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.

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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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