Mixing is a technique used by singers of contemporary song and musical theatre to deliver a clear and safe voice throughout their vocal range.
Most singers (not all) have a point in their voice where they naturally ‘break’ or the vocal cords flip from chest or modal or speech voice into head voice.
There are varying opinions on how many vocal registers we have as humans but for the sake of argument – let’s just say we have this one shift from chest to head voice.
To get through that flip and stay in a continuum deeper or more ‘earthed’ vocal quality (in other words – not be in head voice) we need to learn to mix.
There is no one ‘mix’
This is because we all arrive with very different natural mixes going on already – our ‘home voice’ if you like
Some of us have a deeper darker tone and some of us sound quite nasal so finding a mix depends on what you already have at your disposal.
Most of you will need to work with a reliable voice tutor to achieve this initially as they will be able to help you discover your mix.
Find YOUR mix
You have tissue that is sphincter like in quality and it lives a little above your vocal cords – it’s called your aryepiglottic sphincter (AES)
This can loosen or tighten to help you create deep or high-pitched timbral qualities. You can pretend you are a baby crying to feel the AES tighten.
You can play with specific exercises through the range from your chest voice up into what would normally be your head voice (above the flip point).
Sliding sounds like ‘NH’ or ‘NG’ carefully up and down will get you to a point of understanding what is happening with the blend of your vocal registers. You can also do a relaxed bubble up and down that range
Why do you need a mixed register?
Most singers find that AES movement helps them to place their voice resonance.
When they are mixing they can avoid too thin a sound, or perhaps they can extend a quality that they like up into their higher mixed tones
Mixing is like any other training; it requires practice, a good coach and patience.
There will be lots of blips and squeaks on the way but if you are dedicated – you’ll get there!