Vocal Exercises for Mixed Voice | Classic Songs for Your Voice Type | Memorable Performances

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Mixed voice is a balancing act of the muscles in your larynx.
Originally published: June 23, 2020

Vocal Exercises for Mixed Voice

What the heck is a mix voice? 

A “mix” is a vocal coordination where the muscles that thicken the vocal cords stay active at the same time that the muscles which lengthen and thin the vocal cords for higher pitches are also active.

Although the mixed voice is a balancing act that is somewhat difficult to achieve for many singers, it results in a sense of ease even though you are producing a strong, speech-like vocal sound even on higher pitches. A “mix” is not just one thing, but rather a constantly changing ratio that can be:

  • Chest-dominant
  • Head-dominant
  • 50-50 

You see, depending on the vowel, pitch, volume level and tone quality of your sound, the amount you engage the thickening muscles versus the thinning muscles may change slightly with almost every syllable! 

Singdaptive instructor, Kerri Ho is a real stickler for developing your head voice before developing the ability to mix, and includes many great exercises for this in her lesson videos. Then, when singers with strong head voices are ready to try mixing, Kerri’s next step is to lighten their chest voice. Here are two of Kerri’s exercises for developing mixed voice:

1. CHILDISH “BAP” – While singing in chest voice, try to “channel” the forward resonance of head voice and keep your sound light. Sing “Bap bap bap bap bap” on an ascending then descending triad. Imitate a child’s voice throughout.Start low in your range – i.e. at a comfortable pitch for your chest voice, then move the exercise up by semitones as high as you can with comfort.

2. MIX WITH “GOOG” – Sing a full arpeggio up then down on “Goog.”  Start low and go up in semitones with each repetition. Go high enough so that the top pitch is higher than the point where your voice would crack or switch into a lighter (head voice) quality. Keep your throat relaxed and try to embrace the sensations of both chest voice and head voice. The “G” helps build up intensity, but prevents you from putting pressure directly on your vocal folds.

To learn these mixed voice exercises in more detail, upgrade to premium and take Kerri Ho’s lesson Vocal Workout, Month 2, Part 3.

Check out our Insta-Live chat with jazz diva, Lizzie Thomas. Lizzie was a busy gigging jazz singer before the pandemic. Then, in isolation, she went live with a series of performances which touched the hearts of many. She takes us behind the scenes to reveal insights and ideas for all singers.

Classic Songs for Your Voice Type

Since there are few performances to prepare for at the moment, why not learn some new repertoire? Check out this list of songs by voice type including art song, folk song and classic musical theater.

Memorable Performances

With one drum and two voices, Olox, a duo on America’s Got Talent, created this exhilarating version of alternative rock song, “Zombie” incorporating Siberian Throat Singing and animal sounds!

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