What’s the Difference Between Falsetto Singing and Head Voice ?

Taking your singing voice higher is sometimes easier said than done. What range do you try for? Which do you leave alone? To reach the high notes you can either choose falsetto or head voice. There is a difference.

Learn why with this free singing lesson.

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Falsetto VS Head Voice – How to Sing Each

Q: Are falsetto and head voice the same thing?

Do you ever feel like you know just enough about falsetto vs head voice to be dangerous?

Let’s see if we can fill in some of the gaps with the latest info from falsetto vs head voice experts.

Think about what you’ve read so far on these pages about music and singing. Does it reinforce what you already know about falsetto vs head voice? Or was there something completely new?
A: No. Falsetto is the lightest vocal production made by the human voice.

It is limited in strength, dynamics and tonal variation. Usually, there is a considerable ‘jump,’ ‘break’ or ‘disconnect’ between your chest (speaking) voice and your falsetto.

Noted vocal coach and voice therapist Randy Buescher of Chicago defines Falsetto as …

“a coordination where the outer layer of the vocal cord (mucosa, i.e. internal skin or muscular covering) is vibrating, creating sound, but without engaging the actual musculature of the cord.

Also, there exists no medial compression. In other words, during the vibratory cycle, the cords never fully approximate.

In head voice, the cords approximate, but the vibration of the cord moves away from the full depth of the vocal cord (chest voice) to a pattern that involves less and less depth of vocal cord as you ascend toward the top of your range. ..

More Clarity on These Types of Vocal Genres

One of the biggest points of confusion in the world of singing technique is the erroneous belief that the terms “Falsetto” and “Head Voice” mean the same thing.

Sadly, far too many voice teachers also refer to the head voice as “Falsetto” and in doing so, are contributing to the confusion for their students.

What is Falsetto?

Falsetto is a vocal mode, head voice is a ubiquitous and popular metaphor that is used often to describe the higher register for singing.

As Robert Lunte explains in this very popular video, the problem is, if students of singing think that Falsetto vocal mode is the ONLY kind of sound they can make in the head voice, then they will never do the training required to develop vocal twang in the head voice which is required to sing with ‘connectivity’ in the head voice.

Develop Your Vocal Twang

That is to say, if you want to stop sounding weak and windy in the head voice, the solution is not to avoid the head voice register, but learn how to train vocal twang in the head voice.

Because Falsetto is the vocal mode the body intuitively wants to produce in the head voice, people erroneously draw the conclusion that this is the only kind of sound they can make in the head voice and thus, avoid the head voice strength and coordination work that needs to be done.

Learn more about vocal modes and how to make your head voice sound huge and ‘boomy’ by checking this page.

And, Randy Buescher Goes on to Say ..

“The highest notes of your range involve only the vocal ligament. However, there is no consensus among experts on the official definition of vocal registers.”

falsetto singingTake time to consider the points presented above. What you learn may help you overcome your hesitation to take action.

I hope this gave you some clarity about the differences between falsetto and head voice singing so that you can practice and use higher range without worry. Be sure and come again soon for more vocal lessons online like these. Have a great day!

Filed under: Singing Tips