Understand “Head Voice” | Healthy Thinking for Singing High Notes

Singer Weekly - Blog Banner - 070
Is it ok to practice singing in my car?
Published: August 3, 2021

Understand “Head Voice”

Try this now: Just imagine you are feeling rather happy and chipper, and imitate Marry Poppins saying, “Yoo Hoo!” at a rather high pitch. That was your head voice!

Now let’s understand this:

We all have a head register, which historically has had different names for men and women, but in modern voice pedagogy, we are starting to use the same terms for men and women. Head register is used on higher pitches and sounds lighter than your chest register. It is sometimes called “mode 2” and is defined by the dominance of the CT muscles, which stretch and THIN OUT the vocal folds. The vocal folds don’t make full contact in head register – they touch along their top edge.

Imagine yourself clapping your hands together with your hands in perfect mirror image and with each finger and thumb touching its counterpart on every clap. That is chest register. Now, imagine clapping with just your thumb and first finger colliding while your other fingers angled outward. That is head register. If your head voice sounds very breathy and detached, you can describe it as “falsetto” which historically was used to describe head register for men. 

Many singers don’t know they are doing this, but if you are quite good at singing higher notes that don’t sound overly light and breathy, you are probably mixing your registers. The key to singing those high notes with power is almost always a mix – for both men and women. A mix is not just one coordination, but rather it is a constantly changing blend of the registers where you can have more or less dominance of either head or chest in your mix on any given note! Aside from the action of the muscles in your larynx, it is important to remember that resonance and airflow is interconnected to registration. The breath pressure from below and shape or your vowels above affect how your vocal folds will vibrate. 

Kathy  Alexander
VP Curriculum, Singdaptive

Healthy Thinking for Singing High Notes

Many myths about singing high are laid to rest with Mark Baxter’s approach to notes on the upper end of your range. In this lesson, Mark walks you through the physics and mindset of high notes. 

Announcing Singdaptive Live!

You’re invited to come to our live sessions featuring insights on your singing from our Singdaptive Instructor Team! 
August 10 – Why Every Singer Should Record
These are free, but you do have to register – simply register here.

Interested in getting feedback on your singing? Then tryout the new way to do voice lessons.

Tips from the Team on Singing Locations

This week’s Tips from the Team are all about where to do your singing practice! Should you sing in your car, in a church or maybe in a stairwell? Today, we hear from sound engineer, technologist and Singdaptive co-founder, Kevin Alexander on favorite singing spots; and voice teacher and choir director, Mandy Bryant on singing in your car.

Abba’s Dancing Queen Goes Folk!

We just love this interesting cover of a classic tune! 

0 replies on “Understand “Head Voice” | Healthy Thinking for Singing High Notes”