How to improve diction for singers
Improve Diction: Diction is the style in which you pronounce words or sounds. If these are clear, it will improve diction.
Clear diction is very important when singing for a number of reasons, so it should be focused on when developing your voice. The two main areas to consider when you improve diction are performance and technique.
Ways to Improve Diction
Make the lyrics clear
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 you can distinguish the lyrics in order for your listener to understand what the song is about and what the message is – to improve diction.
If the lyrics to a song aren’t clear, then the song becomes meaningless and forgettable and you will lose the audience.
Improve diction technique
From the technique side, for some singers words can be slurred, mumbled and very lazy sounding. The most common causes of this can be all of or any of the following: mouth shape, tongue placement, external muscles around the jaw or internally in the larynx, breathing or style choice.
Always record your performances and if you continue to have issues with diction then a good vocal coach should be able to assist in resolving any issues and improve diction.
How to Improve Diction
Improving the clarity
Working on improving the clarity of vowels and consonants and therefore the enunciation of syllables can have a major impact on how easy singing can be. A great tip is to relate back to how you speak, so you stay truer to your own voice and improve diction.
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 you have a tendency to rush and mumble your speech you will find by working on your diction for singing that your speech will also improve.
Improve Diction for Singers
Vocals coaches to improve diction
There are elements of diction that can be worked on with vocal coaches by using appropriate exercises that will undo bad habits and start building new ones with correct technique.
Although this may feel difficult at first, with practice you’ll be surprised how quickly the new techniques become second nature to you and therefore vastly improve diction. 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 diction is important across all styles. However for some styles, it is much crisper, for example Classical and Musical Theatre, whereas in other genres you can get away with less crisp and pronounced diction.