Question for Abram - Switching registers 30DS L2 course

Posted in Category Technique and Style
  • S
    Seann 2 years ago

    Hi Abram

    I love your course - it is very helpful and its great because I notice the difference between L1 30DS beginners (with Jonathan - which is also wonderful and helpful).


    I'm getting there with my baritone range and with my head voice (or tenor range) but the I find the middle range (switching registers/mixed voice) a bit uncertain. I have been training myself not to yodel or 'crack' as I go from chest to head voice but  find it difficult and sometimes I sense that it could make my throat raspy/sore. I stop now - I don't carry on if I start to strain in any way. 


    Day 6-Exercise 4

    Nuh-Nay-Uh  (1, 4, 1)


    I can do baritone to tenor/head voice and down to baritone as in 1,4,1 (seperating each) but when I try to make it flow (legato?) that's when I crack or make that yodel sound - so its not smooth. I can do the correct excerise if I start on octave down/on a lower key - is that OK? The point is I'm meant to be able to go between chest and head v without stress - but should I start on a lover key? Is your chest voice a tenor or baritone?


    I hope this isn't too confusing. 



  • C
    Camille van Niekerk 2 years ago

    Hi, Seann!


    I've forwarded your question to Abram and will update when he responds!

  • A
    Abram St Amand Poliakoff 2 years ago

    Hi, Seann

    I'm so glad you are enjoying the course!

    Mixed voice can be very challenging for many singers and takes some time and patience to figure out. 

    One important distinction that I think will bring clarity to what you are describing is the difference between a voice type (Tenor or Baritone) and registers (chest and head voice). A voice type is more about where your entire voice sits. A Baritone voice is lower and deeper while a Tenor voice is higher and lighter. So the first thing is figuring out if you are a Baritone or Tenor.

    Each voice type has both registers (chest and head voice). Baritones often start transitioning from chest to head voice a little lower in their range than a Tenor. In fact, this is a good way to figure out if your voice type is one or the other. Every voice is a little different and it's ultimately more of a spectrum, but it's helpful to classify the voice this way based on what is most common. I can help you find out what voice type you gravitate towards in a live lesson if you are still having trouble with this concept.

    Re mixed voice (transitiong from chest to head voice): There are lots of tricks, but most important is finding which ones work for you. I'll list some here, but ultimately if I'm able to see and hear what you are doing in a live lesson, then I can help with a more specific/customized approach. 

    1) Make sure you are able to access chest and head voice seperately first! Sometimes singers are confused with this aspect and aren't actually singing high or low enough to switch registers. Based on your description it sounds like you are doing this part correctly!

    2) Reduce your volume as you start to switch. Mixed voice is easiest to find with a light and gentle sound.

    3) Keep your head straight and relaxed (watch to make sure the chin and head arent lifting up). You can feel for this habit with a hand behind your head. If you are lifting by accident, then you will get stuck in chest voice until your voice has to crack up to head voice at the last minute. 

    4) Check your tongue. The tongue is the gatekeeper for ressonace and ultimately our registers. If your tongue pulls back into your throat too much or gets rigid with tension, then this can cause cracking as well. You can check this with your thumb under your chin. Does this area get hard when you try and switch? You can also see in a mirorr if your tongue is pulling back. Try to keep it over or near the tip of your bottom teeth.

    Again mixed voice is tricky as there are lots of reasons why we can have trouble or tension trying this out. If you are still feeling confused, then I recommend taking a moment to try this out with a teacher!


    Best of luck!




  • S
    Seann 2 years ago

    Thanks so much Abram. I'll book a session with you. 

Please login or register to leave a response.