9 Vocal Warm Ups For Voice Actors

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9 Vocal Warm Ups For Voice Actors

The term voice actor is made up of two words, voice, and actor. And as we all know actor is always related to acting and similarly voice actors correspond to voice acting which is largely known as voice over. 

Voice acting and voice actors together form voice over which means, as per Wikipedia, a production technique where a voice—that is not part of the narrative (non-)—is used in a radio, television presentation, filmmaking theatre, or other presentations. Voice acting is based on the art of using one’s voice. Like actors use their facial expressions and body language to mold into a given character, voice actors use their voices to do the same. 

Working behind the screens and having no access to using their features or expression, voice actors rely on their voices and creative skills to breathe life into the characters that they portray. And hence it is incumbent to say that for these people, just like singers, their voice is the most powerful weapon along with their means to earn a livelihood. Therefore, it is also needless to say that it is very important to take proper care of one’s voice. 

Voice acting is a strenuous job no matter how easy and fun it looks. Continuously using your voice for long hours or changing the pitch and tone as and when you need can harm and strain the vocal cord as well as one’s throat muscles. Some voiceovers such as the ones for video games are specifically harder because they involve continuous roaring and screaming. “Throat ripper” is a term often applied to some gaming gigs. It’s the kind of work that could damage one’s voice and leave them unable to audition or work for days or even weeks.

Vocal Warm Ups For Voice Actors
Benefits of Vocal Warm Ups

Vocal strain is the most common problem that voice actors suffer from. Officially known as muscle tension dysphonia (MTD), is an overuse of the vocal cords that presents itself in many uncomfortable or painful symptoms. This voice problem can dramatically alter your voice’s sound and quality and requires proper care and treatment to prevent permanent damage.

It is therefore very important to understand the severity of overusing one’s vocal cord and voice and take appropriate care of their voices to help them in the long run. And how can one take care of their voice? The answer lies in three very simple steps: 

  • Staying hydrated
  • Checking what you are consuming
  • Vocal warm-ups

In this article, we are going to discuss nine vocal warm ups for voice actors that could help them maintain their voice quality as well as prevent it from getting strained. So, without further ado, let’s get started. 

1. Full body warm up 

The first step is to always warm up your full body. Yes, that’s right. Vocal warm ups have to be backed up by a full body warm up. Why though? Well, the reason is pretty simple, full body warm up allows the blood and oxygen to flow, warming up the whole body and allowing you to relax. This is even more necessary during winters or if you work for hours in an air-conditioned space. This may include exercises such as jumping jacks, heel touches, etc.

2. Lip Sirens

For this vocal warm up, breathe out, close your mouth and try to say the word ‘B’ while keeping your lips relaxed. You should feel a vibration that creates a bubbling sound. Now start with your normal speaking range and once you get comfortable slowly move up and down in the pitch. This exercise is meant to relax your lips so that you don’t trip over them. 

3. Tongue twisters

As kids, we all have been fascinated with tongue twisters, isn’t it? Apart from being fun, they are also a form of vocal warm up. There are several tongue twisters available on the internet that you can use. Here are a few for you: 


Someone Said Something Simple
A Simple Something Said To Me
Simply Simple Someone Said
A Simple Something Said To Me


Crooked Cookies Cakes And Pies
Crooked Cookies Cakes And Pies
Crush It Crack It Crapper Ties
Crystal Critters Cry Like Mad
Croaking Choking Frogs Are Sad

4. Z-Sirens

Just like lip siren, this is another form of siren exercise. Breathe out and with your mouth closed, make a Z-sound. Keep your mouth slightly open, teeth closed and jaw relaxed. Again, just start speaking at your normal range and then move up and down in pitch.

5. The stray trick 

For this vocal warm up, simply take a straw and try humming or inhaling and exhaling with the straw in your mouth, keeping your lips closed around it. Eventually, you will start to focus on your breathing while your body and face stay still. 

6. The hissing exhale 

In this vocal warm, start by inhaling as much and for as long as you can. Then exhale while producing an ‘sss’ sound. Once you start to get comfortable around this, switch up the time you are inhaling and hissing. Your aim should be to go longer with the hissing until you start to run out of breath. 

7. The Fricatives 

This vocal warm up for voice actors is very frequently used by vocal coaches which include the use of fricatives. Now, what are fricatives? They are consonants that are formed by impeding the flow of air so that a friction sound is produced. Some of the most common consonants include Fs, Ths, and Vs. You can find out more about them and how to use them on YouTube. 

8. Lay on the floor 

Another very easy vocal warm-up is to lay on the floor, rest your hands on your stomach and start practicing a vocal piece. This way when you start to concentrate you can start to feel your diaphragm move. This is a good way to focus on one’s breathing. 

9. Sighing 

The last vocal warm up we will discuss today is sighing. Yeah, that’s right. Sighing is a form of breath support exercise. For this one, just simply sigh out an open vowel sound such as  “uh”, “ah”, “oh”, “oo”, “ee, etc. Like all other exercises, start soft and increase the volume slightly with each one. The aim is to find a relaxed, free sound. 

Voice is an integral asset for each one of us but specially people such as singers and voice actors who use them to earn their living. Hence, it is very important to take proper care of one’s voice at all time. The above discussed vocal warm ups are the ones that are sure to help.

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Author Since: March 14, 2022

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