Vocal Fry - Steaks on a Grill

Vocal fry – like grilling steak! Not too comfortable on the vocal folds.

Vocal fry refers to what happens when the voice drops back into the throat so it sounds rough and deep. A very common behaviour, it is copied between peers, mostly unconsciously, a bit like using up-talk and fillers, for example, ‘like.’  The problem? It can seriously damage the vocal cords after a while (like that steak on the grill!) And it can be perceived as disconnected and unauthentic.

I have been very sensitive to these types of vocal habits since I lost my voice in January for 3 weeks. For teachers and singers, issues with the vocal cords are very prevalent. They result largely from poor breathing and support, as well as chronic dehydration; tight neck, throat and face muscles; and misuse of the voice. Vocal fry is a habit of speech that can lead to damage over time. Plus it sounds terrible. 

Pay attention to how you speak. Given that we often speak this way due to unconscious imitation, it is important to listen to how we speak to identify this issue. Try recording yourself during a conversation or while on the phone. Then you can consciously add the breath and muscular base needed to support the voice properly.

Read on for more details. The video really explains it well. 

 

What is ‘vocal fry,’ and why doesn’t anyone care when men (or women) talk like that?

By Thom Dunn

We’ve noticed women using “vocal fry” for a while now, but it’s recently been recognized that dudes are getting in on the action, too!

“Vocal Fry” is a term for the glottal, creaking sound of lower-register speech oscillation.

You know, like that raspy Zoey-Deschanel-type thing where your voice has that little “GuUuUuUuUuUuUuUh” crackle, instead of the smooth, consistent “Guuuuuuuuuuuuuuh” and — that really didn’t help at all, huh?

OK, it’s this:

We’ve noticed women using “vocal fry” for a while now…

A scientific study was reported in a 2011 issue of Science magazine that’s generally credited with adding the phrase “vocal fry” into the popular lexicon. Before this point, according to the magazine, apparently vocal fry did not exist, although Britney Spears anachronistically employed it in the first line of her debut single, “Baby One More Time” all the way back in 1998. And she wasn’t the only pop star to do so.

Read me…