The Falsetto Myth
Updated: Aug 4
Hey singers, I thought I would answer a frequently asked question with this article: What is falsetto?
Have you been told that women cannot sing falsetto? That falsetto is a soft boyish choir boy voice that men use to access their upper register… That voice Prince, The Bee Gees and Michael Jackson popularized… Do you see the term falsetto used in different contexts? Are you lost with what falsetto means exactly? A quick Google search will tell you that these terms are widely debated.
The belief that only men can sing falsetto is false (no pun intended, haha)! This assumption probably comes from the fact that the tone texture of falsetto in men is a lot more noticeable than it is in women.
Falsetto singing has been around for centuries. We must remember that for years, women were not allowed to sing. In early church music, men used falsetto to harmonize higher soprano parts. They were replaced by Castrati until women were finally welcomed to sing and perform in operas.
But still the myth that women cannot sing falsetto persists. This is partly due to the misuse of the term to label parts of our register. For clarity, I always refer to the upper part of the register as “Head Voice” and use falsetto to describe tone.
It has been scientifically proven that both women and men can sing falsetto. It occurs during vocal cord abduction by letting through an excessive amount of breath. You can recognize it by its high pitch and breathy quality. It has little to no overtones and a flute-like quality. Falsetto is in head voice but it's not the same as head voice. Interchanging the two is mislabelling of the terms.
How often do you use falsetto in your singing?
Are you worried that it quickly dries out your voice?
Do you notice experiencing vocal fatigue after singing falsetto?
Can you easily alternate between falsetto and full tone?
Can you even sing clean and loud in your upper register without hurting your throat?
Most untrained singers resort to falsetto to access their upper register because they otherwise strain. Does it sound like you?
Not taking the time to learn correct singing technique costs you.
Often, falsetto tone itself lacks maturity. My clients tell me that they worry sounding like little boys and girls. Do you want to sound like a child or a grown up when you sing?
It limits your texture and dynamic options in order to bring a song to life.
Your ability to interpret songs from a soulful place are greatly diminished if not ruined.
You feel stuck when both falsetto and straining to hit the high notes louder sound bad.
Trying to force falsetto for more volume and straining to sing fuller leads to vocal injury.
Your confidence takes a hit and you start losing your zest for singing.
The opposite of falsetto is full voice. It is characterized by a clean vibrant tone. Falsetto is typically soft and weak while full voice can be at once soft or loud but rich in resonance. Although some male singers wonderfully develop their falsetto, it's not for everyone. Check out Jeff Buckley, Justin Timberlake and Tom Yorke (Radiohead) for great examples of awesome falsetto voices.
In my opinion, full voice wins over falsetto for its diversity and beauty. But combining both textures for effect is especially POWERFUL!
Singing success comes with vocal control and freedom. The truth is, only a minority of singers can do this intuitively. Most singers are scared and confused because their upper register feels TIGHT and UNCERTAIN.
Are you playing it small by LIMITING your singing to falsetto on higher melodies? Why settle for less when you can have both falsetto and full voice? Give yourself the options of using both a breathy or clean tone... EFFORTLESSLY!
Fantastic singers are born every day. With all of the craziness in the world right now, it's even more important to step into your power to MAXIMIZE a skill that brings you joy. To reach your full vocal potential so that you can share your gift with others in need and whom benefit from your AMAZING soothing vibes!
The crazier it gets, the more we need you!
If you are done straining... If you want to play with falsetto but also unleash the power of full voice... And want to use your singing skills to be a leader in your family, circle of friends and community... Then, join me in my free masterclass “5 Shifts To Uncover Your Best Voice”. You deserve the BEST!
Sing your heart out,