What exactly is the head voice? This musical term is used with regard to a singer's vocal range, the vocal register, or the vocal resonance.
The head voice is usually confused with falsetto.
Head Voice and the Vocal Register:
When discussing the vocal register, experts distinguish between men and women. They look at the chest register, middle register, head register, and falsetto register for men.
Woman's voice is identified as the chest register, the middle register, and the head register. Each men and women experience the resonance of singing in their head - this is the head voice.
Men and women travel from one register to the next at similar pitch. The tenor will move from the chest to the head voice around E flat.
At the similar pitch an alto voice and a soprano voice will go between registers - from the chest register to the middle register.
To make understanding the head voice easy, I have found it simple to consider E4 to be the average where most voices change into the head register.
The only exclusion is the soprano voice which is greater to make this change at F4.
The Head Voice and Resonance
The head voice is often confused with the falsetto register. As an alternative, it is helpful to think of the head voice while having resonance.
Particular areas of your body let you to feel resonance when you sing. In addition to the head, the nasal cavities and the diaphragm resonate.
Think of it this way: As you sing from your diaphragm you force the sound out through the uppermost portion of your mouth - almost to your nasal cavity.
The feeling provides you is your head voice and it is a very unique feeling. Most artists love accessing it because it is so unique.
Getting to Your Head Voice
It takes practice to see your head voice. First, don't attempt to access it by bringing up your larynx. This is not the proper technique and will feel wrong from the start.
To ensure you are not making this common mistake stand in front of a mirror. If you can see your larynx - your Adam's apple - rising while trying to reach your head voice you are not using the proper technique.
Draw back and make an effort to really learn how to reach the head voice before you upset your vocal chords and your throat becomes too sore to sing.
The first rule is to retain your larynx still. Secondly, you have to keep your throat open. When attempting to develop the head voice it is natural to 'close up' your throat channel when you reach for the higher notes.
Because you move up in pitch you can really feel the notes moving up within you. If you make yourself aware of this feeling you will benefit from the resonance when you reach high notes.
Don't Make a Falsetto Mistake
While resonance is the key characteristic of the head voice it is not strictly the falsetto register.
In music circles the phrases are often used interchangeably but if you want to correct in your utilization of the terms the 'head voice' is any high note that is not strained or falsetto.
Do not allow the head voice scare you away from high notes. The best way to reach high notes is to expand your vocal range slowly.
As you begin to gradually sing higher and higher notes you will see that you feel more resonance in your head.