Help: Tips on singing falsetto? To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=35672
57 messages

Help: Tips on singing falsetto?

20 Jun 01 - 12:41 PM (#487966)
Subject: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: GUEST,Knappo

To all learned singers. Is there any special technique/method etc. to developing a strong falsetto. I have been appointed a high harmony part by my bandmates and would appreciate any help on could offer so I don't hurt myself. Thank you, Knappo


20 Jun 01 - 12:43 PM (#487969)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: mousethief

Practice, practice, practice. And lean into the microphone.

My falsetto is mostly pretty weak; I don't know how to go about strengthening it.

Good luck!

Alex


20 Jun 01 - 12:47 PM (#487972)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: GUEST,JohnB

You need Balls to sing Falsetto. JohnB


20 Jun 01 - 12:48 PM (#487975)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: mousethief

Spalding? or Penn?

Alex


20 Jun 01 - 02:05 PM (#488076)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: SDShad

Titanium.

S.


20 Jun 01 - 02:10 PM (#488083)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: Trapper

It helps you have a bandmate with size 12 steel-toed boots. Apply judiciously just before a gig.

- Al


20 Jun 01 - 02:35 PM (#488104)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: Gareth

Two bricks, and as long as you keep your thmbs out of the way it don't hurt.

Gareth


20 Jun 01 - 02:42 PM (#488111)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: Justa Picker

Barring the other suggestions, I would suggest either limited estrogen treatments, and/or an intensive personal training course at the Frankie Valle School of Music, (they offer both) strategically located right across the street from the NYCFTTS. :-)


20 Jun 01 - 05:23 PM (#488242)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: Linda Kelly

here's a tip -don't.


20 Jun 01 - 06:16 PM (#488272)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: DougR

John B: He'd probably have an easier time of it without them.

DougR


20 Jun 01 - 06:22 PM (#488279)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: GUEST,Karen

That's what I was thinking, Doug R.
Guest, Knappo: just how far are you willing to go for this group?


20 Jun 01 - 06:24 PM (#488282)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: RichM

Open your mouth

Drop your jaw

Don't bend your head forward ie, don't constrict your throat!

Don't force too hard---find the note and be gentle with your voice at first

Hi harmonies are great! In my bluegrass trio of singers, I get to do the really high harmonies--cause no one else can! It's a nice addition to the vocal stack

Rich


20 Jun 01 - 07:45 PM (#488342)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: CraigS

Start by singing quietly - falsetto comes easier at low volume. Just try to imitate some song that you've heard sung that way - if you can't think of one, buy a Four Seasons record. Don't try to switch from your normal voice to falsetto immediately, like jazz/blues singers do - this takes either natural talent or practice. Mostly the ability is natural, so they can't say how they do it. Once you get the hang of it, you'll find you can switch naturally anyway. When you've got the ability to sing falsetto quietly, either increase the volume until it cracks or buy a microphone preamplifier. Above all, don't yodel.


20 Jun 01 - 07:48 PM (#488345)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: DougR

Alice: where are you when you're needed? You could probably direct this young man to some threads where he could accomplish what he wants to do without sacrificing any body parts.

DougR


21 Jun 01 - 01:27 PM (#488988)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: M.Ted

The high harmony is not necessarily sung in falsetto--generally it is sung is what is known as the "head" voice--surprisingly, a least with work, you can hit the same notes in your head voice as in your "falsetto", but you will have a lot more control over expression and timbre in your head voice--

You must have some aptitude, or your bandmates wouldn't have given you the part--the real trick then is to figure out what your range is and then to move the keys around on every tune you do so that you never have to push yourself outside your range--other thing to note is that often, in the high parts, the melody is altered so that the high voice doesn't go too high--

Beyond that, remember that the object is to get as much sound from as little air as possible--also, as someone mentioned above, very important to keep the muscles relaxed--this, more than anything will extend your range and keep you from damaging your voice--

Another thing to note, though your larynx always makes the sounds, depending on where you are in your range, the sounds are controlled(and resonate) in very different places, from deep in your chest all the way up to the front of your hard palate and your teeth--it is important to learn to move smoothly from one area to another, and, arragement wise, recognize that the voice quality changes when you move from one area to another, and to write the part so that it stays in the range that sounds best--

Another thing to remember, the male voice descends with age--The young Frank Sinatra was often described as "adenoidal" but as he got older, that voice had deepened and broadened out to about the best baritone voice ever recorded--if you are older, you'll do better, if, rather than trying to copy vocal arrangements done by teen and twenty year olds, you reconceptualize them to reflect your range--


21 Jun 01 - 03:39 PM (#489095)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: GUEST,Knappo

Well,well,well. Some very thoughtout and "creative" suggestions. Thanks, I think. I could make this an audience participation thing and provide a lucky listener with a long, solid wooden staff (ash or ironwood) to prod me and "encourage" those high notes when I give them a pre-arranged signal.

Thanks especially to RichM, CraigS and M.Ted for techniques that don't require bodily damage!

CraigS - There are a few things in my life I hope never to do: 1.Seriously injure or kill a person and 2. Yodel. ;>) Knappo


21 Jun 01 - 07:36 PM (#489276)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: DougR

I assume Knappo, you found my suggestion drastic.


21 Jun 01 - 08:16 PM (#489319)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: GUEST,Knappo

DougR - I suppose if it has to come to that for the sake of the song,well,then.... TESTIES BE DAMMNED!!! On the other though, maybe I should suggest another tune, such as, maybe,ummmm, Old Man River. Whadda think? Knappo


21 Jun 01 - 08:31 PM (#489328)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: alison

Kenny Everett had tablets to help in his "Do it yourself Bee Gees kit"!!!

sorry I can't be more use

slainte

alison


21 Jun 01 - 10:53 PM (#489387)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: DougR

Great Knappo! I like a guy with a sense of humor!

DougR


22 Jun 01 - 11:04 AM (#489721)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: Grab

Helium works a treat...

Graham.


22 Jun 01 - 11:17 AM (#489730)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler

This is among my many musical failures. I've never been able to do falsetto so the world has been spared my Roy Orbison repertoire (apart from Mean woman blues and I have to adapt my Lonnie Donegan stuff. (A grateful nation breathes a collective sigh of relief and hopes I don't learn anything from this thread).
RtS


22 Jun 01 - 11:21 AM (#489734)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: GUEST,snuffy biffle

why so many testicular comments? i've sing a lot in falsetto and find it a lot easier on the heuvos than full-voiced high notes, you know?

i developed a decent falsetto by singing along with one of my favorite rock and roll bands--trip shakespeare. they sung a lot of really good, high, high harmonies. go get their record "across the universe" and sing a long (you may have to look at the local used cd store as these guys haven't been together in years...)


22 Jun 01 - 11:40 AM (#489743)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: GUEST,Kevin

For what it's worth, it is relatively easy to do a constrained falsetto. Don't. More important than in even regular singing is to open up. If you try and control falsetto with the throat, you will very quickly tire out your voice.

Imagine having a lot of space in your head, and fill it. Then imagine filling the space in the room. Keep everything open. Once you have the falsetto, start at the top and gliss down into your chest voice. Pretty soon, you should be able to do the reverse, and connect the head voice, chest voice, and falsetto.

If you need someone to sing with, get a copy of Pete Seeger doing Wimoweigh, and sing along with the falsetto descant. This WILL annoy your roommate, so be kind.


22 Jun 01 - 12:19 PM (#489770)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: Jim Cheydi

I would suggest you listen to Tim Booth. IMO the best falsetto in the business.


22 Jun 01 - 02:55 PM (#489883)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: DougR

Guest Snuffy: If you don't connect with the references to testes it's not earth-shaking, but here goes.

Many, many years ago, some young men were castrated so that their voices would not change. They were assigned soprano parts in male choirs. They were referred to as Castradas (I hope the spelling is correct.)

DougR


22 Jun 01 - 06:36 PM (#490021)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: Uncle_DaveO

CASTRATO, PLURAL CASTRATI


22 Jun 01 - 06:46 PM (#490036)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: DougR

Thank you Dave.


09 Jun 06 - 10:54 PM (#1756450)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: GUEST,Gcheese

Hey, I also need some help with my falsetto. I am singing tenor in a barbershop quartet, and am having trouble making my falsetto sound natural.


09 Jun 06 - 11:44 PM (#1756470)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: Peace

Clothes pins . . . .


10 Jun 06 - 10:00 AM (#1756669)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: Alice

M.Ted provided good information.
The best way to learn to use the upper part of your range is to find a GOOD voice teacher. You could ruin your voice by experimenting and creating bad vocal habits on your own.
You could call your local musicians union and find out if there are any voice teachers in your area who are union members. There are many people who advertise themselves as voice teachers or vocal coaches who are clueless about healthy vocal technique... they are just teaching a style or giving you songs to imitate instead of really understanding how to work with an individual's capability. The voice is too delicate to be messed with, so take care. Use it badly, and you could develop nodes on the vocal folds and lose your singing voice.
Remember that singing is a sound made by a delicate part of your body, the vocal folds, vibrating in different ways. Some ways to make them vibrate put a strain on them, and that is not what you want to do if you want to keep singing well all life long.
Here's a page with some info about falsetto
http://www.davestroud.com/vocalfaq1.middle.html

Alice


02 Jul 08 - 12:34 PM (#2379238)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: GUEST,cartier

I'm trying to strengthen my falsetto too and i'm a baritone I actually sing along with Mika It has normal parts so you can learn how to move from your normal voice to falsetto, also look up nick pitera he is a falsetto singer


02 Jul 08 - 05:10 PM (#2379490)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: Peace

Take one of these in each hand. Smack them together on the appropriate 'targets'. You will feel some pain but you can avoid the worst if you keep your thumbs out of the way. You can also use that method to make a camel drink more deeply before you take any long trips across the desert sands. Again, please ensure your thumbs are not in the way.


02 Jul 08 - 05:15 PM (#2379494)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: Muswell Hillbilly

Now why does this thread remind of the one about the man, the woman, the camel, and the staff of life?


02 Jul 08 - 06:13 PM (#2379533)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: Stringsinger

Falsetto is good for the voice if you don't strain. You need to approach it through head tones, very light and have plenty of breath support for it. It requires quite a bit of breath
to carry it. The most important thing is to approach it in a relaxed way and don't push.
You can really wreck your voice if you do.

Pete Seeger's approach to Wimoweh may have done some damage but there are plenty of yodelers out there who can do this without hurting themselves.

Falsetto requires the same vocal technique as the usual regular approach. Vowel placement and breath support with aid from a good teacher can help.

Try not to break your voice between registers when singing chest or head tones and then go into falsetto from there.

Frank Hamilton


02 Jul 08 - 08:13 PM (#2379607)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: Peace

Frank,

Need to ask. What are chest and head tones?


02 Jul 08 - 08:37 PM (#2379621)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: Bernard

'Chest tones' are the more powerful sounds produced when singing 'from the diaphragm', typical of an operatic tenor.

'Head tones' are the clear, boyish sounds produced by 'lifting' your voice as if singing through a chimney in the top of your head.

The extreme nasal tones as produced by Franki Valli, or to a lesser extent by the Beach Boys and Bee Gees, are examples of how not to do it, though the technique required is similar.

As with any musical technique, it's practice and more practice!


02 Jul 08 - 09:01 PM (#2379634)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: GUEST,Peace

Thank you very much, Bernard.


03 Jul 08 - 10:44 PM (#2380657)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: Ron Davies

Frankie Vallee? Not really advisable. I'm convinced they did something to his voice in the studio.

But the Beach Boys. Now that's a different story.

Without falsetto I have a lousy range--about 1 1/2 octaves. But falsetto doubles it. Without falsetto I couldn't be in any choral group. And I've somehow managed to get a strong falsetto--and a smooth transition from chest to head voice--mainly by singing along with the Beach Boys for decades on the car radio. So I owe my entire choral career to the Beach Boys. And that's been about 25 years--the last 18 in a group which has sung in places like the Albert Hall, the Vatican, the Spoleto Festival, Red Square, and Carnegie Hall.   We usually sing in the Kennedy Center.

And I've sung as the (paid, which still amazes me) bass section leader in church choirs. And while there also sung tenor or alto--for instance in some 5 and 6 part Renaissance pieces.   Whatever was needed. Except soprano.

Tips? Somebody said it earlier--just practice. If you sing with the Beach Boys you can really give your voice a workout as you switch from one part to the other. "California Girls", "Wendy" and "Don't Worry Baby" seem to be particularly good. So is "Fun, Fun, Fun".

And besides, early Beach Boys is a real kick to sing.

But Frankie Vallee is dangerous.


03 Jul 08 - 10:51 PM (#2380659)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: Ron Davies

And you also don't have to sing nasal.


08 Oct 08 - 12:35 AM (#2459873)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: GUEST,Jay Page

Check out Matthew Barlow and Tim Owens.


08 Oct 08 - 03:30 PM (#2460478)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: Greg B

Graham Nash


31 Jan 09 - 07:11 AM (#2553555)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: GUEST,ryuichi

WHY I CANNOT DO THE FALSETTO? IM A 14 YEAR OLD BOY.... EVRYTIME I DO THE FALSETTO, THE SOUND IS NOT GOOD. HOW CAN I IMPROVE MY FALSETTO?
PLZ... PLZ... HELP ME!!! I WANT TO SING FALSETTO!!!!


31 Jan 09 - 05:03 PM (#2553945)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: Steve Gardham

When you reach the cut-off point.........cut them off!


31 Jan 09 - 07:04 PM (#2554044)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: Acorn4

Why am I forever "walking through the air"
Not "under a wandering star"

Oh Lackaday!


31 Jan 09 - 08:04 PM (#2554083)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: Acorn4

... apparently the "castrati" were real pop icons in their time - the most famous called Farinelli, who regularly performed Handel's music, had females swooning over him.

Good career move, innit!


31 Jan 09 - 10:20 PM (#2554146)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: GUEST,ryuichi

what do you mean cut-off point????


31 Jan 09 - 11:02 PM (#2554163)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: GUEST,ryuichi

can u teach me how to do falsetto????


01 Feb 09 - 01:06 AM (#2554191)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: Don Firth

Hang in until tomorrow, GUEST,ryuichi, and I'll try to come up with a few comments. Past my bedtime right now....

Don Firth


01 Feb 09 - 02:15 PM (#2554616)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: Don Firth

GUEST,ryuichi, in general, singing in falsetto sounds pretty thin and "hooty" at best, and you can't get much power with it. If it sounds really bad, it may be because you're trying to "belt" in falsetto. This is not a good thing to do. You can harm your voice that way, and if you do much of it, you could wind up sounding like a cross between Louis Armstrong on an off day and a rusty hinge.

A fully developed falsetto voice (and this can take a few years) is what's known as a "countertenor," and it's the highest male voice. It's good if you're interested in English Renaissance courtly songs (here's an example:   Two for the price of one—Alfred Deller and his son, Mark). It takes years of careful cultivating to develop the falsetto voice into a genuine "countertenor" or "male alto."

But somehow I doubt that this is what you're interested in. Actually, it might help if I knew what kind of songs you are interested in singing.

At the age of fourteen, your voice has probably just changed, it is still developing, and it's at a rather delicate point right now. Trying to sing in falsetto, especially if you are trying to put any power behind it, could really screw up your voice for life. The best thing you can do right now is to take some voice lessons if you can afford it, or if not, get someone like a church or school choir director to give you some coaching.

I know this is probably not what you want to hear, but believe me, it's good advice.

Good luck!

Don Firth


01 Feb 09 - 03:48 PM (#2554709)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: Stringsinger

I disagree with using less air. I think more air is important with relaxation. A healthy falsetto increases the vocal range if the "break" (passagio) is navigated smoothly.

The most important thing is to avoid any kind of strain. This is evidenced by some rock singers when you see the veins and the muscles in the neck flexed.

Pete Seeger has damaged his voice by the misuse of the falsetto such as in Wimoweh.

If you go from falsetto to a shout, severe damage can occur.

The best of African-American singers know how to balance their voices so that they can employ falsetto smoothly. There is a cultural aspect to this. White folks tend to strain to
get power in their voices. African-American singers are generally (not always) more relaxed when they sing. Often, the power emanates from a powerful breathing base sometimes an "athletic" mechanism.


21 May 09 - 03:08 PM (#2637832)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: GUEST,joe...

yh listen to temptations oreddie kendricks..the best falsett you will ever hear...

iv been wanting help with my voice...thanks for help on falsetto people..i wanna be a falsetto singe 1 day lol ...like eddie kendricks lol


21 May 09 - 03:09 PM (#2637835)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: GUEST,joe....

omg sorry about the spelling upabove lol


11 Jun 09 - 09:21 AM (#2653919)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: GUEST,jay

we the head voice and the chest voice.. the head voice is use to tell your vocal range or vocal register.when your voice cant hit a full note then u switch to your falsetto the chest is for deep voices. head voice is for women and falsetto is for men. falsetto mostly does not come from diaphragm. it comes from your your head. but you need air from your diaphram to keep you from breaking your voice


25 Jun 09 - 05:20 AM (#2664186)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: GUEST

i suggest listening to Jordan knight from New kids on the block,he has one of the best falsetto's ive ever headr in my life.


19 Jul 09 - 03:43 AM (#2683187)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: GUEST

well im 20 years old and everyone in my family tells me that my voice is unique because of my high falsetto, MY normal voice is low, but my falsetto is realyl high . I can hit lots os high notes in many types of songs. Jordan knight from new kids on the block is known for his high falsetto, trust me, my notes can go alot higher without even trying. Can anyone tell me why my falsetto voice is so high and my normal voice is low.


19 Jul 09 - 09:15 AM (#2683262)
Subject: RE: Help: Tips on singing falsetto?
From: GUEST,leeneia

At a workshop I was told that when women and children sing, only the edges of the vocal folds come together. When a man sings, the side surfaces, which are bigger and thicker, come together.

Falsetto occurs when a man returns to the childhood mode and uses just the edges.

Seems reasonable.