Magic Choral Trick #86 Glottal Attacks

Let’s never ever do these again.

A glottal attack is the little grunty, over enthusiastic start that many singers use at the onset of a vowel at the beginning of a word.

Here’s what’s wrong with glottal attacks:

Once you’ve done this, it’s really difficult to get the sound forward in the mouth – since all the glottal action happens in the throat.

It takes the vocal cords a little while to recover – and over time is hard on the voice.

It’s almost impossible to blend multiple enthusiastic grunts.

Glottal attacks from even a couple of people are usually unsynchronized, and make it obvious that not everyone is clear about exactly when the note is supposed to start.

And it’s just not a pleasant sound.

I like to work on a more pouffy vowel attack in warm up. Think of starting the vowel with a little puff of air – though not enough to make it sound like an ‘h’.

Or think of gliding in for a landing at the edge of the vowel.

Or imagine starting the vowel as a very thin ray of laser beam.

Or imagine just joining the vowel as if it’s already in progress. As if it’s the thin end of the wedge of vowel sound.


About janetkidd

I've been waving my arms in front of choirs now for more than 35 years - and these are descriptions of all the very best things I've learned. I direct a Women's Competitive Barbershop Chorus, a Men's Competitive Barbershop Chorus, a Med School choir, and for a few weeks each year - Big Choir (about 100 voices) - which performs at an annual fundraising concert. Hope at least some of these Choral Magic Tricks will be useful to you - and thanks for reading. Janet

Posted on February 14, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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