This is a query that does not involve producing a head voice or chest voice, but how to distinguish between them in what I hear. Granted there are ways or techniques in properly creating sound that are distinct to both schools of thought, but this query is not about how to produce head voice or chest voice.

For example, when I hear something I want to be able to tell whether I am hearing a head voice rendition or that of a chest voice.

  • Hi and welcome to the music stack exchange. I wonder if this question is better suited for the music fans stack exchange... And, your tag is a bit misleading - this is more ear-training than voice-training. There are many questions about singing in these different registers on here... as far as hearing the differences, you will not likely be able to, if you are listening to any singer who is worth their salt... Oct 30, 2019 at 17:20
  • How may I ask can this question be solved by "fans" when all they (fans) do is suck up to the musicians? This is a technical query. One that does not involve in entertainment in the way that you think it does, but more on the technical side of things. Nov 2, 2019 at 3:52
  • Yeah - I can't migrate the question because I don't have the creds yet. You yourself say the question is not how to produce a head or chest voice but, how to hear it... it's ear training, not voice training (I will change that for you assuming you can't do it yourself.) As it stands, your question is more about music appreciation than music theory. It's not likely to get a lot of foot traffic, unfortunately. Finally, you are not likely to get a better answer than "there is no way to tell" Nov 2, 2019 at 10:24
  • 1
    @EffectorDhanushanth A large part of community upkeep is in fact based around moderating questions; it's hardly an absurd proposition. Music Fans Stack Exchange, by the way, is not just a bunch of people "sucking up" to the musicians; it's an entirely different site within the Stack Exchange Network. At the moment, your question seems valid on this site. For future reference, any user may edit their own questions and answers without restriction, so if you feel something needs to be changed, including tags, you should make the change yourself.
    – user45266
    Nov 2, 2019 at 20:13

1 Answer 1


There is no sure-fire way to tell and no substitute for experience listening. A general rule of thumb is how "breathy" the voice is. The breathier, the more likely to be a head voice. But you also have to take into account the individual singer and their range. Furthermore, there are singers who are so adept at making their head voice sound consistent with their "normal" voice that they are very very hard to distinguish.

To some extent you can train you ear to recognize it by listening to known examples from one or more given singers with whom you take the time to familiarize yourself. Example: "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart" by the Bee Gees. Compare the first line of the chorus ("How can you men a broken heart" -- head voice) to the second ("How can you stop the rain from falling down" -- normal).

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