Novice and experienced voice actors alike know that the human voice is a powerful tool; and just like most tools, it needs to be oiled, sharpened, and taken care of so it works for a long, long time. Because of this, the best way to take care of your instrument (aka your voice) is to exercise it before using it for professional services. Consider it like doing up-downs to prepare for a big game, or training on a treadmill in winter for a marathon. In this new blog series we’re calling “Vocal Gym” we’re bringing you some of the most fool-proof exercises you can do before stepping foot into the booth. These examples will make sure your voice is at its best for the long-run of your career.
Voice acting is just like yoga. Well, maybe not in practice, but definitely for vocal warm-ups! If you didn’t know, stretching before a recording session is one of the best things you can do for your voice, and by proxy, your vocal career. Side stretches expand your rib cage and allow more air to enter your lungs. Sun salutations–raising your arms in the air and stretching them up to the sky–does the same. The roomier your lungs feel, the better your performance will be. The best part about these is that anyone can do them! By stretching your mid-section you’ll allow plenty of breath into you which will support your voice during your session (and well beyond). Plus, stretching feels GOOD! Give it a try before your next recording.
2. Breathing Exercises
After you’ve stretched your body, it’s time to further stretch your lungs. Breathing exercises are a great way to expand your lung capacity and grow your capacity for breathwork in voice recording…and it’s so easy! One exercise to practice is this: lay flat on your back on the floor. Lay your hand on your stomach and another on your chest. Speak out loud the script you’re slated to record and measure how it feels. As simple as it sounds it’s a great way to gauge how powerful your lungs will be in the studio, and an even better way to strengthen them before you get there.
3. Stretch your MLT: Mouth, Tongue, and Lips
Last, but not least, our list of beginners warm-up exercises wouldn’t be complete without the tried and true practice of stretching your mouth, tongue, and lips. By doing this exercise for only one minute right before you record you’ll make sure that these important physical components of your voice are in perfect working condition. It’s really simple and it goes like this.
- Grin as hard as you can and hold it for a few seconds
- Quickly purse your lips and hold
- Stick your tongue out and stretch it as far as it will go for 5 seconds
Repeat this exercise as necessary and you’ll find this vocal warm-up will have your mouth, tongue, and lips completely ready for a successful recording session!
If you’d like to learn more about the art of voice acting, or how Worldly Voices partners with talented voice actors, please contact us! We’d love to speak with you about the wide world of voice recording that we do for our clientele.