Daily Vocal Exercises: How To Keep Your Voice In Top Shape!
Do you wonder why daily vocal exercises are vital to keeping your voice in shape? Keep reading to learn more.
There are many among us gifted with stunningly beautiful singing voices that can captivate an audience. Similarly, some actors, speakers, and presenters are capable of drawing in an audience with the sound of their voices—this natural sensation of captivating sounds is undeniable.
However, while some individuals naturally emanate sounds that draw people in, practising daily vocal exercises to develop a seamless and connected voice as well as understanding how to eliminate weaker sounds, could add more magic to their performances and enrich their vocal prowess.
Our voices may falter at some point—perhaps due to frequent travel, fatigue, nerves, a cold, or an unknown reason. But fear not! We will delve into some critical concepts to maintain your voice in top shape: CHEST VOICE, HEAD VOICE, and MIX VOICE.
Our journey won’t be complicated, despite these terms stirring various personal opinions about singing and hitting specific notes. Instead, our primary focus will be on keeping your voice in top shape through daily vocal exercises—applicable to both speakers and singers.
How to Keep Your Voice in Top Shape: Understanding Vocal Cords Dynamics
When it comes to voice modulation, the state of your vocal cords plays a vital role. As you lower your voice, your vocal cords relax, becoming somewhat floppy, just like a relaxed muscle. On the other hand, when you elevate your voice, your vocal cords tighten up as they become longer and thinner, akin to a muscle in tension.
Visualise a guitar for a moment. When a thin string is strummed, it vibrates to produce a high, bright tone. Conversely, Plucking a thicker string produces a deeper, resonant sound as it vibrates. This is a similar phenomenon to what transpires within our vocal cords.
Therefore, it is essential to understand how the vocal cords work together while speaking or singing, as it will allow you to maintain your voice in top shape and sing or speak with more confidence.
1. The Chest Voice:
The chest voice is characterised by a deep, resonant sound in the lower register of the voice, and it’s often referred to as your natural speaking voice. This is the comfortable, familiar territory from which we talk or sing, a domain where your vocal cords feel at ease.
2. The Head Voice:
In contrast to the chest voice, the head voice sits at the top of your vocal range. This higher register may sound weaker or quieter for some, like a soft breeze compared to the robust wind of the chest voice.
3. The Mix Voice:
Then comes the mix voice, the harmonious blend of your chest and head voice. Imagine the air hitting both lower and higher tones simultaneously. Many singers resist this mix voice or are unaware of where in their range to harmonise the sound.
While singers commonly develop their chest, head, and mix voice, actors, presenters, and public speakers can also benefit greatly from understanding their vocal breaks. This knowledge empowers them with a newfound confidence in diverse situations. Singers, too, mustn’t overlook their speaking voice. A sensational singing tone can captivate, but a clear, engaging speaking voice is key for personal interactions, especially during interviews.
We must practice using our voice in all three vocal types to ensure we can speak and sing confidently. With the right vocal exercises, continued dedication, patience, and under the stewardship of an experienced vocal coach, you can learn to take charge of the sound of your voice!
Daily Vocal Exercises to Keep Your Voice in Top Shape
Exercise 1: Understanding the Mix Voice
To understand the mix voice and how to keep your voice in top shape, imagine standing next to me as we explore the following scale:
- 100% chest voice, 0% head voice
- As we climb, we’ll hit a “breakpoint”: 70% chest, 30% head voice
- Then 50% chest voice, 50% head voice
- Followed by 30% chest, 70% head voice
- Then 20% chest, 80% head voice
- And finally, 10% chest, 90% head voice, leading us to 100% head voice.
Through this exercise, we’ve created bridges that eradicate the break, introducing the mix voice. While the temptation to shout or belt the voice might seem appealing, or as singers will be told – to belt the voice and show off ad-libs, it doesn’t foster long-term control or the ability to tenderly manage the voice’s low and high parts.
Exercise 2: The Palette Exploration
Begin by exploring the roof of your mouth with your tongue. Can you feel that hard, bony surface? That’s your hard palate, the stage from which sound bounces off before exiting your mouth.
Now, slide your tongue further back along the roof of your mouth. It transitions from hard and bony to a softer texture about three-quarters of the way. You’ve found your soft palate!
Let’s bring some consonants into play. Say “B” and “G.” Now, say “B” like “BEE,” emphasising the hard ‘B’ sound.
Next, say a sentence such as “MY NAME IS….” Slow down and press on the consonants. Don’t shout, but don’t whisper, either. Emit a sound that is comfortable yet assured.
Finally, play a song that you love. Sing along or recite the lyrics. Remember the interaction between the hard ‘B’ and your palate as you do this.
Exercise 3: Lips and Trills
This exercise is aimed at relaxing your lips and tongue while developing sound control. The more you practice, the more relaxed and controlled you will become. The goal is to maintain a consistent, controlled sound for more extended periods.
Exercise 4: Adaptation Through Repetition
After you’ve completed the exercises listed on my website, try slowing them down. This forces your voice to adapt, teaching you to control your sound in varying situations and enhancing its adaptability.
While performing the last three exercises, keep the earlier concept of “THE MIX OF THE VOICE” in mind. This image of balance and integration will guide your exploration of voice and its many delightful nuances.
Daily vocal exercises can sometimes feel monotonous and boring. That’s why connecting with the right teacher or vocal coach is crucial. With their guidance, you’ll navigate through the different sections of your voice, maintaining its top shape and resonating with the quality and sensation of your range. Get in touch for more information.
Please note: These vocal exercises can also be found in my E-BOOK “Hack Your Voice” in different chapters, so have a read, as it may help you in other areas.