DICTION REALLY IS ABOUT MORE THAN WORDS
Most people know that diction is all about making your message understandable to the listener. But, for the singer, there is a lot more at stake than just the message. There are vocal issues! Issues like tone quality, pitch and vocal stamina. These areas and more are impacted by the way you pronounce your words.
Example 1: if you’re a mumbler, there’s a good chance your larynx is working overtime trying to fix the unclear words coming out of your mouth. It can’t, of course, since diction has to be taken care of with lips, tongue, teeth and an ear that knows what to listen for. Clearing up the diction will reduce vocal stress and make you a better singer.
Example 2: If you have sloppy diction when you record and depend on “fixing it in the mix” you’re building some really bad habits. It’s true that programs like ProTools, Logic Pro and AutoTune allow the engineer to correct pitch, reduce the amount of SSS or TTT and even move a syllable within the phrase. But, some things are better being done right in real-time, every time. It’s healthier for your voice, makes a better performer and makes you more fun to record.
SOME THINGS YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW
Begin by looking at your self in a mirror and lip-syncing the words to a song. No sound, but moving lips, face and tongue. It will help you get in touch with all the muscles involved with good diction. Next, still with no sound, be even more expressive as you “sing” the song and memorize the “feeling” of good diction and expression. Finally, make sure your voice is warmed up and put the music to it. Try and duplicate what you felt in the first exercises.
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