To blend your voice smoothly from the top to the bottom you need to use passaggio exercises. You can use the following exercises to blend into your first passaggio and smooth it out; Really flips or breaks in the voice are just transitions between one register into the passagio area (passage) or from the passaggio area into the next register above.
The range we will cover is C4 to C5 for the ladies, guys you just need to start on C3 to C4 to do these exercises.
Throughout all the passaggio exercises you need to keep an even breath support with good posture an open throat and a forward tone.
Passaggio Exercises #1 Staccato Notes
Vocalize on a hooty oo sound starting with the silent H onset. So the vocalise would be hooh. Make this sound as short and sharp as you can with no shoulder bouncing. Keep the connection light with a relaxed throat.
Start on C4 and work up the C Major scale and then back down again. So the scale would be 123456787654321. Take a breath slowly and deeply without over breathing whenever you run out of air and just carry on with the scale from that point.
Remember that the notes will get smaller feeling as you go higher. So get used to this new feeling as far too often students will drag up far too much weight from the lower register. Creating a big break in the voice as there is no way the weaker passaggio from above can blend with the stronger weightier register below unless you take the weight off. Staccato work is great for doing this for you, just make sure it’s a great staccato.
If you feel you need more help with your staccato work, then you might like to have a lesson or two. Just let me know that you want to work on this area and I will be happy to help.
Passaggio Exercise #2 Trill
Using the vocalize TAHT (as in the word car), Trill starting on D4 and trilling down to C4 alternate between these two notes. Once these two notes feel even; no jerkiness in the breath support between the two notes is a great guide as to when you have smoothed out the two notes in the trill.
Now move up to E4 starting on this note go down to D4. Alternate between these two notes as you did with D4 and C4. Keep doing this until you get to the top note being B4 going down to A4 at this point change the top note (B4) to a TOHT (as in the word tool). As you go up again to C5 to B4 make both of these notes TOHT and as you come back down move back into TAHT after B4.
Do this exercise daily, and you will find that the starting notes of the passaggio (starting on A4 to A#4) will get easier and easier to do. In time you will blend the lower register into the passaggio, then you would work on blending the passaggio into the higher register.
As we are using the female voice in this example, you would be blending the mixed register ( lower register) into the passaggio and then the passaggio into the head register ( the higher register).
Passaggio Exercise #3 Octave Sirens
If you are not sure how to do a siren, then please watch the video below.
Do the sirens over an octave in range. So that would be C4 up to C5 and then back down again to C4.
The sounds to use would be AH at the bottom up to OO at the top. You would change to OO on the way up when you felt that the change (break or flip) was about to happen and you would change back to AH on the way back down as you move back into the mixed register.
Do not expect this register (mixed register) to blend smoothly straight way as you will need to build a bit of strength in the passaggio before it’s strong enough to blend the mixed register below it.
The staccato exercise works with any of the onset types so you may be interested in the coordinated onset article too.
Passaggio Exercises are the only way to blend the voice correctly so take the time to learn these. Do these Exercises daily and your range will blend and increase. Have fun!