sign up for our

Home Shop Subscribe Advertise Articles Directories Classifieds Calendar FAQs Contact Us Login

Pop The Top ... Grab A Crab ... Big Pig:
Warm Up Your Voice Before Recording

By Ann S. Utterback, Ph.D.
Voice Specialist
Author, Broadcaster's Survival Guide

Boredom can mean the death of the commitment to do your vocal practice. You have to keep it fresh and interesting.

I’ve had several clients ask me lately for some new articulation warm-ups. These clients are dutifully doing articulation exercises before recording, but they’ve gotten bored with the same old warm-up phrases day after day.

Yet before I list some new phrases to practice, let’s do a quick review of their benefits.


The vocal mechanism is almost all muscle, especially the articulators, which include the lips, the tongue, the jaw, and the teeth (okay, the teeth aren’t muscle). 

In the same way we stretch and warm up our leg muscles before running, we should warm up our vocal muscles before voicing.

Some of the best sounds to use to warm up are called "plosives” or "stops” because they each require a burst of air for their production. 


Plosives in our language are:

t ... d ... p ... b ... k ... g

If you hold your hand in front of your mouth, you should feel a puff of air as you say any of these sounds. Try it.  Hold your hand about three inches from your lips and make a "p” sound several times. 

Do you feel the air hitting your hand? 


And here are some new phrases to use to warm up. 

Begin by exaggerating the plosive sounds. Really blast the air out on the plosives. That will warm up your articulators the quickest. 

Use these warm-up phrases every day before voicing.
  • Pat sat flat.
  • Heat the meat.
  • Ted had lead.
  • Bed spread
  • Pop the top.
  • Deep sleep
  • Rob will sob.
  • Grab a crab.
  • Kink the link.
  • Took a look.
  • Snug as a bug.
  • Big pig. 
Ann S. Utterback, Ph.D., is a voice specialist with more than 40 years experience and has helped hundreds of people make the most of their voices, working with broadcasters, voice over artists and podcasters around the world. An author of eight books and over 50 articles on voice, her Broadcaster's Survival Guide e-book includes advice on how to improve your voice over performance by making simple lifestyle changes.

Click for: Broadcaster's Survival Guide

Your Daily Resource For Voice-Over Success
Tell Us What YOU Think!
Please Note: Since we check for spam, there will be a slight delay in the actual posting of your comment.
Your Name:
Your Email Address (will not be published):
Your Comment:
Your Comment:
Security code:     
No comments have been posted yet. Hurry, and you could be the first!
Back to Articles
Email alerts to new VoiceOverXtra articles
Inspiring interviews help your VO career
For essential voice-over business strategies
With Sean Daeley and Paul Stefano - check it out!