How to sing falsetto?
One of the most popular questions I get in my singing lessons is: how to sing falsetto? When you want to nail a song like Sugar, or Too good at goodbyes, or All I want for Christmas is…yoouuuuuuuu (you know the one I’m talking about), you will want those high notes to sound smooth and sweet and emotional. And when I say ’emotional’, I don’t mean the emotion of ‘OH SH*T! I CAN’T DO THIS!’
Most singers that come to me with this challenge, basically kinda know how to sing falsetto, but at the same time feel that…something just isn’t right. Usually a combo of a throaty and uncomfortable feeling, too much pressure, sometimes even a weird voice crack here and there. How does Adam Levine do it??
Other singers doubt whether they even HAVE a falsetto register. Good news: Everyone does (yes, you too), and it’s actually quite simple to practice! Start by imitating Mickey Mouse 😀 (no, seriously) and then focus on these 3 things… Flawless falsetto guaranteed! 😉
Open up nasal cavities
I know, you think you’re opening them 100%. You’d put your hand in the fire, you swear on your life. But guess what… you’re not! There are levels to this, darling. So yes, keep doing what you’re doing, but add these 3 things.
- Think French. Emulate THIS song. When the French say ‘non’, they raise the soft palate, and they position their tongue in a certain way. This is also called the ‘ng’ tongue position, because when you say the word ‘sing’, your tongue is in that same position (the ideal position for singing!). Keep your tongue that way, but create a little opening between your tongue and the roof of your mouth (so you can actually say words). Voila, très bien!
- Pretend your vocal cords are placed right behind your nose, instead of in your throat. Move your vocal ‘center of gravity’ and things will feel MUCH easier.
- Pretend that the apples of your cheeks are huuuuge AND they can open. Now sing through those huge cheeks. (Damn, it feels good to be a hamster.)
Drop larynx & jaw
I know, you think you’re dropping them 100%. You’d put your hand in the fire, you swear on your life. But guess what… you’re not! There are levels to this, darling. So yes, keep doing what you’re doing, but add these 3 things.
- Pretend you’re paralyzed or a reeeeeally unintelligent person (think: ‘duh’). You feel how much more relaxed your jaw can be? (if you have trouble relaxing your jaw, try this and this)
- Pretend that you have fish gills on the sides of your throat.
- Convince your brain that this note is supereeeeeeasy, and that you don’t have to try so hard. This will help you relax the larynx. Grace & ease, darling!
Support from core & lower back & booty
I know, you think you’re engaging them 100%. You’d put your hand in the fire, you swear on your life. But guess what… you’re not! There are levels to this, darling. So yes, keep doing what you’re doing, but add these 3 things.
- Pretend your pushing something down with your hands and arms as you go up in pitch.
- Or…ask someone to push YOU while you sing that high note. Put one foot in front of the other, drop your weight and focus to the ground, and ask your buddy to push you in the lower back. Don’t fall over (lol) but resist! Oof! Feel that?? NOW you are using your core 😉
- Sometimes knowing ‘why’ does the trick: The reason you use your core in the first place is because you’re extending your exhalation. Great breath control is essential, be verrrry mindful of how you use your air. Too much air will muddy up your beautiful falsetto sound. Keep it crystal clear!
A great way to practice falsetto is by doing a siren (the ambulance kind, not the mermaid) (what am I saying? Let’s all be mermaids!!!). When you do all 3 things correctly, you won’t hear a break in your voice. Whenever you have trouble making the siren sound smooth or hitting that high note, ask yourself these 3 questions:
- Am I truly opening up my nasal cavities?
- Am I truly dropping my jaw & larynx?
- Am I truly engaging my core & lower back?