How to Relax Your Speaking Voice as a Singer
We always talk about our singing voices here – but there’s something else we need to talk about: our speaking voice. How we use our “normal speaking voice” can deeply impact our singing voices. There’s so many scenarios that change how we use our speaking voice. From crowded spaces to more animated conversations to whispering – all of the ways we adjust and speak can translate into our singing voices, too. I promise, there’s literally a million aspects and scenarios we could use to discuss this topic. But, the bottom line is: how we speak can impact our singing.
What People Do When Their Voice Gets Tired
When people begin to do a lot of singing alongside a lot of extra talking (think interviews, press junkets, etc.), the amount of time and the way they’re using their speaking voice really matters. It’s in those moments that I have singers come to me and say they wish they could have put more time into their speaking voice to protect everything they’re working on!
One of the common responses to tired voices is that people begin to whisper. There’s arguments for and against whispering if your voice is already tired… but if you ask me, it’s about how you whisper. Avoid being tense and tight so that you aren’t pressing sounds through your throat and vocal cords.
Talking Higher in Your Voice
Something else we’re told to do is to talk in a higher voice (think head voice). Or maybe it’s something you do intuitively. People want that lulling and relaxing sound. But again, if you’re pushing yourself to speak this way – you could be putting more tension on your voice without meaning to! It comes back to this – it depends how you’re doing it that will determine if it’s going to help with fatigue or cause more.
What I Recommend When Your Voice Gets Tired
To help your voice avoid fatigue, it’s important to focus on sounds have more airflow and good resonance. An easy exercise is to hum with a really open, resonant sound. Watch today’s video for a demonstration! Create space between your teeth and your tongue is in the back of your teeth – you really don’t want it to feel tight at all! You’ll be able to feel this in your mouth and the vibrations in your throat. If you place your finger under your nose, you’ll even feel the warm air coming out there (you can’t create an “mmm” sound without it being a little bit nasally!). The goal of this is to really just create some resonance that will appear in your speaking voice. We want the whole instrument to be working well so you aren’t pushing sounds when you speak!
Singing is only one component of your vocal health – and part of what contributes to your ability to perform. Taking care of your voice really does help with everything!
Learn how to do this exercise in today’s video!
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