5 Minute Vocal Reset by Dane Chalfin

Updated: Jul 9, 2018


5 Minute Vocal Reset

Is your voice feeling tired, sore, achy or fatigued?


Do you find your voice gets worse throughout the day?


Do you want a quick, effective routine to get your voice back to neutral?


A 5 Minute Vocal Reset might be exactly what you need. All voicing is muscular. Getting your voice muscles back to neutral after use is key to longterm vocal health. A vocal reset can be used numerous times per day depending on how heavy your daily vocal load is.



Stretch and Release


Step One: Stretch and Release - 2 minutes


Exercise 1: Shoulder Clocks

  1. Imagine you have a giant clock face on both sides of your shoulders.

  2. Take the shoulders up to 12 o’clock.  Breathe.

  3. Take the shoulders all the way forward to 9 o’clock. Breathe.

  4. Take the shoulders all the way down to 6 o’clock. (Still breathing.)

  5. Then take the shoulders all the way back to 3 o’clock.

  6. Now start at 12 and move one hour at a time (12, 1, 2, 3, etc.)

  7. Now go anti-clockwise the same way.

  8. Repeat this twice in each direction making sure to move all the way through whole clock face.

Exercise 2: Head/Neck Rolls

  1. Drop the head so the chin is touching the chest or as close as possible.  Let gravity have the weight of the head.

  2. Slowly and smoothly drag the chin from the center of the chest up towards the left shoulder.  Only take it as far as you can, keeping the chin touching the chest.  Hold for 15 seconds and keep breathing!

  3. Slowly and smoothly drag the chin back to the center of the chest.

  4. Repeat on the other side.

  5. Do this twice on each side.

Exercise 3: Head Tilt

  1. Keeping the head facing forward drop your ear down towards your shoulder.  

  2. Relax the jaw and let gravity have the weight of the head.

  3. Stay in this position for 15 seconds and breathe.  

  4. Repeat on the other side.

  5. Do this twice on each side. 

Exercise 4: Jaw Massage

  1. Place your fingers just under the cheekbones back towards the ears.

  2. Press into the muscle and drag the fingers down and back towards the back of the jaw.

  3. Repeat 10 times.

  4. Be careful not to push the head forward or tense the neck. 

Exercise 5: Tongue Massage

  1. Grab your chin placing your thumbs into the fleshy part under the jaw.

  2. Massage the fleshy muscular area under your chin with the thumbs for 30 seconds.

  3. Be careful not to push the head forward or tense the neck. 

Exercise 6: Teeth Washing

  1. Give your teeth a good scrub with your tongue.

  2. Start with the upper teeth and go around clockwise five times.

  3. Now repeat anticlockwise five times.

  4. Move to the bottom teeth and repeat the previous steps.

  5. The back of your tongue may ache a little in this exercise. Reduce the repetitions if it gets too unpleasant.

Exercise 7: Chew and Yawn

  1. Chew an imaginary piece of toffee keeping your lips closed gently.

  2. Imagine the toffee is growing as you check and make space for it at the back of the throat and mouth without opening your lips.

  3. This will eventually make you want to yawn.  Enjoy a full, open yawn when you feel the impulse.  A good yawn can last for several seconds.  Try not to cut the yawn short.  Feel the stretch in the back of the throat and in the breathing muscles all the way down into the pelvis.

  4. Repeat this three times.  


Breathing Exercises


Step Two: Breathing - 1 minute


1. Sit on the edge of your chair with a comfortably straight back and neck.

2. Release the belly wall muscles without dropping your posture.

3. As you breathe in let the belly wall expand. Don't lift the chest. Keep the breath focused in the belly.

4. When you breathe out gently draw the belly button towards the spine. Keep your posture upright.

5. Breathe out on a gentle "sss" whilst drawing the belly inwards.

6. When your breath in remember to release the belly wall muscles.

7. Do this five times.

8. Now breathe out on a gentle voiced "zzz." Use a low, gentle, breathy pitch. There should be no effort in the throat. Keep drawing the belly wall in as you breathe out.

9. Repeat this five times.



Straw Phonation

Step Three: Semi-Occlued Vocal Tract Exercises (SOVT) - 2 Minutes


SOVT exercises like blowing bubbles into water through a straw, lip bubbles, tongue trills and voiced fricatives can help reduce the pressure on the vocal folds and reset the vocal tract. Choose your favourite SOVT exercises and do the following steps:


1. SOVT on a single low pitch for a few seconds whilst gently drawing the belly wall towards the spine. Remember to release the belly wall when you breathe in. Repeat this five times.


2. SOVT on the same low pitch but this time move back and forth between this pitch and a tone above several times. Make sure the belly wall is still coming in towards the spine slowly and steadily regardless of the pitch change.




3. Gradually and gently increase the pitch range, but stay in your comfortable, modal or chest register. Slide between the pitches smoothly up and down keeping the out-breath connected to inwards movement of the belly wall.

Increasing SOVT intervals

Your voice should now feel looser, lighter and be operating with less local vocal effort in your throat.


You can use this routine on your lunch break, in between gig sets, during the interval of your show, or once every hour or two in the recording studio.


Singing teachers, vocal coaches and choir directors can also benefit from using a Five Minute Vocal Reset throughout their teaching day.


The most important thing to remember is that all voicing is muscular. You can keep this muscle use from turning into difficult vocal tension by getting your voice back to neutral as often as possible.


If you would benefit from more information on how to keep your voice healthy or want to take your vocal training to the next level, why not book your initial consultation with me?


However, if your voice has felt abnormal for more than two weeks you should get a check up in your nearest Specialist Voice Clinic.


#vocalhealth #vocaltips #accentmethod #sovt #stretching #singingtechnqiue #singersvoiceofreason


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