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Q: Reducing the nasal sound of a voice. ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Reducing the nasal sound of a voice.
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: cgp314-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 02 Jul 2003 14:19 PDT
Expires: 01 Aug 2003 14:19 PDT
Question ID: 224409
I am looking for information on how to reduce the nasal sound of a
voice.  For example, what kind of practices can one to diminish the
nasal resonance in their voice.  I am not looking for professional
voice training services, just information that can be used by an
individual on their own.

Thank you
Subject: Re: Reducing the nasal sound of a voice.
Answered By: bobbie7-ga on 02 Jul 2003 16:55 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello cgp314-ga,  
Thank you for your question.

My search returned the following results for exercises tips or advice
that will help you reduce the nasal sound of your voice.


Reducing Excessive Nasality by Candice M. Coleman, Ph.D.

“There are three nasal consonants [m], [n] and [ng]. (..) The problem
comes when they're produced with too much strain and tension. Think of
the title character in The Nanny television program. There's nasality
at it's worst”


“To reduce excessive nasality, you need to understand a little bit
about how those sounds are made.”


“The soft palate is a membrane from which the uvula hangs. When you
breathe, the soft palate is lowered so that air from your nose can get
into your lungs and back out again. When you speak most sounds, the
soft palate lifts, closes off the nasal passage and air moves out
through the mouth. However, when you make the three nasal sounds the
soft palate lowers and the air comes out through the nose.”

“Hum for a moment. (You're making the [m] sound.) Your mouth is closed
so the air is being released through your nose. Now, pinch your nose
closed. See how the sound immediately stops? If you had said [e] and
closed your nose, it wouldn't have made any difference because the
soft palate is lifted and the air is being released through your

There are two exercises you can try but for copyright reasons I can’t
paste them here.

Candice Coleman explains very clearly how to do these exercises. They
are located at the following link to the Say It Well website.


Here is an exercise that will take the shrillness and nasal quality
out of any voice and lend it to a lovely mellowness.

“EXERCISE: Yawn. Hold your throat open and repeat the word 'mood' very
distinctly three times, pitches as low as you can without growling or
producing a false tone. Imagine that the 'oo' sound comes from your
chest. This vowel opens your throat. Now with your throat in the
position it took to say 'mood' repeat the word 'ice' three times.
Again 'mood' three times ~ then with the throat in the 'oo' position
say 'ice' three times. Do this ten times. Now say 'mood' three times;
with the throat in the 'oo' position say 'early' ~ then substitute the
words 'regular,' 'Mary,' 'pie,' 'fancy' and 'three.' Always say 'mood'
first and be sure to pronounce distinctly. This exercise will take the
shrillness and nasal quality out of any voice and give it a lovely
mellowness. Do this regularly and whenever possible and as long as you
can without tiring unused muscles. Practice using the principles of
contrast in conversation.”

Source: The Woman You Want to Be pp. 58-59


Lisa Popeil, MFA in Voice discusses voice nasality and explains how it
is controlled.

“The controller for nasality is the soft palate, the soft, crescent
-shaped appendage located in the roof of the mouth. When the soft
palate hangs down, a gap is created between it and the back wall of
your throat. In other words, air gets into your nose and resonates
there. If you lift your soft palate and create a seal so no air gets
into your nose, then you will have no nasality.”


The yawning action action lifts the soft palate.

“If you can create a gentle, beginning-of-a-yawn feeling, then your
soft palate will lift, create a seal, and you should produce a nice,
open, non-buzzy sound.”

“Here's a simple experiment to try: let your soft palate hang and say
with your most nasal voice (think Fran Drescher) "I'm being very
nasal." You should sound stunningly nasal if you did it right. Now to
compare, feel "yawny" and say "I'm not being nasal." Notice the
difference? The yawny, non-nasal sound may strike you as pleasant,
elegant and even lovely.”

Singer Magazine


Professionally Speaking advice by Lucille Schutmaat Rubin, Ph.D.

Nasal: “This is a whining sound that makes you sound like a
complainer. People are likely to think nothing ever pleases you! The
voice leaks up into your nose when it should be using your mouth as
the exit. The lazy muscle at the back of your throat (the soft palate)
is the cause of nasality. The palate fails to close off the trap door
leading to your nose. All speech sounds should flow out of your mouth,
except for the three nasal consonants: mn, ng.”


“Lightly place your fingertips on the bridge of your nose and monitor
for the absence of vibrations as you slowly speak this sentence:
“Every little boy ate a bite of bread."

"Any Woman Can"


From Google Newsgroup:

“To bring your voice away from the nose, take a small bit of eraser
(rubber) about 3/4 cm square and hold it between your teeth as you
read aloud. Do this for around 15 mins per night. After a month
or so you should notice a difference in you timbre/voice quality. Do a
recording before and after for comparison sake. Having the teeth/mouth
incapacitated means you have to use the voice box, throat, tongue and
lips more, drawing the expelled air away from your nose to where it is


Instruction for aspiring singers by Mark Baxter:

“My voice is very nasally sounding. I can't seem to shake it. Do you
have any exercises that will help me sing clearer and without this

“Hold you nose when vocalizing. Sing so you don't feel you fingers
buzzing. Nasality means you are using the nose as a catch-all for air
pressure. Singing breathy is also a counter measure, but that may not
be the vocal effect you're looking for. Reduce your volume as you

Get Signed: Mark Baxter


Nasality may result from a lazy way of talking. There could also be a
physical weakness of the soft palate. A nasal or whiny voice sounds
less authoritative and less professional.

“To correct a nasal voice, tape yourself. You must train your ear to
hear it. Practice saying words with plosive sounds: p, b, k, g. This
requires more energy and will help to tighten the muscles.”

DiResta Communications


Is Your Voice Nasal?

“The main cause of a weak, nasal, voice is tension in the muscles at
the back of the tongue. “Talking through your nose” is usually caused
by not opening your mouth wide enough when speaking. If your mouth is
not opened wide enough when you speak sound will be forced to come
through your nose. Train the muscles at the back of your tongue to
relax. Test this by holding your hand in front of your mouth and nose
then feel the air as you blow it alternately through your mouth, then
your nose. When speaking, the air should be coming through your mouth
in order for it to be clear and crisp.”



Can I change my voice so that it sounds less nasal? 

“If your voice sounds nasal, it is likely that you use limited jaw
movement when you speak. That is, you probably open your mouth rather
limitedly as you talk. When you speak or sing, the sound waves coming
from your voice box are influenced by the spaces of your throat,
mouth, and nose (think of the spaces as auditoriums). If you speak or
sing with limited mouth opening, you diminish the pleasing effect
which your mouth space can have on the sound waves, and, in turn, you
emphasize the effect your nasal passages are having on the sound
waves. You can lose the nasal quality and achieve a brighter, fuller
voice as you learn to move your jaw generously as you speak (or

When Your Voice Means Business


The book “Set Your Voice Free” by Roger Love may interest you. 

From Google Newsgroups:
“Voice-coach-to-the-stars Roger Love wrote a bit about overly nasal
tone in his book "Set Your Voice Free".  He says it can be changed:

Once your voice becomes nasal, for whatever reason, it may get stuck
in that nasal place.  Why?  One prominent reason is "sound memory."
Your brain remembers what you sound like every day, and it's    
constantly reassessing what the qualities of "you" are.  It hears
the sounds you make and tries to duplicate them the next time you


“Fortunately, you can use the same sound memory to help lead you out
the problem.  Practicing new ways of making sounds not only teaches
you how to do it--it also tells the brain, repeatedly, this is how I
sound.  This is the voice I want, and when I get off track, this is
the way to get back.”

“The book is pretty interesting, and includes a CD with demonstrations
and exercises.”

Source: Google Newsgroup

"Set Your Voice Free" by Roger Love is available at Amazon.


Search Criteria:

Reducing Nasality
Exercises for a nasal voice 
Exercises for Reducing Nasality
Decrease voice nasality
How to reduce nasality
Tips “voice nasality”
Exercises OR tips to reduce nasal voice
Advice for a nasal voice

I hope this helps. 

Best Regards,
cgp314-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: Reducing the nasal sound of a voice.
From: kriswrite-ga on 02 Jul 2003 19:54 PDT
As a vocal coach, I can tell you the #1 reason for a nasal sound is
relying too heavily on breathing through the nose. That may sound
weird, but as has been mentioned here already, breathing through your
nose places your soft palate in such a position that you're likely to
make nasally noises. We all breathe naturally through our noses and
our mouths, but those with nasally voices almost always over-rely on
breathing through the nose.

So you can make a concerted effort to breathe more frequently through
your mouth. You can also practice talking while holding your nose,
making note of where you feel vibrations and other sensations in your
head when you do so. (For the healthiest speaking, you should feel
vibrations near your teeth, on your teeth, on your lips, and even in
your cheekbones.) Then try to replicate those sensations without
holding your nose.


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