Singing or voice-acting is not only about skill and voice quality. It is also about the strength of vocal cords. Like a person can improve voice Recording Performance when he stays active and keeps himself fit with a regular warm-up exercise, a singer or a voice actor needs to do a vocal warm-up to maintain the strength of his or her vocal cords. It helps a voice actor by having control over his breathing. It gives voice stretching power to an actor.
It is the reason why classical music globally focuses on practice. If we talk about India, classical artists emphasize practicing during early morning hours as breathing patterns are more controlled in those hours as your lungs strengthen naturally by inhaling the purest air. Muscles are more relaxed at this time for warm-up. Like warm-up allows a person to do extensive exercise later without harming muscles, vocal warm-up prevents the chords of artists from damage.
As such, vocal warms are almost a mandate to deliver professional voice recordings. Below are few vocal warm-ups which you can practice to maintain a healthy voice.
1. Physical Stretching
Side stretching helps to build the strength of the ribs. It removes stiffness of the neck, relieves the brain nerves, and fills the lung with air. Just stand straight and balance your weight on your heels when you side stretch and not on your toes.
It is the starting point of vocal warm-ups. Vocal warm-up cannot be isolated from physical warm-up exercises. Like cardio-muscular exercise strengthens your lungs. If your lungs are healthy, you will have the capability of breath control.
2. Breathing Exercises
Breathing exercises are no doubt the best ones when we talk about speech and breathlessness. Breathing exercises strengthen your lungs and give breath-holding control. It helps in fluently recording the long script.
Remember the Indi Pop album Breathless by Shankar Mahadevan. Do you think he could have sung the entire song in a breath without practicing breathing exercises?
The best way to practice breathing exercise is deep breathing and holds the air in your lung before you exhale. Try to increase this time gradually with practice.
3. Tongue Twisters
Some may find it a joke that tongue twisters can be a form of a warm-up exercise, but yes, it is. Back in childhood, grannies used to ask mothers to give spicy food to the kids. Chili helps in twisting of tongue and eases clear speech development for kids.
Tongue twisters do the same to elders. It helps to enhance speech clarity. If you have not tried tongue twisters in childhood, try them now. Being a voice artist, try finding new twisters for practice weekly. You may find many around you. Let us share with you some examples of tongue twisters. Try to keep repeating them without breaks. You may find it difficult initially.
- “She sells seashells by the seashore.”
- “Betty bought a bit of butter, but the butter was bitter, so she bought another bit of butter to make the bitter butter better.”
- “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.”
4. Taking Steam or a Steam Bath
We know this well, how wonderful steam works for sore throat, and continuously speaking can have persistent soreness. Steaming heals the strained muscles and clears mucus. Mucus or dryness in the throat or nasal passage can cause disturbance in the breathing and subsequently in our speech. To overcome this problem, keep yourself hydrated and consume lukewarm water and take good amount of steam regularly.
5. Sleeping Pattern
Maintaining a good sleeping pattern is very necessary to keep your brain and vocal cords relaxed. Disturbing the biological cycle adversely affects your speech clarity. Waking up till late hours can cause dryness in the throat and itchiness.
Always attempt to take good 8 hours of sleep and take it at the right time. Avoid fatigue in the body with a healthy lifestyle and voice while recording.
6. Exercise your jaw
Have you noticed your quiet days when you don’t speak much and stay silent within yourself, there is stiffness in your jaw?
Each body part is designed by God to be utilized and every muscle to be moved to keep it working well. Our jawbones are no different. When you yawn in full strength opening your mouth wide open, you will realize the release of the stiffness in the jawbones. It is a natural jaw exercise. Practice it regularly to strengthen your jawline.
These all above vocal warm-ups are mandatory for any voice actor to keep the strength of vocal cord, speech clarity, and breathe control to maintain voice quality in the long run. Now do your vocal warms, sign up as a voice actor, upload your voice samples on Voyzapp – the biggest platform for voice artists to get the best voiceover projects.