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Singing with real voice or fake voice
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by admin

Have you ever felt like you have two voices? One ‘real’ and one ‘fake’?

As a vocal coach, very often I am asked questions such as these:

  • Should I sing with my real voice or fake voice?
  • Am I singing with my real or fake voice?
  • How can I sing the high notes with my real voice?

So let’s talk about it!

What is the real and fake voice? And which one are you using?

Very often, when people say they have a real and fake voice, what they really mean is the chest and the head voice. Both of which, in fact, are equally your real voice.

The ‘real’ voice is normally the one we associate as the voice closer to our speaking voice, in pitch and in resonance. For most people, they speak from their chest register, which resonates in the chest area. Hence, the chest voice is often thought of as the ‘real’ voice, because it feels and sounds familiar to us. It generally feels more solid and somewhat heavier than the ‘fake’ voice.

The ‘fake’ voice is on the other hand, the voice that we rarely use in speaking. It feels much lighter (like it doesn’t resonate in the chest register), sounds higher-pitched and somewhat more superficial or ‘put-on’ as compared the voice we use in our daily speech. While most people are unaware, this ‘fake’ voice has resonance too – and it’s mostly in our head register. One only has to speak louder and sustain his or her ‘fake’ voice, to notice the resonance in this area.

Why are they both (your chest and head voice) equally your real voice?

They are both part of your full vocal range. The chest voice is your lower range, while the head voice is the higher range.

The reason why people often feel like they have these two different voices that don’t connect is because they have not developed their mix (of their middle register/middle voice). The mix is the bridge between the low and high vocal range.  What happens to a voice with an undeveloped mix is there is a huge contrast between the chest and the head voice in terms of vocal tone quality and volume, often resulting in a huge flip of sound from one voice to another, that sounds like the voice is cracking or breaking in transition from one to the other.

By developing the mix, we can bridge the gap between the two voices and make the transition between the voices more seamless. We can connect these two voices so that truely sound like one REAL voice, from the lower to your higher vocal range.

One easy way to do this is through the Ju-on vocal exercise. I named it such after the Japanese horror movie, Ju-on: The Grudge 😛

If you’ve watched the film, you’d notice that every time that damn ghost-boy appears on screen to scare you, they’d cue in that same sound effect. If you can’t recall, or you’ve never watched the film, check out my video above. That sound effect is pretty much a vocal fry, which sounds somewhat like a door-creaking in most horror films. Perhaps they decided to use an actual vocal fry sound effect to stand out from other horror films – only God knows.

The vocal fry, or as I prefer to call it, the Ju-on vocal exercise, is one you can use to work on your developing your mix and strengthen your overall vocal connection from your ‘real’ to ‘fake’ voice (chest to head voice).

When we do the vocal fry from our low to high range, you’ll find it easy to transition seamlessly through out your chest, middle and head registers. Practicing this exercise often can help us familiarise the muscle-coordination required to mix well from our chest to head voice. Once we get in the habit of practising the right muscle-coordination, we can then vocalise the same way, but much louder while maintaining a seamless transition between all of the vocal registers.

I’ve found this really helpful not only in developing my mix, but also in helping my students develop theirs and overcome their vocal breaks.

Try out the Ju-on exercise as shown in my video – when done correctly and often enough, it will help you develop a strong vocal mix which will change how you use your voice tremendously. It will also eliminate the feeling of having a ‘real’ and ‘fake’ voice and help you sing in one REAL voice with a wide vocal range 🙂

Got questions or comments? You know what to do – post them below!

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Singing with real voice or fake voice
Are you singing with your real or fake voice? (And how to sing better with your REAL voice)