How To Sing In The Passagio
Improve your singing voice with the advice that a professional singing teacher gives in this video. The technique of singing in the passaggio is very valuable for a singer who wants to make full use of their voice's range and to produce a steadier, richer sound when they sing.
I'm going to talk to you now about how to sing in the passaggio. The passaggio is an Italian term that refers to the break that occurs in our voices between the chest and the head voice. Many singers feel very awkward singing in this region.
They're perfectly happy in the middle and often quite fully happy above it, but that transition region is very difficult for most untrained singers to sing in. Developing a really good even sound across your register, through the passaggio and beyond, is key to developing your voice. I'm not a big fan of the English word "break" when it comes to singing, because it implies we've got two very distinct voices below and above it.
"Passaggio" is a much better way of describing it because it's actually much more of a narrow passage that links one voice through to the next. And this is the technique that you need to sing in the passaggio. One quality that is really characteristic of a tenor voice is something called imposto.
It's an Italian term that refers to that kind of ping or buzz that a lot of singers have. Tenors really rely on this sound. It comes from accessing the resonance in the nasal cavity.
A really good exercise to do with this is this one. So, you start on an N-G sound, an "ng" sound, and slide all the way up to the high note and then release. If you do that, and you maintain your support all the way through, you should find that you have a full-bodied sound that you open up to, but you'll keep that nasal buzz.
Another key thing that tenors need to learn how to do is to sing in the head voice. The head voice is that light part of the voice that lies in between the chest voice and the falsetto sound. Sounds a bit like this.
A good exercise for accessing this is this. So, making a very light sound, you slide up and down a fifth. Make sure you always slide between the notes; it's a way of maintaining the connection between the middle of your voice and the next place, the head voice, that you're trying to get into.
As you get higher up in the voice, you'll hit the passaggio, which is the break where the two voices meet. What'll want to happen when you get to this point is the larynx will want to rise. You want to keep that nice and relaxed to maintain the freedom in the sound.
It'll feel like it's wanting to narrow, but don't worry, go with that, and you should emerge out of the other side into this really light, airy, spacious head voice. Negotiating the passaggio is a really key issue to singing tenor. Tenors spend a lot of time in this register.
It's not just about getting to the high note, it's also about how you negotiate the space in between. To do this efficiently, you need to slightly modify the space at the back of the throat, where the pharynx is. The easiest way to think about that is going from a kind of open "a" shape to singing "o" at the back of the throat.
So, I want you to do this little exercise, the same as we did before, but with a bit more sound behind it. Now, at that pitch, we can keep the sound open, but as we get higher, we need to start applying this modification. So, take that exercise up step by step.
When I get to that high note, I need to change the space at the back, and I basically go from singing "a" at the bottom to singing "o" at the top. That's how to sing in the passaggio. .