Singing For Dummies
Book image
Explore Book Buy On Amazon

The higher part of your singing voice is called head voice because most people feel the vibrations in their head or skull while singing in head voice. Having a head voice for singing is necessary to access those really high notes in the song. For women, the notes in the middle part of your voice may not feel much different from the higher notes.

Male and female singers feel the vibrations from singing in head voice in their head or skull. As you explore your head voice, place your hand on the crown of your head, which is the top back part of your head. You can also put your hand on the back of your neck to feel the vibrations as you move up in pitch.

As you ascend, you may feel the vibrations move from your neck or mouth to your head. When you get really high, you may feel the vibrations on the very top of your head. Singers can feel the vibrations in different locations, but you can explore how the vibrations change places as you ascend in pitch.

Also be aware of the sensations in your mouth as you sing in head voice. You may feel sound on the roof of your mouth, on your hard palate, or even in the front of your face. All these vibration locations help you find the sensations of head voice.

A great way to feel head voice is to sing closed vowels. When you sing closed vowels, your mouth isn’t as wide open. For example, ah is wider open than ee, so ee is a closed vowel and ah is an open vowel. The closed vowels are helpful for singing in your head voice because the sound is lighter than with open vowels and creates vibrations that are easier to feel.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t use open vowels like ah in head voice; it just means that you can explore the sensations of head voice more easily with closed vowels and then take that same ease and feeling of vibrations into your open vowels.

When you sing the pattern shown in the figure below, find the same spin to the tone and feel the vibrations in your head. By aiming the vowels out in front of you, you’re more likely to feel the vibrations in your head. As you try the pattern, follow these steps to make it easier to sing in head voice:

  1. Find your alignment.

  2. Take a breath.

  3. Open the space in the back of your mouth and throat while lifting your soft palate.


Sing the pattern in the following illustration. Notice that the sound is light and high, as if the sound is spinning out of the mouth. If you open the space in your throat and mouth and apply proper breathing technique, head voice often feels like the sound is just flying out of your mouth.

If the feeling is heavy and takes much effort, you’re using too much weight or engaging the muscles that create chest voice.


About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Pamelia S. Phillips is a professional singer with over 35 years of teaching experience. She has designed curriculum for high school students, college BFA programs, and professional training programs, helping thousands of singers refine their singing technique.

This article can be found in the category: