Page 15 - Voice for Life Yellow Workbook
P. 15

                                 Diction
 Strength of consonants
Using the list of words above or some of your own, try these experiments with consonants. (Remember to keep the vowels resonant.) Sing each word:
 • quietly, with the consonants clear but not very loud.
• quietly, with the consonants as loud as you can.
Starting notes with a vowel
• loudly, with the consonants clear but not loud.
• loudly, with the consonants as loud as you can.
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 Aspirated onset
Choose a note in the middle of your range and sing ‘ah’, starting the sound with a long ‘h’ (this is called an aspirate). In other words, sing ‘hah’. When you do this, the air starts moving first, then the vocal folds vibrate to produce the ‘ah’ sound.
 Glottal onset (or glottal stop)
Using the same note, sing ‘ah’. Begin the sound with a hard attack (as you might use to emphasize the first letter of the word arm). This time, you started the sound with your vocal folds together; the vocal folds moved first and then the air was passed over them.
 Simultaneous onset
Now try to sing ‘ah’ without an aspirate or a glottal attack. This time, the air and the vocal folds will start moving at the same time. Be critical of your sound. It may take practice to be able to produce a simultaneous onset.
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                         etc. mah hah ah mah hah ah mah hah ah
Choose a comfortable starting note. Practise this exercise, trying not to attack the beginning of each note too strongly. Aim to reach a point where you can sing the vowel ‘ah’ cleanly and in tune without an attack. Then continue by trying this with different vowels on other notes in your range. Sing some loudly and some softly.
Tick the box when you have tried all the exercises on this page.
WHAT SINGERS SAY
‘I had serious back problems which began when I was at university. Through physiotherapy and Pilates I have been able to stop the problems from recurring. Now my body is stronger and supports my voice better – and I know how to sing without allowing tension to creep in. I no longer find that all the muscles ache after a long concert or rehearsal. I just wish I had known about Pilates years ago, and understood what a profound effect posture could have on my whole body as well as my singing voice!’ Andrea, aged 26
 There are three ways of starting a note with a vowel sound: aspirated onset, glottal onset (or glottal stop) and simultaneous onset. Try each of these methods so you know what they feel and sound like, using the exercises below.
   Normally, you should aim to produce a simultaneous onset to each note. If you use too many aspirated onsets, your voice will sound breathy; too many glottal onsets and your voice will stick out. The exercise below will help you to improve your control of the start of notes so that you can produce the simultaneous onset more easily.
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 Module A: Using the voice well 15










































































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