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How to Access High Notes – Sing with a Mix Voice

How to Access High Notes – Sing with a Mix Voice

I’ve worked with hundreds of singers over the past decade and nearly all of them wanted to expand their range. Everyone knows they want this skill, but so few singers understand how to get there. The simple solution to this problem is you must find your mix voice.
Your mix voice is a blend of the chest and head resonance. It allows you to sing with the fullness of chest voice and the release of head voice. The mix is what you hear singers on the radio use when they’re “belting” out high notes. More often than not, that full sound in the upper end of their range is a mix.
The problem is, finding your mix can be difficult. To access your mix and those high notes, you have to learn to better balance your voice coordination. From this point on, the article is going to get a little technical, but bear with me. It’s worth it!
To sing in a mix, your coordination must be consistent. How do we do that? We must consistently balance vocal cord closure and airflow. Balancing this coordination is challenging enough. Unfortunately, most of us have bad habits that make this coordination nearly impossible.
These bad habits include:
  • Singing with an inconsistent flow of air.
  • Holding muscles in the tongue / throat to “help” us sing the note
  • Widening the shape of the vowel, which in turn widens the throat and often pulls the vocal cords apart.
  • Hiking the larynx. This causes the voice to crack as we sing higher instead of access the mix.
There are other habits that can pull the voice out of coordination, but these are the most common. So, how do we fix these and find our mix?
Well, we must properly balance singing with a consistent airflow (and lean in the cords). We must maintain a level larynx. We narrow the vowels to ensure the vocal cords don’t pull apart. And, we make sure that we sing in a manner that is free of tension in the tongue, neck, and throat area.
The above ideas are simple. Applying them is a bit more of a challenge. Doing them all at the same time takes quite a bit of practice. Often a bit of guidance as well. If you’d like to have an experienced set of ears help you with this, visit our voice lessons page. But the good news is once you find this coordination, you’ll unleash your mix. This will give you access to higher notes and make your a better, more diverse singer.