Retaining lowered voice

Hi, after recovering from a case of summer sniffles I’m curious as to whether it’s possible to keep my voice in the lower register it dropped to as soon as I started getting sick. Normally my voice is just a little higher than I’d like it, and can sound more shakey than I’d have it, but when I get sick my voice usually drops a few steps into this really comfortable lower range, however then after a few days it kind of melts away as the virus runs its course.
Seeing as I appear to possess the physical capability to have a voice lower than my “normal” speaking voice, how do I… make it the default?

Where’s my user manual? :frowning:

The knob that controls your voice pitch is located on your back - have someone adjust it for you.

A friend of mine once got sick and it changed her voice permanently—it went from medium-pitched to low and raspy during a cold, and never went back. She had/has no control over it, though.

Try placing your fingers lightly on your throat and singing a high and low note—you can feel the difference in pitch. That might help you to practice.

A lusty clearing of the throat will produce a temporarily lower voice.

I would advise against artificially and deliberately lowering your voice. Most people speak too low in their voices anyway. You might want to take some voice lessons and see if that affects your speaking voice. Forcing it down like you’re talking about is liable to do damage.

Apparently Richard Burton used to go off into the hills and shout himself hoarse in order to give his voice more character, but look what happened to him - he died of a brain haemorrhage*

*[sup]OK, maybe it wasn’t anything to do with the shouting, but it’s still probably not a great idea[/sup]

I’m curious about this statement. Why is it preferable to speak in a higher register? (I dropped out of speech-language pathology study before we got well into it.)

I do know that there are speech language therapists out there who can train this, and at the same time get rid of any pesky regional dialect you might not like and install a new one. Look in the yellow pages for “dialect coach” or, if you’re European, “voice coach”. (In the US, a voice coach teaches singing, not speech.)

Most people speak so low as to enter what’s called “vocal fry”, which is that really gravelly, raspy sound at the bottom of your voice. It’s not terribly good for you (especially in the long term), since it involves the vocal chords sort of slapping against each other, rather than the normal vibrations. It also involves a tighter closing of the arytenoid cartilages than normal, which will tire you out quickly.

I’m sure a speech pathologist could help too. Any professional that knows something about the voice. But I wouldn’t try it by yourself, since the probably technique there would be to try to lower your larynx, which is pretty much the worst way to regulate pitch.

Thanks! That makes a lot of sense.

Wow, that would suck. My voice is already too deep–I sound like Sylvester Stallone on Quaaludes. When I’m sick, it drops down so low I can’t even understand what I’m saying.

Hah, and people never believe me when I say the same thing happened to me. I used to have a very high voice for a guy - even up to my junior year of high school people on the phone would frequently mistake me for a girl. Around then, I got a really bad case of strep, and my voice suddenly dropped an octave and change. It never came back up.

I really don’t recommend it. The strep sucked and it was very disorienting to hear myself talk for a while afterwards.