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Vocal Fry is fixable. Here's how.

Updated: Jul 31, 2023


The Kardashians took vocal fry to a whole new level, and now it's everywhere. A little is ok but only if you know how to control it.

Vocal Fry is fixable. Here's how. - 6:10

Hey guys, welcome to another edition of The Gift of Gab! So today, I want to talk about vocal fry. Okay, it's fun! This is a follow-up video to my super ridiculously popular video on sibilance, which I never thought in a million years would be like my most watched thing on YouTube ever. Why am I overpronouncing my S's? It's another one of those interesting speech quirks that kind of define our voices and that break down vocal characteristics. So, I want to explore that with you today and talk a little bit about what it is and how it happens and help you to discover whether you have it. Is it a problem? Is it not a problem? Is it good? Is it bad? Is it whatever? So let's, yeah, let's talk about it.


Typically, vocal fry happens when we end a sentence or a phrase on a lower pitch and constrict our airway or our vocal cords, creating a sort of creaking sound when we do it. And some people, myself included, hi (demonstrates vocal fry), we have a natural amount of vocal fry that takes place when we speak. I fry all the time. It's not something I think about, it's not something that I do on purpose, it's just a natural component of my voice. It always has been. If I'm being very aware of it and I'm on mic and I'm doing a particular type of character or I'm doing a particular type of accent, I can easily eliminate it. And I usually do this by raising my pitch a little bit and opening and relaxing my throat when I speak, so that I'm extra aware of whether or not I'm placing any type of pressure or any type of constriction on my throat, my airway, my vocal cords. But (demonstrates vocal fry), and I just did it right there. That little bit at the ends of those words and phrases, it's just a naturally occurring phenomenon for some people when they speak.


The majority of us, however, especially in the United States, we are aware of vocal fry, and it has become somewhat exaggerated. Thanks to the Kardashians, yeah, yeah, they popularized the creak. And I think it's because it's so overdone. In fact, the Kardashian creak, I'm surprised it's not called that, to be completely... I don't know why it's not. Maybe I'm creating something new, hashtag Kardashian creak. I don't know, that sounds like a place, whatever. That sound has sort of replaced what we used to think of as the old valley girl from the '80s because that's so passé and so overdone. But their kind of brand of new, modern Californian, Calabasas girl has definitely taken over and is now what people think of as a Californian and as a girl from that area.


From a voiceover standpoint, too much fry can make your voice kind of grading. It can be kind of harsh. To make a really... terrible but very vivid analogy, it makes you sound like a rusty gate. Yeah, literally. If you can picture that, like a really rusty gate on a windy day. A lot of people find it very, very annoying. A little bit of fry is fine and really not a big deal and not something that people are going to have too much of an issue with. Too much fry, and you're kind of in, like, haunted house nightmare voice territory. That's vocal fry in a nutshell.


Is it something that, if you feel you have it, again, should you be overly concerned about it? Again, if it's mild, no, not really. One of the things you should ask yourself, though, is it natural or is it something that you learned? That is always something to take into consideration. Young women, especially, are very susceptible to what they hear, what they see, what they watch, and style icons, and the Kardashians, as an example, being who they are. If you grew up watching them, if you were sort of immersed in that culture, maybe it's not a naturally occurring component of your voice. Maybe it's something you learned how to do, maybe you emulated it without even realizing you were doing it. Then, maybe it's worth exploring toning it down or starting to loosen the throat, relaxing your vocal cords, and starting to eliminate some of the fry.


Thanks for watching, guys! If you haven't seen my video on sibilance, check it out here. It's all about different vocal characteristics. Bye!




Gabrielle Nistico, Gabby Nistico, The Voiceover Vixen, The Business First VO Coach, #VoiceoverVixen #VoiceOnFire #BusinessFirstVOCoach Voiceover, Charlotte, North Carolina, Voiceover Demo, Voiceover Coaching Advice, Working Actors, Los Angeles, New York, audio, coaching, vocal sibilance, vocal fry, Kardashians, vocal technique

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