How to Get Great Falsetto Singing from Your Session Singer
I included this term in my book because I’ve been asked before to sing a song “in my falsetto voice,” and I do, only to learn that the client wanted something “bold and exuberant.” This leads me to believe that people might not know what the term “falsetto” means exactly. Let’s discuss falsetto singing here!
What is Falsetto Singing?
Falsetto is a style of singing accessed by a different part of the voice. It’s higher and breathier (for me, other session singers may find more power in their higher register). I am an alto, so my power area is in the middle/lower notes.
Falsetto singing is always the highest part of the voice. Try singing your highest note. You may notice it has less power than something in your mid-range. When you go into your highest notes, you flip into falsetto naturally. (Please note: It’s tough to give sweeping generalizations for the voice, since there are always different circumstances. Please see a vocal coach if you have any trouble with this!)
How do I get falsetto singing from my singer?
Typically, when people ask for falsetto, they want one of three things:
- A breathy, soft performance
- A high range of notes
- Both 1 & 2
Which do you really need? A soprano singer can sing a high range of notes in a powerful voice (think “Let it Go” from Frozen), while any singer can sing in a lighter, breathier tone (although we can’t all do it in a healthy way please seriously get a coach don’t try this if you have pain!) Perhaps you really do need both, which is fine as well! Be as specific as you can be with your singers, we appreciate all the info!
Really, clients don’t have to dictate what placement I use when singing. I can figure it out based on where the notes fall within my range. Feel free to check out my reel and you’ll be able to hear my regular singing voice and decide if it’s right for your project.
Other helpful ways to get the performance you need:
- Tell the singer what genre and style the song will be (especially if we are just getting a raw piano demo!)
- Tell the singer what emotion you’d like them to channel (you may think it obvious, but maybe they see sadness where you see anger. Make sure they know!)
- Mention other artists as vocal references (Mariah Carey’s high/soft notes, Ariana Grande’s power notes, etc)
All of these will help your singer nail the performance and give you the right take!
My client wants me to use falsetto singing in a part that’s not in my range for falsetto – help!
First, check the above to make sure you know what they’re really asking for. Can you hit the notes at all? If not, please don’t try. Do NOT push yourself for a gig and risk injury, take it from me! You can also ask for other artists as references or ask for the emotion they need.
How can I get better at falsetto singing?
When doing your daily warmups, start incorporating some falsetto singing warmups into your routine. Here is a daily warmup practice.
Here are a few other videos that might help:
Sami Rudnick’s video on practicing falsetto
Dave Brook’s video on falsetto for men (covers the difference between “airy” and powerful falsetto)
Sally Morgan’s falsetto exercise
Hopefully this helps, whether you’re a session singer or hiring one! Do you have any tips for falsetto singing? Let me know in the comments!
This post was originally published on August 5th, 2016.