Singing Smoothly Through Registers - Passaggio

Once you’ve mastered specific areas of your singing, you’ll want to improve your technique ever more by moving from one register to another with no break or shift in your voice. As you move up or down in your range it is important to transition with ease.

For all voices, there is a point in which the shift from one register to another occurs. No one is the same, everyone’s register shift is different; it is on an individual basis. The shift from one register to another is called the passaggio. It is an Italian word, which means passage.

There are two natural transition points for a singer. The first one is called primo passaggio (which means first passage) and secondo passaggio (which means second passage). The primo passaggio is between the chest and middle register. The secondo passaggio is between the middle and head register.

It takes time to master the passage from one register to another. Start by doing the lip (bubble) or tongue trills from low to high and back down; notice how there is no shift in your voice. You need to keep an open throat and there is no constricting of the throat muscles. The goal is to train your throat muscles NOT to narrow or draw in and close off the air passing through; the muscles need to open the throat. The goal is to create a consistent sound throughout your range. This is one of the most important techniques I work on mastering with my students in their singing lessons.


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