Singing carries a message with it. If your articulation of the song’s words isn’t at its best or if it’s drowned amongst style effects, the song’s message will need to be decoded by the listener.
Unlike with a conversation, when you’re singing, your listener can’t politely interrupt you with “Sorry, I didn’t catch that.” So, while you may be singing beautifully, when the message is garbled you risk frustrating and confusing your listener and ultimately diminishing the experience.
Singers like Céline Dion, Jessie J or Mariah Carey are sometimes ridiculed for their facial expressions. But there is a reason these artists’ faces are sometimes contorted when they sing: opening your mouth wide when singing helps circulate air while articulating each syllable.
The many advantages of articulation:
Great articulation helps improve and combine all of the essentials in order to help you sing better:
- Sound resonance as your mouth is open wider
- Voice projection thanks to the form of your lips
- Reach of high and low notes
- Strength of the peripheral zone (neck, larynx, pharynx… )
- Tone accuracy
- Vocal strength
- Tempo precision
- Development of different styles and effects
A few exercises...
The warm up: Do some preparatory movements to warm up your muscles and increase tone in your vocal organs. Nothing is better than some funny faces for this. Also try massaging the parts of the body that involve your voice: lips, cheeks, neck, etc.
The first exercise to try is actually a simple test and will surely convince you of the importance of articulation. Sing a song that you know the words to without moving your lips and your jaw much. Now sing the same thing with more attention given to articulation, opening wide your mouth and jaw. You will notice a stark difference in precision and sharpness.
Whisper the words to the song so that the sound cannot be perceived, then gradually increase in sound while keeping the whisper.
The classic exercise: The long time backup exercise of the pencil in the mouth while trying to articulate tongue twisters (“Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,” “In Hertford, Hereford and Hampshire hurricanes hardly ever happen” and others).
Try out vocalizing the letters “A” and “O” switching saying one and then the other. This will exercise your lips. Next, introduce the letter the “L” which will then give the tongue a bit of a workout. Finally, try singing these syllables on varying ranges.
An exercise for those with nasal voice problems: try to imagine this one. Your tongue is pressed against the roof of your mouth, creating tension in your throat. Imagining your problem will help you to resolve it.
Trace circles with your tongue on the inside of your cheek. Ten on each side.
Want to learn more? Give us a call at 972-489-1667 to set up your 1st voice lesson with Pink Couch Studios.