If you’re a podcaster and haven’t heard the term “vocal fry” before, it’s definitely something you should learn more about! It could potentially be an area for improving your voice, or maybe something you don’t need to worry about at all. In this article, we’ll dig into learning a bit more about vocal fry for podcasters.
What Is Vocal Fry?
You’ve probably heard the effects of vocal fry before, even if you didn’t realize it. It can show up in singers and speakers of any kind, and it’s a hot topic of debate. Vocal fry refers to dropping your voice into the lowest register, often resulting in a deep breathy or croaky sound.
It has become more of a fad in recent years, popping up all over the place and giving everyone a perceived aura of relaxation. Think of a stereotypical surfer dude telling you to “relax, brah!” or the Kardashians, and you’ll get the idea.
Click play on the following video to hear a sample of vocal fry, if you dare.
How Does Vocal Fry Happen?
Vocal fry occurs from the shortening and closing of your vocal cords. It’s sometimes called a glottal fry or glottal scrape. The sound it creates is similar to a sizzling sound, hence the name vocal fry. When you drop your voice down to its lowest register it alters the way in which vibrations are produced, in turn altering the cadence and tone of your voice.
Is Vocal Fry Damaging Your Voice?
The jury is out on whether vocal fry is damaging. There is, however, evidence that it can cause some damage if used in a prolonged manner. After all, it is your vocal cords and folds scraping together. The best way to prevent damage is not to force your voice into the vocal fry register too often or for too long. There are also exercises you can do if you are prone to slipping into vocal fry that can help to open up your voice more and prevent the Kardashian-style speech.
Exercises to Stave Off Vocal Fry for Podcasters
- Breathe deeply several times to allow more breath to run over your vocal cords.
- Ensure you strengthen the end of your sentences. Slow down, speak in shorter sentences, and make sure to take deep breaths as you speak to prevent running out of air.
- Raise the pitch of your voice. Try to stay in the mid-range of your vocal register.
- Do vocal exercises and warmups before speaking.
Is Vocal Fry for Podcasters a Good Thing?
Now for the answer to the question you’ve been asking all along: is it okay to speak with vocal fry in your podcast? The answer is: maybe!
It really depends on both your audience and the type of content you produce. An older audience tends to look down on prolonged use of vocal fry, while audiences under 40 tend to view it as a more relaxed and relatable way of speaking. It’s certainly not uncommon to hear in podcasts.
Allowing vocal fry into your content isn’t necessarily bad, but be mindful of how your audience perceives your voice. While it’s true we can’t really change what we’re born with, there are vocal exercises and training that can be done to help develop a voice that’s very pleasant to listen to.
The main thing to remember is to do what’s right for you, your content, and your audience!
If you’re interested in better understanding how your voice is coming across to your audience, you may also be curious to learn about uptalk. Using a quality microphone suitable for your voice also helps to ensure a podcast that’s enjoyable to listen to.
Need more help creating and growing an amazing podcast? Looking to perfect your sound and style? Send us a message or schedule a free call today!