I listen to a lot of Iron Maiden, with Bruce Dickinson at the helm doing vocals. This man has pipes! He has a signature (somewhat exaggerated) vibrato, which I actually really like. The other signature quality is his effortless mixing ability. He can move in and out of mix completely seamlessly. Basically, I want to be able to do this, because I can reach all the notes and without strain. Now, here is my problem:

I can reach all the notes, but I must use head voice a lot and consequently my vocal break can be heard and is very noticeable.

What irritates and frustrates the hell out of me is that I am 100% sure I can do this, because I sort of found my mix for about 8 seconds (LOL), after which I lost it again. I have accidentally, so to speak, found it over my time singing for fun. What I think I tried to do was imagine I was pulling the note from behind my throat (or larynx) and pulling it upward and around my larynx, and it worked so that I could reach the note I wanted very easily and with good (chest-like) resonance, where usually I would be in head voice.

The song I was sing was "Infinite Dreams" by Iron Maiden. The note is roughly the notes around 1:05 onward really.

This song would basically be entirely in my break area (LOL). I would have to mix, like him.

I've watched a LOT of videos on how to find the mix but they don't work for me (at least not practically, during actual singing).

Do you guys know where I should feel resonance most dominantly or any sensations I should feel when moving into mix, and more importantly: how can I transition my larynx from the relaxed/neutral position where I would normally sing in chest, to the position, tilt etc where I am mixing the registers?

  • 1
    If this helps further: - I can belt with healthy and natural vibrato (and pretty much exactly like in this song - exaggerated) -I am pushing my chest voice until I need to break, whereafter my break appears rapidly, leaving a small gap in vocalization (like a yodel) - I found what I knew to be my mix because it was effortless and I can't sing those notes usually because they're exactly near my break area yet they sounded chest-resonant and powerful (like Bruce's)
    – SolaGratia
    Commented Dec 6, 2014 at 1:01

2 Answers 2


Well, sing a soft song only intended to be heard by one person. Problem is, you are at a party with a din and she is behind three doors. So you want to be heard over the noise without raising your voice, and it still needs to be pleasant rather than some screamed thing.

It's a throat/mouth/tongue shape thing that needs adjustment dependent on pitch and vowel. Once you can feel the resonances (mostly in the "mask"), you can try playing with them and keeping them working as pitches and vowels change.

Typical exercises for getting this sort of "soft voice with a megaphone" effect use word patterns like "ngangangangangangangangang-o-o-o-o-ooh" on g-f-e-d-c-d-e-f-g-f-e-d-c, transposed to different pitches. When you change from the nasal ng to the (open) vowel, try maintaining the ng-style resonance throughout the descending scale on the vowel.

  • Firstly, thank you for your response. I am relatively confident that at my current singing level, I can form vowels (the singing versions), dipthongs etc and the diction required for a song. My only problem currently is bridging my break by starting to mix gradually before it. Now I know that there are slight variations of mix, others sounding lighter etc. I think since the other night, I can mix a LITTLE just before my break, but there seems to be an obstacle (probably a conscious coordination of mine which is preventing the natural movement of something?)
    – SolaGratia
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 0:23
  • Also, I have tried every imaginable exercise (trust me) for mixing, including the sounds you mention above, and these seem not to work for me. I feel like a large part of the problem is do to with my conscious control of the throat openings (which I am allowing or disallowing opening at) or my larynx. Where should the larynx be to give a strong, thick and meaty mix even just during and just before and after my break. Even if this mix is volatile, I can train my muscle memory and improve the transition afterwards.
    – SolaGratia
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 0:27

Check out Brett Manning (superb online/downloadable courses - though not cheap - available, or a cd, or even web consultations) or possibly Seth Riggs (no online course but you can buy a book with CD. This is cheaper than Brett's but nowhere near as good in my opinion - I have both. The CD tries to do what Brett's stuff does, but is way less extensive. Also you must reference the book - do not just follow the CD. Under no circumstances overdo the high larynx Nay exercises! Still, I gather Seth's cd's will work eventually, but if you get stuck there isn't much to help you - so I recommend Brett. I started with Seth and have switched to Brett). They both essentially teach you to bridge your breaks and to master mix and head voice (amongst other stuff - Brett does a lot on Vocal Fry, which I gather is useful for metal singers).

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