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How to Make Your Voice Sound Older?

To sound older, you will need to add some gravel, roughness and shaky qualities to your voice. You can achieve an older voice by applying methods such as:

  • Training your voice with vocal exercises
  • Practicing speaking from your diaphragm
  • Incorporate shaky and breathy voice
  • Narrowing your glottis

Combining all these methods will probably give you the best results. So let’s talk about each in more detail.

Shaky and breathy voice

As we get older, our vocal cords lose flexibility, become thinner and weaker. A lot of the time vocal folds start struggling to close fully which introduces more breath to the voice.

Since with age vocal cords become lax and allow more air to pass through without vibrating them you start sounding breathy. Your voice becomes not as powerful and loud as you’re losing air that otherwise could be used to produce a sound.

Also, with age, your voice will become shaky as vocal cords struggle to maintain a consistent gap between them. This causes irregularities in your voice which we recognize as a shaky voice.

To understand what a shaky and breathy voice is you can go and listen to Abraham Simpson from the Simpson’s TV show. It’s a good example to help you visualize what your voice ought to sound when attempting an elderly voice.

How to make your voice breathy?

To make your voice breathy try to push more air than necessary to produce a sound. The extra air that will come out creates the breathy voice you’re attempting.

How to make your voice shaky?

To sound shaky, you can place a hand on the middle of your neck and make it quiver a bit with hand motions. Or if you are capable of that, try alternating the airflow from your lungs as you speak.

Narrowing your glottis

The glottis is somewhere in the middle of your neck. For guys, it’s easier to locate it as it’s where Adam’s apple is.

To narrow your glottis try speaking with a throaty, hoarse voice. You should start sounding a bit more like batman from Christopher Nolan’s movie. You will notice this harsh, vibrating sound from your throat, it should feel a bit uncomfortable in your throat because it actually is a bit tiresome for your vocal cords.

It is not easy to control a gravel voice right off the bat. You will need to practice the voice constantly. Try balancing at what sounds like not too much and not too little of gravel. Usually, it is the former. Then focus on maintaining the same level of gravel. You want to become consistent or it will sound weird if your voice fluctuates during the recording.

Aim for the Clint Eastwood type of gravel.

Training your voice with vocal exercises

Vocal exercises are a great way to improve your voice and will help to expand your pitch and vocal capabilities.

Humming

The first exercise you want to try out is humming. You should create “Ohmmmmm” sound if that makes sense. At first, it could sound a bit nasally. If so, try pushing the vibration towards the throat, you should start feeling it resonating in your throat and it will start sounding deeper.

Tongue rolls

Another exercise you want to try out is creating “rrrrrrrrr” sound with the tongue. Try pushing the tongue towards the throat to create deeper vibrations. Doing both exercises will soon make you feel some irritation and warmth in your voice.

Yawning

Another exercise you can try to make yourself sound older is yawning. It releases stress from your mouth muscles. Reducing tension in your vocal muscles will increase the amplitude of your pitch and make it easier to modulate your voice.

It’s a good idea to do these exercises regularly and right before attempting an older-sounding voice. Warming your voice before performing is a good habit to have for permanent effect, but it’s even more beneficial temporarily as you can sense an immediate change in your voice.

Speaking from diaphragm

Speaking from a diaphragm or belly button simply means you are breathing using a diaphragm when speaking. Your voice power comes from how much air you can produce from the lungs and utilizing the diaphragm helps to inhale deeper. Learning this technique will help you to control your voice better.

Breathing from the diaphragm is more effective at producing a lot of air since it is deeper breathing compared to when you are breathing using the chest only.

How do you know when you are breathing using your diaphragm or chest?

When breathing through the diaphragm which is a large muscle right below the chest, you will feel as if your stomach is filling in. That is because the diaphragm is expanding and pushing down to allow more air to come in. When you are breathing from the chest, it is going to be a quicker more shallow breathing and most notably your chest will rise a lot.

When you are breathing from the diaphragm, your chest will rise a bit as well, but it won’t be as noticeable.

At first, you will probably be breathing through your diaphragm only consciously, but after some practice, it’s possible to make it an unconscious effort. You can practice breathing through the diaphragm by simply consciously breathing using it or you can lay down and put a book on your stomach and slowly breathe through the diaphragm to strengthen the diaphragmatic muscles.

Essentially both vocal exercises and diaphragm breathing won’t give an old-sounding voice alone, but they will help you to control your voice better and apply the techniques that make you sound older.

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