Incorporating Healthy Speech into Your Singing

Your speaking voice directly affects your singing. By taking good care of your voice while speaking, you ensure better health for your singing voice. Try making your speaking habits more healthy with these tips:

  • Apply your knowledge of breathing while talking — including talking on the phone. Use your body as if you were singing; pay attention to your posture and the pitch of your voice.

  • Use full volume when you need to be heard (usually at sports events, parties, or clubs), but don’t scream. You can also slightly raise the pitch of your speaking voice to help it carry over the noise and use your knowledge of resonance to project the sound.

  • Talk at a reasonable volume; don’t speak loudly all the time.

  • Notice your articulation as you speak — avoid speaking with tension, such as jaw tension, tongue tension, or glottals.

  • Find your optimum speaking pitch so you don’t speak on a pitch that’s too low for you (speaking too low usually causes a grinding sound).

  • Practice speaking exercises to work on your speaking habits.

Prolonged vocal abuse — including abuse of the speaking voice — can lead to nodes (small calluses on the vocal cords). If you catch the node early enough, vocal rest and eliminating the vocal abuse often take care of the situation. Of course, the root of the problem is just as important as the symptom. Identify what behavior caused the problem so you can prevent any reoccurrence.

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