The Mixed Voice
This is a topic that can cause confusion to many singing students trying to identify where their “mixed voice” is. If you’re one of those frustrated students desperately looking for a middle register, a sort of transition register between chest voice and head voice, you’re not alone. Nevertheless, you’re chasing ghosts doing that.
Mixed voice is not a third register (counting chest and head voice as the other two). In fact, if we get technical there’s really only one voice that we need to train and balance, That being said, often times when we begin training for singing, our voice feels like it’s separated into two distinct sections, chest voice and head voice. This two-voice experience tends to diminish once you’ve been training for a while and once you understand how to get through your passaggio without breaking. The endless search for a third register though, isn’t something that’s particularly beneficial to your practice as you’ll be searching in vain for something that isn’t there.
But, what is mixed voice then?
We’re not saying mix voice doesn’t exists at all. It exists, if what you’re referring to is the resonant placement or formant shifting. However, mix voice becomes a problem when coaches or people start referring to mix voice as if it was a completely new register separate from chest or head. This leads to a lot of confusion and frustration among students of singing that, like mentioned before, end up chasing after something that they will never find.
In order to prevent further confusion among singers, a recommended solution to consider might be to refer to this technique as formant shifting or resonance shifting rather than referring to it as mixed voice. This might not only help students realize they don’t need to look for a mystery register, but it might also help singers assimilate the idea that we have one voice to train and balance instead of many voices to discover.