All Things Vocal Blog & Podcast by Judy Rodman

Training & insights for stage and studio singers, speakers, vocal coaches and producers from professional vocal coach and author of "Power, Path & Performance" vocal training method. Download All Things Vocal podcast on your fav app!

Monday, August 1, 2022

Costly Speaking Voice Mistakes

 

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This lesson is also available as audio on All Things Vocal podcast. 

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This blogpost contains one of the video lessons from my online video vocal training course ‘Speaking Voice Technique’. Watch it and you may identify some important changes you should make in the way you talk. Why change?

Speaking with great vocal technique can make all the difference in the sound and health of your voice, and in the responses you get to what you say. Speaking without good technique can cost you... vocal fatigue or strain (or loss), lack of listener attention, and can even affect the success of your job or career. And singers... your speaking voice can get you into more vocal trouble than singing! So check out this lesson 'Speaking Voice Mistakes', and see how you may be limiting or wearing out your voice when you talk.

You can get all 13 lessons at www.SpeakingVoiceTechnique.com.

HURRY: Do it by Friday and use the code LAUNCHSALE at checkout for 30% off! 


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Monday, July 25, 2022

Is Your Voice Valuable? A Van Gogh Perspective [updated]

A snippet from my Van Gogh experience

NOTE: The audio player should appear below, if not, please click on the title of this post and go online to hear. 

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Have you ever worried about what other people think about your voice? In this post, I'm going to share a story from the life of Vincent Van Gogh that I hope will blow some fresh confidence under your wings. And, I'll share what I think what you have to do to earn your vocal worth, without depending on anyone else's opinion. Stay with me now... 

The Van Gogh Immersive exhibit that I went to in Nashville recently was a sensory symphony. As I sat in the middle of the gorgeous soundtrack and the artists' priceless paintings projected in video movement onto walls, ceilings and floors, I was reminded that sometimes greatness in art is not recognized when the art is created. I had a #1 song as an artist that had been written 10 years prior to my cutting it. Many movies failed at the box office only to become wildly successful in syndication. For the sake of the creative heart, an artist - no matter what the art form - needs to understand the value of their creations, even when public validation is missing. Is this true for you?

Let me ask you some questions:

  • Have you ever wondered if your voice is valuable? 
  • How do you make that determination? 
  • Whose opinion about your voice influences yours?
  • Have you ever worried that you will never be successful with your music or speaking career? 
Check your pulse; you're human. Most people who choose to work in any of the arts struggle with questions of validation. Encouragement, acknowledgment, attention, applause, approval - these are like sunlight to the vulnerable, creative spirit offering up what it just made for the sometimes cruel and/or ignorant contemporary opinion. We can control what we choose to create, but not how our creation will be received or perceived.

A chance encounter with a painting from Van Gogh gave me a perspective that I'd like to pass on to you. 

I was visiting the house of my friend string player/arranger Kris Wilkinson several years ago with a young singer/songwriter I was vocal coaching and producing. We brought tracks to Kris to get her string magic on them, and when we entered her house we noticed a print of a painting of shoes by Vincent van Gogh on Kris's wall. As we studied it, Kris shared one interpretation of why he painted these oddly beautiful dilapidated old shoes. He lived with his brother and was too poor to afford a live model, so he used what he had on hand. Common objects like flowers and shoes were etched                                                                                 Vincent van Gogh [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons 
into art history by his brilliantly creative hand, but mostly ignored by his contemporaries.

In his lifetime, Van Gogh's art was considered valueless - a commercial failure. Now, of course, those works are considered priceless. A singer named Eva Cassidy had a similar fate. During her lifetime, she sang cover songs in clubs and small auditoriums, and recorded them in a barter for dog-sitting services she offered the engineer. After she died from cancer, those recordings became a worldwide success. Her iconic renditions of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow", "Autumn Leaves" and other cover songs were internationally acclaimed and her "demos"  chosen for soundtracks of several hit movies. 

Back to my young artist. After hearing the story, she stared at the Shoes painting almost crying at the injustice that neither Van Gogh nor Cassidy knew the value of their work... because it touched her own insecurity. What if she, too, never experienced success with her music? 

It occurred to me to see it a completely different way. What if, bravely listening to our own muse...

  • We CREATE something that we intuitively KNOW is good - a vocal, a song, a speech, a performance.
  • What if we SHARE our work with a small circle of accountability that could give us feedback to make it the best it can be in final form...
  • but we DON'T rely on popular opinion or current market forces to rate our work or determine the final form we settle on. 
  • What if we don't whine at not being commercially successful, and instead that we commit to learning business promotion strategies to become visible and reach our ideal audiences?
  • What if we are willing to ACCEPT that we may never in our lifetime know the full value of our work.
  • What if we stop making it about numbers of fans? What if we ACCEPT that there is deep value in our work if it changes the life of even one person in some way for the better? 
  • And finally: What if we TRUST that if we create something good the best we can, IT IS VALUABLE?
The value of music or any other art cannot be determined by the initial marketplace reaction to it. There are forces we can't control, including the ripple effect, the ears of the future, the compound effects and "luck" - creating the right thing at the right time for the right cultural moment in history. 

The only thing we can do is to persistently choose to create something good, excellently. The voice only exists to deliver messages, so the voice being 'good' has to do with the power and importance of the message it carries. The Grammys, CMAs, Doves, record deals and standing ovations for speeches are gravy, ironically most often awarded to artists who don't limit the originality of their work to that which would win a talent competition. But as far as the intrinsic value of your work... bravely create your best. If you want to make it commercially successful, market and promote it with due diligence (see my 3-part series about What Record Labels Want, Steps To Attracting Label Interest and Creating Fanbases ). But no matter what the financial rewards or critical acclaim garnered, trust that your good work created excellently is a priceless part of the music of the spheres.

Oh, and yes... my young artist now makes a good living as an award-winning performer and teacher. 

I hope this post has given you food for thought, and maybe even some inspiration to dig a little deeper in your own creative well. I'd love to hear what stories YOU have that came to mind as you listened today. This podcast now has a Facebook Group where we can discuss All Things Vocal! Join us and share your insights. I believe it takes a village to be a voice that matters!

HEADS-UP - NEW TRAINING COURSE: Want a better speaking voice for the messages you want to deliver? I have a brand new online video training course for speakers... go to www.SpeakingVoiceTechnique.com and enroll today!  

 Here's a site to explore more of the art of Vincent Van Gogh 
Here is a PBS story about the Van Gogh Immersive Exhibit

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Tuesday, June 21, 2022

The Vocal Benefits of Practicing Character Voices


Sounding crazy as this guy looks in vocal exercises? GOOD!

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There are some very strange vocal exercises that work wonders for the voice. In fact, if someone hears you doing these, they might wonder if you've gone a little nuts! Not to worry... that's a sign you're probably doing them right. 

Some of the funniest and very effective exercises I teach involve doing character voices. I find cartoon voices especially beneficial! Before we get into them, let's explore the how and the why.

How do we sound like someone else?

First of all, you have to know that we learn to make vocal sounds by listening to other voices. The vocal apparatus actually tries to configure itself to match the sounds of the voice it's listening to, for the purpose of being able to communicate well with the other person. That's how we learn language and songs in the first place, and why people in the same family tend to sound more alike. From the article titled "Are You A Good Mimic" in Frontiers in Psychology, 

Vocal imitation provides a basis for acquisition of both languages and musical systems.
The article also shares research that suggests there is some phonological filtering called 'interference' that makes it difficult to change the vocal choices and habits from our 'mother tongue' or dialect. However, we can ALL change our voices by making conscious choices to change the way we normally move parts of our vocal apparatus and configure our throat channels.  

Secondly, it's important to understand the difference between mimicking and imitating another voice. Award-winning voiceover artist Victoria DeAnda has an article where she explains that mimicking is just repeating what someone else says or sings, while imitating is repeating it the WAY the other voice talks or sings.

For the purposes of the vocal exercises I'm teaching you here, we want to IMITATE another voice, not just mimic it.

Why should you do exercises in character voices?


If you need to sound like someone else to do a sound-alike voiceover, to play a role in a production, or to authentically learn another language, you really have to dig into exactly how the voice you want to imitate is doing it. There is a great video on some specific movements to investigate called 'voice breakdown' from New York Vocal Coaching's speech coach (the good stuff starts at 2:06).

But for my purposes, I train voices to speak and sing from the fully optimized, warmed up and flexible vocal apparatus. So I use character voices to help expand the voice and give it options before that voice's authentic performance. I use at least 3 specific characters to open and tighten parts of the throat channel to limber everything up, expand & contract spaces, and smooth transitions... it's kind of like kneading bread dough.

OK, let's do some!


Let's choose our text. Speakers, just decide on a few lines of speech. You might even use a poem or lyric. Singers, choose a portion of a song. Notice that changing the way you move your eyes (raising or lowering an eyebrow), jaw (dropping, tightening, making a chewing motion), hands, and arms can help alter your sound. We literally call this facial and body language!

I'll start with a very short demonstration for speakers using this weird phrase: 
'In a distant galaxy, somewhere over the rainbow, way up high and far, far away.'
1. First just say it in your normal voice, noting how your voice feels and sounds.

2. Secondly, while sounding hooty, low, and dark, in a voice like Smoky the Bear, Cookie Monster or Bullwinkle. 

3. Third, say that phrase sounding like a munchkin, chipmunk, or like you've been breathing helium (NOT recommended, btw).  

4. Now go back and try to speak in the middle of those opposite tones, which will be more like your normal voice. Doesn't your voice feel good and sound a little more agile and interesting than the first time you said it?

Singers, do the same thing but pair the words with a melody.

For example, let's use
'you are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are grey'.
1. First, sing it normally.

2. Second, sing it with a hooty tone like Smoky the Bear, Cookie Monster, or Bullwinkle

3. Third, sing it as if the treble is all the way up, like a munchkin or chipmunk.

4. And fourth, sing it with a tone that's in the middle of those voices, which should be close to your normal voice.

When you sing it that last time, does your voice feel easier and stretchier and sound more open, resonant, and interesting?

Now get creative!


Use any voice you can think of; try sounding like a chicken, a robot, a character from a movie like Ice Age or the Secret Life of Pets, or an alien in Star Wars or Men in Black. Try sounding like a kid or elder very different in age than you, try over-using a different accent or dialect than your normal one.

You can do this with any text or song. The results should not only warm your voice up nicely but also give you more vocal control and resonance. If you try this, do let me know how it works for you! Leave a comment here, or join the All Things Vocal Facebook group and comment there.

Also (if you haven't already) - signup for my 5-page report on vocal health, to protect your instrument so you CAN work on it with vocal exercises like this! You'll also get updates on new All Things Vocal posts, with free vocal training that can make all the difference.

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Monday, June 13, 2022

Chat With Ron Oates - Legendary Music Maker

Ron at his gorgeous white piano

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What do Gladys Knight, Dolly, The Oak Ridge Boys, and Big Bird have in common? They have all benefitted from the musical genius of Ron Oates!  Ron has more success in music than most Music Row executives these days, with stories to match. Though as a veteran session pianist, it's his fingers that usually sing), he loves and understands voices and I'm honored to say he is my dear friend. From just a small sample of stories from his career, you'll understand why he is 'one of the boys who make the noise on 16th avenue.' (a line from a Thom Schuyler anthem about Nashville's famed Music Row, sung by Lacy J Dalton).

Bonus story we didn't get to chat about:

Ron played piano on Dolly's master recording of her now-classic song 'I Will All Ways Love You'. They were doing a simul session with players and Dolly performing at the same time. On the first pass in the studio, Dolly missed coming in on her recitation because she was listening to the music Ron and the other musicians were playing. Yep. The power of music and a good song can even overwhelm the Songstress/writer of THAT song!

More About Ron: 

Ron Oates is a 60-plus-year veteran of the Nashville music industry as a revered session piano/keyboard player, arranger, producer and songwriter. Ron was the first pianist/arranger included in the Country Music Hall Of Fame and Museum's tribute to studio musicians. He was recognized and placed in the Congressional Record by US Congressmen Bob Clement of Tennessee and David Phelps of Illinois. In part, the honorarium states that...

 Ron Oates is one of the major creative forces behind an amazing list of hit records, and millions of record sales. 

Among the legends he's worked with are Gladys Knight, Dolly Parton, The Oak Ridge Boys,  Olivia Newton-John, Anita Pointer, Eddy Arnold, Lefty Frizzell, The Judds, Vern Gosdin, Keith Whitley, Lynn Anderson, Marty Robbins, Bobby Goldsboro, Dottie West, Billy Joe Royal, Earl Thomas Conley, and tons more. Artists he's produced include Engelbert Humperdinck, Vern Gosdin, Doug Supernaw, Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs, Dobie Gray and far too many more to list. 

He also played on tons of national jingles including 'Where's the Beef, and worked on several movies including Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, 9 to 5, and Sesame Street - Follow that bird, the Exterminator and 'The Buddy System. Ron has orchestrated the sound of decades of country music. 

  • Ron's website: https://ronoates.com/ (being revised presently)
  • More of Ron's credits: https://www.allmusic.com/artist/ron-oates-mn0000664052/credits

Announcing: ATV Podcast now has a Facebook Group! 

I'd sure love for you to join us at All Things Vocal Blog & Podcast group for discussion of this and other episodes, or just any random thoughts or questions you have about the voice! The group is a great place to share YOUR stories and to help others if you have some good advice for singing, speaking and vocal careers, too. Or, leave a comment on this blog, which is always welcome!

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Monday, June 6, 2022

How I Lost My Voice (So You Don't Have To!)

Me, Jennifer O'Brien and Gary Pigg on the third day of our 40 song bgv marathon: 
Notice the jacket I'm wearing:)

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If you follow me or have taken a vocal lesson from me, you know that I specialize in preventing and getting rid of vocal strain or fatigue from overuse in singers and speakers. I believe (and still do) that we can use our voices as long as we want and not have vocal strain - IF and ONLY IF - we prepare ourselves and our voices for the performance we're about to do. OK now about that 'if'...

Recently I had a serious reality (humility) check when I sang 40 background vocals in 4 days without practicing what I preach - and temporarily lost my voice! 

Here's my cautionary story:

I was hired to be group leader/contractor, arranger, and singer on 40 background vocals in 4 consecutive days. I called Jennifer O'Brien and Gary Pigg who are veteran studio session singing friends of mine that sing with me like a well-oiled machine. I was extremely busy in the days before these sessions with producing the artist's lead vocals on those 40 songs, preparing the AFTRA contracts, printing out multiple copies of all lyrics, canceling all my vocal lessons for a couple of weeks and joining my session buddies doing Covid tests the night before our sessions started. First day went well, but long story short, at the end of the second day I started feeling a dreaded hot, scratchy feeling in my throat and the even more dreaded signs of vocal issues. I was losing my voice! It looked like I might be unable to sing the last 2 days! 

Factors that led up to my vocal problems:

  • The allergy levels in Nashville were up. Focusing on the arrangements and on singing with pitch accuracy, I began having to deal with an unusual level of phlegm in my voice. Without thinking I started clearing my throat too hard between recording takes. I got by with it the first day, but not the second.
  • The studio was cold and I didn't bring a jacket! I know to ALWAYS bring layers so I can wear what I need to based on the conditions in the vocal booth!
  • I didn't bring pineapple juice!! I only had water - which is important but not nearly as soothing to the throat as that juice. 
  • Unbelievably, (I am so embarrassed to admit this) I didn't warm my voice up! I was too busy with everything else and I guess my lizard brain's hubris was telling me I do exercises all the time, I would have no problems skipping them!
  • I went from zero to 90. I hadn't sung full voice for 6 hours straight in a long time! Now I had to do that 4 days in a row. WARNING: No matter how many vocal exercises you do, the voice is not able to suddenly perform full voice much longer and harder than it has been without experiencing negative consequences. 

This may surprise you (click to tweet):


You need both kinds of voice work - the exercises and the full voice performance. You should sing full voice at least 4 days before doing something important that you haven't been doing with your voice. This advice is in contrast to those who think vocal exercises should push the voice to fatigue or strain in order to strengthen the voice and be effective. But from my experience and that of my students: If your voice doesn't feel BETTER after doing vocal exercises, they are useless - and can even be harmful.

OK back to my story: I deserved the vocal strain. I absolutely did. I know better!

Here's how I was able to get my voice back and finish this vocal marathon:

  • First of all, towards the latter part of the session when I did notice my throat irritation and my voice going south, I started doing two things: 
    1. talking as little and as lightly as possible and 
    2. 'lifting my voice above the lava' as I sang. I used my pulling technique, very consciously dropping my jaw, using my eyes, and lifting my soft palate to avoid pushing my voice through phlegm. Doing these two things and drinking enough water, I was able to finish out the backgrounds for that second day. 
  • Next, as soon as I got home I used the kitchen sink approach - I did everything I could to fight any possible infection trying to take opportunistic hold in my swollen throat tissues. Please note that everyone's different. It's important to experiment (with a doctor's ok) with different immune strengthening, pathogen-fighting strategies to see what works best for you. Also, please check your pulse... you're human; sometimes nothing works, and you and I will have to get sick and heal. But my strategy included the following:
    • gargling with hydrogen peroxide, plus gargling with salt water 
    • taking a hot epsom salts bath to alkalize, detoxify and raise my temperature to an artificial fever. I bundled up and sweated it out as I drifted off to sleep, first saying a prayer that I didn't have covid or a blown vocal cord!
WARNING: 
Do NOT soak in a hot bath if you have circulatory system issues or could be pregnant. In fact, run any prevention protocol you consider using by your doctor to make sure it's safe for you. 
If you suspect covid, get a test - and if positive, get to a doctor!
  • The next morning before leaving for the session, I drank my lemon juice and protein smoothie, took another warm bath, deeply breathing in the steam. Then I took some time to seriously warm my voice up with some careful, targeted vocal exercises, including a new one based on a scale my fellow coach Mark Thress had shared with me. At first, I had some glitches in my range, and using this new exercise with morphy slo-mo vowel modification I was able to stretch and smooth those areas out. I'm now using it with students who need more flexibility and help with vocal glitches, and it's really working! So even this scary situation came with a silver lining. Oh, the research I do for you guys! I also worked my head voice up slowly and did staccato scales throughout my vocal range to pump interstitial fluid out of my puffy morning vocal folds.
  • I brought my jacket and had 2 six-packs of pineapple juice at the studio waiting for me and the other singers. All day long I limited my speaking, kept drinking the diluted pineapple juice, and used excellent vocal technique, lifting up and pulling notes into place as if from the sky. 

Bottom line - IT WORKED! 

  • Thankfully, my voice not only worked, it got better as that third day went on! My tone blended well and I had no vocal issues. The fourth day my voice felt pretty much like normal - and I found fresh faith in vocal techniques and strategies that work for serious performance. More importantly, our producer Paul Thomas and engineer Joe Carroll were thrilled with the results of our background vocals! I resolved to swallow my pride and share this as a cautionary tale with you:)

Want to learn that new vocal exercise? Let me know!

As penance for my disregard of my own protective advice, I'm going to give it away. You're welcome! Just contact me through my website, and I'll tell you how to join me Tuesday, June 14th in a free short workshop where I'll teach it to you!

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Chat With Lachi - Recording Artist, Disabled Inclusion Advocate

NOTE: The audio player should appear below, if not, please click the title of this post and go online to hear. You can also  listen & subscribe on iTunes, TuneIn RadioStitcherSpotifyAmazonPodbean, most other podcast apps

                                         PLEASE REVIEW at ratethispodcast.com/atv

NOTE: If you prefer to watch, here's a YouTube video of the interview https://youtu.be/fDWHxCvJmlk

Have you ever felt like there was something about you that would keep your voice from certain opportunities, careers or stages? Maybe you're the wrong race, wrong gender, wrong size, too old, too young, too dark, too light, too weird, too loud, too shy. How about being... too blind? Today I talk with Lachi - a highly successful force of nature who fully embraces and USES her blindness to make the entertainment industry a place where the disabled are successful and where universal access is the norm. Wait til you hear where HER voice is successfully performing! After listening, don't be surprised if you feel a fire in your own gut to think outside the box of your perceived limitations, and go after some dream you may have tucked away.

Things we talk about include:

  • How her early successful but unfulfilling occupations led her into making a risky but much more satisfying journey into the creative arts.
  • Her journey from low-vision to no-vision, and why she asked 'how can I use this?'
  • The formation of her amazing foundation 'RAMPD'.
  • Why we should all embrace universal access.
  • Her award-winning Youtube series 'Off-Beat - Going Blind and Just Trying To Stay Fabulous' where she does things like sky dive!
  • How that led to hosting the PBS series 'Renegades', where she filmed the pilot about deaf stuntwoman Kitty O'Neil.
  • I asked her why where others get stopped, seems to be right where she begins her best work. She tells me how she finds her north star in being exactly who she is.

More about Lachi:

Lachi is an award-winning recording artist, songwriter, speaker and inclusion advocate who's collaborated with major and international labels, brands and some of the biggest names in Dance music. Boasting millions of streams, Lachi's music has debuted on national charts, aired on TV, radio and film, and has been featured in Billboard, Forbes, NY Times, Hollywood Reporter and Essence to name a few. 

Legally blind, Lachi advocates to amplify disability culture and promote inclusion, visibility and accessibility in the Music Industry. She co-chairs GRAMMY Advocacy (NY), founded 'RAMPD' (Recording Artists and Music Professionals with Disabilities) and independently keynotes and consults major firms, productions and non-profits on Disability inclusion, including the White House, and the Kennedy Center.

Lachi's links:


Want to find your voice for what you want to do? Schedule a lesson by contacting me and we'll dive into your strengths and weaknesses, and raise your vocal ability and communication skill to another level.

Prefer to watch? 

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Monday, May 2, 2022

Improving Vocal Attributes for Communicating Well

NOTE: The audio player should appear below, if not, please click the title of this post and go online to hear. You can also  listen & subscribe on iTunes, TuneIn RadioStitcher, Spotify, Amazon, Podbean, most other podcast apps

PLEASE REVIEW at ratethispodcast.com/atv

First of all, just to let you know... I'm baaaaaack!
My apologies for going missing these last couple of months! I had a lot of recording production work and other front-burner things to do, and couldn't get to this blog and podcast til now. 

To get the ball rolling again, the following episode was written by Lawrence Blackwell of  Matinee Multiligual voiceover and subtitling agency which is based in the UK. I hardly ever allow guest posts on All Things Vocal, but this one is really good and important information for voices that I agree with, so my thanks to him for sharing it exclusively with me for you! Let's dive in: 

The human voice is incredibly complex – for instance, did you know it’s able to make in the region of 800+ unique sounds? From a technical perspective, sound is produced when air is blown over the vocal folds at about 110 cycles per second in men, 180-220 cycles in women and 300 cycles or more in children. Combine this with rich words and language, and the result is our ability to communicate vocally with others. That being said, some people are naturally better communicators than others. So, what can we do to improve our vocal communications skills? Let's talk about improving some... 

Vocal Attributes For Communication

It’s important to understand that there is a huge range of vocal attributes that can come into play here, often described differently depending on who’s referring to them and in what context, and they can also change depending on lots of different factors. However, here’s a basic overview of some of the more common vocal qualities that you could be thinking about:
  • Aphonic - Whisper
  • Biphonic - Two pitches at the same time
  • Breathy - Air in the voice is heard
  • Covered - Muffled
  • Creaky - Sound of friction between surfaces
  • Flutter Or Bleat - Sounds like the bleating of a lamb
  • Glottalised - Low clicking, seen in Kim Kardashian's voice
  • Raspy - Dry and grating
  • Pressed - Loud and harsh
  • Twangy - Sharp
  • Wobble - Variations in sound
  • Yawny - Sounds like a yawn in the voice
This is a small section of a list by just one physiologist, but in reality, many of these table types exist and they all differ in many ways.

As a vocal performer, you don’t need to know about all of these and other attributes, but you should at least have a basic understanding of the most important attributes when it comes to vocal communication. By understanding these, you can work on developing and improving them to ultimately improve your craft. Here are some key vocal attributes to consider:

Tone

When you speak to people and convey a message, the tone of voice you use applies meaning to words. For example, the phrase “I don’t know” can have many meanings. Emphasis on the “I” could suggest defensiveness or that you know somebody else does know. Going pointedly down at the end of “know” could suggest that you are putting an end to the point and you really don’t know. If you go higher on “don’t” and then slope down on “know” from high to low, it could be more of a questioning sentence, that suggests whilst you don’t know, you’re curious to know who does know.

Understanding how tone of voice impacts the words you say gives you huge control over the meanings you apply to your words.

Volume

This might seem like an obvious one, but it really is so important. Speak too loudly and you’ll come across as brash, harsh and overly confident or perhaps even aggressive. Speak too quietly and you could sound not very confident, sheepish and unsure. Listening back to your voice will help you understand microphone control and where to position yourself for the very best volume. Playback features in professional voice recording studios are also useful for this practice.

If you’re struggling to project you might want to work on breathing from the pelvic floor, which can help a lot with getting your voice out clearly so your audience can hear you better.

Pitch

Generally, lower-pitched voices are considered nicer or easier on the ear. Whilst this doesn’t mean you need to radically change your voice, it does allow you to be mindful of placing your voice within lower AND MID ranges so that it might appeal to your listeners/audience than if you constantly speak in your higher range.
"We often refuse to accept an idea merely because the tone of voice in which it has been expressed is unsympathetic to us." - Friedrich Nietzsche
The topic of vocal attributes is a complex one, but one that it’s important to get your head around if you plan to pursue a career as an actor, voiceover artist, podcaster, singer or one of the many hundreds of professions that rely heavily on the voice and vocal communication. Once you understand the key vocal attributes and how they can be used and modified to help you communicate, you’ll realize you have the power to improve how you come across to your listeners and ultimately present your message. This is particularly the case if English isn’t your native language – many of the attributes noted above will be used entirely differently in other languages such as French or Spanish so it’s important to make sure your approach is appropriate for the message you’re trying to convey.

Ultimately, understanding how to better use your vocal attributes is a skill that won’t just benefit you in your career, but ultimately all aspects of your life. Think about it... almost all of us use our voices for reasons - every single day! 

And shhhh... here's a sneak peek for you:
Here's my very first mention of what I have coming up: in the next few weeks I'll be launching my first video vocal training course on Teachable! This video course will be... on the Speaking Voice! Stay tuned...