How to Throw Your Voice

Are you interested to learn how to throw your voice? This is a helpful skill if you want to be a ventriloquist, if you need to deliver a public speech or if you just want to play a trick on your friends. When you throw your voice successfully, the sound you make will seem to be different from your voice. The listeners may believe that they are hearing a voice that is distant from the actual source.

How to Throw Your Voice

Ventriloquism is not an easy skill to master. A ventriloquist throws his voice and the listener tends to hear the voice as if it comes from a dummy within a moving mouth. Here is what you can do to learn this amazing skill.

1. Inhale Deeply

If you want to learn how to throw your voice, you need to firstlypractice deep inhalation. Take a deep breath and draw in as much air as you can. Throwing your voice to create a distant effect needs the pressure by squeezing large amounts of air out of your narrow passageways. Take large breaths through the nose instead of the mouth to avoid making a “gasping” sound.

2. Raise Your Tongue

Make your tongue touch the soft palate which is the soft part near the throat at the roof of the mouth. Using the back portion of your tongue (not the tip), place it near the soft palate without touching it. This narrows the space near the opening of the throat and creates a muffled voice to produce a distant sound effect.

3. Tighten Your Diaphragm

Pull in the muscles on your stomach and contract your diaphragm. This will apply pressure under the lungs. Your diaphragm is the large muscle found directly below the lungs. During deep breathing, the diaphragm is actively involved. Tightening the upper abdominal muscles will also help tighten the diaphragm. This technique will help you put greater control on your voice from your throat.

4. Practice Groaning

While slowly exhaling, make a groaning sound as you breathe through your throat. Keep your airway constricted so as to trap breath around the throat. It results in a groan being locked inside the throat, which makes the sound seem distant. To learn how to throw your voice, practice this technique several times until you become comfortable with making distant groaning sounds. Rest your throat when you feel pain or strained.

5. Make an “Ahh” Sound

Now repeat the previous steps, but instead of making low groans, try to make long “ahh” sounds. Do this when you start exhaling and carry on until all of the air in your lungs is pushed out. You do not have to make the sound loud. Focus first on trapping sound in the throat. It will seem muffled, which makes the sound distant. As you do more practices, gradually make the sound louder.

6. Replace “Ahh” with Words

As you feel comfortable doing the "ahh" sound, continue doing the deep breathing and muscle constricting techniques. This time replace it with short words such as "help me". This phrase is commonly used by ventriloquists when making a puppet sound trapped in a box. Other phrases you can practice with include "over here" or "let me out". Do this repeatedly until you are comfortable with your sound. Do not go beyond 5 minutes at a time when practicing voice throwing. Severe strain can damage your throat. With more experience, you can practice for longer periods.

7. Practice Three Lip Positions

There are three basic positions for the lips that are used when throwing the voice:  the relaxed, the smiling and the open positions.

  • The relaxed position is made by slightly parting the lips while keeping the jaw loose with the upper and lower teeth separated.
  • The smile position is less commonly used in a ventriloquist act. Pull up the muscles at the corners of the lips until you make a slight smiling position. The lower lip should extend slightly more than when you actually smile.
  • The open position is often used to express surprise, but be careful because some of your tongue movements might be seen. While keeping your mouth open and your jaws separated, make the corners of the lips just slightly upturned to create a more open variety than the smiling position.

8. Make Challenging Sounds by Altering Tongue Position

Challenging sounds or labials can be made by altering tongue positions. Sounds like "M" and "B" are usually made by moving the lips. So instead of using your lips, you use your tongue to act as your lip. Try to touch the back of your teeth with the tip of the tongue to produce a challenging sound such as "B", "M", "F", "P" and "V". This position is called "front-press". However, these will not sound as they usually do. Avoid using much pressure and don’t make your tongue touch the roof of the mouth. Otherwise, your "B" will sound like "D" and your "M" will sound like "N".

Here is the video demonstration on how to throw your voice:

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