Magic Choral Trick #171 Perfect Diphthongs
Perfect Diphthongs are really just a function of singing perfect Target Vowels ( https://betterchoirs.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/magic-choral-trick-5-target-vowels/ )
and then using your brain just a little bit more.
The first step is to rehearse and rehearse singing clean Target Vowels with a relaxed tongue – while preventing your mind from actually thinking in English as you do this.
Once this has become a habit, we can turn our attention to the back end of the Diphthong (or in some cases the Triphthong).
Strangely, you might actually find some resistance to this within yourself, or from your group. Once the target vowels are clean and clear and ringing, we get a little drunk with the feeling, and are reluctant to get on with the second vowel, (the Resolution Vowel) and then the finishing consonant.
I ask my singers to think of attaching the resolution vowel (and consonant if there is one), to the front end of the next word. Sometimes, just asking is enough.
Sometimes we need to rehearse this with eyes closed so that they can sense exactly when the group mind wants to turn the vowel.
And sometimes I need to show my singers the resolution, either with my hands, or by mouthing the word ending.
I know this sounds like a lot of work – and I won’t lie – it is. And most of your audience at any given performance won’t notice if the diphthongs are not turned at exactly the same time. However, when the Target Vowel/Resolution Vowel switchover happens cleanly, the audience will definitely be left with the impression of a more polished performance.