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The concept of chest/voices is pretty basic, but I feel more like I have 3 main sections to my range:

  • Chest voice, from the bottom of my range to about G3
  • Throat voice, which has some sort of tone to it, from G3 to D4/E4
  • Head voice, which is much purer and cleaner, up to about B4 (the top of my range)

My "head voice" I pretty much have to make an "ah" sound, so it's not something I can easily use to sing. It's not forced like a falsetto, so are these 3 voices real or am I getting confused?

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    You need some lessons with a qualified voice teacher. These are matters that can't be quantified in writing on a site such as this. You need to interact with another human being, over several lessons, to shape the technique necessary to control all this and get the best sound out of your voice. – user1044 Feb 9 '15 at 16:33
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    All I'm asking is if these 3 separate voices are recognised, or only chest/head as often discussed. Not how to use them. – Mr. Boy Feb 9 '15 at 16:35
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    Here is an answer on Music Practice and Theory that speaks about the "throat" voice. music.stackexchange.com/a/669/16897 – Rockin Cowboy Feb 9 '15 at 17:30
  • One of these days I'm gonna have to go see what a vocal teacher would tell me about all this chest/head stuff. I just don't get it & I've only been singing professionally for 35 years. You do it. If it works you do it live. If it doesn't, dump it & pick a different song, or rework it in another key. End of. [posted as a comment to avoid getting -20] ;) – Tetsujin Feb 10 '15 at 19:24
  • I like the answer linked by @RockinCowboy. It seems accurate to me. It just comes down to where the sound is resonating. As the resonance moves up from your chest into your head, there probably is a transition point where it is resonating in-between, in the throat area. However, it may not be well-defined and whether it is distinct enough to deserve it's own 'voice category' is probably a matter of debate/semantics. – Time4Tea Feb 7 at 14:21
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Technically I don't know if they're three separate "voices"; perhaps it's better to say they "feel" like three different things.

I think your ranges are a little off too. I'm a trained singer and my range currently is:

Chest: around C3 -> F5
"Mid": E5 -> G#5
Head: A5 and up to at least D6

Most men have a range that's basically similar, once the proper technique is learned.

My "mid" voice really is a Chest voice where I'm blowing slightly more air until I feel the vocal folds "blow open" slightly while phonating. In other words, it's a normal Chest voice blown a little harder.

This starts to fail (badly) at around B5, so I cut-out and enter Head at A5.. especially if I'm going up in the melody.

These terms (Chest, Head) are only what the singer is perceiving; specifically where the resonance is felt in the singer. Head voice "feels" like it's blasting out of the top of my head, but of course that isn't happening.

"Laryngeal tilt" is what's happening in the "Mid" and "Chest" voices. This video might clear up some things as well:

"Mixed Voice is Dead" by Robert Lunte:

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    Not everyone's ranges are the same. If you're singing in modal voice through B5, you have an unusually high modal range. I'm a trained tenor 1 and my modal voice cuts out at B4. Many basses and baritones can't sing an E4 in modal voice. Tenor C, C5, is considered to be around the top of a typical tenor's useful range (including head voice). If you are actually singing modally nearly an octave above me, you're probably a true countertenor, which is impressive, but not typical, and should definitely not be used as an example of a typical male range. – Greg Jackson Mar 31 '15 at 18:36
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    It's a strain starting at around D5; I'm also not a classically trained singer. Perhaps we're not using the same notation. When I refer to F5 I mean the F sitting on top of the treble clef (or "Fine" in Every Good Boy Does Fine). Middle C is C4 -> youtube.com/watch?v=FtqgqYRDTDg I'm guessing you can sing higher than that in Chest. If not then we have wildly different training sets. I learned a lot from Robert Lunte's program. – Jason Locke Mar 31 '15 at 18:58
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    Middle C is C4, the C above it is C5, and F5 is another perfect 4th above that. ("On top of the treble clef" is a little less useful than it might seem, as in choral music, the Tenor part is written an octave above where it sounds, so that can refer to F4 or F5, depending on the context). I've never met a tenor with chest voice up that high. I know they exist, but it's rare, and should definitely not be taken as typical. Also, be very careful... if you're doing anything that could be described as "straining", you could be hurting yourself. That's not part of your useable range at tat point. – Greg Jackson Mar 31 '15 at 19:02
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    Sure, I'm also trained in rock/pop singing, so I'm familiar with that trend. Keep in mind that "chest voice" and "head voice" are described not by what it sounds like, but by how the vocal cords are vibrating, so would be the same across all styles, despite different sounds. – Greg Jackson Mar 31 '15 at 19:05
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    I agree Greg; my main point was that regardless of what's really happening it's more important what it "feels like".. but that's correct. – Jason Locke Mar 31 '15 at 19:08
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That clip of Robert is not really demonstrating the mixed voice. What he does is "twang in the head" which basically is singing in a disconnected falsetto and making it "sound like" your real voice by using deeper vowels and lots of reverb.

To whoever mentioned blowing air as you ascend. You don't achieve mixed voice by blowing more air, in fact it's the opposite. As you sing higher you want to resist the air more to create breath compression. If your folds are strong enough, they will resist this air and give you more power. When you blow air and let the cords open up you are moving closer to falsetto.

Training yourself to blow more air as you sing higher only takes you away from your real voice, puts you closer to falsetto and risks damaging your voice as excessive breathiness is what causes hoarseness, lack of ping in the sound and lack of power.

I have written a big article on the registers, mixed voice etc you can check it out here: http://www.grow-the-voice.com/free-singing-tips/

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A falsetto is not in any conceivable meaning defined by being "forced", and there is no useful singing voice where the perceived resonance (what some voice types are named after) would be in the throat.

Basically you are throwing around words in the hope that they mean something you can read up upon using the internet. But in the internet you have no guarantee of consistent terminology between two articles from people who know what they are talking about, and consequently no guarantee of consistent terminology in even a single article that is more likely than not a melange of distributed knowledge and half-knowledge from different places.

Even when you get a serious anatomically correct book about singing, there is no guarantee that it will converse in the same terms as any given vocal teacher or student.

Don't rely on hearsay for your vocal health. It's like learning watch repair on your own: more likely than not you'll already damage a watch when trying to open it. Even the worst repairmen have enough of a clue to avoid most inadvertant damage from forcing things where it does not help at all.

A voice tends to be comparatively robust and not easily damaged unless you convince yourself that stuff that neither works nor sounds nor feels great is as it should be and just piling on more of the same will make it work. And angling for half-knowledge is half the road there.

Watches are possibly less forgiving when you try forcing something you shouldn't. But watches can be replaced, chalked off as probably unnecessary learning cost. Your voice not.

So if you are finding yourself collecting a hotchpotch of advice fragments from the internet, you may even be better off trusting your own feeling instead. But it will be more useful to get an actual teacher to listen to you.

  • I don't think the lecture is terribly helpful. The guy is asking what seems to be a valid question. Besides, the whole point of this site is to provide 'information from the internet' ;-) – Time4Tea Feb 7 at 14:28

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