Why You Should Sing Like You Speak and How to Do It

Improve Enunciation and Tone Quality Naturally

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Image courtesy of BirdW via flickr cc license

The benefits of singing like you speak are numerous, not only will lyrics sound more authentic but your tone quality improves. This article will walk you through the process of connecting speech with singing step by step.

Why Sing Like You Speak

Many listen to songs on the radio and attempt to sing them the exact same way. Imitation is the highest compliment to someone else and the worst one to you.

Even as a beginner, the distinctive qualities of your voice are valuable. If you continue to develop your individual talent, the end result will be more enjoyable to listen to than a fake imitation. Learning to sing like you speak is a natural way to begin to develop your unique voice.

Pick a Song in Your Native Language

When first learning to incorporate a natural speech pattern into your singing, choose a simple song in your native language. Someone in Britain should pick a British-English song, while a member of the United States should pick an American-English one. Trying to learn a new accent for a song is an added complexity you do not need when first starting out. Foreign languages are an even greater challenge that should generally be reserved for beginning intermediate to advanced singers.

Speak the Lyrics

Now that you have picked a song, voice them as naturally as possible. Since you normally do not think about how you say things and the lyrics are not your own words, you may need to spend some time on them.

Many people start to change the way they enunciate words when they begin practicing them. Be careful. Really consider how each sentence should sound while keeping the way you present the lyrics as natural as possible. You might find it helpful to mark in your music the words in each phrase you naturally emphasize as you speak them.

Project the Lyrics

Now that you have worked with the lyrics, take the words for one musical phrase and without changing the way each word is emphasized and pronounced, say them slightly louder. Repeat until your project the words as loud as is comfortable. Be sure not to whisper into a yell, but rather speak in a normal voice to a highly energized projected voice.

Project in Head Voice

Now comes the tricky part. Speaking and projecting lyrics the same way are easier steps. The next is raising the pitch of your voice while keeping the same pronunciations and emphasis. When you first attempt to make head voice sound natural, you should take it just one phrase at a time. Speak the words in a normal voice, then in a projected voice, and exactly the same in head voice. This step is the link between speaking and singing.

Sing Lyrics as You Speak Them

Now that you are able to speak the lyrics in head voice naturally, you will have a much easier time singing them the same way. When you struggle, break it down. Take only one phrase and go back through the entire process: speak, project, use head voice, and then sing the lyrics. Not only will singing like you speak help people understand what you sing, it will improve your tonal quality.

Many people unwittingly de-emphasize initial consonants and more often drop final consonants. Doing so sets you up for a less effective vocal onset, making proper breath support harder to achieve.