Are you trying to create the perfect sound in your singing by combining the chest with your head voice?
In this post, we’re talking about why attempting this impossible feat will send you down a path to vocal health issues.
If you’re more of a visual learner, check out the video below!
Understanding Chest Voice and Head Voice
Before we dive into this vocal myth any further, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page.
Chest voice and your head voice are both terms that relate to the classical singing technique.
Your chest voice refers to the sound resonating in your chest. Your head voice refers to the sound that is resonating more in your head, specifically in your sinus cavities.
And creating an open space in the back, or an open throat is how we access our chest and head voice. This open space is what gives your voice breaks.
Now let’s continue.
You Can’t Be In Your Head Voice and Chest Voice At The Same Time
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never learned how to drive a stick shift. I only know how to drive an automatic. But here’s what I can tell you—even though I’ve never done it, I know that you can’t be in two gears at the same time. The car just can’t do it; it’s not possible.
Do you see how that relates to singing?
You can’t be in your head voice and your chest voice at the same time. Just like you can’t be in two gears at the same time. You have to pick one.
Your chest voice has a definite limit. For women, that limit is the A above middle C. For men, the limit is the F sharp above middle C. When that chest voice goes past either of those notes (depending if you are biologically female or male), it’s stretching beyond its natural limit and causing your cords to become inflamed. That kind of repeated inflammation can lead to serious damage to your voice.
For example, the chest will go up to the A above middle C if you are a female and then you have your head voice after that.
The break that’s between those places in your voice is like being in neutral in your car. You can’t be in both of them at the same time.
Technically, you can stretch your voice past this break, but
1) It’s dangerous, and
2) Doing it repeatedly leads to a variety of vocal health struggles.
So how do I achieve that sound I’m going for if it’s not from pulling my chest voice into my head voice?
The only way to achieve the desired sound described as pulling the chest into the head is to sing with contemporary techniques.
The two contemporary singing techniques are Belt and Mix. Neither one of these techniques has any breaks in your voice at all.
The rules for contemporary do not apply to classical
Keep in mind that what I’m teaching you isn’t widely taught.
You’ve likely heard the majority of vocal coaches talk about creating that full sound that’s smooth and easy and not affected by breaks, but they’re using classical terminology to describe what only contemporary technique can achieve.
I’m not just being nitpicky about terminology. There are a set of rules and practices for classical and a set of rules and practices for contemporary.
They don’t work together.
If you only know how to teach or sing the classical technique, or you only understand classical terminology, but you’re trying to achieve the benefits that contemporary techniques offer, my advice is to learn contemporary techniques.
Trying to “pull your chest into your head” is going to hurt and damage your voice because it means you’re pushing that chest past its limit for healthy singing.
Learn what you can achieve when you learn and apply contemporary singing techniques in my #1 international bestselling book, Never Lose Your Voice Again: The SECRET To Unlimited Vocal Health™ for Singers, Actors, and Speakers.
Download a free chapter below!
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Download a free chapter of Never Lose Your Voice Again: The SECRET To Unlimited Vocal Health™ for Singers, Actors, and Speakers.