How to Learn Singing “Hold Back the River” from James Bay

Mastering “Hold Back The River” By James Bay

Learning to sing “Hold Back The River” involves mastering a special technique – Mixed Voice. Mixed Voice allows singers to smoothly transition from chest voice to head voice, which is evident in this song. This transition creates a pleasing blend of tessituras making it a great choice for vocal training.

Mixed Voice in “Hold Back The River”

In the verses and bridge of this song, James exhibits a softer texture (head register) and transitions to a stronger, more resonant texture (chest register) in the chorus for emphasis. To finetune these transitions, check out the Mixed Voice exercise.

Getting Started with the Song

Become familiar with the song dynamics using the song search tool to find songs within your vocal range, including “Hold Back The River”. Try a vocal range test to discover your vocal range and see which artist matches with you.

Understanding your voice type is crucial here. Do read our Voice types article if you haven’t identified it yet.

Techniques & Training

Good posture positively affects your singing. Visit our posture article to understand the factors that can influence your singing posture. Use the Good Singing Posture video to correct and maintain proper posture.

Intonation is another important area. For pitch accuracy, practice the Pitch accuracy test. Refer to this article if you’re struggling with singing in pitch.


Notable artists using Mixed Voice include Adele, Sam Smith, and Bruno Mars. You can explore their vocal ranges and songs using the artist vocal ranges tool.

To learn more songs effectively using a scientific approach, please refer to our definitive guide on how to learn a song effectively.

Happy singing!