change voice

How to change your voice: Bring out the best in your natural voice

The sound of your voice depends on the length of your vocal cords and other physiological factors. Once you’ve passed puberty, your voice is more or less set. However, some environmental factors play a role in how your voice projects to the world. While it’s not possible to change your voice from high to low or vice versa, there are techniques you can use to make small changes in pitch and volume that will bring out the best in your natural voice.

Mask your voice

Hold your nose when you speak.

A quick way to dramatically change the tone of your voice is to block your nasal passage, and the easiest way to do this is to pinch your nostrils from both sides. You can also achieve a similar effect by simply blocking your breath from getting through your mouth and into your nose. When you speak, air flows naturally through your mouth and nose. Pinching your nose restricts the amount of air that exits through your nasal passage and causes more air to become trapped deep in your throat and mouth. This change in amount and pressure causes your vocal cords to vibrate differently, which changes the sound of your voice.

Speak with a different expression.

Try speaking while smiling or grumpy, regardless of what you’re actually saying. The expression can affect emotions through spoken words, but expression also changes the formation of your words because your mouth is in a different position. For example, observe how the word “Oh” sounds when you smile and how it sounds when your face stays relaxed. A casual “Oh” is rounder, while a smiling “Oh” will sound shorter in comparison, and maybe even resemble an “Ah”.

Mute your voice

Place your hand or tissue over your mouth as you speak. The obstacle should be right over your mouth for a more dramatic effect. Your voice, like any noise, travels through multiple media in the form of sound waves. The way these waves travel through the air affects the sound, for example when they travel through another medium such as a solid object. By holding a solid object in front of your mouth while speaking, you force the sound waves through the obstacle, changing how others hear and interpret the sound.

Marble.

When you speak, keep your tone low and open your mouth less widely when saying the words. Mumbling changes the word-formation and the way your voice is transmitted. When you mumble, your mouth is more closed than usual. Certain sounds are pronounced when the mouth is only slightly open and these will not be affected much. On the other hand, sounds that require a wider open mouth will be greatly altered. Notice the difference in sound when you say something as simple as “oh.” First, say “oh” with your mouth wide open. Then repeat the “oh” syllable while only slightly parting your lips. If you listen carefully, you should notice the difference in sound. Mumbling also causes you to speak more quietly. Clear, mid-tones can cut through well enough if you speak softer, but softer tones and final syllables are often swallowed. Notice the difference in sound when you repeat a simple phrase like “get it.” Repeat the phrase vigorously in a normal tone. You’ll likely be able to hear the endings even if they merge into the next word. Then try repeating the phrase weakly and quietly. The vowels will likely be audible, but the consonants should be significantly weakened.

Speak monotonously.

Most people naturally speak with emotions. Concentrate on keeping your voice flat and consistent as you speak. The less emotion you use while speaking, the more altered your voice will sound. The easiest way to notice the difference is to ask a question monotonously. When asking a question, most people will end up with a higher intonation. The same question can sound very different when uttered in a flat voice without the accent rising at the end. Alternatively, if people frequently tell you that your voice is flat, you can practice speaking with more enthusiasm or emotion. Think carefully about what you are saying and change your intonation accordingly as you speak. A good way to practice is to do this with a simple phrase like “yes.” If someone says “yes” in a rough way, then the emphasis should go down. An enthusiastic “yes,” on the other hand, will have a strong sound, with a high pitch from beginning to end.

Practice a new accent.

Pick an accent that is different from your own way of speaking. Every accent is a little different, so you’ll need to study the idiosyncrasies of each individual accent before you can speak convincingly in that accent. Many accents, such as Boston or England, tend to omit the final “r” of a word. “Butter” then sounds like “Butta”, for example. The “broad A” is another common trait of many accents, such as the British accent, the Boston accent, and accents from English-speaking southern hemisphere countries such as New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa. This practice lengthens the short “a” sound.

Use technology to change your voice

Find an app for your smartphone.

Downloadable voice-changing apps allow you to record your voice with your phone and playback the words with a filter that alters the sound of your voice. Various apps are available. Some cost money, others are free. Search for apps in the Apple App Store if you have an iPhone, Windows Marketplace if you have a Windows phone, and Google Play if you have an Android phone.

Speak through computer software.

Search online for text to speech freeware or software. Once installed, type your words into the text field and press “Play” to hear your typed words in the audio.

Use a novel voice changer.

Voice-altering devices can be difficult to find in stores, but you can easily purchase one online. A standard voice changer costs between 20 and 50 euros. Every device works differently, so make sure you look closely at the specs so you know what you’re getting. Most allow you to change the pitch of your voice in a variety of ways, and many novel devices are portable. Some devices require you to pre-record your message, but others can be applied as you speak, altering your voice while transmitting the altered sound through a cell phone or other speaker. Read the instructions that came with your new voice changer carefully so you can learn how to use it properly.

Change the way you speak

Find out how you sound.

If you want to alter your voice and make it sound a bit higher or lower, the best way to start is by recording yourself so you know what you’re dealing with. Use a recording device and use it to record how your voice sounds when you speak or sing softly or loudly. How would you describe the sound of your voice? What would you like to change about it? Does your voice sound nasal or rough? Are you easy or difficult to understand? Is your pronunciation clear?

Stop talking through your nose.

The voice of many people can be described as “nasal”. A nasal voice sounds unnaturally higher than it should because it cannot reverberate enough to produce a lower tone. This type of voice can be harsh to others and difficult to understand. Make the following adjustments if you want to eliminate nasal sound: Make sure your airway is clear. If you often have allergies or have a stuffy nose for other reasons, your voice will sound atrophied and nasal. Clear up your allergy, drink lots of water and try to keep your airways clear. Try opening your mouth wider when speaking. Drop your jaw and articulate each word deeper in your mouth instead of producing it in your soft palate.

Don’t talk from behind the throat.

To correct their high-pitched pronunciation, many people try to speak from behind the throat, producing a false low pitched sound. It’s very difficult to get enough volume into your voice when you’re speaking from behind the throat, so it often produces a murmur and a difficult-to-understand voice. Additionally, speaking from behind your throat puts strain on your vocal cords and can lead to a sore throat and, over time, loss of voice.

Speak through your “mask”.

In order for your voice to sound darker and fuller, you have to speak through your “mask”, i.e. the area consisting of both lips and your nose. Use your entire mask to give your voice a chance to sound a little deeper and fuller. To find out if you’re speaking through your mask, touch your lips and nose while speaking. They should vibrate as you use the full range. If they don’t, experiment with different pitches/sounds until you find a way of speaking that they do. Then practice speaking that way all the time.

Mobilization of your diaphragm.

Deep breathing and mobilizing your diaphragm is the key to a full, rich and strong voice. When you breathe deeply, your stomach should move up and down with each breath, not just your chest rising and falling. Practice projecting from your diaphragm, drawing in your stomach to exhale as you speak. You will notice that your voice sounds loud and clear when you breathe this way. Do breathing exercises that focus on deep breathing to always remind yourself to use your diaphragm. Exhale, pushing all air out of the lungs. As soon as you run out of air, your lungs will automatically inhale deeply to satisfy your need for air. Pay close attention to how your lungs feel as you take a deep breath. Inhale slowly and hold your breath for 15 seconds before exhaling. Gradually increase the time to 20 seconds, 30 seconds, 45 seconds, and 1 minute. This exercise strengthens your diaphragm. Laugh hard, and intentionally produce a “ha ha ha” sound. Exhale all the air from your lungs as you do this, then inhale deeply and quickly. Lie on your back and place a book or solid object on your diaphragm. Relax your entire body as much as possible. Pay close attention to the movement of your diaphragm and see how the book moves up and down as you breathe. As you exhale, flatten your stomach as much as possible and repeat the exercise until you automatically expand and contract your stomach with each breath. Breathe in deeply while standing. Exhale, counting out loud from one to five in just one breath. Repeat this exercise until you can easily count from 1 to 10 as you exhale. Once you get the hang of speaking this way, you can make your voice seem so that people across the room can hear you without getting hoarse.

Change your pitch.

The human voice is able to produce tones in different registers. Speak up or down a pitch to temporarily change your voice. Voice pitch is largely altered by the laryngeal cartilage. This is the movable piece of cartilage that moves up and down your throat as you sing the scale: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, do. Raising the laryngeal cartilage raises your pitch and results in a more feminine sound. Sagging laryngeal cartilage also lowers your voice, resulting in a more masculine sound.

Bring out the best in your voice

Take care of your vocal cords.

Your vocal cords, like your skin, need to be protected to keep them from aging too quickly. If you put too much strain on your vocal cords, your voice may sound hoarse, whispery, or otherwise uncomfortable. To protect your vocal cords, take the following precautions: Don’t smoke. Smoking cigarettes has a powerful effect on your voice. It loses volume and bandwidth as a result. If you want to keep your voice clear and strong, you better stop. Hold back on drinking alcohol. Heavy alcohol consumption can also age your voice prematurely. Try to breathe clean air. If you live in an area with high air pollution, fill your house with plants to keep the air clean. Every once in a while, try to escape the city and get some fresh country air. Don’t yell too much. If you’re a big fan of hardcore music or just like to scream every once in a while, you should be aware that it takes a toll on your voice. Many singers have been exposed to laryngitis and other voice disorders because of the overuse of their voices.

Lower your stress level.

When we experience stress or surprises, it causes the muscles around the larynx to contract, producing a high-pitched voice. If you’re often nervous, anxious, and stressed, this high-pitched voice can become your everyday voice. Take steps to relax so your consistent, full voice can form again. Try taking a few deep breaths before speaking. This will calm you down and also prime your diaphragm so your voice sounds better. Before you react, take 10 seconds to think. If you give yourself time to collect your thoughts before you get nervous or surprised, you’ll have more control over your voice. Think, swallow, then speak – you’ll find your voice sounds much more controlled and relaxed.

Practice singing.

Singing along with instrumental or vocal accompaniment is a good way to increase your pitch range. Likewise, you can practice singing along with songs that are out of tune. Whenever you sing along, try to keep the notes and pitch as close to the original as possible without straining your voice. To the piano accompaniment, start singing a scale: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, do. Start with the most comfortable, natural pitch for you. Repeat the scale, increasing the pitch you start on one note at a time until it becomes taxing on your voice. If it gets tiring, stop. Repeat the scale again, beginning one note lower each time and stopping when it strains your voice.

 

About the Author

Maggie Murray

Maggie Murray is a freelance writer with a decade-long track record of helping people lead healthier lives. Her areas of expertise include fashion, travel, gift ideas, and personal budget planning. Maggie is also a big fan of TheKrazyCouponLady.com. That's why she gets an A+ in saving money!