I'm Vocalizing! 2 - Lesson 3. Tripping on the Teeth
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Good articulation is essential to any kind of speech or singing from rap to the patter songs in Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. The major focus of articulation is the tip of the tongue in relation to the teeth and the lips. Some sounds, like GAH in the previous exercise, are made with the back of the tongue. However, a most efficient way to sing is to wake up the tip of the tongue. Spanish and Italian speech is largely dental (front placed) — needing an active tongue tip. Some of us who speak American English and certain other languages, may have naturally "lazy" tongues. In fact, many Americans have trouble rolling their 'r's for this reason. So WHY learn to trill the tongue? To free the tongue for articulation.
What to listen for:
Listen to the light easy approach taken by the guide vocals.
One must soften the tongue in order to allow the tip of the tongue to move freely. Here is a hint: if you have trouble rolling 'r's put your tongue in the position for saying D and then blow air through it, saying DRREE. You will probably get at least one flip of the tongue and you will then be able to increase your abilities from there. Sing lightly. When one sings more lightly, there is less muscle involvement in the throat/tongue area and articulation improves. Do not allow the tempo increases to affect this vocal quality.
Listen to a sample: