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Effortless Head Voice

2019-11-06 15:54:00 by Chris Keller

I was 15 years old the first time I ever tried to sing in head voice. It was during Sophomore High School Choir, and to make matters worse, it was an audition. Our choir director went down the row of tenors having us all sing this one line, and when my time to shine came, I sang what I thought was a beautiful head voice, but I got a nasty face from the director. Aaand on to the next one! I sat down, tried to play it cool, but I was confused as to why I hadn't impressed him.

I got the courage to ask the director and it turned out I needed to work on my pitch control. Fair enough. I was 15 with an undeveloped ear but more to the point, an underdeveloped head voice.

Head voice can be very confusing. There seems to be so many parts! True head voice? Falsetto? That whistle-tone Mariah Carey thing? That Ariana Grande thing? Jersey Boys? Prince? Justin Bieber? The list goes on and on...

The fact is, yes, head voice is actually pretty multi-faceted, but it doesn't have to be confusing. The challenge is in finding it, and one of the best ways to do that is to experiment! Have fun with it. Make funny noises. Try imitating your favorite head voice sound or line from a song. If you don't get it right away, welcome to the club! Whatever you do, don’t neglect your head voice, because it’s actually a HUGE part of gaining control over your voice to sing higher in general, whether it be loud and full, or light and airy.

Try my favorite head voice exercise, which sounds like Tigger from Winnie and Pooh: “hoo hoo hoo hooooooo.” Start pretty high already, but then jump a couple notes higher for each “hoo” and then end with a slide up and down. Youtube it if you’re not familiar with Tigger the cartoon character. ;-) You can also imitate a large dog barking: “woof woof woof” -- but keep getting higher each time. This one naturally keeps the larynx in a pretty good position too.

Dedicate some time to discovering it, and you’ll be surprised at how naturally it comes. And of course, if you’re still having trouble, you can always save some of that for your vocal coach.

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