Good technique starts where you speak

Are you aware of your vocal habits? Do you have a breathy speaking voice?  Is your voice too loud, too soft? Do you speak with a monotone sound that isn’t very interesting?

Take the time and analyze your speaking voice. This is a great precursor to singing well.

Being self aware of how your voice “feels” can help you achieve ideal changes…..changes that happen one little step at a time.

Taking your speaking voice to the next level means knowing your default and working on the opposite to achieve balance.

If your voice is breathy, try focusing on your consonants with good enunciation. Put your effort into defining your words and using your entire self to articulate. Stand tall and strong. Be confident. Take charge.

If your voice is loud there could be a few reasons. Being reasonably loud is a good thing. Being too loud and breathy can be problem.

Try forming your sentences with a more sing-song like approach. In other words, vary the ups and downs of the pitches you are speaking on. This is a great approach for all voices. Remember to enunciate well and articulate your consonants with precision. Being self aware is the first step to controlling your speaking voice. Don’t let your words simply “fall” out of your mouth. Take the time to control the flow and manage the small pitch changes in your voice. This adds interest to your speaking voice. It’s a great way to draw attention and make people listen.

Take note of how you shout, yell and cheer. Careful here….bad habits can take over. Here is a great time to use a more sing-song like approach to your voice. A slightly higher pitch will possibly stop you from releasing so much air when you yell and speak. Consider if you were in a loud environment and you wanted to tell your friend something funny but you didn’t want anyone else to hear you.  Notice your body energy that you are using to keep your voice controlled so no one else can hear you.

A great exercise for all speaking voices is the word “goog”.  It’s a bit of a tongue twister for some people, and that’s another reason why it’s such a good exercise. Say it up and down through your entire range. Pretend you are a little baby or a cartoon character, or an annoying bratty child. Replace all the words in your favourite song with the word “goog”. Do you notice the edge, clarity and precision to the sound? If so, then you are doing it correctly. If you can’t determine if you doing it correctly to get the preciseness of the sound, then do it over again a little quieter but with the same intensity (enunciate well and focus on the “g”).  But, never whisper!  Whispering is not a useful tool for improving the voice. A whispery voice is not a good quiet voice. Instead, use your entire body energy and practise with controlled effort. This will allow you to decrease your volume and maintain your intensity in a healthy.

Have fun and let me know how it goes? Do it consistently every day and you should notice some positive changes in your voice soon!


Online Singing Products

What bothers me most about online “how to sing” products is the fact that every singer has a different problem standing in the way of the voice improving. Ideally, a singer needs to know what that problem is so they can focus on the right coordinations. Usually, a singer has more than one issue to work on, but again the correct exercises and doing them correctly is the key to quick improvement.

Let’s face it….why would you go to the gym and do squats if your thighs were already big and strong. Balance is the key, and the path to getting balance in the voice isn’t always straight-forward.

I’ve started to post some exercises for different voice types and issues at If you have any questions about the exercises or your voice, why not drop me a line.

The benefits of vocal fry when singing

What is vocal fry?

When speaking, vocal fry is simply the vocal cords coming together with very little air passing through, usually at a lower-than-your-normal speech pitch. It sounds like a gritty, broken up, growl….usually at the end of your sentence, and happens frequently in the morning when you first wake up. I hear it frequently, mostly in women. Now that it has made top-headline news recently, I’m sure everyone will start noticing the people around them who speak with some vocal fry.

But now I want to talk about vocal fry from a singing point of view. This is much, much different!

The ability to create vocal fry as you ascend in pitch is one of Brett Mannings’ top three vocal exercises. Why? Because the ability to keep the vocal cords connected with vocal fry as you ascend, is a challenging balance between thinning out the cords and controlling the amount of air passing through. With the correct balance, the cords will touch and vibrate on the edges creating a vocal fry sound. Too much air will either blow the cords apart, or not allow the fry sound to happen. This is the challenge to be able to decrease your air flow just enough to maintain the fry connection in the higher register.

I challenge my students with vocal fry exercises regularly. It really enforces the “less is more” mentality. You should try it. It’s not as easy as you might think. But, let’s be clear we are talking about vocal fry in your “higher” register….not lower.

Please let me know your thoughts!  Check out Brett Manning from Singing Success here