How to sing louder in a mixed voice

If you follow speech level singing dialogue online about “mixing”, then you have probably read, somewhere, sometime, suggestions that a mixed voice can’t be powerful.

Au Contraire! The mixed voice is very powerful.

Let’s review what is the “mixed voice”. The mixed voice is simply the ability of the singer to ascend and descend in pitch throughout all vocal registers with good cord closure, adequate resonance, and correct vowel placement.

That’s it.

The magic formula now is to allow this to remain consistent while you are singing songs. No going back to old habits. Instead, focusing on what’s going on “below the throat”.

Breath control is the number 1 force behind power. Intake and output of breath is key to finding your level of “power” for your voice at its’ current level of ability right now. It’s when you overstep your level of control to make your voice appear powerful, that takes you back to old habits.

If you are running out of breath while you sing, this can be a good thing. It’s telling your body to find ways (below the throat) to either get more air in, or stop letting so much air out. Awareness of your back, ribs, stomach and groin area are fundamental.

With proper momentum of your breathing, you can find the balance and control where you will not have the sensation of being breathless after long phrases in a song.

Beware, you may not be content with your level of perceived “power” with your current level of breath control. That’s why it’s best to have a good vocal coach join you on your journey to find “power” in your “mix”.



One way to improve your singing technique is by thinking about images or visualizations that help to put the body into the most efficient coordination.

There are many images that can help with breath support and breathing. Try this one.

Imagine you have an open umbrella in your abdomen. The handle is located near your groin, and the collapsible part is open and engaged under your rib cage. The part under your rib cage is firm, yet flexible. It can expand and open bigger (wider) as you inhale, and go back to the regular open umbrella sensation when you exhale.

Don’t think about your breathing too much. You will simply breath when you need to breath. “Feel” how your upper abdomen, rib cage, and back muscles are engaged as you breath. If you feel uncomfortable, then don’t inhale quite as much air, or don’t imagine your umbrella so big. Start with a visualization that feels manageable, controllable, and flexible.

This is a great place to start to improve your breathing and breath support when you’re singing. Make sure you are sitting or standing properly with good posture. (Chest slighly out and head anchored back like someone is pulling on your hair).  Close your eyes and take the time to allow this sensation. Don’t force it. Allow your body to rhythmically be engaged in this way with your breath. Learn to live with it. Learn to memorize it and engage it all day long.

What do you think? Can you sing like this? Do you notice how your throat is very relaxed? It should be. You should only feel this interesting energy in the area of the image — your abdomen!

Notice how it puts prospective into how loud you can sing.. Notice the control you feel when you don’t sing loud. This is the essence of great singing….to be able to sing at a low to moderate volume with great control and intensity.

You may feel that you can’t inhale very deeply. Don’t worry about that right now. It’s now necessarily about how much air you are able to get it. It’s absolutely about how you are able to control the air that you use when you sing.

Question? Thoughts? Please leave it below.

Watch the faces of your favourite singers

Maybe you think all that facial movement is just for show?

Careful. Don’t underestimate the value of having the ability to sing with your mouth wide open, or your cheeks lifted high.

Try it. Is it easy? It should be. You voice will feel like it’s out in front of your mouth or nose….not in your throat.

Now be careful again. Make sure you are not squeezing your sound (compressing the vocal cords together too much). You should be able to sing loud and soft in an open mouth and high cheek position with free movement of your jaw. This is the tell-tale sign to know if you are over-compressing. If your face sits back down and relaxes when you are singing soft and easy on low notes, then you are probably over-compressing your cords, and allowing your larynx to rise too high to sing high notes. Low notes and high notes should not feel any different in the facial, jaw and cheek area.  Check out Headley. He is a great example of a singer with freedom in the face and mouth.

You will be hard-pressed to find a famous recording artist who isn’t free in the face and mouth area. As an listener, we are instantly drawn to the raw and almost naked emotion of facial expression with singing. They go hand-in-hand. When a singer bares it all…..we are pulled in by the resonance and the bite of singing “out the face”.

Any questions or comments? Leave them below and I’ll be sure to address it.

How to know if your voice lessons are working….

So you’ve been taking lessons for quite some time, and you are not sure if it’s worth it. It costs a lot of money, and you cannot tell if it’s worth your while.

Here are a few suggestions to help you determine progress. Make sure lessons are recorded and dated so you can go back and compare.

1. Listen for the breath in your sound production. You should be less breathy in your exercises now, compared to the first few months.
2. Listen and compare the tonal quality of your low notes up to your high notes, and back down. Is your sound more “focused?”
3. Consider whether you are running out of breath when vocalizing? Is it different now from the beginning? You should be finding it easier.
3. Are you “mixing” in the middle? In other words, are you able to go from the bottom of your range to the top of your range without a “battle” or sensation of flipping in the middle? Compare this to the first six months of lessons.
4. Do the following test. Sing a comfortable note in your low range. Can you increase the volume without involvement of throat, neck, jaw or tongue, and just have the sensation created by the breath pressure you are creating? Do the same thing for a high note? Can you get a sense of the acoustic space you are creating while doing this?
5. Did you know it takes much longer to strengthen the high part of your voice compared to your low part. Specifically listen to the differences in your high notes when listening back to old lessons. Are you clearer and stronger sounding?

These are just a few ways to know if your voice lessons are working.