Singing Diction: Clear singing diction is very important in singing for a number of reasons so should be focused on when developing your voice. The 2 main areas to consider when working on singing diction are technique and performance, whether it's to a live audience or when recording.
From a performance point of view, when singing a song you are, in most cases, telling a story or sharing thoughts with your audience. Therefore it’s vital that the lyrics can distinguished and that you have good singing diction, in order for your listener to understand what the song is about and what the message is. If your singing diction isn’t clear, the lyrics are lost and the song becomes meaningless and forgettable.
Although a catchy melody is hugely important, one of the reasons some of the biggest artists shoot up the charts is because the words of the song made such a personal connection to their listeners that it was listened and sung to over and over again. This highlights the importance of having good singing diction.
From the technique side, for some singers, words can become slurred, mumbled and very lazy sounding. The most common causes of poor singing diction this can be all of or any of the following;
Working on improving the clarity of vowels and consonants and therefore the annunciation of syllables can have a major impact on how easy singing diction can be. A great tip is to relate back to how you speak so you stay truer to your own voice. When you talk you seldom squeeze or strain your vocal cords or become overly slurred and breathy. This is because you’re using your voice in a way that is most natural to you without trying to manipulate muscles to search for certain notes or add a vocal style that takes your voice way out of balance. If on the other hand, you have a tendency to rush and mumble your speech you will find by working on your singing diction that your speech will also improve.
There are elements of singing diction can be worked on with vocal coaches by using appropriate exercises that will undo bad habits an start building new ones with correct technique. Although this may feel difficult at first, with practise you’ll be surprised how quickly the new techniques become second nature to you. You’ll find the tone, clarity, range and control also improves as a result of clearer diction.
If you are working with a vocal coach, do make sure you’re clear on the style of singing that is right for you. Good singing diction is important across all styles. However for some styles, it is much crisper, for example Classical and Musical Theatre. Genres like pop, RnB or Rock most certainly need a less crisp and pronounced singing diction to work, so if your voice is similar to Katherine Jenkins or Andrea Bocelli, the chances are you just won’t get away with doing the latest Rihanna or Ed Sheeran cover!
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