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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 ( ) to the sound – so that what they hear in their own heads is a little edgy.

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