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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Vocal Exercises and Stretching for Voice Over Actors on the Job

As Voice Over Actors, you want to warm up your voice before recording sessions to get the best sound. A regular workout for facial muscles, lips, mouth and tongue is a good way to maintain articulation, breathing, and posture. You want your voice to be loud, resonant and clear.

However, keeping your muscles limber and tone clear is important as your voice is your instrument. These are some great stretches from voice to toes to keep you in the best working condition.

A quick five minutes will keep your voice in top-notch condition and another five minutes during a session will keep your body limber.

Vocal Warm-Ups
· Yawn-Sigh – This will help relax your voice and improve range. Simply yawn, taking in air with your mouth closed. Then exhale through your nose as if you are sighing.

· Lip Trills and Flutter – This will loosen facial muscles and get your vocal cords warmed up. Place lips loosely together and release air in a steady stream – “bbrrrrr”. Repeat.

Articulation Warm-Ups
Articulation refers to the clarity and expressiveness with which you speak. Voice warm-ups will help you train your vocal chords.

Breathing exercises will help you improve your lung capacity and breath control. You want to breathe from your diaphragm.

· “Hum” – Inhale and begin to hum while slowly exhaling all of your air. Repeat five times.

· “Ha” – Stand and place hands on the abdomen. Breathe in and expand your stomach outward. Repeat “Ha” with each exhale, pushing in your abdomen with every syllable. Repeat.

· Tongue Twisters – Start slowly and build up speed. Repeat. Examples of tongue twisters are: High roller, low roller, lower roller. Red leather, yellow leather. Peter Piper picked a pack of pickled peppers; If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, where’s the peck of pickled pepper Peter Piper picked?

Stretching the Body
Voice Over Actors immediately think of stretching and exercising vocal chords. However, long hours in a recording booth sitting or standing all day can have an adverse effect on your body.

· Stretch Your Shoulders – Doing shoulder shrugs can release tension and stress. Lift the shoulders up to the ears and hold for 1 to 2 seconds. Roll them back as you relax down.

· Stretch the Back of Your Neck – Drop your chin toward your chest and gently roll your head from one side to the other side.

· Spinal Twist – Sitting for long periods can leave it tight and achy. The spinal twist will work out the tension. From a seated position, feet flat on the floor, contract the abs and gently rotate the torso to twist. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

· Calf Stretching – Stand behind a chair, holding the back for support. Start with your feet flat on the floor, then raise your heels as you stand on your toes. Lower back down slowly. Repeat to complete a set of 10.

· Side Stretches – Loosen up your body and expanding your rib cage which will improve your vocals as well. 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 for a few seconds. Then switch to the other side.

Keep your vocal cords exercising and your body for long-term health benefits and a successful voice over career.

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