Morgan Freeman didn’t always have that voice. He had to work at it. In fact, he recently stated that the first major step he made towards becoming an actor was learning to lower the pitch of his voice.
The voice started when I was in college, when my first efforts were in officially learning the business of acting. That’s not really what you should be trying to learn, you should be trying to get your instrument honed, and part of that instrument is your voice. And I had an instructor, a man named Robert Whitton at LACC, who nailed elocution, diction, breath control, into his students. You made a record at the beginning of his class and at the end so you could hear the difference. The first thing he does is he teaches you that your voice is too high – most people speak with a tense throat and it’s too high – so he gives you techniques on how to relax that. And your voice, it deepens.
But how did he do it? Well, although details have always been a bit sketchy, he did divulge this tip.
In a word, yawn. Yawn a lot.
His explanation: yawning relaxes the muscles of the throat, which relieves your vocal chords of tension and allows them to loosen up – just like slackening a guitar string for a lower note.
And he’s right. The pitch of your voice effectively comes down to three factors: the length, thickness, and tension of your vocal chords. The first two are typically seen as outside of your control (although that’s not true; staying hydrated makes your vocal chords bigger and therefore lower-pitched). But the third is something that you can master. And yawning is just one method for doing that.
I found this comment from a guy who’d heeded Freeman’s advice.
It’s working buddy but you have to be persistent I yawn at least 40 times per day every day for more than three months. It’s been 4 months since I started doing it, and I see results, my friends have noticed it also, and the best part is when I record myself I don’t sound like a damn girl anymore I’m a legit man now 🙂
And another, who thought the advice was along the right lines but that there were better exercises out there.
I’m not sure if yawning is the best exercise, but limbering up the vocal cords is the first step to reaching your potential.
I’ve been called the White Morgan Freeman a solid dozen or more times by complete strangers lol.
And we agree, yawning probably isn’t the best exercise, so check out this new post on how to deepen your voice.
[…] covered this in more detail in another post, but Morgan Freeman has talked about how he deepened his voice to become an actor and named yawning […]