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0756 – Your Vocal Battery
2023.01.26 – 0756 – Your Vocal Battery
PROFESSIONAL VOCAL STRAIN
It is of course better to ‘defend not mend’ – and prevention is easier than a remedy. So, look after your folds and everything else that helps your body create a great sound.
Be aware of how much you are using your voice during the day, and how much rest you are giving it.
The ‘Vocal Battery’
Think of your voice-use as a battery: you start the day with it fully-charged but during the course of the day with the amount and kind of use, the battery starts to drain.
What will discharge the battery the most:
· The amount you use it - how long you speak for
· The type of speaking that you do – close-mic work will have less strain than excitable live sports commentary outside in winter
· Your vocal quality - using a voice different from your usual one, for example, putting on a character voice for a book narration or video game character, or even lots of whispering, can increase laryngeal stress
· The intensity of your pitch - using a higher or lower pitch than normal will also increase laryngeal stress
· How loud you are – we tend to speak louder when background noise is loud, and this increases stress on the vocal folds, so reduce your time speaking at a loud party, gig or sports event
· How fast you speak – the folds move faster
So, for a voice professional, try to plan your day of voice-use if you can: ease it in with slower scripts in your normal range at the start of the day, and more demanding ones towards the end. That way around and your voice will be prepped for the strenuous work. The reverse way and it could be tired and scratchy for the ‘straight reads’.
Funny, isn’t it? It’s almost socially acceptable to have a hoarse voice after a loud, late night, but if you woke up the next day and your vision was blurry, we might take that a bit more seriously.