A common fault in certain singers is when the texture of sound we call the “falsetto voice” does not seem to be present.
When this is the case, there may be diverse symptoms such as an inability to produce any other volume except loud, a shortened range, and unable to change pitch without a dragging of the voice from note to note. All of this is coupled with a heaviness where the voice is not flexible and can seem forced.
The muscle system responsible for producing that which we call “falsetto” is named the crico-thyroid muscle system. Its basic job is to stretch the vocal cords. When this muscle system is doing its job then “falsetto voice” appears. The vocal cords are stretched by this muscle system. As this happens, the cords get longer and thinner with less of the cords vibrating – due to arytenoid muscle system activity. As a result, the pitch goes higher. As one descends the scale, this same muscle system slowly returns the cords to a shorter and thicker state which means we sing lower and lower.
This whole process is not just the activity of the stretcher muscle, but includes a healthy relationship with the closer muscle. As the stretcher muscle does its job of adjusting the cords to meet the requirements of pitch, we have an extension of the range and do not need to try to drag and push the pitch around. But, falsetto also does more!
Because of the “stretchiness,” the cords do not always remain thick. Thus, we gain the ability to sing with less volume and to be more flexible as the size of the cords adjust. As this muscle does its job, then the closer muscle is free to do its job of closing and does not have to worry about trying to adjust for pitch.
As we build our vocal home, we lay a good basement and foundation area, and start to construct in detail the different floors and rooms of the vocal house.