Pitch Variability Exercises

Modified on Tue, 25 Jun at 9:28 PM

Pitch variability is the change of your pitch. In order to have good pitch variability, you need to understand what pitch is. Think of pitch as musical notes. Music has high and low notes, while the human voice has high and low pitch.

Exercise 1

Listen to high-pitched and low-pitched voices. Try the exercise mentioned in the YouTube video below to explore the range of your pitch:


(Source: PitchPerfect Training)

Exercise 2

Now that you know what pitch is, the next step is a deeper dive to explore your pitch range. Read the poem Equipment by Edgar A. Guest:


(Source: All Poetry)

Read one stanza from the poem with your natural pitch. Read a second stanza with your highest pitch. Finally, read a third stanza with your lowest pitch. The goal here is to explore the range of your voice and unlock the power of your vocal variety. It may seem uncomfortable or unnatural, but this will help you to understand the true potential of your voice.

Exercise 3

After exploring your pitch ranges, read the poem again but this time, say the first sentence in a high pitch, the next in a low pitch, and repeat. It will sound unnatural, but keep repeating this to finish reading the whole poem. Repeat this exercise by saying a few words with high pitch, and the next few words with low pitch.

Exercise 4

You are already varying your pitch! Now read the poem with meaningful pitch variability to express your emotions. To compare, click the attached mp3 file at the bottom to hear a recital of the poem Equipment with great pitch variability.

By adding emotion to your presentation, whether it is to inspire, convince, or inform, you will naturally vary your pitch and sound more engaging. It should feel natural, not forced. Your pitch will have variety as you vary between high and low pitch to emphasize key points during your presentation.

Pitch variability also depends on how well you breathe throughout your talk. A pause is a natural time to take a breath. When you breathe, your lungs fill with air. This results in greater pitch variety and stronger voice projection when you speak. Before you practice another presentation, inhale and exhale deeply five times before you begin speaking. Take a deep breath and exhale vigorously into your first words. By breathing deeply between ideas, you create a more energetic sound and more voice projection.

By unlocking the potential of your voice, you can use this powerful tool effectively! You will vary your pitch as the situation demands and sound engaging regardless of the presentation type :)

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