Why Vowels Are So Important to Singing

singing© Stiven

Singing should be fun, right? Absolutely! And singing with good habits is THE MOST FUN OF ALL!!!

We believe people literally ‘spring from the womb’ singing, but nobody springs forth with a singing technique that makes the most of their natural instrument. If “all men (and women) are created equal,” so are all voices.

But, just owning an instrument doesn’t make you a virtuoso – practice does! And practice is nothing more than building and reinforcing optimal habits. Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeezy!

The first good habit singers must learn is vowel production and modification. Some teachers use the term “acoustical vowels” to describe vowels, which are modified to take advantage of acoustics and optimal voice production.

Once modifying vowels becomes second nature to a singer all sorts of wonderful things happen. From the website http://www.singwise.com  :

  • The more ringing and vibrant we wish the voice to be, the more we should use the harmonic values of acoustical vowels. Acoustical vowels, wherein the harmonic of the pitch coincides with the pitch of the vowel, produce amplification of resonance and a physiological feeling of well being.
  • Acoustical vowels give the voice more size and more carrying power (important to unamplified singing).
  • Almost always, the use of acoustical vowels in singing produces tones that are in the center of the pitch.
  • Singers who use harmonic sounds (modified vowels) sing for a long time.
  • The use of acoustical vowels aids, rather than detracts from the diction.
  • Singing with the best relationship of vibrator (larynx) and resonator (mouth) is therapeutic to the throat, the ears of the audience, and the length of the air supply.    It is, in short, advantageous to sing with good interaction, where the vocal cords and the vocal tract augment—not fight—each other. Furthermore, this interaction releases the singer’s spirit and energies for that supra-human effort called artistic performance

Who wouldn’t want to gain all of that just by adjusting a few vowels? But be patient with yourself, and be aware that your spoken vowels often bear no resemblance to the modified vowels necessary for good singing. It takes time to make new habits, but the payoff is well worth the effort!

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