The Secret Power of Vowels and Consonants | Our Adaptive Videos | Memorable Performances

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Vowels and consonants can greatly affect your overall sound.
Originally published: July 21, 2020

The Secret Power of Vowels and Consonants

Choral directors everywhere know a thing or two about vowels and consonants – they literally spend hours in rehearsal perfecting these with their choirs! No matter where you sing or what genres you love, all singers can learn a thing or two from choral directors about articulation – and it can make a huge difference in performance. Did you know that regardless of whether you are singing alone or with another singer, the way you form your vowels and consonants has a huge affect on your overall sound, not to mention the impact of your song? 

Choral and Artistic Director Brian Wismath shows how the sound of a choir can be transformed just by making vowels and consonants consistent among the singers. Even the tuning of the choir improves when the vowel shapes are adjusted! I bet you never knew that vowel shape affects tuning! His choir is singing classical music in his videos, which means their vowels are “tall” and “dark.” Vowels in pop genres tend to have less space in the mouth, with the tongue being more raised and forward. In both vowel styles, tongue or throat tension is ALWAYS a “no-no” and there is a “sweet spot” where the tone of your voice will ring clearer when the vowel shape is correct, which improves the tuning, power and intelligibility of your song. 

In his course, you can watch as he works in great detail to get the singers to sing with the same vowels and to place their consonants at precisely the right time. One of the best ways to be consistent with another singer is by watching the shape of their mouth as you sing together. Now, if you are not singing classical music in a choir like in this course, that doesn’t mean this doesn’t apply to you. Singers of all genres will be required to sing duets or sing back-up or in groups. When you find yourself pairing up with other singers, try to be like those choral singers matching their vowels and consonants as you sing. This way, your performance or recording will have all the more punch and polish. 

To learn more about how you can match your consonants and vowels with the singers you work with, upgrade to Premium and take Brian’s course How To Develop Your Classical Choir.

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Memorable Performances

Sam Robbins’ quarantine song is understated yet powerful, and the fact that he plays guitar so well is the icing on the cake. You can watch the video and read more about Sam and about turning points for his singing, including learning how to sing quietly after hundreds of gigs where all he did was belt.

Check out our Insta-Live chat with Kevin Lin to hear how he’s taken steps forward in connecting with his songs and sharing them through YouTube.

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