What Note Am I Singing? [And Is It Chest/Head/Mix Voice]
If you’re just getting started as a singer – it can be quite confusing to know whether you’re singing in chest voice, head voice or mixed voice, or you might even be asking “What Note Am I Singing?” or “What Pitch Am I Singing?”
But there’s a MUCH more important question you should first be asking:
Are My Registers Connected?
After all – it’s pointless to work out what register you’re singing in if your voice is flipping, breaking and squeaking up into a high note rather than sliding and connecting in a fluid and healthy way.
If your C5 is fluty, weak, scratchy and squeezed – then it’s really not relevant whether you’re singing in mixed voice or head voice.
Now, before I show you how to fix those high notes and sing with power, ease and an endless range – let’s talk about registers and what they really are.
What Are Vocal Registers? What Pitch Am I Singing?
Chest voice and head voice are really quite terrible terms for describing your registers in a practical sense – but they’re the terms commonly used so we’re ultimately stuck with them.
When we talk about chest voice – it’s really the lower resonant quality often associated with ‘full voice’ that occurs when you engage the TA muscles to contract the folds. When this happens, they become quite short and thick – kind of like a box or block, and the thickness this creates in your vibratory mechanism creates a rich, full and deep resonance.
Now, as you ascend in range, it’s difficult (and at a point unhealthy) to fully contract your vocal folds in this way – this leads to pushing and straining when you sing, so we need to “shift gears” if you will and move into the next register.
Many people at this point flip into falsetto – which occurs when your vocal folds separate, allowing excess air and a light, fluty tone that is weak, breathy and can be unhealthy for your voice; but it’s “easy” to do, right?
Now, instead of flipping into falsetto – with time and practice you can develop and strengthen your Head Voice; which occurs when you are using the CT muscles to stretch the vocal folds into a long and thin coordination, but also maintaining good fold closure. This bright, powerful but less weighty tone is used to great effect in many styles of singing – especially high range rock singing (think Sebastian Bach, Rob Halford or Glenn Hughes).
With time, practice (and a good approach!) you will learn to COMBINE use of the CT and TA muscles to create Mixed Voice, a combination of “weight” and “tension” in a gradient/sliding scale from full chest voice into full head voice with ZERO vocal breaks, flipping, tension, strain or weakness.
When it comes to Rock singing in particular, Mixed Voice is the true key to developing a powerful and extensive range.
If you’re wondering “What Note Am I Singing” or even “Am I singing in Mixed Voice, Head Voice or Chest Voice” – then the real question is whether these registers are truly develop and connected properly, or whether you’re just “flipping” into falsetto or head voice out of necessity, so let me show you exactly how I developed a powerful Mixed Voice range that has taken my naturally low singing voice from the muddy depths to soaring heights with ease:
Having BIG DREAMS as a singer means you need a BIG VOICE to match – watch the video above to hear my “before and after” and learn how you’re going to build a big voice too!
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