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Word Pronunciation

Michael4000Michael4000 Posts: 700STREAMING PRO
I listen to songs differently now that I’m doing KTVA. Many of the nuances that previously went unnoticed are now very obvious to me. One thing I’m noticing is that many great singers (but certainly not all) are saying all the sounds of words, very precisely, all the consonants, the things that we at KTVA are working *not* to do. I’ve been noticing a lot of this in Christmas music recently. For example, Michael Buble is pretty precise with his words…he doesn’t glaze over consonants much. @Diego recently suggested that I not pronounce the “ing” so much in “roasting” on The Christmas Song. And he was right, it didn’t sound very good the way I did it. But then I go and listen to Nat Cole’s recording, he very clearly says the “ing” on roasting, but it sounds great.

So here is my question. Is the eventual goal to bring the consonants back in more and more as we improve…is this part of Ken’s method just a bridge until we get better? Or is this the way we should always sing?

Comments

  • DiegoDiego Posts: 8132.0 PRO
    edited December 2018
    In terms of technique, it is advised to not used hard consonants and focus more on bringing the vowels in more. I am guessing this is to keep an open throat most of the time. Now, performance-wise, sometimes it's necessary (For me), to transmit more emotion using consonants. I wouldn't get rid of the "ing" completely, it's just a matter of not closing up too much. If you notice, Nat doesn't close the sound with G where as you go more "RoastEEnG"and you kind of sustain that sound and it sounds kind of nasal.

    That's just what I hear. Others like @highmtn and @Gaston_Jauregui could probably help you more with this.
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,489Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    edited December 2018
    The idea is to open your eyes and ears to the fact that consonants are interference with an open throat. If you become aware of that, you can work to emphasize maintaining open throat. Open throat is a healthy way to sing, and promotes a longer life for your singing voice.

    It's a little like preserving your voice from excess wear and tear. Too much distortion can shorten your vocal longevity. Overemphasis of consonants can wear on your voice, over time, and creates a less sonorous singing voice. Trying to impose "diction" in "Singing" is a little bit like using an abrasive toothpaste or polish. Initially, it may make shiny, white teeth, but over your lifetime wears them down to nubs. It didn't seem like it was causing much difficulty, until the time you looked in the mirror and your teeth were getting smaller and smaller.

    Many of the things like vowel modifications, de-emphasis of consonants, vowel substitutions on high notes, reduction of air pressure via glottal compression... These things are not necessarily even mentioned in other vocal courses, but over a lifetime, they create a lot of obstacles to good, healthy singing.

    Sometimes we want to use these things to our advantage, without our listeners even being aware that we are doing them. In their minds we are "singing words". To us, we are using the paths of least resistance, greatest vocal health. And along the way, we also grow our voice to the most optimal machine for industrial-grade singing.

    The concept of contiguous-phrase open throat singing with softened consonants and sonorous vowels is a great path to great singing that will last you a lifetime. We're removing some vocal habits that people do not necessarily know are a form of vocal erosion, robbing you, over time, of this voice that you are working so hard to establish in the first place.
  • Michael4000Michael4000 Posts: 700STREAMING PRO
    @highmtn said:

    "Trying to impose "diction" in "Singing" is a little bit like using an abrasive toothpaste or polish. Initially, it may make shiny, white teeth, but over your lifetime wears them down to nubs. It didn't seem like it was causing much difficulty, until the time you looked in the mirror and your teeth were getting smaller and smaller."

    This is a great analogy. And that explanation totally makes sense. Thanks.

    Michael
  • Michael4000Michael4000 Posts: 700STREAMING PRO
    @highmtn Actually I do have a follow-up question to this. Are we singing with less consonants and more open throat only to preserve vocal health, or is it also just easier to sing this way for beginners? If the latter, why specifically does open throat technique make songs easier sing?
  • If your throat closes down..............you know what happens. You choke off the notes.

    That's why we do the vowel mods, to maintain the open throat when the vowels want to get choked off.

    It's not something just for beginning singers. It's to be used always no matter how good, or how long you have been singing.

    Two of the most important aspects to our singing method is "Diaphragmatic Breath Support", and the "Open Throat Technique". If either one of those isn't working, you're going to have a bad night.

    All of the work really is done with the mid section (Diaphragmatic Breathing, and Support)
    As long as you can keep the throat open, and relaxed the belly will take care of the rest.

    Peace Tony
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