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What is Mixed Voice – The Key to Superior Singing

This is a rather controversial issue when it comes to singing methods.

Some say it doesn’t exist. Some say it is a myth and that the voice really just has two separate registers – chest and falsetto.

To be frank, I really pity those people who discarded the reality of mixed voice, when in actuality, they just have never found it.

What is mixed voice, or Mix? This is the most critical factor to whether or not your singing will achieve great results.

Common Definition of Mixed Voice                                                                         

Commonly, voice teachers defined mixed voice as a voice quality that is somewhere in-between full voice and falsetto in tonal intensity, and it’s used in and around the break area in a singer’s range.

So, from low to high notes in order, singers would use chest voice in low notes, then mixed voice in the high notes approaching and through the break, and finally head voice in the super high notes after the break.

However, there is a school of thought that defines Mix as a tone quality that’s used throughout the entire range with a split resonance that goes behind the soft palette(yawning sensation/head voice) and straight out of the mouth(belt sensation/chest voice) simultaneous.

Wherever you are in your range, Chest and head resonance are both present. It’s just a matter of proportion – in low notes, chest resonance dominates with a little head resonance hanging, whereas in high notes, it’s vice versa.

Superiority and Advantages of Mix

There are a lot of advantages of singing Mix that surpass any other singing methods, and I will list a few below:

1. One connected voice throughout the range

You will have the same tone quality, without having to switch to falsetto in the upper range. Those high notes that you usually sing with falsetto could be sung with a solid voice.

2. Finesse and power while you sing.

Usually, you have one or the other, but with Mix, you could have both.

That comes from “mixing” the power of chest voice(forward singing/belt) and the finesse and beauty of head voice(behind the soft palette/head voice) in a split resonance.

That’s a very special voice quality a singer could have.

3. Most efficient breath control while you sing.

 Since training a singer to sing Mix is all about balance and coordination of the singing muscles, you learn to use a very small amount of air to sing loud volumes (without losing beauty and finesse) and long phrases with very little effort. (I can sing 7-8 bars in one breath, e.g. arias “Every Valley” and “Il Mio Tesoro. I couldn’t do that before).

4. Singing becomes extremely easy.

I used to sound very breathy and soft with no power and ran out of breath with anything longer than 2 bars.

Plus, singing the not-so-high notes were always strained for me. Mix is the only technique that solved almost all of my singing problems.

Disadvantages and Shortcomings of Mix

As much as I love Mix and highly recommend it to everyone who want to learn how to sing, I do think that it still has it’s shortcomings and imperfections:

 1. Not many teachers know how to teach Mix.

I know there’s a lot of people teaching it, but those are the same group of people that gives Mix a bad name.

There’s a lot of subtle nuances and detailed adjustment in the training of Mix.

From my experience, many teachers just don’t have the right ears to accurately evaluate and train voices to sing Mix.

But if once you’ve found the right teacher and a great program, your singing will reach a level beyond your wildest imagination.

2. When you can’t find the Mix, progress and improvement are slow(if any).

While this method makes singing very easy, learning and properly applying it could be very difficult if you don’t know what you’re doing, or if the teacher is mediocre or bad.

3. BAD NEWS – it’s extremely difficult to learn Mix on your own.

Given that Mix is all about balance and coordination, instead of bodybuilding, the subtle nuances, technical maneuvers, and internal feelings are very counter-intuitive for most people.

You need an external pair of ears(the right pair, of course) to tell you what you’re doing wrong and correct it.

4. When it goes bad, the high notes are basically falsetto.

Vocal Coach Ken Templin(formerly trained in SLS/Mix) criticized this singing school for encouraging early bridging – transitioning to head voice too soon while ascending the range while singing, resulting in soft and whimpy high notes.

Honestly, yes, it could be when you’re doing it wrong(sometimes for a long time- tragic!).

My Final Conclusion about Mix

Now I’ve presented the positive and negative sides of this Mix singing technique.

With all those being said, I firmly believe Mix is currently the best singing method in the world. You just need to find the right teachers to learn from, and they are expensive.

However, I encourage you to take at least one or two lessons per year with one of the master teachers of Mix.

Another great choice that will save you some money is to find an online singing program that teaches Mix. I highly recommend Roger Love’s Singing Academy. He calls it the Middle Voice, which he demonstrates and teaches excellently in his program.

Happy Singing!

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. Thanks!

 

 

Rex
 

I am a professional singer and vocal coach in Taipei, Taiwan. I have been studying the art of singing for over 20 years. I dedicated my life to helping singers progress and excel in their singing skills, as well as inspire them to reach their fullest potential as performers.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 8 comments
Alex - July 30, 2019

Hello, I’m Alex, a 22 yo guy who would like to learn a proper vocal technique. My problem is that I can’t sing above my passaggio without shouting (I can push my voice up only to a quite good G#4). I haven’t found my ‘mix’, my ‘shifting resonance’ or whatever is called the voice that helps to sing high in full voice. I’ve already studied singing with an EVT teacher, here in Italy, for 3 YEARS and I still haven’t learn how to sing above my passaggio! And I’m a tenor! My teacher has tried to help me find my head voice with the ‘cry’ technique, then trying to strengthen it with the ‘twang’, but I haven’t been able to do that. Therefore I ask you which online singing course would be the best for my situation. My only aim is to learn to sing high in full voice, or to find my mix or whatever it is. I can’t decide between the Robert Lunte’s and the Roger Love’s. If you can answer me, I’ll be very grateful to you. Just consider that I need a course to sing high in full voice, with a technique that’s efficient for me, NOT like the technique that I have already tried and that hasn’t worked, and also consider that I need to visually see the vocal coach shaping his mouth etc. in order to reproduce that. Thank you very much,
Alex

Reply
    Rex - July 31, 2019

    Hi Alex,

    I just came back to Taiwan from Venice. I was studying in Italy with a voice teacher. Great to hear from you!

    I understand your struggle. I had the exact same struggle as you for the longest time before I found my high notes. Let me assure you – high notes can be discovered in every singer. However, it is not easy to find. I have to be honest. It sounds to me that twang and the cry are not working for you for the high registers. Those pharyngeal exercises are just temporary tools. They are not for permanent use. Sooner or later you will have to come back to work on your basic voice, to take it up to the high registers.

    You might want to try Robert Lunte’s singing program (Read my review). He has a more aggressive approach to train the belt voice. I don’t think Roger Love’s program will help you, because it is similar to the training you are receiving now in Italy.

    Reply
      Alex - August 1, 2019

      Thank you so much for having answered me back so kindly! And great to hear you were in Italy. Summer is always the best time to be here. In regard to Robert Lunte, I found some videos of him singing on YouTube but I heard a very ‘falsettoish’ approach on the higher notes (anything above G4) and this left me a bit confused, because he speaks a lot about full voice and power etc.
      Does he sing high notes with full power in his singing course, in your experience? You indeed wrote a beautiful review for his course.

      Reply
        Rex - August 2, 2019

        Alex,

        Yes, I have heard him take his full voice up to a High C# in the training exercises. Not falsetto, not mix. It’s amazing!

        Rex

        Reply
Alex - August 1, 2019

And btw, I’m sorry for this other question but what do you mean by saying that cry and twang are only temporary tools? Are they not the true way to sing full high notes?

Reply
    Rex - August 2, 2019

    Alex,

    Don’t be sorry for asking questions here. You’re most welcome. Cry, twang, and other pharyngeal exercises are just ways to help you feel the connection, but they are still NOT FULL VOICE, despite the fact that they are loud and penetrating. There are some master teachers like Dean Kaelin and John Henny who are moving away from pharyngeal exercises, or they use them very minimally. I’ve taken years of lesson from Dean Kaelin – I know. You need to work on the basic full voice to sing the high notes. There are ways to do that, but it’s very difficult and advanced. I will be creating a full course to teach people how to do that. So, stay tuned!

    Reply
Ian - August 2, 2019

I forgot to also add Superior Singing Method to the question – which out of the three (Roger Love VA, Singorama and SSM) is the best for intermediate singers?

Reply
    Rex - August 2, 2019

    Ian,

    Roger Love Vocal Academy. Roger has a great voice for a voice teacher, and he can demonstrate most beautifully the mix voice. I like his program.

    Rex

    Rex

    Reply

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