Speak in your ideal pitch range

When people judge your voice, they usually comment on the quality of your tone. The concept of how pitch is defined can be easily misunderstood. On a technical and scientific level, vocal pitch is described as the way the vocal cords vibrate together to create sound. To a non-technical person, pitch is often perceived as how the voice sounds. For example, the pitch is too high, low, wavering, or sounds thin or weak. Learning to speak in your ideal pitch range is important for presenting strong, rich tones that are aesthetically pleasing to your listener. Describe your current presentation style to strengthen your knowledge.

Voice therapists describe two different types of pitch, usual and optimal. The usual tone is your regular and consistent tone of voice. It’s the pitch you automatically use to speak, but it may not necessarily be your best vocal quality. Optimum Tone produces a rich, pure tone where the muscles of the vocal mechanism work at their maximum to produce an ideal quality voice with natural projection. It would be preferable to speak in your optimum pitch range for speech and professional voice, as this is where the most vibrant and resonant tones are produced.

If there is a significant difference between your usual tone and your optimal tone, it is most likely because you find it easier and more comfortable to speak in your usual tone range. This is the tone level that most people use automatically. Many speakers with a high, thin, or nasal pitch speak from their usual pitch range. Learning to speak from your optimal pitch level is an easy adjustment to make and the benefits will significantly improve your voice and professional image.

Finding your optimal pitch range

The Uh-Huh Trick

Produce the word “Uh-Huh” naturally and comfortably. Move down in your tone when you say it. Say it 3 times. When you say the word “Uh-Huh”, you are producing your optimal and ideal pitch range. The “Uh” is the upper limit for the optimum pitch and the “Huh” is the lower limit for this range. Please note that this is a pitch range and should fluctuate.

The key is to speak consistently and comfortably within your optimal pitch range. The most resonant voice with good tone quality will come from the “Uh-Huh” range. When people speak below their optimal pitch limit, a low pitch or strained voice can be heard. When people speak above their optimal pitch limit, the result is a higher-pitched, thinner-sounding voice with more nasal resonance that can be off-putting to the listener. Speaking from your optimal tone will allow you to produce a rich tone quality with natural projection that will give you control of your voice to persuade, direct and exude confidence.

using a piano

Another approach to finding your optimal pitch is to use a piano. With your throat open and relaxed, make the “Ah” sound. Play each note down the scale until you have reached the lowest, most comfortable note you can easily produce. From that note, go up 3 or 4 notes. The 3-4 note range is your optimal pitch range. You will recognize your optimal tone because your tone quality will be strong, resonant, and physically comfortable to produce.

Initial Tone Practice

Now that you are familiar with your optimal pitch range, experiment with your new pitch. Say “ummm-hmmm” with deliberate intensity and volume. This hum produces its natural, optimal tone as well as the “aha” tone pattern. Producing this sound will create a vibrating buzz in your nose and around your lips. Touch your lips and nose with your fingers to feel the buzz. Play this buzz several times to get familiar with the pitch. When you are speaking in your optimal pitch range, a subtle buzz will always be present.

Note: Producing “ummm-hmmm” has the same effect on finding your ideal voice as the “uh-huh” trick. This is another quick and subtle technique for finding your optimal pitch range before you start speaking.

Tone practice using single words

Start practicing producing single words in your optimal pitch range.

o On one full breath from your diaphragm, count out loud:

Uh-huh one, Uh-huh two, Uh-huh three…..until 10

This will help you speak single words from your ideal pitch range.

o Produce the following words in your tone range. Place your fingers around your lips and nose.

If it is in its optimal pitch range, a subtle buzz should be detected.

Hello experiment without monopoly

Minnesota Right Run Refrigerator

Beautiful Apartment Happy Particular

o Select a word and insert it into the “Uh-Huh counting pattern

Right-one, Right-two, Right-three… up to 10

Bella-one, Bella-two, Bella-three…..until 10

Sentence level tone practice

o Practice with continuous speech. Remember diaphragmatic breathing!

Select a word from above and say it in a sentence you create.

For example, “I’m happy to speak in my ideal voice.” Creating your own sentences will help keep your practice more spontaneous and simulate natural conversation.

spontaneous speech practice

o Using your ideal voice and proper diaphragmatic breathing, produce a short story using 2-3 sentences about:

-A New York City taxi driver and an eager tourist.

-A sea lion and a diver

-China Town and a Fighting Lobster

-A lottery ticket and a cold winter day

-A corrupt chef and a smart FBI agent.

Note: Notice how breathing with your diaphragm and speaking in your optimal pitch range results in natural projection and richer vocal tones.

Do not be alarmed! Do these new voice habits make you feel like she’s talking too loud? Don’t worry. The volume of it is appropriate. You are receiving internal feedback on how your sound waves are resonating in your throat and oral cavity. This can create the perception that you are speaking too loudly when in fact you are speaking with full, rich tones that project naturally. This is your new voice which may take some getting used to. If you continue to have concerns, ask a friend if they think you are speaking too loudly. They will most likely report that you sound great.

general essay

real world practice

Listed below are suggested activities where you can practice speaking in your new ideal and optimal pitch range. When speaking at sentence level, remember to speak on a diaphragm breath, keep your throat relaxed, and speak in your perfect pitch.

1. Produce your ideal voice with proper breathing during all of your morning greetings to co-workers or anyone you’d like to greet.

2. Produce your ideal voice with proper breathing while on the phone. Put a note near the phone to let him know. This is a great opportunity to speak on a conversational level while incorporating your new voice skills.

3. Order coffee or any food using your ideal voice. lunch is a great time

4. Speak in your new voice at every meal you share with someone.

5. Make an association where you can associate a practice opportunity with a simple daily activity, such as speaking in a meeting, greeting a certain co-worker or customer, talking to an employee at the dry cleaner or convenience store. Organize in your mind a regularly occurring event or person where you can use that opportunity to remind yourself to practice.

Identify 3 opportunities where you can associate a practice opportunity in your usual routine.

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