I've always had problems with tensing while singing. I used to pull up chest to hit all my high notes. About a year ago I finally found my mix and was able to hit the high F-B range (I'm a baritenor.) But EVERY time I go into my mix, I tense up and I end up with this very thin, stringy sound on those notes. And I still can't figure out how to sing them on a closed vowel (ee and oo) at all. I've had three or four vocal coaches tell me to just relax and let the air flow, but when I do that I crack into falsetto. I just can't figure out how to get the right placement for mix without constricting and lifting my larynx. I have a very strong abdomen, but no matter how much air I blow through, the mix still sounds weak. Please give me some advice. I'm desperate to get the same full, rich sound on the F-B range as I have in my chest voice.
I've had three or four vocal coaches tell me to just relax and let the air flow, but when I do that I crack into falsetto.
Falsetto is a switch in voice box configuration. Basically as you go higher, there is more tension in one part of some flipping mechanism and at some point it flips.
Mixed voice is not waiting for the flip but rather working with balancing forces. If you have a door that will only close with a loud bang because the closing mechanism is sticky, the trick to still close it silently is to push with one hand, and pull with the other. That way you don't lose control when it gives.
Same with mixed voice. You don't want to flip uncontrolledly into falsetto? Then the falsetto control must be in place before the configuration changes, and the change must not be an accident.
So practice your falsetto in downward scales and try to get it to go as low as you can well-controlledly. Only when you have a solid overlap in the ranges you can confidently sing using in chest voice and falsetto can you reasonably expect to mix voice types to a degree where you have a smooth transition and control over quality.
You need to be able to take control over the falsetto aspect of your voice box seesaw before it flips over without counterbalance.
Excercises that helped me most in this range:
- Bam Bam Bam (up the scale, short sharp but gentle bam sound, but in a shrill nasal tone)
- Vocal Frys (very tricky to do smoothly in the high range, once you master you have far more control over that range)
You will notice a little more volume when doing the nasal bams, try adding a little shade of that to your usual singing tone but not so much its unpleasant to the ear.
I would recommend my teacher but that will probably get my post removed lol