I recently started practicing Messa Di Voce on certain notes.

I'm trying to do the exercise correctly, which means that if I start a note on an "AH" for instance in low volume, I need to get louder by only increasing the amount of air while keeping the entire configuration of the vocal tract stable.

I can do this exercise only to some degree of loudness. For instance if I started on volume level of 10% (out of 100), I can perhaps increase it only to about 30%, and I can't get louder than that without breaking the entire configuration and starting to strain in order to sound louder.

What should I do?

Work on breathing?

2 Answers 2


I'd very much recommend against "increasing the amount of air" as image since air use is a byproduct of efficient singing more than its driving factor. Instead I'd work on making the air work harder in producing sound. Opening up your head and chest resonances more, improving vocal closure (with the resultant decrease in the amount of air).

Basically if you put your hand in the vicinity to your mouth, you don't want to feel your breath when doing a mezza di voce but you do want the tingling of the sound.

Resonance is not something that starts at your vocal folds: to be effective you need to admit it downwards into your chest. The more air you use, the less effective your chest becomes as a resonator since a large air flow precludes the sound energy from travelling downwards where it can contribute to the buildup of resonance.

Resonance makes your vocal folds work against a larger acoustical resistance, transferring their energy better. If all your conscious change is letting more air out, they will work against less resistance and retain more of their vibrational energy (which makes them more rather than less likely to overload) instead of emitting it as acoustic sound.


Working on breathing will always help, as you will retain the air and that will allow you to focus on other things without worrying about that.

I would try some exercises right before doing the Messa Di Voce exercise. Try doing runs "in Ney/Mey/Ñei" (I mean using your resonators) like C3-E3-G3-C4-C4-C4-C4-G3-E3-C3, and going up to G4 or your desired note. Then try the same runs but in a more "belting" way (open more your jaw but still follow that "Ney path").

After that, try the Messa Di Voce exercise, focusing on this path that you've worked on.

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