One thing that is often times a major struggle as a beginner singer is transitioning from chest voice to head voice when singing. What does it mean to sing in your chest voice, or your head voice? First of all let us make something clear. There is only one place where the sound is created, and that is your vocal chords. However there are more than one place where this sound can resonate from. This being your chest, and your head. When you are using your chest voice, you will feel it resonating from your chest, it will be a much heavier, and stronger sound. However because of the weight that it brings with it, it makes singing higher notes challenging. In order to sing the higher notes, it is wise to make the transition to your head voice. Your head voice can be felt resonating at the back of your head at the point of the nasal cavity. The head voice is a much lighter, and softer sound.
In order to find the head voice, fake a yawn, and make the sound of an owl. (Who Who) Make sure you have a very long and oval shaped mouth If you are doing it right you will feel the sound behind your nose. Now try saying the phrase “How Now Brown Cow”, in this same voice, without going back down to your chest.
You most likely already know what the chest voice feels like. It is the area in which is usually spoken from. We automatically like to go to our chest voice when we sing, because we feel the most comfortable there. You will feel it resonating from your chest.
The trick to singing is being able to smoothly transition from the one voice to the other.One thing to be weary of when learning this skill is not to push or force yourself as you do it. If you practice vocal exercises it should come to the point where it feels as if you are using very little effort to transition. This is a good thing because it help protect your voice from damage, which is what forcing it will do if you are not careful.
The following link will take you to some vocal warm ups. For the purpose of this post use vocal warm up number 2,and 3.
Exercise 2 is done in harmonic minor scales for variety. It should be done on the sound “ah”, The octave jump that it does at the beginning should start in your chest voice and then jump to head voice. Try to keep in your head voice on the way down the scale.
Exercise 3 is a five note scale starting on high C and then proceeding downwards. During this exercise start in your head voice, and stay in it all the way down on “ah’s”. Also try doing this exercise using a lip trill.
A third exercise that can be done is to start at the very bottom of your range, and then slide your voice all the way up to the top of your range and then back down, on “ah”