Help my testicles descend even further......
January 21, 2006 6:01 AM   Subscribe

Is it possible to train your voice to go deeper?

Whenever I go to a bar, even for a bit, the next morning my voice sounds significantly deeper and richer. And it also feels more natural. I'm convinced this is due to some kind of "loosening up" of something in my throat (I'm sure there's a more apt medical term I'm not aware of) that happens when I talk loud for awhile. My voice isn't high-pitched otherwise, it's just flat and a bit nasally. Is there any method that anyone knows of to teach myself to talk more deeply?
posted by Oh Indeed to Health & Fitness (19 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Tagged as voice no less.
posted by substrate at 6:50 AM on January 21, 2006


Obviously, most of your voice's characteristics are mechanically based - the length of your vocal cords or somesuch, I'm not an anatomist and can't give you more data on that - but there are techniques and methods that can be learned to deepen your voice realistically. It's doubtful that it would become your natural timber, but a vocal or accent coach could certainly teach you how to lower your pitch without it sounding like a joke or weird Barry White impression.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 6:54 AM on January 21, 2006


this seems elementary, but: is there smoke in the bar? smoking -- directly or secondhand -- always makes my voice deeper in the morning
posted by yonation at 7:32 AM on January 21, 2006


You could take voice training lessons from a classically trained singer. That would help you understand the whole vocal chord thing much better, stay relaxed, expand your range, etc.
posted by alms at 7:44 AM on January 21, 2006


I accidentally tossed my copy out, but I believe I read in yesterday's Chicago Red Eye that for her role in Transamerica, she worked closely with a vocal coach to stretch her cords and thus get a deeper range of sound.
posted by cajo at 7:48 AM on January 21, 2006


Isn't there a way to sing using Tuvan overtone techniques that makes your voice sound an octave lower than it actually is?
posted by BobsterLobster at 8:18 AM on January 21, 2006


I recall much ado being made of Kathleen Turner 'gravelising' her voice...

"Voice Quality = vocal tract configuration + laryngeal anatomy + learned component"

Read it here
posted by DrtyBlvd at 9:04 AM on January 21, 2006


Worth quoting:

"Actresses like Demi Moore and Kathleen Turner have gravelly-sounding voices. They can't have laryngitis ALL the time. What gives?

Some actresses are well known for their low-pitched and slightly hoarse vocal quality and want to maintain this quality. This kind of chronic hoarseness or a gravelly-sounding voice quality is often an indication of chronic abuse and/or the presence of a vocal fold mass(es) like a polyp or vocal fold nodules. I have heard anecdotal evidence of an actress screaming daily just to maintain the husky voice and nodules. As a voice pathologist, I do not recommend trying this at home."
posted by DrtyBlvd at 9:06 AM on January 21, 2006


Yes you can. I've been taking vocal lessons for a year now and my speaking voice has changed quite a bit. I'll list the progression of techniques I was taught and see if any of these seem like things you do at the bar:

1.
The first one was breathing deep, so that your sides and belly expand, I was breathing shallow so that my chest pressed out.

2.
Second is dropping your larynx. You might identify the feeling as "opening the throat" but the larynx will physically drop so there's no doubt about it. This seems to be the most important one, so here are some ways to do it.

Keep your mouth closed an "open your throat" keeping your hand on your larynx to test. There are depressor muscles that have to push down that might have not ever been used so it might be tough going for a bit. Keep at it.

Breathe in while making the shape that produces "Haw" with your mouth and throat.

There might be some more exercizes online somewhere.
posted by Brainy at 9:24 AM on January 21, 2006


BobsterLobster ...using Tuvan overtone techniques that makes your voice sound an octave lower than it actually is?

The low notes are undertones, the overtones are the high whistling sounds, the Tuvans use both.

The overtones are done with carefully controlled resonance due to mouth and tongue position, the undertones are achieved by letting g your vocal chords go slack.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:51 AM on January 21, 2006


Make sure the placement of your voice is not in your nose. People with adenoidal voices inevitably sound like they're talking much higher.

They're no common anymore, but it used to be that any aspiring actor was expected to study with voice coaches, and, as a result, actors from Hollywood's golden age tended toward deeper, more sonorous voices. They also tended toward an invented, cultured accent called "Mid-Atalantic," which was defined as sounding as though it were Midway between an East Coast American and a posh English accent.

Home study courses in elocution from this era can be found at online auctions, and might be worth checking out, as many of the exercises recommended in the books actually work quite well.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:22 PM on January 21, 2006


Response by poster: Thanks for all the suggestions. Sorry, I missed that old thread.
posted by Oh Indeed at 2:36 PM on January 21, 2006


Mid-Atlantic.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:20 PM on January 21, 2006


...as a result, actors from Hollywood's golden age tended toward deeper, more sonorous voices. They also tended toward an invented, cultured accent called "Mid-Atalantic," which was defined as sounding as though it were Midway between an East Coast American and a posh English accent.
posted by Astro Zombie


Ah ha! That explains...well, a lot. Thanks for that, AZ.
posted by attercoppe at 4:42 PM on January 21, 2006


Liv Tyler had to train her voice to go deeper when she played Arwen in Lord of the Rings. Her high pitched "dumb" sort of voice doesn't really fit Arwen, who is supposed to be wise and thousands of years old. It's rather bizarre hearing her talk in her normal voice in the commentaries and then hearing her lines as Arwen.

Also, I've heard that several female newscasters and reporters have had training to lower their voices to sound more authoritative (larger size = longer vocal cords = lower voice).
posted by heatherann at 6:01 PM on January 21, 2006


My old college roommate used to claim that you could not deepen your singing range with training by more than a semi-tone or two.

I've noticed the same phenomenon you describe, and it's not just bar-related, it's definitely alcohol-related. I can get down to a low C sharp the morning after indulging in alcoholic beverages. I suspect this has to do with alcohol's powerful effect as a relaxant of skeletal muscle.
posted by ikkyu2 at 12:27 PM on January 22, 2006


(er, my college roommate graduated from Harvard with a degree in music; he sang in the Glee Club, which was a 20+ hour a week commitment, and his instrument of study was voice. So I presume he knew what he was talking about.)
posted by ikkyu2 at 12:29 PM on January 22, 2006


Coming back to this about a week later, and reading ikkyu's comments, I thought it important that I say that I was breathing wrong before and that I'm sure I can't get any lower than my physical limit. However, my physical limit is still a ways off.
posted by Brainy at 8:58 AM on January 24, 2006


Here's my answer in a similar thread.
posted by the_bone at 12:41 AM on February 5, 2006


« Older How do I make Network Solutions and Typepad work?   |   Name That Painting Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.