Vocal Feminisation – Transgender Voice Training

First, let me say it is a personal choice to change your voice when transitioning, and is not a requirement. You may already have a voice you are happy with; if so, that’s great! However, if you do wish to develop a voice that you feel is better suited to the new you, you can do this by working at it with the right vocal coach, or even by yourself with carefully chosen video tutorials on YouTube.


Whether you are transgender or working as a female impersonator, you may want your voice to match your appearance. There is no ‘right’ tone or pitch to the female voice. It’s about what’s right for you and what suits your personality (and, to a lesser extent, your body type). Voice usually matches build and height, because your larynx and chest cavity are proportional to the rest of your physical makeup (there are many exceptions to this rule).


When you start to live as your true self, there can be times when you feel uncomfortable with the sound of your voice. This can be particularly important to you in new social settings. If you wish to raise your vocal pitch and develop a more feminine voice  – if you have been speaking all your adult life in a deep voice, you’re not going to magically develop a higher voice overnight. This takes regular, consistent practice.


The first thing you have to do is listen to yourself. This sounds simple, but we are so used to hearing our voices as they are, we don’t really LISTEN. Record yourself talking and listen to any nuances in your vocal rhythm and pitch, pick out things you like, things you don’t, and get to know your voice. Be aware of your tone when speaking and singing.


You should aim for a natural sound, not falsetto high. Lots of women have low voices – mine is very low! – as low as some males, but there is a brighter tone to their sound than men’s voices. Listen to famous females speaking, particularly women with low voices. Become acquainted with the melody of their voices, how they rise and fall on certain words or syllables.


Lavern Cox (below) doesn’t speak at a particularly high pitch, but she has a feminine quality to her voice. Going too high can sound like a caricature of a female voice, and you don’t want that. You want something you are happy to live with and that isn’t tiring to produce every day. You want your voice to become natural. When you were a baby and you learned to walk, you had to focus and concentrate on balancing and putting one foot in front of the other, but now you walk without thinking about it. That is the result you should want to achieve from developing your new voice. Your age will also determine a comfortable pitch for you; our vocal pitch drops slightly as we age.



The video below features Isis King and Janet Mock in conversation. They speak at different pitches and tones. Find your signature sound and work at it. When you find it, you will know.



Practice speaking in different pitches and tones. Mimicking can help you to explore your voice and use it in ways you’re not used to. Switch to your favourite daytime soap and repeat dialogue the female characters say. How high are their voices? Do they pause in particular parts of their sentences? Do they have any particular characteristics to their voices that are their vocal signature? How is their body language?


A lot of times, people emphasise what they are saying with their hands or other body parts while speaking. Become a conscious observer of human behaviour. Listen to lots of people, sit at a cafe and eavesdrop on conversations around you. Your ultimate goal is to develop your own signature sound, but this is a fun exercise that opens you up physically and mentally to hearing your voice sound differently to the way it has always been.


If you are looking to develop your female voice solely for performance purposes, you might want to focus on soft whispery, overly-feminine voices such as Marilyn Monroe and Dolly Parton. If you impersonate a particular celebrity performer, pay special attention to the melody of their voices and body language while talking. Vocal imitation is a small part of being a great lookalike/soundalike performer.



Think higher! Focus on your voice sitting right in front of your face, in the space between your nose and lips, rather than in your throat. We call this area the ‘mask’ and speaking from here, instead of your throat or chest, helps you maintain a higher pitch with less effort by the larynx.


If you still find it difficult to raise your pitch, think higher still! imagine your voice is coming out of your third eye (in the centre of your forehead) like a unicorn horn! Imagine the sound is already outside of your body. You are not trying to push noise out of your mouth, the sound already exists and you are merely maintaining it at the right pitch.


Practice reciting poems or short proverbs, and each time you say them, take less breath before talking. You want to make it so even when you are taking a smaller breath, it is still easy to speak. Try not to speak in a false accent, unless you intend on changing your accent altogether. Just focus on the pitch; you want to sound natural.


Relax your jaw and do some siren sounds (like an ambulance) while vibrating your lips as you exhale. Keeping your jaw muscles relaxed enables you to add volume and increase resonance in your mouth cavity. Keep a light tone and say a long yawning ‘mi’ sound. Imagine your voice is at the top of a slide or rollercoaster and sliding down.


These are just a few suggestions you can start with. If you would like to work with me in developing your voice, either in Palma or via Skype, please send me a message at lessons@voicecoachworld.com


Happy singing!




Copyright Emma L. M. Sweeney © 2015. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this article may be reproduced without the express written permission of the copyright holder, except as follows: You may repost this article on your website or blog, providing the articles and author are not depicted in a negative manner, and you have linked back to this original page.

Vocal Fry – What Is It?

What is Vocal Fry? How does it affect audience responses to your speeches and singing performances?


‘Vocal fry’ is the lowest vocal register (registers: fry, modal, falsetto and whistle). Our throat, mouth and nasal cavity are our resonators and enable us to adjust the pitch of our voice. The vocal folds merely create a buzzing sound as air passes through them from the lungs. When we speak, our vocal folds vibrate regularly, but in vocal fry, they are slack and shortened, and bang together irregularly.


Let me tell you what I think this increased usage of fry register is about –




I’ve done it myself. If I start replying to a question without fully preparing my answer, or without pausing between statements, I slip into fry on certain words. Not pausing between statements and growling or croaking on words while you think about what to say next makes you sound less committed and inspires less confidence.


We hear it a lot in pop culture. Think of celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Britney Spears. People see them speaking or singing and wish to emulate them, sometimes subconsciously. Whether Kim Kardashian thinks before she speaks is not for me to say; perhaps it’s so enmeshed in Californian youthspeak that it’s completely subconscious in speech patterns.


It can be a nice little singing effect used sparingly, but in spoken voice, I’m with Naomi Wolf (The Guardian):


What’s heartbreaking about the trend for destructive speech patterns is that yours is the most transformational generation – you’re disowning your power.


Time Magazine touches upon this social trend in its article, ‘3 Speech Habits That Are Worse Than Vocal Fry In Job Interviews‘. Maya Rhodan writes:


Vocal fry: the sound that we can’t seem to stop talking about. It’s the vibrating, world-weary tone heard throughout popular culture—from the droning conversations of the Kardashian sisters to the red carpet quips delivered by America’s favorite quirky girl Zoey Deschanel— and, much to the dismay of those they interact with, young American women can’t stop speaking in vocal fry. And unfortunately for them, their creaky speech may be hurting their future job prospects.


A recent study found that women who exhibit vocal fry are perceived as less competent and less hirable (not to mention less educated and less trustworthy) than those who do not. “Collectively, these results suggest young American women should avoid vocal fry in order to maximize labor market perceptions, the study, published in Plos One and funded in part by Duke University, found. Beyond the hiring question, this laconic tone can sound just plain annoying to many people.


It is not exclusive to females, though. Men do it just as much, but it’s not as noticeable, with their ever-present lower range. It’s also not a new phenomenon. Vocal fry has been discussed in medical and musical literature since mid-twentieth century; it shows up in a number of medical conditions.


So is there anything good about vocal fry? So far, it seems it’s something to avoid.


Yes, it can have positive results. Not only do some singers use it as a signature style, again, Britney Spears, to name one, but singers can also use it to extend the vocal range in a downward direction.


Ever sing that song with the single word in each verse that falls outside of your range, and comes out like a pathetic whisper? If there’s nowhere else in the melody you can use this whisper and call it a stylistic choice, you have two options:


  • Change the key
  • Fry for your life!


Often when something is too low or high for us to comfortably sing, we start throat singing and the tension in the larynx increases. Bad move.


When working with clients on songs that have difficult troughs in the melody, I get them to speak the lyrics that fall on the low points in their natural speaking voice, to get the sound reverberating in the mask, where it should be, and to loosen the vocal folds enough to reach the pitch.


If you have to do it for more than a word or two, you are better off taking the song up a key or two.


Another time you hear, or use vocal fry, is to give a gentler introduction to a lyric beginning on a vowel. You’ll slide into the first word, e.g. Stone Sour’s ‘Through Glass’ – “iiiii’m looking at you through the glass,” instead of the closed fold, closed epiglottis vowel “I’m” (we’ll talk about glottal onset in another article). It can sound effective, used in moderation. Start every verse like this, or worse, every line of every verse, and you’ll just sound like a sloppy singer. Not only that, your pitch will be off more often than not. Using any signature sound can be downright annoying if you do it too often.


But sometimes, it’s pleasant to softly growl into a lyric. Just be aware of every stylistic choice you make as a singer, and have your sound be intentional rather than due to laziness and bad habits. When you make informed choices about how you sing, and can pick up and put down stylistic tools at will, you become a better session singer, too, and in greater demand as a professional for hire.




Copyright Emma L. M. Sweeney © 2015. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this article may be reproduced without the express written permission of the copyright holder, except as follows: You may repost this article on your website or blog, providing the articles and author are not depicted in a negative manner, and you have linked back to this original page.

Stage Fright

Stage fright, or performance anxiety, is a common phobia, not just in singers. It arises from having to address or be the focus of any size audience. Public speakers, musicians, athletes etc may find this hindrance particularly detrimental to their performance.


It is particularly annoying when you are creative; your passion for creativity cannot be quashed, but sometimes, if you love singing, or you write a great song others love, you have to take the stage. It’s not for everyone. But even for those who are great performers, who have the ‘x factor’, it can be a crippling, nerve-wracking experience.


When you get nervous, your body goes into fight or flight mode and you can feel tense, like your throat is closing, or you can’t breathe. Some people develop full-blown panic attacks. The more you resist how you feel, the worse the symptoms become. It’s all about visualisation. Acknowledge your nerves and what your mind and body are doing to protect you from perceived danger.


Most people are apprehensive getting up in front of an audience, some to the point of avoiding social or professional events altogether, which is such a shame. Me, I’m comfortable on stage (although, I much prefer being in the recording studio or working one to one with clients). I never used to be, though. Good old stage fright often got me, though I denied it.


There are a number of ways you can reduce your fears. Improve your speaking and communication skills, but also do some self-work. Work on your self-esteem and any negative perceptions or beliefs about yourself. They may be unrelated to your reason for being in front of an audience, but I promise you, they’re having an effect on your performance. It’s okay not to be perfect. It’s okay to be vulnerable. Self-acceptance will help you thrive and achieve greater heights.


If you have to give a speech, or perform music in front of an audience, it’s helpful to shift the focus away from you to the song message or content you are delivering. If you’re a rock guitarist, hey, you can grow your hair and hie behind it (just kidding).


If nothing seems to be working, you may find it useful to see a qualified counsellor or hypnotherapist to uncover any deep-rooted issues. Something such as Bach Rescue Remedy or lavender essential oil can also help to relax you, as can meditation.


Visualise yourself ahead of time giving a great performance, and when you are performing, imagine you are enjoying it. Eventually, you will. And lots of practice in front of other people will help reduce resistance. Most of all, don’t try to emulate someone else; be yourself.


I hope this helps!




Copyright Emma L. M. Sweeney © 2015. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this article may be reproduced without the express written permission of the copyright holder, except as follows: You may repost this article on your website or blog, providing the articles and author are not depicted in a negative manner, and you have linked back to this original page.

Oversinging – Rein It In!

Today I want to write about the epidemic of oversinging that has overwhelmed the music industry in current times, and indeed, is also frequently displayed by amateur singers and beginners.


When we talk about ‘over-singing’, we can look at two different types:


1 – The tendency to over-embellish the melody, sometimes to the point at which it is no longer recognisable;


2 – The tendency to unhealthily force the voice through belting and sing at one volume – LOUD


Singers who only sing at full volume sacrifice so much of a performance. Beginners can mistake volume power as an adequate substitution for emotional power. It can sound less like singing and more like shouting in key. Just this week I read of two more young singers having nodule surgery – Jess Glynne and Meghan Trainor. Other recent casualties include Sam Smith and Adele.


There is no reason for this other than bad singing!


A singer with good technique, who knows when to rest, when to warm up, which keys are best, without being manipulated into using his or her voice in an unhealthy way has a long career ahead. A singer who gets pushed into using the voice in an unhealthy way, or chooses to forego vocal coaching has only him or herself to blame when said career is cut short.


However, even singers with good technique can suffer vocal damage from overuse; touring too much and for too extended a period, singing for too many hours at a time, not getting adequate rest between concerts. This is where you SHOULD be a diva. Don’t agree to any kind of schedule you think will be too taxing on your voice, and make sure to use equipment good enough to make your job a lot easier.


Vocal surgery can change the tone of the voice afterwards, sometimes resulting in the instrument being permanently damaged. There is no sense in risking your instrument when you can minimise risk by singing properly and getting a professional teacher to correct your bad habits as soon as they form. You cannot self-assess; none of us can. We need an impartial, knowledgeable third party ear to put us back on track.


Just as I suggest actors will benefit from taking singing lessons, singers can benefit from joining an acting group, or working with an acting coach in spoken word in order to improve their song delivery. Young singers growing up in the X Factor generation have little frame of reference to build their performance style on as so many of today’s known pop stars neglect the important tenets of being a well-rounded performer.


Watch some audition videos on YouTube from the current crop of popular ‘reality’ talent shows on TV. You will see a plethora of veiny-necked, screwed-up eyed hopefuls, belting out their chosen song with lashings of contrived emotion; as if the louder and more over the top the performance, the more realistic it is.


This couldn’t be further from the truth.


One thing singers who wish to be great MUST learn that actors are taught as a matter of course is:


You are not the focus, the SONG is.


The best acting performances are understated, with subtleties of emotion. As such, when the performance calls for a dramatic change in delivery, such as increased or decreased emotion, or drawing attention to a particular line or interaction, the actor has room to manoeuvre. If he is already delivering the part to the nth degree of emotion – where is left for him to go, other than shrieking into the rafters or bawling like a cartoon character?


A bad acting performance is easy to spot; a bad singing performance seems more accepted, due to the fact many famous singers permanently dwell in this place.


Here are two performances of a song by Etta James, ‘At Last’. First up is Christina Aguilera (singing starts at 2min42 if you want to skip the talking). Let’s focus on the song this time round. Close your eyes and listen.


Okay. How do you feel? What emotion did she convey to you with this performance? What is the song saying? (if you can even make out the lyrics).


Christina Aguilera has an excellent instrument but she often overblows, like a trumpet player playing a fortissimo fanfare. I know this song, but I found it hard to follow the melody and I couldn’t make out the lyrics.


Without these two things, how do I know what to feel?


There were no peaks and troughs, nowhere for me to catch my breath and FEEL what the singer was telling me. Afterwards, I just felt like I’d heard a powerful singer doing her exercises and vocal runs. Well done to Christina for fitting twenty million notes in one song, but as to selling it to me – FAIL.


Remember what I said earlier – THE SONG IS PARAMOUNT.




You are a painter, an actor, a sculptor. What lives on in these three artisans? They don’t. Their art does. The song is the art, you deliver the goods. If your ego can’t handle that, then carry on as you are. If you want to be the best, hone your talent, step back and allow the song to take centre stage.


Now listen to this version by Beyonce. I’ll write my thoughts below. Again, close your eyes and listen to what the song is telling you via the singer. Make note of how you feel, how the singer feels when she’s telling the story, what type of character she is, etc. (singing starts at 1min28)


I have a love-hate relationship with Beyonce. On the one hand, she has a great instrument and a good deal of control over it, but chooses too often to sail down the stream of melisma (the gospel style licks added to the melody) as often as possible.


Note decoration should be done in moderation, like adding seasoning to a pot of chicken. Nowadays, there is too much seasoning and not enough meat. She says “At last, my love has come along.” I hear technique, and I’d like to hear more SOUL. Still, I find Beyonce’s version easier on the ear.


Remember, words matter.


Emotion matters.


Conveying the emotion of the song to the audience and making them feel the emotion – not your emotion, their own experience of what the song is saying – that is what will make you a great singer.


It doesn’t matter whether you are singing in a tiny wine bar or at the Super Bowl, your instrument should be used to the best of your ability, both physically and emotionally.


In terms of vocal delivery, being a great performer, LESS IS MORE.


If your eyes are darting all over the place, your brows about to vault off your face, your veins about to explode in your neck, or the audience can count your dental fillings and see whether you had your tonsils out as a child, you’re oversinging (and probably underselling).


Are you really singing, or just throwing a ball around your vocal range? When you’re all fanfare, you lose out on nuances such as intimacy and meaning. Be honest with yourself and improve all the time.


If you are a powerful singer, it doesn’t mean you should sing at full volume and intensity all the time; always leave room for more. Even waves crashing to the shore pull back before the next tidal surge. Does this mean the sea is weak in its retreat? No! It enhances the power of the next wave. When singing a modest song such as ‘At Last’, save your chops for the peak of the performance, which you want to reach near the end. Everyone oversings the first line. A little slide up is fine. A great big pirate ship of a slide is not.


Many singers want to be perceived as sexy when onstage, so bring the sex appeal. Less is more. Show a bit of vocal cleavage, don’t get your breasts out. Get someone to video you when you are singing, especially at live performances in front of an audience, and honestly critique yourself.


I’ll make a brief mention of the technical problems that arise from oversinging. Firstly, your vocal folds will get irritated and swell, which will lead to intonation problems, hoarseness, flipping into falsetto etc. It doesn’t take much to affect them and by the time you notice it, it’s usually too late to fix it (for that performance, anyway).


When you oversing (in terms of volume) your vocal folds swell because you’re forcing the air through instead of letting it come through in a controlled manner. Using too much air at too high a pressure results in loss of your upper mid range. You will find yourself having to sing notes above your passagio in falsetto instead of mixing your head voice qualities. Once you default to falsetto from lack of control makes it difficult to come back to singing with a connected voice. We always want falsetto to be a choice, not a safety net.


Ways to reduce this is to use glottal onset and not sing at a constantly high volume, use proper support and cut back on extending notes. Singing is not an Olympic sport. Our job as singers is to take the listener on an emotional journey; not only ours, but their own. The more they identify with the song, the better a singer you are becoming.


Last words from the original. Close your eyes and listen to the story she tells.


Copyright Emma L. M. Sweeney © 2015. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this article may be reproduced without the express written permission of the copyright holder, except as follows: You may repost this article on your website or blog, providing the articles and author are not depicted in a negative manner, and you have linked back to this original page.

Voice Training for Business Success

Does your voice quiver when you have to deliver a public speech? Do nerves let you down when making a sale?


Voice training is not just for singers; find out how training your voice can help you become a more formidable business practitioner today.


You don’t have to be nervous to have a voice wobble when speaking to an audience; excitement, too, can affect your voice. Also, lack of proper vocal control can lead to a less than confident-sounding voice when pitching to a client. Strength and endurance training can make the world of difference in the business world.


Every morning, start out with a few simple exercises to get you speech ready. Stand in front of the mirror while you do these exercises: when you breathe in, your shoulders should not come out, but your belly should. Many of us shallow breathe and waste our potential lung capacity. Focusing on filling the lungs with air starting by expanding the abdomen, then stomach, then chest regions, finishing in the throat will help you to breathe deeply and take advantage of all that useful extra oxygen.


If you find your shoulders are still coming up when you inhale, start even gentler. Stay in bed, lie on your back and put your hands on your belly. Feel it rise as you inhale; the prone position will stop your shoulders from coming up. This can also be a great exercise to relax you before going to sleep at night.


– Inhale deeply from the diaphragm for a slow count of 5, and then exhale for the same number of counts. Do this 5 to 10 times.


– As before, inhale deeply from the diaphragm for a slow count of 5, and when you exhale, make a ‘hsss’ sound through your teeth, like a balloon slowly deflating. This helps you to control your airflow with your diaphragm and abdominal muscles, and when you are speaking to someone it will enable you to have greater control over your voice and make you sound more confident. Repeat this exercise 5 to 10 times.


– Do the same exercise as above, but this time with an ‘mm’ sound, and then a ‘maaa’ sound. Repeat as above. When you do the ‘mm’ sound, you want to feel the vibration in your face, behind your nose and mouth. This is what we voice coaches call ‘mask resonance’, and it gives you a clearer and richer sound.


– Now for the sirens! Like a police car, siren up and down with your voice, either on an ‘mm’ or (my preferred sound) on a lip trill. A lip trill is produced by mm-ing through closed, relaxed lips, so they wobble in a very unbecoming way. Babies and horses are great at it. The lip trill helps you focus on mask resonance and warms up your mouth muscles. When you are speaking, you want to be as relaxed as possible, with no tightness in your mouth or face.


– Speaking of horses, let’s ‘neigh’. The ‘ney-ney-ney sound also helps put your voice into your mask. While you may be a public speaker and not a singer, you can sing a little now. Remember the notes to Doh-Re-Mi-Fa-Sol? Do a ‘ney’ on each one going up and then coming down again. If you are not sure of the notes, find ‘Doh-Re-Mi’ from the Sound Of Music on YouTube and join in. You can sing your Doh anywhere in your range (females will be more comfortable starting higher than males) and just keep the tune the same.


– Onto the face – surprised yawns! (Don’t worry, you can do these exercises in the privacy of your bathroom). Open your mouth wide as though you are yawning, and simultaneously raise your eyebrows and open your eyes in surprise. This silly-looking exercise warms up the facial muscles. You may find yourself actually yawning as a reflex.


– Now you can speak. Find some tongue twisters and say them several times. First, speak slowly in R.P. a la Henry Higgins from My Fair Lady. Roll the syllables around your mouth. Then get faster and faster to exercise the tongue.


Now, if you have prepared a speech or have a rehearsed pitch, practice it in front of the mirror, taking note of any oddities you do; in fact, it is better to record yourself on a smartphone or other video recording device. If you have a pet or willing partner or children, ask them to be your audience while you rehearse. It can be nerve-wracking speaking to an audience; the more practice you get, the better.


How do you stand? Do you look relaxed? Do you exhibit any tics or gestures that could be toned down? Are your eyes open and focused or do they dart about shiftily? How is your posture? Are your shoulders aligned and is your back straight. Improper posture can lead to tension in the body and voice, and make you feel sluggish.


I’m not going to give you a series of gestures and postures to adopt, as you won’t be authentic then. Work with who you are and better it; don’t become someone else.


If your job involves regularly using your voice, consider getting a voice coach to regularly work with. Teachers especially need to take care of their voices, and people working in noisy environments.


For more information or to book a one-to-one voice coaching session with me in Palma de Mallorca or London (Autumn & Winter dates TBC), please message me at lessons@voicecoachworld.com. I am also available for Skype sessions (Mon-Thurs).


Don’t forget to join the conversation on Facebook!


Happy speaking and singing,




Copyright Emma L. M. Sweeney © 2015. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this article may be reproduced without the express written permission of the copyright holder, except as follows: You may repost this article on your website or blog, providing the articles and author are not depicted in a negative manner, and you have linked back to this original page.

In The Mix – Blending Your Voice

When you sing melodies of more than one octave, you may notice a number of things happening to your voice.


If you are tired or haven’t warmed up adequately, your voice might ‘crack’ on certain notes, or you may go into falsetto, either accidentally or on purpose, thinking the notes are too high and that’s the only way to achieve them.


Even if you don’t flip into falsetto when you reach for the high notes, your vocal tone may sound thinner and it can become more difficult to modify the volume of your voice. This is because your larynx is repositioning and without knowing how to work with it, you are pushing your chest voice. Aside from sounding forced, or like the song is too high for you, singing like this can make you feel tired when performing certain song keys.


It’s what’s known as ‘belting’ – pushing your chest voice higher than it should go. A lot of musical theatre performers use this technique, but it can be damaging for the voice. We all have a natural break mid-range, known as the passagio, and singers who belt maintain the same contraction above the break as below. This results in pushing the larynx higher, straining the muscles in the vocal folds, throat and neck, and creating a harsher sound. It also leads to vocal fatigue.


Chest voice is the tone we use to sing in our lower range, to speak and to shout, which is why many musical theatre singers push this voice above the passagio to achieve the desired lyrical style. Other voice coaches may disagree with me, but I maintain belting is needless, unnecessary and can shorten the lifespan of your singing career.


I am an instructor of ‘mix’ singing. I tell my students the basis of studying the technique I give them is making singing as easy and as healthy as possible. There are voice coaches who teach belting. It’s up to the student to decide which technique is best for them and to find a knowledgeable coach who understands the technique they are teaching.


We’ve talked about chest voice; let’s move to head voice. Head voice is the sound you hear from Classical singers. It’s a strong, clear, resonant sound with a lot of power, yet with less strain on the larynx and vocal folds. It is the high notes that are not forced or sung in falsetto.


But this sound is undesirable to Contemporary singers, so what does it have to do with Pop/Rock etc?


Where belt is force, mix is release. We have several ‘bridges’ in the voice, where the vocal folds adjust the pitch, but let’s think of three definite ranges- chest, passagio, and head. The passagio can be akin to walking the tightrope when not fully warmed up – you’ve all sung ‘that’ song that throws you off key, or has a note that’s always hit and miss because it’s right on your bridge (usually around A above Middle C on the piano).


Once you navigate those treacherous waters, you reach your head range and can relax again. Think of each range as a resonance area: you feel your lowest notes in your chest, your middle notes in your throat, and your highest notes in the top of your head.


When we mix, we want to feel our notes vibrating in our facial mask – the nose and mouth area – and bring each range to mix with it. This helps us to keep some of the bottom tonal quality in our higher notes that we would normally lose singing in clean head voice.


I have only touched on the basics here. Bottom line is, chest, middle, and head tones are the ingredients; a balanced tone is the sound achieved when you mix them all together. It’s about singing through your bridges without breaks in the voice or changes in tonal quality.


To book a one-to-one voice coaching session with me in Palma de Mallorca or London (Autumn & Winter dates TBC), please message me at lessons@voicecoachworld.com. I am also available for Skype sessions (Mon-Thurs).


Don’t forget to join the conversation on Facebook!


Happy singing!




Copyright Emma L. M. Sweeney © 2015. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this article may be reproduced without the express written permission of the copyright holder, except as follows: You may repost this article on your website or blog, providing the articles and author are not depicted in a negative manner, and you have linked back to this original page.