Mixed voice occurs when you blend resonance from your chest register with resonance from your head register to create a third form of resonance which combines between both your low and high registers, while also allowing you to retain the rich tonal quality of your chest voice while enjoying the extensive range afforded by your head register.
Mixed voice occurs naturally as a by-product of healthy vocal technique and can be developed over time using the mixed voice exercises I’m sharing with you. The first step in creating mixed voice is to first connect chest and head voice by managing your resonant space and supporting your voice properly through the break passages of the voice. Over time, you can create one long and fluid connected note from your lowest to highest pitch – the centre of your voice can then be developed into it’s own powerful and pleasant register often called Mix Voice or Middle Voice.
Mixed Voice Exercises
Visual tools are a really great way to find and develop your mixed resonance. By figuratively ‘projecting’ your voice away from the body and throat through the middle portion of your range, you will allow your vocal folds to thin slightly as you ascend in range and create a pleasant but assertive mixed tone which can then be build and formed into the voice you desire.
One of the most common mixed voice exercises out there is the simple MA MA MA exercise throughout a scale. Now, you’ve probably heard or tried this exercise before without much luck, right? That’s because it’s designed to develop mixed resonance that already exists, not help you FIND mix voice in the first place. So, you first need to create a connection between chest and head voice in a resonant sense first before this exercise will become useful.
One of my favourite mixed voice exercises is the French “OI” sound. This sound naturally narrows the vocal tract and allows you to retain brightness and clarity in your head register which blends with ease into the top of your chest range – in effect, creating mixed resonance and middle voice.
Another great exercise for both finding and developing mixed resonance is the classical ‘hoot’ exercises, where you allow your EE and OO vowels to travel towards a slightly hooty classical resonance – like an owl, or a ghost “Whooooooo” in the high range. You’ll notice that this naturally lends towards a connection between chest and head voice, and really is one of the most powerful mixed voice exercises out there. I use the hoot exercises extensively in the Foundation 101 singing course which is developed specifically with Mixed Resonance in mind.
How To Sing in Mixed Voice
Mixed Voice is a key part to your vocal foundation and should be developed early on in the process of learning how to sing. By starting out on small and semi-occluded sounds like lip trills, N, M and NG – you will develop important foundation elements like placement, mixed resonance, twang while also learning about the importance of resonant space.
By first setting up a rock solid foundation, your mixed voice will grow into a powerful and versatile range that can be used for any style of singing, from powerful rock belting to the smoothest R’nB and gentle ballads. A great place to get started with mixed resonance is our Foundation 101 singing course which will show you;
- How to connect chest and head voice
- Develop mixed resonance
- Form your vowels properly
- Manage resonant space
- Place your frequencies
- Develop volume and power with twang
- Support your voice
- SO much more
The course contains over 60 minutes of video tutorials and interactive warmups and serves as an ongoing reference for your singing. Come across a tricky song or difficult word down the track? No worries – just head back to the Foundation 101 course and re-tune your placement, vowels and mixed resonance.
You can get started right now with this exclusive Mixed Voice Singing Lesson which will show you exactly how to find and develop your mixed resonance! What are you waiting for? Let’s fix your mix!
If you have any questions about singing in mixed voice, feel free to leave any feedback or questions 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.