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Hey guys. So I've been singing for some years now. I'm classicaly trained, theoretically a tenor, but I could never manage to understand and make the adjustments to go higher than F4 without breaking into M2 or straining a lot. Last year I started reading a lot about voice physiology and learning contemporary singing technique. Now I can go sometimes even up to G5 (not a pretty singable tone yet, but it's there). From Bb4 up I can somehow manage a lighter sound that doesn't sound like M2, but between E4 and A4 I can only do full-on belting or something lighter but with a lot of constriction (arytenoids I guess). I'm trying to achieve a lighter and freer M1 (mixed?) sound in that range, and so I've been reading and watching many YouTube videos on that, but I'm very confused with the way scientists and vocal coaches differently name the registers and stuff, so it's being hard to clearly understand what they mean and choose a way to approach the matter.

I have to say that I personally think the names Chest, Head and Mixed Voice are terrible and extremely misleading, and they did nothing but prevent me from moving forward. Understanding the vibratory mechanisms and the filter/resonance adjustments is what really is helping me evolve. And although I understand a lot of people don't benefit from scientific explanations, it's really works for me. 

From what I understand, SCIENTIFICALLY mixed voice can be either:

1. M1 with less vocalis contraction and more nasal airflow/rhinopharyngeal resonance, as used by man and women in contemporary music and by men in high notes in classical.

2. M2 with more rhinopharyngeal resonance and twang in the higher range in contemporary singing. 

3. M2 with more rhinopharyngeal resonance in the female first passaggio  in classical.

And head voice can refer to:

1. any sound in M2

2. only M2 with cartilaginous adduction 

Now I'm really confused with how vocal coaches use the terms. For me, the sound of what many demonstrate as Head voice - specially those who don't count falsetto as Head voice - is not M2 at all, but rather my first description of Mixed voice (less compressed M1 with rhinopharyngeal resonance). Which makes me think, when they say head voice they are referring mainly to head resonance (rhinopharynx) and not to the vibratory mechanism M2.

So although many exercises for bridging/mixing/blending DO go from M1 to M2, and this is of course also used in actual singing, the "bridging" that happens most of the time in the mid-high range is simply the adjustments to go from M1 with oral resonance to M1 with nasal resonance, to allow the laryngeal tilt, less compression and lower subglottal pressure without breaking into M2. 

I'm still beginning in the science stuff, does anyone with more knowledge in that area agrees, disagrees or have any other thoughts on the subject and on how I could approach a softer sound between E4 and A4?

 

 

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The science is cool but not practical when training individual voices. The muscles involved cannot be directly controlled. They are controlled by adjusting the sounds produced and the sympathetic vibrations felt in the head and body. The training routines are not about finding a cool sound but is for strengthening individual muscles so that when you sing they are strong enough to adjust and work together without involving other muscles that are connected to the singing muscles but have an adverse effect when activated while singing.

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