How to breathe correctly

Breathing correctly for voice actors

As with all things in life practice is key! You must train regularly to ensure correct breathing technique will come to you as second nature when doing voice acting.

Regular practice will enable you to make correct breathing for voice acting a habit!

The following exercises should be done on a daily basis to help you to allow a free flow of air to your vocal chords.

The exercises will also prevent you from damaging your vocal cords and protect your voice from stress and strain. A badly used voice (without correct breathing) will strain and damage easily - sometimes to an irreparable extent. So proper breathing technique is a must for those who use their voice regularly for their profession!

Exercises for the voice actor

1. Stand upright with the spine elongated and the crown of the head pointing straight up. Bend your knees slightly. Put one had on your chest (lightly) and one on your stomach (lightly). Now imagine the air is heavy and take in a quick and deep breath. Imagine the air falling like a large stone into your stomach. Check with your hands that the chest is still (do not press on the chest). Only the stomach should expand in this exercise. Exhale from the stomach, again ensuring that the chest stays still, Repeat this 4-5 times.

2. Lie flat on your back, put your feet flat to the ground with knees toward the ceiling (the legs from pyramids). Place a heavy book such as an encyclopedia on your stomach. Take deep breaths into the stomach as in exercise 1. The book should move up on the inhale and down on the exhale. Get used to this way of breathing and try it standing up as in exercise 1.

3. Stand as in exercise 1. This time blow through your lips to produce a Brrrrrrrrrr noise, make sure the lips roll. Ensure the sound is voiced. Start from a high and comfortable note and slide down to the deepest note you can achieve. Repeat this exercise 5-6 times

4. Repeat exercise 3 but with a Drrrrrrr sound instead, this time the tongue rolls as if to produces a phone ringing sound.

Repeat these exercises daily before any vocal work to warm up your voice and learn correct breathing and you will have a long and healthy career as a voice-over actor!