Head voice and falsetto may sound really similar. Some may even argue that these voices are the same. They both employ a head tone, which means the sound comes from the head instead of the chest.
Falsetto is thinner, using the leading edges of our vocal folds to move. However, head voice is a mix of head and chest voice. It is stronger than the falsetto.
This article will discuss the differences between head voice vs falsetto in detail.
Let’s read on to know more details!
What Is The Difference Between Head Voice Vs Falsetto?
The sound quality generated is the distinction between head voice and falsetto. Let’s have an overview of these definitions before comparing them side by side.
What is falsetto?
Falsetto is a vocal technique used by male vocalists, particularly tenors, to perform higher notes above their normal range.
Falsetto refers to an Italian word, meaning “false voice.” The ligamentous margins of the vocal cords vibrate to generate this range.
When you sing in falsetto, the edges of your vocal folds get near enough to shake as the air travels between them, but they don’t make any contact.
Falsetto allows vocalists to hit notes that are beyond the normal vocal range. You will produce a breathy and light sound because you close your vocal cords, and air may readily exit.
Falsetto is weaker than other voices due to the shorter vibration length of the vocal cords.
Although most men can sing in the falsetto range, women may also phonate in this spectrum. Male vocalists’ falsetto and harmonic ranges, on the other hand, have a more prominent tone and dynamic level difference.
What is a head voice?
The phrase “head voice” can relate to a vocal range or a zone of vocal resonance.
Vocal resonance refers to the part of the performer’s body that receives the most resonance. You can refer to vocal resonance via this video:
The vibration of the head voice comes over the top part of the face. Meanwhile, the sinuses appear to be the principal resonator in this sound.
Head voice produces a bright, light, and even high-pitched tone. Because of the high-pitched sound, the head voice sometimes sounds like a falsetto.
Head voice, though, doesn’t work like falsetto. Falsetto is weaker than head voice. Since the vocal cords contact others, it appears clean and crisp without being overly airy.
Head Voice and Falsetto Difference
As aforementioned, falsetto and head voice differs in strength, sound quality, vocal folds, and vocalists who perform them.
This comparison table will give you a more apparent explanation.
Falsetto Vs. Head Voice Comparison Table
|Strength||Strong and clear||Weak and thin|
|Sound quality||Bright tone||Airy tone|
|Vocal folds||The folds of the voice contact with the other.||The folds of the vocal cords do not come into contact with the other.|
|Vocalists||Both men and women||Mostly men|
What Is The Difference Between Head Voice and Chest Voice?
The head voice is more similar to the chest voice than to falsetto. So what is the difference between chest voice vs. head voice vs. falsetto?
What is chest voice?
The chest voice is a form of vocal register. When you sing in a chest voice, your sternum and lower neck experience stronger vibrations.
By placing your palm in the center of your chest and talking usually, you may feel those vibrations.
Chest voice produces rich, thick, warm, and deep tones.
There isn’t always a unique vocal tone in one’s voice. Instead, it always blends the resonance zones, with one greater control over the others.
Head voice vs. Chest voice
The main difference between chest and head voice is the part of your body that feels the most resonance.
The vibration comes around the top part of your face when singing with your head voice. Meanwhile, the vibration stays at your lower neck and the sternum when you perform with your chest voice.
Which Is Better, Chest Voice Or Head Voice?
The answer varies in some instances. For the best performance, you can employ your “mixed voice.”
A mixed voice comes out when you sing with both your chest and head voice. You will establish an even tone of your voice.
Singing exclusively in one range makes it harder to go to the register below or above. As a result, you should always use your mixed voice.
This tone makes it much simpler to climb up to a higher pitch that demands head voice since you’ve already used it to perform a lower key.
The listeners can’t detect if you are singing with your chest or head voice. The idea is to have a stable, smooth tone across the entire vocal range.
How Can You Perform A Head Voice?
Understanding your voice instinctively needs to be coupled with knowing how to produce a beautiful head voice.
You can achieve the head voice with these steps:
When you sing with resonance, your voice does not really seem to emerge from the throat.
Imagine that you’re wearing glasses to do this. Assume your voice is emerging from the eyewear, and aim it to the opposite wall.
So it looks like anything you’re singing will go straight to that wall. Chanting along with the song is a great technique to do this.
When you notice the buzz in your nostrils, keep going and sing the lyrics in the space once you’ve sung it all through.
The larger and more powerful muscles in the body require a lot of attention.
To create a head voice, don’t rely on the weak muscles in your throat.
Also, make the most of the diaphragm muscles’ assistance. It helps to enlarge your rib cage, which is necessary for developing skeletal strength.
Here is how to do it:
- Place your hands on the rib cage to start.
- Then, inhale deeply. Extend to the direction in which you have put your hand.
- Next, gradually let go and repeat the process more times.
You have a superb result when mixing a robust and solid chest voice with a balanced head voice.
Don’t pull out the chest voice. You will end yourself in a challenging position that isn’t sustainable. The tension is excessive, and it quickly becomes flat.
As a result, get a combination. Start adding your loudest voice into your songs at this point.
Head voice development
This step is the most important. Sadly, many vocalists choose to skip over it and instead focus on shouting out high notes.
It is essential to focus on your head voice first before beginning a singing practice. Start practicing pitches and separating your head voice to accomplish this.
As a result, if you’re an opera singer, use your strongest opera voice. It will make it easier to be free.
The head voice necessitates a lot of air. Hence, you must have a clear throat.
Whenever you breathe deeply in, make it a habit to expand your throat as wide as possible. It is a simultaneous movement in which both activities must take place at the same moment.
Try to imagine the feeling you receive when you cough while you practice inhaling. This reaction aids in the opening of your throat and the achievement of your head voice.
How To Perform A Falsetto?
Falsetto is a technique that helps you hit high notes. If your songs have such high pitches, try the steps as follows:
The falsetto range stays at the top of your tone. You can hit it by trying with the highest sirens possible.
Replicate the sirens of an ambulance or a police car. Then, execute the sounds from the top of your range, not from the bottom.
Imitate baby voice
Falsetto sounds like a baby voice. So, practice copying the voice of a three-year-old boy. If you fail, then imitate a woman’s voice instead.
Make it quiet
Don’t overwork your falsetto after you’ve found it. You’re probably not going to be able to complete it anyway. Make sure you’re not using your throat as well.
Now, try to sing vowels such as “eeee” or ‘ahhhh” with falsetto. Remember to pay attention to the variations in your voice’s tone.
You’ve achieved falsetto if you realize it’s getting surprisingly light at the peak, and you’re experiencing less internal vibrations.
Learn more tips to practice falsetto via this video.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some questions about head voice, chest voice, and falsetto.
#1. Is the chest voice louder than the head voice?
By definition, a head voice is not quiet or weak.
In reality, the higher register, often known as the head voice, is far more powerful, louder, and more resonant than the chest voice.
#2. Is it bad to perform with a head voice?
There is nothing wrong with having a strong head voice. However, men must balance it out with a strong chest voice.
So, if you’re missing out on the deeper, richer tones, you can blame the imbalance towards head voice yet not enough chest tone.
#3. Do opera singers sing in falsetto?
Male singers utilize the falsetto range to perform in the soprano and alto ranges. It used to be the standard until women performed in choruses.
On the other hand, female opera singers use their middle, head, and chest voice to perform.
#4. Is singing falsetto damaging to the voice?
Your voice may become worse if you use a lot of power. However, you may get a similar sound by combining your chest and head voices.
This technique will provide you with a lot of upper-body strength. And you can use it for hours on end without getting tired!
The Bottom Line
The tone of the speaker’s voice is bright and clear. Falsetto, on the other hand, is thinner and weaker.
Also, you may need to distinguish chest voice vs. head voice, whose main difference is the resonance part.
Hopefully, you will find this article helpful. If you need any further information, please feel free to ask. Thank you for reading!