Ever wonder what those really high pitched notes Justin Timberlake sings are all about? This kind of singing is called “falsetto.” Falsetto means “false voice”. The word is an Italian diminutive for “false,” referring to the fact that you sing falsetto using a voice that’s not really your normal voice, a voice that is out of your normal vocal register.
The term “falsetto” typically applies to male voices, since when executed on their register the voice change is more noticeable. Falsetto is not as obvious on women, so while some people believe women can do it too, others think this supposed falsetto is just women reaching high notes.
Here are the most important tips for singing falsetto:
Imagine your stomach is a balloon you are filling up, and try to get as much air as you can in it. This will let you get more air than the usual superficial breathing we naturally do. Proper breathing is important whenever you are singing, but since falsetto requires handling your air especially well, you should make sure you start using this “diaphragmatic breathing.”
Sing, taking the sound up, up, higher!
Gently push the air inside you up with your tummy, projecting the sound from your upper throat. Concentrate on not forcing your throat muscles. It’s all about where the sound hits before coming out, not about using your throat to push it. Doing this will make your vocal chords vibrate on their outer edges, the right place for singing falsetto. In this way the pitch of your voice will rise.
Check your chest
When singing falsetto, the air goes straight from your belly to your head. The sound vibrates on your head itself and not on your chest. Falsetto notes require this to happen, so if you are singing without this happening, you are still within your vocal register. To make sure you are executing your falsetto the right way, place your hand on your chest. You shouldn’t feel it vibrate; if it does, you are still within your register and not singing falsetto.
Sing your falsetto in all styles you can
All music styles using falsetto have their own way to do it. Now that you know the technical aspects of falsetto, apply it to different styles to get more flexibility. You will notice some use it as a tender voice and some use it to really hit you with their strength. Once you’ve managed to use your falsetto on different styles of music you will officially know how to sing falsetto and will be ready to use it any time you like!
These are the key fundamentals on how to sing falsetto. It may be difficult to understand by just reading, so we encourage you to practice, practice, practice. For more detailed video instruction and online lessons, we highly recommend you try out a singing program like Singing Success.
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