I still remember when I was 16 and had ‘two different voices’. That’s right. I had my ‘not-so-great’ American Idol voice, and I had my ‘choir-like’ sweet voice. They were two separate voices coming from my throat, and they never met each other in the same performance.
I struggled with the challenge of deciding “which voice to use” for years. I would go out and sing with my band, or at a party with my ‘power’ voice. I now know that this was my chest voice, and I was pulling like crazy. It wasn’t uncommon to become hoarse after a night of singing.
Then I would wake up the next morning and go to church and sing with my sweet voice. My sweet voice was breathier and not really that powerful…..but my choir director seemed to like it a lot. Every time I tried to add a heavier sound in the choir, I was instructed to blend with the other voices. I know now that I was singing in my head voice only….I wasn’t mixing…..it wasn’t until years later, that I finally figured out how to mix my two registers (mostly chest to head mix) to get a nice balance of both registers.
It took me 20 years to figure out how to mix my voice!! I’m 50 now, and my voice is sounding better that ever before! And that’s because I now know what I’m doing. I now understand exactly how to coordinate my laryngeal muscles to achieve exactly the sound and textures I want.
I still continually challenge my voice in new and different ways. IMHO, you never stop learning, and you never need to settle for “what is”.
I’m currently working on my 4th passagio. And, although I may never make a noise beyond F6…..I know I will continue to vocalize everyday in the same manner that I have for the last ten years. Because, before the age of 40 I could never sing C6! That’s right….these notes have transpired in the last ten years. Who knows what notes I’ll be squeezing out at age 60!