Sharpen Your Articulation

by Ann S. Utterback, Ph.D. on September 22, 2010

Most of us would warm up our muscles before doing physical exercise, but we often forget to warm up our mouths before voicing podcasts.  The vocal mechanism is almost all muscle, especially the articulators, which include the lips, the tongue, the jaw, and the teeth (okay, the teeth are not muscle).  In the same way we stretch and warm up our leg muscles before running, we should warm up our vocal muscles before voicing.

The plosive or stop sounds in our language require a burst of air for their production.  These sounds are /p/ /b/, /t/ /d/ and /k/ /g/.  To see how these are made, CLICK here and SELECT the “Stop” tab. If you hold your hand in front of your mouth and make these sounds, you should feel a puff of air as you say each one. Go ahead.  Try it. To make these sounds easily, your mouth needs to be relaxed and warmed up.

Here are some phrases that will help you warm up your mouth.  Repeat these phrases ten times each before you voice for a good warm up.  Be sure to explode the /t/ /d/ and /p/ /b/ ending consonants in an exaggerated manner as you repeat the phrases.

“Put a cup”                  “Fat lazy cat”                  “Hot and cold”

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Timothy September 7, 2010 at 5:38 pm

eye opener

Ann S. Utterback, Ph.D. September 7, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Gald you found this helpful. It’s amazing what a few vocal warm-ups can do!

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