The Male Voice

In this article I am discussing the refinements made to one’s posture, one’s life. Of one of the last refinements considered, when enhancing posture, is that of the voice. Perhaps women can benefit from this discussion but this article is mainly for the benefit of men, young or old.

Many men would like to improve the timbre of their voice. Even F.M. Alexander began his method to change his appearance because he was losing his voice during his stage performances. To fix this he would stand before mirrors, hours at a time, to position his head, neck, and chest so that his voice would sustain during his performances. He found that one’s posture had everything to do with the timbre and sustain of his voice.

I too wanted to have a nice baritone or bass to my voice. I tried several times decades past, prior to learning of the Alexander Technique, and failed each time. I always reverted to my higher pitched voice. Why? Because I had poor posture which only permitted my voice to originate at the throat and sinuses, and not in the upper chest area.

Where today is the voice when we see and hear the movies made decades ago? Today there are Russel Crowe, Jeffrey Donovan, that’s all I can think of. Clue me in if there are a great number of baritone people in general. Where are the voices today that are similar to the men with such great voices as those in years past? Charleton Heston, Robert Mitchum, Humphry Bogart, Sinatra, Lee Marvin. Much of the problem for today’s general populace is that most of us men are captive to cooperate thought. Not many men have what it takes to stand up and keep dignity and a crisp baritone in the strict hierarchy established in today’s workplace, generally many social settings, and yes, universities. Somehow, someway, we must break away just enough so that we regain our individuality and our voice. If you are subtle with your changes you can change for the better. By the way, it is not your fault that you have no baritone, bass, or robust timbre in your voice. Because you are reading this, in your life you have been carefully taught to speak an octave above where you would like to speak.

The vast majority of male actors, speech makers, and politicians today are weak in their voice timbre. Just about all of them have voices that are high pitched and even “squeeky.” They are not even marginally robust. The male singers today do not represent the proper male singing voice. If any of the above speak or sing in a lower pitched voice, it barley reaches down to the upper range of baritone. Please, let’s not consider “metal” music and such singers for the purpose of this article. Consider mainstream broadcasts and review any of the male voices heard and you’ll readily note that the men broadcasting are not sounding like men. Most of them sound like little boys.

How do we men fix a weak voice? One way is to stand in front of the mirror as F.M. Alexander did and change your voice. Yet even he came around to changing his posture to properly position his voice box within his body, this so he could properly use his voice. I too came around to this enlightenment as well.

The first steps to change your voice for the better would be to spend time, perhaps months, lengthening and adjusting the spine, freeing the neck, and balancing the head atop the squared shoulders. Acquire and maintain this pleasant, natural posture. Feel comfortably in this new way of accommodating your life. Please review my earlier posts concerning this subject. Remember these steps are a process and will take time.

Secondly, widen the shoulders. Initially they have been lifted by the neck muscles when the spine is lengthened. In turn the whole shoulder girdle has raised up to open the chest area, to allow the chest to rise. Again, after some months of adjusting to this new body position with your lifted shoulders and chest, you would then feel comfortable to widen the shoulders. To do this allow the scapulas to fall away from the region of the neck.

Thirdly, after some time, you have become comfortable with your widened the shoulders. Now you must allow your chest to continue to move up and more forward, especially the upper part of the chest. The pectoralis muscles from the tips of your shoulders will join in with the neck muscles to pull up and maintain the chest in a higher position. A pleasant note is that the pectoralis muscles have become more pronounced by the widened shoulders. The pectoralis muscles provide a base upon which ligaments, some fat, and by now your improved, vibrant skin, layer over. A plus is that this layering over the voice box gives a resonance when you speak or sing.

The voice is now able to express itself. That is, the voice can become as you wish, a deeper baritone or bass. Begin speaking with a new voice by saying your ABC’s in a baritone or bass voice. Say them as monosyllables, with out the lullaby song we learned in kindergarten. If you want to sing then sing “Wanderin’ Star” along with Lee Marvin” on you tube,

Consider me not as a teacher in this article, but as a brother. I myself, am relearning to speak as well. How do you think I learned to regain my voice? The answer: It was necessary for me to adjust my posture and, through trial and error, practicing lowering the pitch of my voice. Actually there was not much error to it. My corrected posture allowed for my voice box to work correctly, naturally. I consider the voice box to be located below the throat. It is just behind the sternum. Of course it was always there except that I did not use it. Now, when I speak, I have a natural, attentive audience. The women behind the counter readily listen to the man before them. With my voice I vibrate the sound waves in an appropriate radiance of approximately 6 feet, two meters. The effect is more commitment by women to what I say simply because of how I say it. Further I am more free to say what I feel with their willingness to properly respond to me. By the way, men listen and respond to my voice by showing me more respect. Both sexes are more attentive when I speak. It’s like I’ve become a new person who has changed for the better.

It took years for this change to take place. As I mentioned earlier, it took years for me to incorrectly use my body so that I lost my voice. I remember when I was in my middle teen years, my voice had a richer timbre. Changes for the better had to be initiated. It took years to repair my posture so that my young, admirable voice returned. Accordingly it will take some time for your naturally, “rich” voice to return to you. What’s some time compared to a new life.

I think there will be many social changes in the future where men become more independent. In the past, most of us did what we were told, or what has been presented and taught to us, and the effects have been demoralizing for a lot of men. We men have literally lost our voices. Once men, young and old alike, regain their voice, perhaps life for more of us will change for the better.

I have to add that I am looking forward with great gusto, just how my life with this new richer voice is going to evolve. As my voice becomes more robust, so will my upper chest. I can feel it becoming more robust with each time I speak. It is amazing how this more manly way of speaking encourages my shoulders to widen even more. A cycle is occurring. My shoulders widen to bring out a deeper voice, my deeper voice opens and raises my upper chest area, it fills with more gusto. The more robust my chest becomes, the further my shoulders widen. Where will this lead me? Like a river getting closer to the sea, my shoulders and life widen. What greatness awaits around each bend in the river as I sail this life downstream!