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Tommy Griffiths 5-Minute Vocal Workout for Actors

How do you keep your voice in tip-top shape? Have you considered a workout regimen that supports your voice?

Singers, film, TV, and stage actors all have exercises they do to prepare their voices before hitting the stage or set.

Likewise, it’s a good idea for voice actors to prepare their voices before recording a gig or auditioning for a job. A regular workout for the facial muscles, lips, mouth and tongue is a great way to maintain good articulation, breathing, and posture. With daily practice it will help wake up your vocal cords and ensure your voice always comes out strong and clear.
Some of the best voice-over workout tips that I’ve heard of are from Tommy Griffiths, a thirty year veteran of the voice-over industry. Join VOX Daily today to learn his three easy exercises that will have you speaking in top form in no time.

As with any other part of your body, your voice is supported by muscles. Not just your facial muscles but your tongue and diaphragm too. Keeping those muscles limber and toned is important for voice actors and anyone who uses their voices professionally.

As the saying goes, “use it, or you’ll lose it.” But speaking isn’t enough to maintain the fitness of all those supporting systems. To improve and maintain the quality of your voice and perfect your articulation you need to work those muscles every day.

Tommy Griffiths, a voice-over artist, voice coach, demo producer and actor, recently sent us an easy 5-minute workout for an episode of our Voice Over Experts Podcast that will have you seeing results almost immediately. It’s fast, easy, and effective. After practicing his workout several times myself, I’d venture to say it may very well give you a set of nice cheekbones too!

Stretching Exercises for Your Mouth, Tongue, and Lips

For about 1 minute:

  • Grin as hard has you can and hold it for a few seconds, then quickly purse your lips, and hold. Do this back and forth a few times then quickly stick your tongue out. Stretch it as far as it will go. Then touch the back of your upper teeth with the tip of your tongue. Hold for 5 seconds.
  • Say the word “wow.” Notice the positions of your mouth when you say the word? Your lips start out pursed and the word ends with your mouth open. Exaggerate the positions and repeat over and over as though you’re saying the word “wow.” By this point you should feel the facial muscles in and around your mouth.

Improving Your Articulation with the Obstruction Drill

For about 2 minutes:

  • First, find some piece of copy and an obstruction for your mouth. Ideally, something about the size of a wine cork. Sit up straight or stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Place the obstruction between your front teeth and read the copy out loud as clearly as possible. The obstruction will force your muscles to overcompensate for the difficulty in articulating the words. Keep reading for about two minutes.
  • Then take the obstruction out of your mouth and read the same piece of copy. You’ll notice that you now effortlessly pronounce the words.

Learning to Master Your Plosives

For about 2 minutes:

  • Hold the palm of your hand a few inches away from your mouth, about where you would typically place your mic. Then say, “Pam’s preppy pal Peter.” You’ll likely feel a rush of air with the P’s. That rush of air is what creates the popping sound through your mic.
  • With full vocalization, practice saying “Pam’s preppy pal Peter” until you no longer feel the rush of air.Practice this every day for about two minutes and soon it will become second nature to speak in a way that will have you plosive-free, even in your regular day to day conversations.

Did you find this workout helpful?

Tommy suggests that you practice these three simple exercises every day for two weeks before recording your auditions and you will notice a real difference. Give it a try for two weeks and drop back in to let us know how it goes.
If you’d like to listen to Tommy’s episode in full, jump over to Voice Over Experts Podcast now.
Do you have any other tips to add? Share them in the comments below.
All the best,

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  • Jodie
    September 27, 2015, 8:35 pm

    The plosives exercise was especially helpful.

  • Michael Pilon
    February 7, 2017, 3:43 am

    Yes the posies exercise gave me some great help

  • Cynthia L Webster
    May 18, 2018, 12:57 am

    Great exercises! Thanks!