Voice Acting 101: Six Exercises to Hone Your Voice

5 min read

Vocal health is a necessary obsession for actors and singers. This post explains 6 simple exercises that can vitalize your voice toward its full potential.

Voice Acting 101: Six Exercises to Hone Your Voice

Our voice is an instrument and like any other instrument it requires regular tuning and maintenance. For our vocal folds, vocal exercises are critical. This includes having a good warm-up routine of practicing monologues with clear diction. And homegrown sessions of this intense enunciation, over time, strengthens vocal range, projection, and authenticity in the voice. You don’t always need voice acting courses!

Importance of maintaining vocal health

You don’t only need to be an actor to care about vocal health; people who are in professions like public speaking, law, and sales also need an articulate voice. Your voice is your identity. It reflects your personality. Like your physical and mental health, your voice also needs some tender loving care.

Several activities can affect your vocal health; cigarette smoking and clearing your throat being some common ones. It is important for you to prioritise your vocal health because even simple wear and tear can compromise the capability of your “instrument.”

If you are an actor or in a profession that requires a lot of speaking, you can set yourself apart from others by investing time to strengthen your vocal muscles. These muscles help you access your honest, unique voice. They give you individualism. They Vocal exercises you can do

Here are 6 vocal exercises you can do to improve your voice’s quality:

Facial stretching 

The more space there is in your body for breath to flow, the better sound you can create. Make weird faces. Stretch those facial muscles. Massage and stretch your chin, cheeks, forehead, lips, tongue and eyes. Scrunch up your face, take some big yawns, blink and open your eyes wide. This will help with acting and building well-rounded characters too.

Stretch your full body

To have a good voice, you also need a strong torso and free diaphragm facilitating easy breath. That’s why always start your vocal warm ups with a short, physical warm up such as a full body stretch. You can do some side stretches with your feet planted on the ground and lean towards each side while you use the opposite arm to pull you up in each direction. Send your breath to the muscles of your torso and feel your rib cage expand. Make sure you are not locking or stopping your breath at any point.

Hmming 

You should hmm whenever you get the chance, be it in the kitchen, workplace, bathroom, or on the road. Hmming is the easiest way to release the voice. Start by hmming at a pitch that feels natural to your voice. Then, slowly play with hmms on different pitches. This will awaken your vocal folds and help you with more intensive exercises. Keep in mind that when you hmm, you don’t push out the air but gently release it and focus on the buzz on your lips. Make it funny and playful! You may not find this one in those voice acting classes online!

Singing various pitches

If you play any musical instrument or have a tanpura at home, play some scales and sing each note to explore your vocal range. Sing from a lower pitch to a higher pitch and then back to a lower pitch. Bridge the notes, don’t attack them. You can do this without a musical instrument too by singing acapella. Go slow, go steady!

Lip trills – Gently let the  breath out of your lips and let them flutter. This will be easier when your facial muscles are relaxed. Gradually you can add voice when you do lip trills. You can even do lip trills to songs you like to make it more fun. Lip trills are literally like horse blows!

Tongue twisters – This will help you with clear speech. It strengthens and stretches the muscles involved in speech. There are many tongue twisters you can find online in different languages. Make sure you pick some challenging yet fun ones!

Want to know more about this and how to access your natural voice? Sign up now for our voice acting course ‘Expressive Voice and Speech’ with Hetal Varia, an international Voice, Accent & Dialect Coach!

Ekalavya: Act, Create, Communicate

India’s best online acting and theatre training platform, an initiative of Drama School Mumbai (DSM). DSM is one of the best acting and theatre schools in India. At Ekalavya, all the courses are designed and delivered by highly trained DSM faculty and industry professionals. Currently available courses are Breaking Open Characters, Mastering MonologuesExpressive Voice and Speech and Expressive Body.

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