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Happy New Year from SonoVoice!

Welcome to our first Vocal Fitness Friday edition of 2024.

In the next edition we will continue to explore ways to practice with SOVT sounds, but first, a quick review of what we’ve covered so far. 

SOVT stands for semi-occluded vocal tract, which means we’re partially blocking or closing the vocal tract (everything between the vocal folds and your lips or nose). Semi-occluded vocal tract sounds include lip, tongue, and raspberry trills, humming, and singing through straws, among others. These sounds create a “cushion” of air above and below the vocal folds and allow the vocal folds to vibrate in the most efficient way. Singing on these sounds allows you to exercise your voice in a way that creates less stress and less impact on the vocal folds. 

SOVT exercises also help the vocal folds get into just the right shape to produce the most power and flexibility, can help smooth out transitions between registers and decrease register breaks, and can help you get the most acoustic power for the least amount of effort.

The first SOVT exercise we explored was singing on single notes, holding out each note as long as you can comfortably sustain it (it shouldn’t ever feel pushed or strained). This is an isometric strength exercise–kind of like doing a plank with your voice. Pick out a note in a comfortable range, choose your SOVT sound, and hold out the note as long as you can without straining. Then, go up or down to the next note. See if you can do five consecutive notes. If it feels good, you can continue going up or down as high or low as you like as long as it stays comfortable. 

Until next time,
Your SonoVoice Team

Ready to try it?

Choose your SOVT sound (lip trill, humming, singing through a straw, or singing through a straw submerged in water). Start at a comfortable pitch and hold it out as long as you can comfortably hold it (not as long as you can possibly hold it). It should never feel pushed or strained. Then move up or down to the next note and do the same.

See if you can do 5 notes in a row (for example, C-D-E-F-G: the first 5 notes of a C major scale).  As long as it doesn’t feel tight or strained, you can experiment with going even higher!

Until next time,
Your SonoVoice Team

Next Week: Pitch Glides

You are a vocal athlete!

Athletes put superhuman demands on the human body. They practice to stay in shape, get better and prepare for the event. No athlete expects to perform at their best without working on their technique, practicing skills, and preparing for the game. 

The same goes for you as a vocal athlete. Practice will help you be prepared for your event: performance. Unfortunately, there’s no shortcut! If you want to be at your best as a singer, you’ll need to establish a regular vocal exercise and practice regimen.

In our weekly Vocal Fitness Friday email, SonoVoice's team of experts in science-based voice training  will be sharing information about how the voice works, tips on keeping your voice healthy, and ideas for vocal exercises for peak vocal fitness.