Magic Choral Trick #258 The ‘Ah’ Snarl

Sometimes a chord just needs a bit more bite.

The perfect vowel for this seems to be ‘ah’, which is found in words like Heart (Hah….ert), but shows up most often in English when we’re singing a Long ‘I’, as in:

Light (Lah……….eat)
Shine (Shah…..een)
Life (Lah…..eef)

The extra bite that gives the word, and the chord, more brilliance and more excitement can be added with just a little bit of upper lip snarl – so that some of the front teeth are showing. This is the ‘Ah’ Snarl. My Director cue for it is a claw hand, and a pulled back upper lip display of my teeth. Not pretty – but you do what works.

However, because concrete, physical things don’t work for everyone, I sometimes need to also ask the singers to add just an eyedropperful of Edith Bunker (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1F9vRVyV914 ) to the sound – so that what they hear in their own heads is a little edgy.

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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 May 28, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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