How to Sing Vowels

Many singers just starting out are surprised when it comes time to learn how to sing vowels. It may seem like an easy thing to do, but actually it can be quite difficult to perfect if you are not singing them right. As a matter-of-fact, most singers are flabbergasted when they go to a singing coach for the first time and are told of how poorly they are pronouncing their vowels.

how to sing vowels
Flickr: by bobjudge

Yes, there are 26 letters in the English language, but there are only five vowels. Yet these five letters define every word in our vocabulary. Since there are so few vowels, it is imperative that they are each pronounced correctly when singing or the words will not sound right. Below is a description of how each vowel should be enunciated when singing.

‘A’

To make the correct ‘A’ sound you will need to open your mouth widely and make the long ‘A’ (as in cane). Now use your cheek muscles to shape the mouth to sound like a short ‘E’ (as in elephant). When you get to the end of the sound, bring the tongue up slightly.

If the song calls for a short ‘A’, start out the same as when you are making the long ‘A’ sound, but narrow the cheek muscles to resemble the short ‘O’ sound.

‘E’

For beginners, the letter ‘E’ is usually the trickiest of vowel sounds when learning to sing vowels. To make the ‘E’ sound like an ‘E’ you will need to position your tongue as if you were making the long ‘A’ sound, but raise the tongue just at the base of your teeth and pull your cheek muscles sideways. It will take some practice to get this one right, but it isn’t hard once you learn how to differentiate between the ‘A’ and ‘E’ sounds.

‘I’

The long ‘I’ is made by combining the short ‘O’ (as in coffee) and the long ‘E’. To make the short ‘I’ sound, make the cheeks wide while narrowing the tongue.

‘O’

The ‘O’ is almost identical to the ‘A’. Really, the only thing that makes the two different is the context in which it is used. It can sometimes sound like an “I” as well, depending on the word.

‘U’

The ‘U’ sounds are made using the lips instead of the tongue and cheeks as you would use when creating the other letters. To make the ‘U’ sound, create a circle with your lips (like you are going to give someone a kiss) and keep your teeth slightly parted. Now make the same sound as you would when saying the word ‘cool’.

Learning to enunciate your vowels correctly will directly effect the sound of your voice and how a song sounds to the audience. It will take practice, but if you dedicate yourself to learning to do it the right way, you can learn how to sing vowels and sound great doing it.

You can learn about Different Singing Methods Here

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