seagullHaving a good voice is important to every actor. 

Exercising your voice will improve its quality, and give you more control and confidence when you speak and perform.  

Here are ten easy exercises to get you started with voice training.

Remember, it is very important never to strain or hurt yourself when you are doing voice exercises.  Everything should feel relaxed.  You might feel a bit silly, but that's part of the fun!

Step 1 - Breathing

Take a deep breath in, pushing out your tummy, then slowly breath out with a hissing sound ... "ssssssssssssssssssssssss".  Do this ten times.

Step 2 - Face Resonance

Keep your lips together and hum "Mmmmmmmmmm"  until you feel your face tingle.  Do this five times.

Step 3 - Face Resonance

Still keeping your lips together and ask, "Mmm-mmm?" then answer "Mmm-hmm".  Do this five times.

Step 4 - Face Resonance and Vocal Range

Say "Mmm-mmm? Mmm-hmm" in a low voice, then say it in a normal voice, then in a high voice, back to normal and back to low.  From lower to higher is called your 'vocal range'.  Do this ten times.

Step 5 - Flexibility and Range

Say "Mmmmmmmmmmmmmy name is (whatever your name is)".  Say this ten times, up and down your range.

Step 6 - Face Resonance and Range

Say "nay, nay, nar, nar, no, no".  Say this ten times, up and down your range.

Step 7 - Flexibility and Range

Say "ooooo eeeee" over and over again like a siren.  Now make your siren go lower, and gradually make it go higher.  Do this three times.

Step 8 - Articulation

Choose three tongue twisters which use different sounds.  Say each one ten times as fast as you can without making a mistake and still speaking clearly.

Here are three to start:

  • Betty bought some bitter butter
  • Sammy slept in sweaty socks
  • Red leather, yellow leather

You can find lots more tricky tongue twisters here.

Step 9 - Co-ordination

Read out loud ten sentences from a book or poem, or recite ten lines from a play or speech.  Try and speak clearly and confidently.

Step 10 - Breathing

Imagine your body is a six sided box.  Take a deep breath, filling the box with air and feeling it expand.  Hold for a moment, then breath out slowly.  Do this ten times.

If you do these ten exercises every day, or at least a couple of times a week, you will find that your voice feels and sounds stronger, more confident and clearer.  Make sure you relax and have fun.  If you are tense, your voice muscles will be tense and tight.  On the other hand, if you are relaxed, the exercises will work better. 

The most important thing is that you enjoy improving the quality of your voice.