Home About Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy

When doing exercises, what should I do when encountering notes that can only be sung in falsetto?

jaynewsjaynews Member Posts: 30
Seems, when I'm warmed up, I can only get to a G# above middle C these days in a mixed/connected head voice. (Anything above a G#4 results in a disconnected falsetto).

In general, should I just stop singing along with an exercise when the exercise gets to a note that can only be song by flipping into a total (not mixed, non-connected) falsetto, or should I just allow my voice to fully flip into disconnected falsetto when doing exercises if that's what my voice "wants to" do?

I realize that some of the exercises are designed to be very sung lightly, to try and teach the singer to go higher in a very light mixed/connected head voice without a noticeable break. The problem is my light mixed/connected head voice currently only goes up to a G#4. The only way to sing an A4 is in total falsetto. If I sing as light as humanly possible below A4 and then get to an A4, the break may not be as noticeable, but, in my opinion, it's still there, and the end result, when reaching A4 is still the note is sung in a pure falsetto and not in a mixed/connected head voice.

It seems to me that the goal for me should be to NOT to have to sing in disconnected pure falsetto above a G#4, so I'm wondering the best way to make that happen?

When Ken sings lightly, he can sing in a mixed/connected light head voice, all the way up to Tenor high C (and beyond) without his voice needing to flip into a totally disconnected pure falsetto. Again, MY mixed/connected head voice currently only goes up to a G#4, no matter how lightly I sing. Whining, trying to imitate a little boy, or any other "tricks" doesn't work, nor does vowel modification...my voice currently does not currently seem to sing anything but pure disconnected falsetto above a G#4.

Again, should I really be singing notes above G#4 in falsetto, when doing the exercises, as a means of eventually being able to sing those notes in a connected, non-falsetto head voice, or should I stop singing the exercise as soon as I flip into, or break into total/pure disconnected falsetto?

I do fully understand the difference between falsetto (the disconnected generally hooty voice where there is no cord closure) and a light head voice, but wondering how to get latter to go higher?

Some background: Before I took singing lessons in my late 20s, I had trouble singing an E4 or higher. After I began the lessons, I gradually worked my way up to around a B4 in connected/mixed head voice, but, over the years gradually lost a few half-steps (maybe due to getting older, or something that happened to cause my range to decrease). My falsetto itself used to go a few half-steps higher as well. I can currently only sing up to a D above tenor high C in falsetto, if I'm warmed up enough and it's a good day, etc. The top of my falsetto does not seem as effortless as it was in my 20s and 30s.

BTW: The lessons I took in the past never involved singing in falsetto...only going as high as I could sing without cracking or flipping into falsetto. I was told to stop if I cracked, or if the top note of the exercise sounded strained. I the past, I had hoped I would eventually develop the ability to reliably sing a Tenor High C (or maybe even as high as an E above tenor high C) but that honestly never became a reality for me. Even though a B4 was the top of my range if warmed up, it didn't sound all that powerful even though it was not falsetto, and it wasn't all that reliable either.

In my opinion, my voice has physical/genetic range limitations that Ken's voice does not have (in other words, Ken simply has a better voice when it comes to developing the ability to reach higher notes and my voice does not have anywhere near as much range potential as Ken's. In other words "can't get a Ken-range out of a Jay-voice no matter who much I train" may be my reality. :disappointed: Just wondering how to approach the exercises so that maybe (if I'm lucky) I could someday at least be able to sing an A4 again with some degree of reliability. At this point I'd settle for one measly half-step higher than my current range, if it could be reliable and actually usable in a song. :smiley:




  • Options
    highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,359
    @jaynews ,

    Can you post a demo? It's hard to hazard a guess based on a description. Are you doing Ken's program, and if so, for how long, and where are you currently in the program?

    The most useful demo would be you doing Ken's basic Lah exercise.

    Generally, you should be trying to stretch chest voice, and stopping when you can go no further in chest. Stretching chest takes a long time and a lot of care, using the proper techniques.

    G4 is a common "barrier note" that can take considerable time to relax enough to get past. The stretch between G4 and C5 is no easy road for most of us, and takes much longer that we would like. Some have trouble from F4.

    Time and technique are needed to progress beyond the current limitations.

    You have to pare the sound down gradually as you ascend.

    A Lah scale would be needed for more than generalizations.

    All the Best.

  • Options
    jaynewsjaynews Member Posts: 30
    I don't have a demo recorded yet, but willing to work on recording an audio-only demo. I'm new to Ken's exercises but will try to get Lah demo happening. It's likely I only get to a G on the lah rather than G# (and even the G may be a challenge) I find the Ah vowel harder than some other vowels when going up a scale, although I realize Ken makes it very clear that I need to modify the ah vowel going higher.
  • Options
    jaynewsjaynews Member Posts: 30
    edited August 2015
    @highmtn You asked for a Lah Demo so I created one.

    Here's the link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9KSnh6qUeRKLVVmdkNpSzlfYlU/view

    I could only do the lah's up to a G# although the G naturals didn't sound all that good to me either. When I tried to do it with an A4 as top note, my voice flipped completely into falsetto as you can hear. BTW I was able to squeak out an A4 in head voice using something else altogether which has nothing to do with Ken's exercises, which you can hear at the end. It doesn't sound all that great but it's not falsetto, although lately I can't hit the A4 most of the time. Just happened to be a good day I guess.
  • Options
    highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,359

    First of all, A4 is not a note someone is going to be able to sing, simply by applying effort. You will have to work at it, and it takes time. I know it seemed like it took me forever to get from G4 to a consistent A4. That is a very tough area of the voice for most males.

    You are not using sufficient support for the notes on F#4 and above.

    When you get to the point that you are going to flip into head, you should stop, if you are trying to stretch chest voice. You may have to keep knocking on that door for a while before G# opens up, and then Later A4, in a full voice. When you reach your chest limit, go back down, and keep approaching that high point without straining. Gently keep stretching the chest voice. Eventually the notes will come if you don't force them. They will start out small and weak, and slowly take root. Don't smash the little fragile sprouts. Let them grow.

    You also need to start out with less weight at the bottom, and shed the weight as you go up. The more weight you start out with at the bottom, the less successful you will be at getting higher up and shedding sufficient weight.

    Taper the tone down as you ascend. Support more and more the higher you get.

    Give yourself more time to accomplish something like this. It can take considerable time, being that it's pushing against your limitations.

    Your voice has to grow, and growth takes time.

    All the Best.

Sign In or Register to comment.