Accessing the Mix Voice

Today I wanted to talk about the mix voice. As the name suggests, this part of your voice is a kind of mix between your head voice (the light and airy singing voice) and the chest voice (the deep, booming voice). The foundations for being able to reach those high notes, and even belt them out is to access the mix. The best way to describe the mix is that it has the lightness of the head voice, with bite of the chest voice. I’m sure most of you have listened to countless songs where the singers have managed to reach some incredibly high notes with power, and these kinds of notes are normally accessed using mix voice. Oftentimes if you try to reach similar notes by using your chest voice, the note will be too weighty and sound and feel very strained – this is actually pretty dangerous for your voice as well, as you could damage your vocal cords if you constantly try to sing this way.

It’s also important not to allow your voice to be too breathy whilst working on the mix. You need to be able keep connection in the vocal cords otherwise you’ll never be able to hit a high note powerfully. When practicing with the mix voice it’s also important to energise the soft palette (which is the part of the throat/roof of the mouth that you can feel raise when you yawn), so that it stays up and does not drag the notes down.

An exercise that you can begin with is a siren. On an ‘ooo’, make a sound similar to that of a siren (kind of like the sound of an ambulance siren, except covering a lot more notes and elongated). Start from the top coming down, as when you start from low to high, there is a tendency to weigh the higher notes down, which is not the way to start using the mix voice!

Another useful exercise is, using the word goog, to start from around Bb below middle C (for girls) and play the notes from Bb below middle C to Bb above middle C and back down again. Increase this by one note as you go up the scale each time, and pay attention to make sure that you are not too breathy or too weighty in the voice! For boys do the same thing, except start at about C below middle C.

For beginners who have never used their mix voice before, it may feel very out of control, or even may feel weird. It should not hurt, but the feeling of the voice being out of control or even wavering and cracking is completely normal if you’ve never used this part of your voice before. Try not to tense your jaw and keep your tongue forward (if you’re not sure if your tongue is staying forward, then try lightly pushing it against your bottom teeth whilst you do the exercise), and most importantly relax! If you work on it every day, you’ll soon begin to feel and hear changes in your voice as your voice gets more used to using its mix. Bear in mind however that it can take a long time to train your to be use the mix, so don’t be disheartened if you feel like it’s taking a long time to reliably use your mix – it will become strong eventually!

Hope this was helpful, until next time guys ❤

Carley

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