Enunciation

September 19, 2017

Correct enunciation is one of the key elements you need to study if you want to master your voice.

Everyone tends to employ more muscles then necessary when enunciating.

Oftentimes the throat closes or gets restricted without you even noticing.

 

How can you practice correct enunciation? Start with this:

Lie on the floor and relax (for help with relaxing go back to the post - how to relax your voice).

Say the words of your song very slowly, as if in slow motion. Carefully watch the feeling in your throat. There will be certain consonants  or consonant clusters where you will notice

a slight or strong restriction in your throat.

 

Here is an example:

HU-NGR-Y when you say the word hungry you are likely to experience that your open 

throat will contract and most likely your lower jaw will close a little.

A-LW-AYS when you say the word always you will feel that the mouth closes 

slightly when you move through the LW. When you sing you want to 

move the tip of the tongue to only so that you can keep the mouth from moving.

That allows you to keep the space open and your sound will be even.

 

Let's do an exercise where you take 3 to 4 syllables at a time and repeat them very slowly. Always make sure your breath is flowing and your face muscles and throat muscles are relaxed. Then start speaking through those syllables and watch the feeling in your throat. Speak deliberately and extremely slow, imagine you are drunk and you are lulling.That helps you to disengage the muscles that want to participate but are not needed. Use the principle of economy of motion.

Only those muscles should work that really are needed. Everything other will be in the way

of freedom and ease in your vocal production.

When you get through your 4 syllables without any tightening sensation in the throat 

or tongue or face then it is time to move on to the next few words. It will take repetition.

You are replacing the memory of how you speak with how you have to enunciate when you sing.

Two different things. Concentrate mostly on the movements of your tongue inside 

your mouth. The tongue should be very active and precise like a fine instrument.

The back of the tongue should never pull back and push onto the vocal mechanism.

That will instantly restrict the flow of the sound. The jaw should stay without movement 

whenever possible. For example: L's T's and D's can all be enunciated without moving the jaw.

It takes practice because when we speak we usually engage the jaw action. 

When we sing we try to keep the position from moving too much. Every movement will change 

the space and possibly pull on the vocal mechanism and take it out of it's equilibrium.

The tongue has different positions for different consonants. Hold the position of 

each consonant without enunciating. Just hold the position and ask yourself which 

parts of the tongue touch what part in your mouth. Then observe the muscles you need to

enunciate that consonant and which are added even though you can do without them.

Each consonant is different and brings different challenges. I will go into more detail in another blog post. For now only practice the slow motion exercise while you are lying on the floor.

I am certain that you will feel a difference.

 

 

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