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What is Vocal Fry?

I’ve witnessed many mishaps lately when it comes to vocal fry. I
think it’s important to understand both what vocal fry is and what it is not
before it can be utilized correctly. Let’s first talk about what it is NOT…

Vocal fry is NOT….

1) Pressurized or Squeezed. This is perhaps the most common mistake I hear.
Students hear the low rumble and assume they need to press down on the cords
To make the sound. Vocal fry requires almost no pressure and should feel lazy more than

2) Always Low in pitch. While usually vocal fry is easiest to find in your
chest voice or low end, it can be produced anywhere. Knowing this helps
prevent us from forcing a low throat tone that feels uncomfortable.

3) A thick closure of the muscle. While vocal fry can have a thick sound, appearances can be deceiving.
In the same way pharyngeal exercises sound incredibly harsh and aggressive sometimes but feel really
released and thin, vocal fry is a light, thin closure of the cords.

Ok now let’s talk about what vocal fry IS and how to find it…

Vocal fry IS…

1) A slow vibration of the cord muscles. This is why we must approach it with ease and
without tension. Tension actually speeds up the vibrations and
will either produce a pinched fry.

2) A vocal therapy for the cords. The fry focuses on rehabilitating the
inner edges of the cords. It also works great as a warm-up, since vocal fry comes so naturally to the
groggy, cold voice.

3) Leaving the Basement. Even though its origins are low in pitch
frequency, try rolling up from that sound to higher fry sounds. The trick is
to not add volume but hold back the growth of the note and lightly cry
upwards. You should hear a small measure of fry in higher tones.

4) A Great Bridge Builder. Once you’ve found your fry, try
inserting it into scales or slides where you tend to suffer from the
breaking or flipping between chest and head. Vocal fry keeps the cords
closed through these pesky transitions.

Any other vocal fry plights?? Let me know!

Happy singing!

To book a lesson with Shelby Rollins, contact [email protected] or 615-866-1099.

Shelby Rollins

Author Shelby Rollins

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