 03-23-2003, 03:47 PM   #4
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ok rule #1 of singing high: if it hurts, its bad.
if you voice starts hurting, you're doing something wrong. its not "no pain no gain" like in sports. if your voice gets sore, stop singing.

general tenor voice treatment:
for me to keep my voice in top condition, i've made alot of sacrifices. i very rarely drink pop. the only times i'll do this is when i'm not going to be singing much for the next day or two. pop is bad. the sugar coats your throat and does bad things.
also, avoid any candy or sugary things before singing.
milk also isn't too good. milk is fine to drink, but just don't do it right before you sing, you'll find yourself building up some hardcore phlem.

drink alot of water. water is the best thing. room temperature(or close to it) is the best for your voice. i carry around a Nalgene bottle all day and drink upwards of 150 oz per day. this may be obsessive, but water is important.

sleep helps too. your voice needs rest, like the rest of your body, and it seems that when i get enough sleep, i sing better.

don't yell. yelling is a really easy way to kill your vocal chords. i used to cheer alot at basketball games. no more. its just not good.

in the morning, its a good thing to warm up your voice, even before you talk to people. this can easily be done by some light humming as you get out of bed. keep it in your middle range, nothing that stretches. this actually helps, believe me.

thats about all i have on treatment of your voice in general.

as far as warmups, let me talk through a few warm ups i've learned over the years. these exercises, when done faithfully for awhile, will strengthen your falsetto, increase your full voice range, and make the switch between the two unnoticable.

1) two in chest voice, two in head voice.
sing arpeggios (1358531) singing the first two in chest voice, the next 3 in head voice, and the last two in chest voice. sing on a nice neutral sylable, like "du". start at a comfortable key, low in your range, and work up in half or whole steps. stop going up when you feel like you are straining, or your throat hurts at all. this can also be sung on "neh knee nigh no o o o" sylables.

concentrate on trying to make all the notes sound the same tonal qualitywise, and the same volume. this will require singing the chest voice notes softer, in a light voice.

2) 1-2-1-2-1-2-1-2-1 (notes of a scale)
sing on "oo", in head voice. progress up in half steps until you reach the top of your range. then go down in half steps, switching to the "ee" vowel, and later to the "ah" vowel, dropping your jaw fully.

concentrate on intonation, hitting the pitches head on, and good vowel shapes.

3) 5 note scales, as mentioned in previous post.


thats all i can think of immediately. do some or all of these warmups before singing, and don't strain your voice doing them or singing.

the benefits of doing these exercises? since i don't have the ability to make nice recordings of myself, i'll point out some people i know have used vocal execise to gain range.

Ewan McGregor, in Moulin Rouge(not the most christian movie, now we're even ) he definately isn't as high of a tenor as he makes himself out to be. he negotiates very very well between head and chest voice, and as a result has an impressive range, without sounding strained or going out of pitch.

the lion sleeps tonite. you know the part. the really high singing at the start. its a guy using his falsetto, a very well exercised falsetto. pretty darn cool. definately not chest voice.

simon and garfunkel. pretty much any song, they're using some falsetto to get the high notes.

which reminds me, falsetto is a very good thing for backup vocalists. when harmonizing a third above the melody, you can use falsetto a ton. very useful in worship bands when you don't have female vocalists. i'm sure it has rock applications too.

thats all i'm gonna type for now. i wish i had 30 minutes to work with you on voice in person. that would make it easy. i might try to get my computer mic working just so i can demonstrate some of the exercises. keep asking questions if ya have any, happy to help.
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Unread 03-25-2003, 04:53 AM   #5
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I've been experimenting with falsetto a lot lately with some of the songs I've been writing, and it definitely adds something different. All I can say is that it improves with practice. I haven't done any specific exercises, but I have sung along with a lot of songs in falsetto to practice...
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Unread 03-25-2003, 09:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by skeeter_dan
I've been experimenting with falsetto a lot lately with some of the songs I've been writing, and it definitely adds something different. All I can say is that it improves with practice. I haven't done any specific exercises, but I have sung along with a lot of songs in falsetto to practice...
Yeah! that will work really well too. just make sure you work on keeping your tone even, and don't ever strain. singing along can really help strengthen your falsetto.
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Unread 03-25-2003, 04:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Ewan McGregor, in Moulin Rouge
Coughcough studio tricks and mirrors coughcough

As has been said, the most important part of developing good falsetto is switching, and not making it too obvious (unless you want to, like Thom Yorke) when you do so.

It depends on your use, really.
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Unread 03-26-2003, 02:16 PM   #8
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I'm a baritone with a ridiculously powerful chest voice, and my falsetto is not only weak, but unpredictable. I have difficulty switching, I often miss intervals, and it's generally very quiet in comparison to my full voice. I'm becoming frustrated with my inability to develop my falsetto to my personal standards, and I was wondering if this is an insurmountable problem for some people-- in other words, is it common for a singer to be unable to develop his falsetto to a useful degree? Is there a tradeoff between development of full and head voices? How much should I expect to have to practice to continue improving my falsetto?
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Unread 03-26-2003, 05:42 PM   #9
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there is hope, even if you have forever had problems with falsetto.
lots and lots of practice and careful nurturing care.
my friend who is as good or better a singer as myself, is a baritone, and he has a slightly weaker falsetto than myself, a tenor.
granted, i'm no vocal development expert, but a strong falsetto in the late teens/ early twenties might mean you're going be a real tenor someday.

it took me 6 months to get my falsetto to a point where i felt comfortable with it, excercising it 5-6 days a week. so it takes time.

i don't think you can possibly lose anything in chest voice by developing your falsetto, if anything your chest voice gets stronger, especially in the upper range.

thats .02 from a tenor....
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Unread 03-26-2003, 06:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by georgeo
i don't understand why people think falsetto isn't a good thing. i don't know if you're thinking rock or ballad style music, but falsetto is very nice on balads.
on rock music, it is definately considered different.
i've found that with a microphone and a well exercised falsetto, most people can't even tell that you're switching over.
Quote:
Originally posted by georgeo
falsetto (or head voice) is a range above your full voice (chest voice)
falsetto is lighter sounding, sometimes raspy(though its not if you practice it alot)
you can find the "break" in your range by singing up a scale multiple octaves. when you feel your voice change because you can't sing that high, thats your break, and where you need to start singing falsetto.
Actually. . .falsetto is totally different from head voice. You have your chest voice, then head voice, and then falsetto.

Quote:
Originally posted by georgeo
to strengthen your falsetto( and get a bigger range in full voice in the process) sing 5 note scales (do re mi fa so fa mi re do) and move up in half steps after each cycle. practice making a smooth transition between head and chest voice. theres alot of other exercises i do, i'll explain more of them if you want.
This is also a good way to warm up. It will really get your upper range going.
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Unread 03-26-2003, 10:39 PM   #11
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Originally posted by Bri-Guy
Actually. . .falsetto is totally different from head voice. You have your chest voice, then head voice, and then falsetto.
forgive me for perpetuating the lie ....everyone always uses them interchangeable, that is wrong i suppose. yaay to Bri Guy for being on top of things.
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Unread 03-27-2003, 08:24 AM   #12
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So, is chest voice what comes from the gut, head voice your upper register of full voice when it feels as though all the effort comes from the throat, and falsetto that switch to the register above head voice, where it feels almost as if you're using a different set of muscles and vocal cords?

You'll have to forgive my ignorance. I'm a talented singer, but I've never had any formal training outside a semester in the Chapel Choir at college and now experience as cantor, but our music minister is primarily an organist and although he's a fabulous singer, a combination of his lack of formal training in the area and the fact that there's a language barrier to cross (Korean is his first language, and his English is improving by the day) means that I don't get a whole lot of help in that arena. I'll be honest and say that I had no idea that falsetto and head voice were different.
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Last edited by Ted Logan; 03-27-2003 at 08:28 AM.
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Unread 03-29-2003, 09:31 AM   #13
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Quote:
So, is chest voice what comes from the gut
Pretty much, yeah. Different people feel it in different places, I feel it more in the upper chest, as I have quite a high voice.

Quote:
head voice your upper register of full voice when it feels as though all the effort comes from the throat
Nope. You should never sing from your throat, it does damage and doesn't sound anything like as good as developing good support and feeling the voice lower.

Head voice you should feel in cavities behind your nose as well as in the spot where you get brain freeze.

Quote:
falsetto that switch to the register above head voice, where it feels almost as if you're using a different set of muscles and vocal cords?
Yes. It's where you use the other "end" of your vocals chords, and don't need to use as much support. Properly used falsetto shouldn't feel like you are straining up for notes, physically, but keeping level and letting it flow out.

Also, keeping an open throat and an untense jaw will help to keep it from sounding nasal.

Quote:
You'll have to forgive my ignorance. I'm a talented singer
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Last edited by Scott; 03-29-2003 at 09:38 AM.
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Unread 05-15-2003, 08:31 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ted Logan
I'm a baritone with a ridiculously powerful chest voice, and my falsetto is not only weak, but unpredictable. I have difficulty switching, I often miss intervals, and it's generally very quiet in comparison to my full voice. I'm becoming frustrated with my inability to develop my falsetto to my personal standards, and I was wondering if this is an insurmountable problem for some people-- in other words, is it common for a singer to be unable to develop his falsetto to a useful degree? Is there a tradeoff between development of full and head voices? How much should I expect to have to practice to continue improving my falsetto?
My vocal teacher gave me one really good excercise to help control my falsetto, talk in baby voice all the time. yes it sounds weird and makes you look crazy but it does work, and like I forget who said, never sing with your throat. It's just plain bad.

And whoever said about the head voice, I was under the impression that only females had head voice. I sure as heck know I don't have it. Then again I'm a tenor maybe my whole range is head voice and I feel it in my chest
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Unread 05-18-2003, 12:30 PM   #15
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Re: Falsetto

Quote:
Originally posted by bon jovi sike
I am in a band and I thought doing some falsetto, like Rivers Cuomo does in "Hash Pipe" and " Say it ain't so".



Matt Sharp did the background falsetto on "Say it Aint' So."
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