I'm not a morning person, but my larynx is
December 12, 2011 2:22 PM   Subscribe

Why does my voice sound awesome (to me) only in the morning?

There's about a 45-minute period after I wake up every morning when I perceive my voice as deep, sonorous, and authoritative. By the time I get to work my voice has faded to its usual tinny whine and stays that way for the rest of the day. I'm not sure whether it's actually lower/better for outside audiences or just seems that way to me -- attempts at recording and playback have been inconclusive, but I have noticed that I seem to be able to sing along with certain low-voiced musicians in the morning that I have trouble with at any other time. I thought it might have to do with not eating/drinking for several hours, but the Nice Voice goes away whether I eat breakfast or not. Is this an actual phenomenon (of either perception or phonetics)? Am I the only one?
posted by theodolite to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Try these tips?

Deeper voice training

It's a thing in the morning for everyone. Your larynx has relaxed for hours and your vocal chords are thicker and more relaxed.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 2:27 PM on December 12, 2011

Breathing deeply and regularly is important for voice resonance and one's ability to project. It could be that hours of deep, regular breathing are what's making you feel like Tom Baker in the morning. During our waking hours we get agitated, we hold our stomachs in, etc. All things which make it less likely that our voices will sound as good as they could.
posted by lholladay at 2:38 PM on December 12, 2011

Perhaps you should ask yourself why your voice sounds thin and high for the rest of the day. Some reasons could be a) your environment seems loud enough for you to want to talk over it b) you need to rush what you say before people lose interest c) you subconsciously stress when you interact with people or d) all of the above. As the other posters have said, try to relax, take your time when you speak, and get as long a column of air as you can through your body: you should feel as if your voice is coming from somewhere down around your navel, your throat should be open, and the sound should be produced at the back of the mouth, not up near the front/nose area. Let your jaw drop lower when you hit your vowels. If you feel either your throat or your upper chest tense when you talk fast and loud, take a moment to relax, and start again slower and lower. Also, sex is very good for a deep voice :)
posted by alonsoquijano at 3:12 PM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

I experience the same thing, and call it the Joan Jett Effect. I attribute it to my allergies, which clog up all my breathing passageways at night, giving me the voice of a smoker for a few hours when I wake up.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 4:07 PM on December 12, 2011

You're not the only one. Mornings after I drink, my voice is deeper than usual and my singing voice is noticeably better (I can hold notes more evenly, and it's more sonorous). It's not just me that hears it -- people have commented on in all my life.

I have no idea how to sustain it, though.
posted by coolguymichael at 4:10 PM on December 12, 2011

Definitely the relaxed vocal folds. This is why altos and basses like early morning rehearsals, but the higher voiced folks don't. (Except the waking up early part - I hate that.)
posted by blurker at 4:42 PM on December 12, 2011 [2 favorites]

Yeah, the more you use your voice, the tighter your folds get and the higher your voice gets. I can hit low notes at the beginning of a two-hour rehearsal that I cannot hit at the end of a rehearsal.
posted by mskyle at 5:57 AM on December 13, 2011

Marvin Gaye performed "What's Going On" while lying on the floor of the studio to give his voice a warmer, bassier feel. Sharleen Spiteri did it too when recording for Texas (the band).

Ergo, maybe lying down helps.
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 6:37 AM on December 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

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