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Improving talking voice
December 1, 2014
1:35 pm
Forum Posts: 138
Member Since:
September 2, 2014
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Hello guys,
I Wonder if aside from singing, you have worked on improving your talking voice. I mean, not just to make sure you are not grinding your vocal chords when you have to speak loudly before or during a performance.

I think i would benefit from working on my talking voice because there are several issues bothering me :
- It sounds a bit shallow in terms of resonance
- It has a high and boyish sound (i know males tend to grind their voices to sound lower, but i have the reverse issue)
- It tires easly when i have to speak loud in bars or other loud places.

When i first sung in front of classmates, they were like "wtf, we couldn't guess you have such a big voice", which makes me think the way i talk do not reflect the capabilities and the richness my voice has gained.
I Wonder, though, if the regular practise of mixed voice is not a bit responsible for me having a little boy's voice rather than a fuller sound. I remember taking a classical singing class one year ago, and the teacher told me i was a baritone, and actually managed to make my voice drop to the floor, and i was able to sing a legit F2.

Today i was sick, so my voice was quite lower than usual, and at the same time, it felt ten times more relaxed than usual, with this kind of "BBC speaker" vibe.

Would love to have that voice without having pharyngitis :-)

December 1, 2014
1:47 pm
Forum Posts: 186
Member Since:
September 8, 2014
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You might be looking for the opposite of what you should do. If you are looking for a more manly voice then you should consider that most men speak "manly" because they speak in chest voice and very throaty. It is also usually very airy. All, not very good for the voice. That airy tone dries out the folds. The deep manliness is just throaty low speaking. It is possible that your voice is a bit higher in tone because you are placing the resonance higher. I think that is actually a good thing. It may not be the manly thing, but it is probably the healthy thing (as far as the voice is concerned.) have a look at this.

"It's not how many notes you know. It's what you do with them."

December 1, 2014
5:31 pm
Forum Posts: 283
Member Since:
September 2, 2014
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Quentin I suspect you just need to strengthen your chiaroscuro balance of it - more bright ping and more dark grounding. Both stem at least in part by improved closure which I'm guessing is probably what you need. I have the opposite issue, I sometimes press when I speak. Though I also tend to lose grounding too. Everyone has their own little ticks but less is more - do not over manipulate the speaking voice because if you train in anything wrong it will be extremely hard to fix.

I'd imagine Titze's exercise (as well as other semi-occludeds like lip bubbles, humming, voiced fricatives etc.) solves a lot of problems, no matter what kind of bad speaking habits you have, but I'm not entirely certain. But maybe humming would benefit you more since it will naturally bring out more twang/closure and yet you can still be sure to keep it grounded if you focus on that.

The grounding/support/dark "pulling down" sensation is what gives you the manly sound and the bright ping gives you the projection.

However pressing can artificially induce both of these and take about double the toll on your voice so you'll want to learn to hear the difference.

Start trying to listen to speakers around you more empathetically - try to imagine what their voice might feel like. For instance after training with Phil for about 9 months, I started school again in the fall and noticed that on some days my art history teacher's voice seemed to make me uncomfortable. It's a really weird feeling, but it precisely means that I can feel from the sound I hear that my teacher must be using his voice in a pressed way. Focusing on avoiding unhealthy speech is easier than encouraging unhealthy speech in my experience so just try to gain a sensation of what feels wrong and when it feels better and shoot for the better sensations.

A great opportunity to work in new speech habits is in simple responses in greetings in such. In long winded conversations you will not know you are speaking incorrectly until you already feel the effects and then you have to try to catch yourself. But for a simple "hello, how are you" "good" kind of small talk discussion, if you enter into it with the intention of speaking comfortably (for me I think comfortably high and bright, your goal might be comfortable clarity and depth) it's an easy way to start building in some better speaking habits.

But my number one piece of advice: - if I were you I would just warm up your speaking range in the morning just like as if you were to sing it with correct technique - spend a long time on a semi-occluding and then move onto vowels after (the bright AH is probably most beneficial for this if you are short on time). and focus on the qualities (grounding, bright ping) you want to transfer over into your speech. Work it all the way up and down your range (no need to go extreme just honor each end equally) and focus on finding buzzy sensations in the front of the face/mouth/lips/etc. (good for bright ping) but also keep it grounded with support and a relaxed throat.

Do not think of low and deep as a desired tonal quality, or lowering the pitch range a ton - just think of a clearer version of your current voice, as if you were giving a presentation for a long time and you need to be comfortable and project but not wear yourself out.

That's a whole jumble of random info and I'm no expert at this, but I hope it helps somewhat. I still get tired from speaking sometimes but only in non-stop extreme amounts. For me the biggest key to improving my speech was good twang/closure because without that there's no chance at proper projection and resonance. And also speaking in a more sing song way so that I don't neglect the high range and beat the low range to death - if the speaking voice moves around pitch wise, it's more free and I think that gives it a better chance to find a comfortable center.

December 2, 2014
6:35 am
Phil Moufarrege
Forum Posts: 264
Member Since:
August 19, 2014
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good posts here.
My speaking voice has changed a lot over the years. I used to have a very muffled breathy honky voice. Now there is better bite, resonance and depth to my tone and I no longer go hoarse from speaking. The singing technique has slowly translated into my speaking habits.

I just want to add some simple pointers as everyone has already gave you a lot of good ideas and that is this:

1. less breathiness when you speak
2. Speak louder and tap into your full voice the same way you would when singing. You do this by imagining the way you would talk if you were trying to be very firm with someone. This will solve a lot of your problems.

Online Vocal Coach, Singer/Songwriter
Grow-The-Voice.com | PHILMOUFARREGE.com

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