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I've been singing since I was like 12. I never took any lessons, but I've been trying to train my voice better. Here's the clip: https://vocaroo.com/i/s1J2DcCdndgn

My first question is am I a bass or baritone? I never could figure it out. The range I'm singing it feels fairly comfortable. I was driving so I wasn't breathing properly or anything but it felt good.

Also, I just learned very recently how to place my resonance in my mask. I feel as though I was doing it before but never really knew how to hone in on it and place the complete sound there. I usually pull my chest up. I've already noticed the difference. I would usually feel tension around my chords on this note.

My second question is am I singing in a mix? If so is it a chest mix? Thanks!

  • 1
    vocaroo as a a sound host regularly purges their audio files, and the point of stackexchange is to build a repository of answers that will be useful to other people with questions in the future. I've made the same mistake before. I don't know if there's an official policy on preferred sound hosts here (like there is with imgur for images), but I've seen people often use soundcloud, I tend to use instaud.io or clyp.it because you don't need an account. Thanks for the question though, I'll take a listen and answer if I think I have a good answer for you! – Some_Guy Mar 28 at 14:49
  • Wow, wonderful clip, you have a great ear for pitch, hitting all those blue sweet spots. (microtonality babyyyyy) – Some_Guy Mar 28 at 14:55
  • @Some_Guy Thank you! And ah I didn't know they deleted the files. I'll use soundcloud from now on. Did you know if I was using mixed voice there? – Derion Mar 28 at 15:33
  • gotta go now but I'll post an answer tonight! (in about 5-6 hours) :) – Some_Guy Mar 28 at 17:00
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It appears to me that you are obviously a baritone, rather than a bass, based on the pitches, the tessitura, which is the range that you are most comfortable with and the timbre.

When you are singing, there is always a mix between chest voice and head voice, a 'mixed voice' usually refers to an equal mix between both chest and head voice. In this case, you are singing in mostly a chest mix, but when you reach the notes which are above your tessitura, your support drops and the mix is mostly an upper chest mix, however you do not really use a heady mix (which isn't necessarily bad). What I would suggest is that you get more control over your voice when alternating between low and high pitches, as the last high notes were uncontrolled, which indicates that you are not comfortable with that range yet, but also you do not have much control over your mix and support yet. This also results in a sudden 'high-larynx', which is an unhealthy technique when sustained. You can hear this by a loss of support and excessive increase in thinness of your voice. What I also notice is that you tend to 'push out' belts, which you usually do when you scream. Try to get more control of your belts by becoming more aware of the flaws. Your breath support is decent, but at the end of the phrasing, your vibrato sounds a little bit slurred, which is both a result of bad breath support, high-larynx and by 'pushing' belts out.

Ideally, you want to have a balanced chest and head mix when singing upper notes, which of course may depend on the intention/song/genre etc, but purely technically speaking. In this case, your voice gets thinner, but you do not really mix your voice equally. However, your timbre sounds really nice and your vocal pitch is relatively good. So keep up the good work!


Response to comments:
"And I have been having issues with keeping my larynx neutral. And you're saying that's due to my breathing?": No, I'm saying that your vibrato is slurred, which is a result of bad breath support AND high-larynx. High-larynx is not a result of bad breath support, but usually a result of pushing and strain. However, high-larynx is usually ACCOMPANIED by bad breath support. I can hear that your tessitura is in the bass range, however, your voice kind of starts to thin a little bit quick, so high-larynx is indeed a thing you have to work on. You should focus on notes which are in your tessitura and really remember the feeling of a neutral larynx. By doing this, sing open vowels such as 'oh' and by singing a note which you are comfortable with, your larynx will most likely be neutral. Now when you are singing along a scale, like in your recording, you keep pushing your voice up by putting more effort, which results in a high-larynx and a thinness of voice, which results in less resonance. There are a few tips how to prevent high-larynx (as well as low-larynx, which is just as unhealthy):

  1. Sing open vowels like 'oh' in your tessitura. This will most likely be done in a neutral larynx. Now remember this feeling.
  2. Now increase the pitch VERY slowly. Keep thinking of the feeling of a neutral larynx and try not to 'push' it upwards. The moment when you feel your larynx increasing, stop and do it again. Do not go further, as that isn't very effective.
    1. Make sure that while doing this, your posture is right and relaxed. Do not strain your muscles and do not strain your voice when trying to reach the top notes. Get comfortable with your tessitura first.
    2. Keep practising and eventually you will know and feel when your larynx is rising. By becoming aware and practising, you will eventually learn how to master this.

"Am I supposed to be pushing on my abdominal muscles to belt or should It be the same "suspended" type of air flow I would use when singing in lower? I think I'm a bit confused when it comes to support because in my mind I think supporting a note means using more air flow." No, support does NOT mean using more air flow. When you are not controlling the air flow by using it excessively, you might even end up with less control over your belts and support, which results in a breathy and weak voice. With breath support, it is once again important to get a feeling of how proper breath support works. As you go up the scale, supporting your voice becomes increasingly difficult, which is natural, because of the extra effort you have to make, which might strain your voice easier.

'Support' is a way of using other parts of the body connected to the work of the lungs and larynx to produce a better tone production and the ability to sing extended phrases and sustain notes for longer. The successful connection between the musculature of the body (the abdomen and back primarily) and the larynx (for sound and tone production) is often referred to as 'support', 'breath support' or 'supporting the tone'.

"Would these higher notes be considered more supported?" These higher notes are unfortunately unsupported. I can see that you've explored your range well, as you seem to hit the high notes, however, it is not properly mixed. Your high notes are excessively mixed with head-voice, which results in a lack of agility, which will make you unable to sing faster passages while alternating between low and high notes, but also a too 'light' tone, which sounds less powerful. I can hear that you are mostly singing 'with your throat', which means that the sound is mainly resonating in your throat. You can hear this by a lack of resonance and a not 'full/round' sound. Your higher notes are also strained. Also, when you go even further, you can hear your voice cracking, which is NOT the result in this case because it is at the end of your range, but because you are straining and pushing your voice to that note.

General advice:

  1. Work on your larynx position. Look at the tips which I have provided and mentioned above.
  2. Work on your breath support. As this is a complex subject, I advise you to do more research on breath support on how to do it properly. Like I've mentioned before, you have to feel how proper breath support feels and sounds like. Once you discover this, it will become more natural.
  3. It sounds like you are correlating the increase of pitch with effort. You are straining your voice by putting more effort into hitting higher notes. Higher notes do NOT mean that you have to put more effort, because like I've said, it will only result in a high-larynx, which again results in thinness and strain.
  4. When singing a high-note, you have to prepare yourself mentally and physically for it. This will decrease the strain as you are anticipating it, but also increasing your vocal agility. In the recording, your agility is limited because of uncontrolled mixing of your voice, but as well as not preparing for a high-note. Do not surprise your own voice by suddenly 'jumping' to a high note, but anticipate it.
  5. Work on your tessitura and get comfortable with it. When singing along a scale, do not go any higher until you feel completely comfortable with it, in terms of strain, larynx and support. Until then, go further. I can see that you have explored the ends of your range, but quality is more important than quantity, obviously.
  6. Work on mixing your voice correctly. When singing high notes, your voice is too heady, which means that it is overly mixed with head voice. You want to be aware of it, by knowing how it sounds and feels like. This technique works the same as larynx-position. Sing an open vowel in your tessitura, and hear how it feels and sounds like. This will most likely be done, if you are truly comfortable with that note, with a neutral larynx and equal mixing. Because of your vocal type, a baritone, you might sing it with more chest mix than head mix. I would have to judge in a subsequent recording if that is the case. However, once you get an equal mixing, you want to remember that feeling and work on it the same way as controlling your larynx position.

Feel free to ask any more questions or post more recordings, so I can provide my subsequent advice. Good luck!

  • Thank you for the detailed response! Since I started doing these pharyngeal exercises I've noticed my voice is actually higher than I first assumed. I thought I was a bass lol. And I have been having issues with keeping my larynx neutral. And you're saying that's due to my breathing? Am I supposed to be pushing on my abdominal muscles to belt or should It be the same "suspended" type of air flow I would use when singing in lower? I think I'm a bit confused when it comes to support because in my mind I think supporting a note means using more air flow. – Derion Apr 1 at 16:19
  • Would these higher notes be considered more supported? soundcloud.com/user-371953851/vocaroo-s0ptphabemav/s-qK17h – Derion Apr 1 at 16:21
  • Hi! I will respond to your comments in my original post by editing it, considering it is quite long. – Stallmp Apr 1 at 16:41
  • Don't be shocked by the amount of comments, I know it is difficult, but it is important to persevere and to not give up, you can certainly do it by being aware and by constantly reminding yourself of the given feedback. – Stallmp Apr 1 at 17:05
  • This has been extremely helpful! I appreciate it a lot. I don't have any vocal coaches in my area that I know of so this information is awesome. I will add the open vowel exercise to my daily routine. I've been trying to read up about breath support. I believe I'm inhaling correctly. I feel my diaphragm and rib cage expand but it's the exhalation that confuses me. I have to figure out how much air flow is needed for each register. And I actually never exercised my upper range until these past few weeks when I learned how to get into head voice and I guess I got a little too excited haha. – Derion Apr 1 at 18:05

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