Just like athletes, musicians, and other professionals take time to warm up before they perform or compete, so must a voice talent in order to ensure his or her voice is ready to be at its best. In this post, we’ll look at 5 different voice acting exercises , that you can use to warm up your voice, as well as some tips and strategies for how to use them.
Vocal Warm Up Exercise 1: Stretch Your Body
“Side stretches are great for expanding your rib cage and making your lungs feel like they are full of air,” says voice actor and coach Heather Costa.
“Simply take a deep breath and raise your arms up to the sky. Exhale and slightly lean to the left, lengthening in your side body. Hold it there for just a couple of seconds before you inhale to center, and then exhale over to the right.”
“Next, stand with your feet hip-width apart. Inhale your arms up to the sky, then slowly bend at your waist on the exhale and take your hands toward the ground. It doesn’t matter how far you can go, the action of bending over is enough to give you a nice, warm stretch! Stay there for a couple of breaths, and then on an inhale slowly come back up to a standing position.”
Vocal Warm Up Exercise 2: Breathing Exercises
After you complete your body stretches, the next step of your warm up should involve some breathing exercises. Breathing exercises are an ideal way to relax your vocal folds before a big recording, and they’re bound to help expand your vocal range.
Here are a few great breathing exercises that you’d really benefit from adding into your warm up routine:
The Straw Trick
Practice humming, or simply inhaling and exhaling, with a straw in your mouth. When your lips are closed around a straw, you’ll automatically focus all of your attention on your breathing, while keeping your face and body still.
Lay on the Floor
Have you ever tried singing a vocal piece while laying with your back on the ground? It may feel strange at first, but if you rest your hands on your stomach and concentrate, you’ll be able to feel your diaphragm move. This is an easy way to zero in on your breathing.
The Hissing Exhale
As part of your vocal warm up routine, try out this next breathing exercise. Start by inhaling for an amount of time you feel comfortable with, and then when you exhale, produce an “sss” hissing sound. Each time you do the hissing exhale, switch up the amount of time that you’re inhaling and hissing, aiming to go longer with each hiss until you find yourself beginning to run out of breath.
Vocal Warm Up Exercise 3: Tongue Twisters
Articulate, articulate, articulate. In the voice over business, being able to distinctly enunciate your speech is by far one of the most important aspects of your performance.
If you don’t articulate or enunciate clearly, no one is going to understand a word of what you are saying.
5 classic tongue twisters:
Unique New York, unique New York, unique New York.
A big black bug bit a big black bear.
She sells seashells by the sea shore.
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
Vocal Warm Up Exercise 4: Humming and Lip Trills
Performing a loose and gentle modulating hum is a nice way to ease in your facial muscles, as well as create space for resonant sound. Humming and lip trills get your resonators going, which in turn helps restore your vocal tone quality after sleeping for several hours. These are ideal to carry out as you start your day.
Lip trills and flutters will also help loosen facial muscles and get your vocal folds warmed up. They’re even more effective if you try them in the shower!
Vocal Warm Up Exercise 5: Fricatives
Fricatives are consonants that are formed by impeding the flow of air so that a friction sound is produced. Some of the most common consonants include Fs, Ths, and Vs. You can learn more about producing fricatives from vocal coaches.
Did you like these voice exercises for actors? What vocal warm ups work for you?Let us know your tips, tricks, techniques, and tongue twisters in the comments!