Last week, I mentioned the way the Bradfordians prepared
their performers so that they could better project their voices in a Tithe
Barn. The other exercise they did in the
same workshop was designed to increase the performer’s breathing capacity.
The exercise was simple but it is effective if practiced;
the recommendation was doing it every day to see improvements. So what was it? Saying the alphabet… three times through…in
one breath. The rate should be constant
(approximately 3 letters per second). In the workshop,
the first time through was done in a whisper, then in a normal voice, then in a
loud voice (using diaphragm, not shouted). As an exercise it can be added to a general
vocal warmup. The first time through only about half the performers could do it, but I can testify that with practice, this does improve!