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How to Sing in Falsetto: Tips and Exercises to Try

Curious about how to sing in falsetto? Check out these helpful tips from Ann Arbor, MI singing teacher Elaina R...

If you’ve ever listened to Justin Timberlake, you’ve heard falsetto, the upper register of the male voice. Falsetto is the male version of head voice, something that everyone with vocal cords has. Head voice is very important in all kinds of music, since it allows singers to easily access high notes.

Do you want to learn how to sing in falsetto? Don’t worry – it’s a lot easier than you think. After a little practice, you will impress everyone with your gorgeous high notes!

What is Head Voice?

First of all, let’s discuss how head voice works. Singing in head voice makes a lot more sense if you understand how it is produced.

The vocal cords are controlled by two muscle groups: the thyroarytenoids and the cricothyroids. The thyroarytenoids work to shorten the cords, while the cricothyroids stretch them out. Can you guess which muscles produce head voice? If you guessed cricothyroids, you are correct! Think about the way string instruments work. The thinner and tighter the string, the higher the produced pitch is. The same thing applies to your vocal cords.

Head voice is technically a register of the voice. The other register often used for singing is chest voice, which is thyroarytenoid-dominant (and thus lower than head voice). Still confused about the difference between head and chest voice? Check out the quick video lesson below.

Finding Your Head Voice

To find your head voice, try talking like Mickey Mouse. You will find that the sound you make is higher and has a difference quality than your normal speaking voice. To find your chest voice in relation to your head voice, try yodeling. Yodeling involves rapidly switching from chest to head register and back. Do this slowly, and you’ll notice the shift.

Exercises for Success

As with all types of singing, practice makes perfect! Try these exercises to strengthen your familiarity and skill in your head voice range.

1. Relax

First of all, to successfully sing in head voice, you need to relax. Your thinner, stretched-out vocal cords won’t work if the body around them is tense. Find a mirror and look at yourself as you talk in your Mickey Mouse voice. The more relaxed your body is, the easier it will be for you to produce sound in head voice.

Here are some specific areas to check and relax as you make sound in your head voice range:

  • Tongue
  • Jaw
  • Neck
  • Shoulders

2. The Concert Woooo

Have you ever been to a concert and heard someone yelling “Wooooo!” in a really high voice? This exercise comes from that concept. Take in a good breath and do some of these “woo” noises while maintaining your relaxed body. Open your mouth as you go up in pitch. Make sure that you are not pushing; you should feel as though your voice is finding its way up rather than being forced.

3. Ghosty Singing

This last exercise borrows from that spooky “oOoOOOooOO” high voice that all of us are familiar with. Using your breath, practice doing this in your head voice. Remember to stay relaxed!

Open Wide

One last tip for success: your mouth has to be much more open when you sing high notes. Have you ever seen an opera singer singing a high note? Our mouths are wide open! On these notes, no one really cares whether or not they can understand the words; it’s the sound that matters. So keep practicing these tips on how to sing in falsetto, stick with those voice lessons, gain familiarity with your head voice, and let your mouth flop open as much as it needs to!

ElainaAbout the Author: Elaina R. teaches singing in Ann Arbor, MI, and online. She is currently working on a Master of Music at the University of Michigan. Learn more about Elaina here!

 

 

 

 

Comments

Andrea

February 06, 2016 at 5:47am

Does it hurt to do this?

Suzy S.

February 08, 2016 at 8:57am

It shouldn't -- if you feel any strain, check in with your voice teacher to make sure your technique is correct. You definitely don't want to be causing any damage to your vocal cords!

Badboy

September 02, 2016 at 8:07am

Hey i am a beatboxer and i need to get good voice in falsetto,good quality and how can i increase my vocal range of falsetto?

Elaina R.

September 07, 2016 at 6:39am

Honestly, the exercises listed in the article are the best bet for you. The more you learn to relax your throat and access your head voice, the better you will sound. Good luck!

Jl delosreyes

September 10, 2016 at 11:25pm

Is that " Concert Wooohh" is like Spiderman's"woooo-hoo"?

pnuemq francis

October 01, 2016 at 6:11am

basically... how do i increase my pitch generally?

Suzy S.

October 04, 2016 at 9:22am

Hi there - do you mean increase your range, to sing higher? Here are some additional tips that might help: /blog/how-to-sing-high-notes-z02

Emanuel V.

December 28, 2016 at 8:47am

hey, I can generally sing falsetto alright (with more strain the longer I sing), but I have trouble blending my head voice into my chest voice (and vice-a-versa) without a "break" between the notes I am singing. Any advice?

Jayden Z. Martin

February 10, 2018 at 3:37pm

The best way that I can offer is to practice singing your highest in your chest voice (right before you switch to your head voice) and your lowest in falsetto. This will help you blend them and sing with more range.

Ramanujam

February 10, 2017 at 8:18am

how to sing a exact voice like justin bieber,s falsetto

Ramanujam

February 10, 2017 at 8:20am

how to my blend head voice into my chest voice

Jalil Thompson

March 26, 2017 at 2:46pm

What happens or what does it mean if i try the exercise and my voice starts to crack?

Jessica Dais

May 01, 2017 at 9:43am

Hi Jalil! Here is a <a href="/blog/voice-cracks-when-singing-z02" target="_blank">helpful blog post</a> that explains why your voice might be cracking. Let us know if you have any other questions!

Lim Vincent

November 29, 2017 at 5:44am

How to get the falsetto back? I think i spoiled my voice

John Veriolli

February 20, 2018 at 10:59am

falsetto isn’t the male version of head voice

Asaph Charming

December 01, 2018 at 2:56am

Wow...I'll try to sing better, thanks guys

Comments are closed

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