Episode 021 | Tara B | Vocal Diction Part 2: Consonants


In this part two of vocal diction series, we focus on consonants today. Many consonants can be helpful in our exercises to help engage breath, give more clarity to our tone, help in our enunciation of words, and help us sense where resonance can happen. A consonant connected to a vowel sound in warmups can help us become more efficient and conscientious singers. 

(1:35) Definition of a consonant: “A consonant is a speech sound that is formed when the articulators interrupt the flow of air through the vocal tract.” ( from Diction for Singers by J. Wall, R. Caldwell, T. Gavilanes, S. Allen) 

(2:20) The place of articulation explained. 

(2:50)  The manner of articulation explained 

(3:20) The voicing of consonants explained. 

(4:01) Consonants help engage our breath. They create focus. They help us enunciate. They let us feel vibration in the chest and nasal passage. 

(5:15) Stop-plosives: p, b, t, d, k, g 

(6:45) Fricatives: f, v, s, z, th, sh, jz, h 

(7:55) Affricatives:  ch, dg (fudge) 

(8:46) Nasal: m, n, ng 

(9:31) Lateral:

(10:30) Glides: r, y, w 

(13:10) Exercise for engaging breath: vee, vay, vah, voh, voo       5-4-3-2-1 

(14:05) Exercise for creating focus in sound: zing, zing, zing, etc      1-3-5-3-1 

(15:00) Exercise for enunciation: yellow leather or sausage pizza        

1-3-5-8-7-5-4-2-1        Start slowly 

(16:11) Exercise for finding resonance in our nasal/sinus passages:  ming or noo 


(17:25) If you are a voice teacher, you can help students by using consonants at the beginning onset of their exercises. 

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