Often people find the masculine voice in men more attractive. We all have the voice that we’ve been born with but there’s still a way to train and change our voice to make it more masculine.
Our voice is determined by many factors such as the length of vocal cords, relaxation of our upper body, manner of speech and resonance within respiratory cavities. We can work on these aspects of our body and speech to control and adjust the voice to make it sound more masculine.
To sound more masculine you’ll have to learn to control your pitch via practicing changing it. In addition, you’ll be learning to relax your upper body, engage your diaphragm muscles, speak slowly and add some grittiness to the voice. On top of that, you want to maintain a monotone, quiet voice and then if you’re recording you can apply some microphone techniques and software to fine-tune your voice.
Engage the diaphragm
One of the best ways to add depth to the voice is by strengthening and learning to use a diaphragm when breathing. This is also known as belly breathing.
Most of us by default do shallow breathing which only involves the chest. You want to engage diaphragm muscles to achieve deep diaphragmatic breathing.
To engage diaphragm muscles when breathing inhale the air until you feel the diaphragm pushing towards your belly. In contrast to shallow breathing, your chest and shoulders won’t rise as much and you should feel as if your tummy is filling up. Also, occasionally you can get a bit lightheaded due to increased oxygen in your lungs.
Using a diaphragm expands your internal cavities and gives more room for deeper resonance. Also, it gives you more air to work with. It all adds to a more masculine voice.
You can strengthen your diaphragm muscles by laying down and putting on a book on your belly. Then start deep breathing using your diaphragm. This exercises will strengthen your diaphragm muscles and will make it easier to engage them.
Another great exercise for strengthening the diaphragm is inhaling as much air as possible and then inhaling some more and holding it for as long as you can. After that, you wanna breathe it all out and then breathe out some more and hold it for as long as possible. Keep repeating this exercise. It will help you to expand your lungs capacity and train you to use your lungs to their full potential.
You can read more about strengthening the diaphragm here.
Practice changing pitch
To sound more masculine you want to achieve a deeper voice. Therefore, try practicing different pitches when speaking, go up and down. Generally, we only use a part of our vocal capabilities. You need to learn to expand your vocal range.
Take any script or a book and read it with a varying pitch. To make your voice deeper try speaking from your throat. Also, don’t just practice a low pitch, once in a while go as high as possible. Changing your pitch from low to high will add flexibility to your voice and you will learn to change the pitch on cue which is very useful when acting.
You can read more about getting a deep voice here.
Add some gravel to the voice
We associate grittiness and gravel with a masculine voice, think of Liam Neeson, that’s what you’re looking for.
To do a gritty voice practice creating ‘ahhhh’ sound whereas you limit the air coming through vocal cords and that creates a crackling, popping sound. You can listen to the Smaug from The Hobbit movie for more reference.
You don’t need to speak in this voice all the time but it could be incorporated when you need to add some gravitas and emphasis to your words.
If you listen to actors with deep voices almost all of them speak slowly. When we speak slowly our vocal cords tend to vibrate less frequently which is what creates a deeper more masculine voice.
Also, speaking slowly conveys that you’re composed and confident which subconsciously makes you sound more masculine.
Furthermore, don’t be afraid to add longer pauses it gives more time for the listener to comprehend you which adds weight to your words as if they are more meaningful.
Stretch and relax the upper body
The focus for a manlier voice is making it deeper. One of the most common issues that inhibit deep voice is stress in our body, especially the upper part where the voice resonates. When we are tense our voices tend to go higher in pitch.
To avoid tension and achieve a deeper, manlier voice you’ll need to learn to relax the upper body. It will open up more cavities and allow better resonance.
There’re a few exercises I recommend for stretching and relaxing the upper body:
- Stand up and swing your arms back and forth
- Rotate your head
- Look up and down
- Stretch your arm upwards
I am sure you can figure out some more exercises that you prefer but these work great for me, especially the first one is great before performing. You can do them right before performing if you want an immediate effect or if you want a long-lasting deeper voice continue doing them regularly every day.
Also, avoid working out right before attempting a manly voice, or if you do work out make sure to stretch and relax your muscles right away to get rid of the tension in muscles. Getting some massages could also help to relax muscles and achieve a deeper voice.
Perform vocal exercises
Regularly exercising your voice will help to achieve a manlier voice. Here are some exercises you can do:
- Yawning helps to relax muscles within your throat, mouth and face which helps with the resonance.
- Humming by creating ‘hummm’ sound will add some huskiness and warmth to your voice. You can practice humming in different pitch to learn to control it better.
- Pushing the tongue against insides of your mouth will help to strenghten your mouth muscles and tongue which will help to keep them relaxed longer.
Keep monotone voice
To sound more masculine you want to stay monotone. Don’t show much of your emotions and stay calm and grounded. You don’t have to be dull sounding but keep your emotions in check.
You can listen to Alan Rickman performing Snape in Harry Potter movies. He shows emotions with subtle changes in his voice but his pace is always slow and he never bursts with sudden emotions.
To sound masculine you want to stay unaffected by what is happening around you, which shows that you’re grounded, experienced and confident all of which are masculine traits.
Speaking quietly will help to sound more masculine by making your voice appear lower. This is done very well by Thomas Shelby in Peaky Blinders. When he needs to sound more malevolent his voice drops almost to a whisper.
If you can convey a similar whispery voice it will sound as manly as it gets.
Speak closer to the microphone
If you’re recording you can take advantage of the proximity effect to make your voice deeper and more masculine. The proximity effect is especially prominent with dynamic microphones, it makes your voice deeper and boomier the closer you get to the microphone.
However, be careful as getting too close to the microphone may make your audio sound overly boomy and muddy. A good distance from a microphone for a boomier voice is about half of your fist or 4cm. Getting closer might tamper your audio.
Use equalizer to make your voice sound darker
If you’re recording your audio, after applying all the techniques mentioned above you can use the equalizer effect to further enhance your voice and make it even more masculine.
To make your voice sound more masculine you’ll want to apply these changes to the audio using an EQ:
- Boost 80Hz-300Hz frequencies by 2-4dB
- Cut 1-2dB of 2kHz-6kHz frequencies
You can read more about using equalizer to enhance your voice here.