Using Your Voice Like A Pro
Learn how to stretch your voice and raise your pitch. This is the cornerstone of learning how to make your voice sound more natural and native to English. Raising your pitch while placing stress on words will help the listener hear what you are saying! First let’s learn how to raise your pitch.
Transcript to the recording HERE!
By the Way, I’ve underlined the compound words in this script for you, and words that have two main words together. Stress the first word in each of the underlined groups.
Hi Everyone this is Pronouncing English with Pam. I want to give you a little hint about what we are talking about today.
(The band Queen singing Bohemian Rhapsody)
No it’s not singing…
Did you guess that we are going to talk about PITCH CHANGES? Cause that’s the right answer!
I choose the group Queen because the singer Freddie Mercury, his voice was the vocal power of this group. His pitch range went from lows to highs. Some say he was known as a baritone speaker and a tenor speaker. Which means the lowest of lows and the highest of highs.
There was a group of Austrian, Czech, and Swedish researchers that recorded his voice while he was talking. They found that his median speaking frequency was 117.3 Hz. and this led to the conclusion that his voice was flexible enough to step out of his pitch ranges. He is quite amazing. But NO we are not going to sing, and NO we don’t have labs that can record our voice and figure out what our pitch level is.
Here’s what we’re going to do today. We’re going to practice moving our voice up and down. Why are we doing this? Because we want to put some personality into our speaking. To figure out where median voice range is I want you to just say, AH….. Don’t sing it! Just naturally and comfortably take your voice and say AH….
We don’t need these researchers with their fancy lab to figure out what our voice is doing right now, we are just going to say that this is our average pitch level.
To understand English melody is to understand that some words are said at a higher pitch. We stress certain words in a sentence. Just like I just did.
“We STRESS certain WORDS in a SENTENCE.”
One of the definitions of stressing a word is by raising the pitch. So let’s practice!
Let’s take our average pitch sound and raise it.
So I did AH…..now higher AH….high to low AH…..
Now try a lower pitch and raise your voice higher AH…
Record yourself and listen to it.
I don’t want you to get louder. I want you to change your pitch.
I’m going to give you an example, right now, of one of the ways I change my pitch.
We stress words, so here’s a rule for you because this works out for you almost all the time.
We have something called a compound noun and what that is, is that it’s made of two different words separately but when we put them together it will form a single meaning.
So a compound word can be written (spelled) together as one word like “baseball”. We have the word BASE and BALL but put together it means a specific sport. BASEball.
Spell this word together.
Or you can have a space inbetween the two (words) like a Sports car. Here you are describing what kind of car you have, a SPORTS car and there is a space inbetween the two.
These are compound nouns. And can you hear how my pitch rises?
The rule is when the compound word is made up of two nouns and the primary stress will be on the first noun. Because it’s the primary stress and I just told you a little bit about (using)your voice- one way that we stress is by raising our pitch a little bit. I’m going to doing it for you and I want you to do it as well. Let’s do it (practice) like Freddie Mercury.
And the reason why is that you are not used to doing this.
We are going to practice stressing the first part of the word so we are going to raise our pitch in the beginning.
BASEball, high-low, SALESman, POST office, SEATbelt
Listen to the pitch changes in a sentence
Put on your SEATbelt.
Listen to the pitch changes in the word airplane.
I’m taking an airplane (not a train).
Can you hear how these words are at a higher pitch?
So that the listener can hear it better.
I hope that you said some higher pitch sounds and then went down to your normal pitch- the one where it’s “AH…” We’re not going any lower today.
Record yourself and listen to me and see if we sound the same!
Have a great week! And let’s go out and sing like Freddie Mercury, I’ll leave you with an example of his singing range….
Click here to add your own text