5 Reasons You Should Warm-up Before Your Voice Over

Jun 02, 2020

Hi all, 

I just wanted to share an experience that really stuck with me and I hope it is of great benefit to you and your daily habits on your voiceover journey…

I was watching my cat, still sleeping peacefully in his bed (after running an all-night rampage) whilst I shook off another less than spectacular night’s sleep like a bear with a sore head and had ‘breakfast’ with the family… I’d only recently dragged myself out of the sack, disheveled, the little bit of hair I had was even messed up, shuffled to the kitchen a little bleary-eyed and managed to help to get the kids sorted with cereals, toast, a spoon in the eye as per usual, only to have it dawn on me that I’d missed a major opportunity and I was also reminded of a super valuable habit we should all consider.

While I was preoccupied, trying to get a cornflake out of my ear, my cat opened his dreamy eyes, yawned wide to his very back molars, gave a little ‘Meow’ and pushed out his front paws forward, poked his rear haunches swiftly but gracefully up in the air and stretched as he’d never stretched before! (Interesting how cats don’t do things by halves eh?)

Shook his front paws, then stretched his back legs out behind him and shook them, one by one, then casually sauntered off with a swish of the tail, probably looking for a ‘less noisy and less dangerous’ spot to curl up again….. The reason I’ve expanded on this and brought this little life story to your attention is:

*** None of us stretch enough… period

Seriously, when was the last time you had a good stretch after waking primarily to get ready for the day? Well, Cats and Dogs do it all the time... right?

It’s like they are warming up for… life!… just living in the moment.

So, this experience led me to think, what if we were all to do that? Like, every time we woke? Before we got up to move? Before a walk? Before work? Before strenuous exercise?

It’d be a different world, that’s what…. 

Which leads me to my subject for today:

Warming up your voice before your voiceover…

Here are 5 Reasons you should focus on warming up before you put down your next great Audition or voiceover project while on your journey…

  • Warming up

    actually preserves and conditions the timbre of your voice!

We’ve all seen singers prepare for their performance by stretching their vocal cords and warming them up with some simple exercises before a performance, or indeed also before practice…

Why?

Because belting out a song like ‘Mustang Sally’ on cold vocal cords will do damage to a singer's voice, and It’s exactly the same for a voice actor like you!

(Warm-ups help your voice prepare for the day and your workload by stretching and lengthening your vocal cords. This protects your voice and you’ll find, also extends your range...)

A couple of good tips…

Start with a low hum and take your hum as high as you can in range (but be slow, easy, and gentle) practice this for 2-3 minutes.

A cup of warm water or tea can also be useful in warming up your vocal cords… need more ideas? CLICK HERE

Gluggy?

Is your throat a bit gluggy? Are you recovering from a cold perhaps?

My tip for this: a little room temperate pineapple juice will ‘strip the chords’ of ‘glugg’... got a remedy you love? LET ME KNOW

  • Vocal Dynamics (Your voice can do more when it is warm) 

Athletes do it, Swimmers do it, Dancing troupes do it, Singers do it… we jump higher, run faster, exercise better when we are warmed up… 

  • Improved Speech (Tongue twisters can help your diction)

Ever stumbled over a word again and again because you were cold and unpracticed on it? Warming up and going over some tongue twisters will help…

Red Leather, Yellow Leather, Red Leather, Yellow Leather, Red Leather, Yellow Leather… Such a good twister! Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers…

Got a Twister to share? LET ME KNOW 

Want a few more of mine? CLICK HERE

  • Mindset (You need to get into the right mindset for voice acting) 

So, you’ve had little sleep, you’ve just had an argument with your nearest and dearest about the garbage needing to be taken out and as you dutifully did it,

You stubbed your toe on the front door….

Now you need to do a compassionate sensitive read for a not-for-profit charity assisting sick orphans globally….. Do you think you’d be in the right frame of mind to deliver?

Mindset is so important… sleep, rest, read, meditate, be informed, know your client's project, know your audience, listen to other similar projects to get into the zone you need to be…

Need help on Mindset development? CLICK HERE

Finally a benefit for your new habit and consistent work in developing and seasoning your precious instrument... 

  • Vocal Endurance (Warming up allows you to build vocal endurance which is key to keeping your voice fresh and able to deliver a message effectively)

Y’know, I’ve found that by warming up and stretching my vocal cords, doing some tongue twisters, rolling my tongue side to side, up and down, stretching my neck, up, down, back and forward…

I can go longer, have more resilience, have greater range and versatility in tones and styles of voice, and most importantly don’t feel like I’m straining.

Need more ideas on vocal endurance?

When you get up, warm up and brush your teeth! : )

To your ongoing voiceover success,

Anthony Pica




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