How to Improve Middle Voice
Improving your middle voice, or ‘building your mix’ as it’s sometimes called, is an often confusing task – especially when it’s a concept some do naturally, and some do not! If you’ve ever taken singing lessons, or bought a singing course, and you followed it to the letter, practised every day of the week and alas, to no avail… then Middle Voice is the secret to finally making the progress in your singing voice that you know is SO close, but simply isn’t happening.
What is middle voice?
For middle voice to make any sense to you, it’s important that you first understand the vocal chord coordinations known as ‘chest voice’ and ‘head voice’ and how they dictate your frequencies and where you vocal breaks occur (yes, you have MORE than one vocal break!) – I like to think of head voice as “full length” vocal chords, and if we’re singing in “chest voice”, then we need more pressure to make our vocal chords vibrate. Now, the issue with this is that we often get to a point where the notes we want to hit are JUST out of our capabilities in chest voice, and our voices ‘flip’ into a rather weak and breathy sound, which is actually just a poor “head voice” coordination.
I like to think of “head voice” as “zipped up” vocal chords, where they have gathered together to make a MUCH smaller opening than our booming Chest voices, which sure, makes it a ton easier to hit that tricky pitch, but alas, lacks any of the depth and warmth associated with a ‘chest’ tone.
Herein lies the problem, AND the solution! Middle Voice. Did you know that your vocal chords can actually make another often overlooked coordination called “middle” or “mix” voice? Well, it’s actually pretty simple to achieve, and best of all, it actually connects your low range (chest voice) AND your high range (head voice) by way of sliding between the two rather than ‘jumping’ when the pressure gets to much. And what if we want to know how to improve middle voice? Well, that’s super easy too!
Your middle voice is a coordination between the muscles responsible for chest, the thyroarytenoid or “TA” muscles, and those that give us our head register, the cricothyroid or “CT” muscles. This central coordination is often called mix, middle or blending, and allows you to slide in between your two main registers and take weight from either side of your registers into the opposite direction of your range – allowing you to sing high without straining in a full and connected voice.
I’ve put together a SUPER simple tutorial on HOW to achieve a really killer middle voice coordination and trust me, when you work this out your voice will absolutely explode with colour and range!
If you’re ready to take your middle voice to the next level and POWER UP your full vocal range, sing ANY song you want and in ANY vocal range – you can book a session with me now and I’ll show you how to do it with YOUR unique voice type!
How can I sing better high notes?
Singing high notes with comfort and power takes a special coordination between your two main registers, along with developing control over your onsets, consonant grouping and other techniques like placement and support. The best way to develop control over your high notes is to sing light and connected through your full range until you can start tuning your resonance to the right width as you ascend.
Singing high notes with confidence is the holy grain of singing technique and requires consistent practice and professional guidance. Make sure you’re not pushing or straining, and be sure to start light and gently before trying to belt your way through bad habits.
With healthy singing technique and the right approach to great singing, you can increase your range and build a powerful middle register that connects chest and head voice for one long and fluid note that resonates with power in any range or register.
If you’re ready to take your voice to the next level with professional voice coaching, you can book a Skype session and we can get started improving your voice today!
Feel free to leave any questions or feedback below!
Kegan DeBoheme is Bohemian Vocal Studio’s resident vocal coach and voice expert. He teaches professional singing and voice technique to students all around the world and enjoys providing tutorials like this one on how to improve your voice.