What Is Vocal Fry? A Speech-Language Pathologist Explains
The ASHA Leader asks Washington, D.C.-based SLP Laura Purcell Verdun four questions about vocal fry and how she treats it in clients. Read more about vocal fry: https://on.asha.org/2CfpEdh TRANSCRIPT: Glottal or vocal fry is really the lowest vocal register that’s produced. [What is Vocal Fry?] It’s this aperiodic staccato sound that’s formed by compression of the arytenoid cartilages or the vocal processes which are at the back of the vocal folds. Yet the vocal folds are maintained in a relatively loose position – there’s very little air flow – then the voice becomes very sort of a popping or a creaking sound. [So What Does It Sound Like?] It will sound such as, “ahhh,” or within speech it may sound [like], “Today is Tuesday.” [How Do You Aim to Treat It?] So the primary issue with vocal fry is really based upon the nature of the vocal fry which is that there is — Did you catch that? “Vocal fry” — where the nature of the voice changes related to insufficient air flow. So the goal with normalizing voice production or normalized voice quality is based upon sufficient air flow, periodic vibrations of the vocal folds, and then a four word resonance. [How Do You Work On It With Clients?] So from a therapy standpoint we would very much direct our efforts towards attending to the air flow, making sure they take a breath, make sure they check their posture — their shoulders, and their chest are well-stabilized — and that they’re using sufficient air flow really from the beginning to the end of the sentence as it occurs most often at the end of the sentence. So instead of saying, “Today is Tuesday, November 17th.” You would say, “Today is Tuesday, November 17th,” in an effort to sustain the air flow. When you sing, you keep the air moving as you sing when you would never trail off. People tend to do that when they speak so it’s about reinforcing that consistent steady air stream from the beginning to the end.