Before starting their singing lessons, most people will have a lot of questions about their voice constraints and how to use them. They will wonder about the best way to breathe, how to support the voice, and many other things. And I am here to clear all these doubts!

Diction, in singing, refers to the clarity of speech in vocal music. Singers are usually trained to improve their diction, so they can express the words (lyrics) they are singing more clearly. Good singers also need to work on their diction as it helps them to keep their voice healthy and improves their performance overall. If practiced correctly, diction can make a huge difference in the quality of a singer's performance. You wouldn’t want that the words you spill straight through your heart to sound like a rumble-jumble to your audience, who, as a result, might lose their interest over time. It takes effort and practice to figure out efficient improvement methods.  But reliable information can give you a great head-start. So, let’s go through some proven ways to improve your diction.

1. Find a Mirror and Let’s Sing Aloud!

Most people are uncomfortable with the idea of singing in front of others. The fear of judgment and embarrassment prevents them from doing it.

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But when they do overcome their fear and sing in front of other people, they get a powerful boost of confidence that seeps into other parts of their lives. You might be wondering how this method is linked with your pronunciation or diction, right? Fear subconsciously builds barriers while you speak. Have you noticed that when people get nervous, they start to stutter? It’s a common phenomenon among singers as well. So, singing in front of a mirror will keep you mindful throughout, because  you are looking yourself straight in the eye. Even if you falter a few times, you will push yourself to regain your confidence!

2. Practicing Witty “Tongue-Twisters” can Improve your Diction

A study conducted by John Nuckels and a team of researchers shows that tongue twisters improve diction. A tongue twister is an English language phrase that is designed to be difficult to articulate properly. They’re quite common in spoken English, but the best way to practice your mastery of this linguistic pattern is to make your own tongue twisters.

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The primary goal of a tongue twister is to move the sound you’re trying to master from your brain and into your muscle memory. The more frequently you repeat these patterns, the easier they will be for you to say naturally. Just start with the simple ones like “How can a clam cram in a clean cream can?” Try to speak it slowly but consistently and then speed up gradually.

3. Perceiving the Correct “Phonetics” of the Songs

Phonetics, the study of speech sounds, is all about variations in pronunciation, and how the mouth and throat shape sounds to form words. The anatomy of the mouth and throat is what gives us different sounds, which we then combine to create words. These words when inked together form lyrics, which are the foundation of any song. If you're interested in lyric writing, click here.

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BTS’s song “Blood, Sweat and Tears” had one line which was largely misinterpreted by the international fanbase due to the difference of phonetics specifically ingrained in our minds. The line was “wonhae manhi manhi”, meaning “I like you too much”. It was interpreted as “money, money, money”. The easiest way to work on your phonetics is to listen to songs across genres and languages. Go through the lyrics in the original language and then understand the transcribed meaning associated with it through interpretations. Finally, record yourself singing to find out the mistakes you're making. Just do this a few times and you are good to go!

4. Control Breathing Fluctuations while Singing

Breathing is an essential element for singing. If you don’t breathe correctly and constantly, you can lose the quality of your voice in a matter of minutes. The way you hold yourself affects the way you breathe. Your posture and muscle tension have an impact on the flow of your thoughts and the sound of the words you sing.

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When you are out of breath, it's very difficult for you to hit high notes, and it's quite difficult to sing long phrases without running out of breath. Breathing is an important aspect of singing. While breathing, your diaphragm should be expanded to the fullest. Your breath should be warm and soft; one that you would use if you are whispering. To breathe correctly while singing, start by taking a deep breath and slowly sucking air into your diaphragm. Then, sing while slowly exhaling. You can use this breathing technique while singing any song regardless of the musical genre. Neha Kakkar explains detailed breathing techniques for singers in her singing course on FrontRow. You can also check out my guide to improving breath-control here.

5. Stretch Every Mouth Muscle while Singing!

When our mouth is correctly aligned, we have a better chance of having a good tone and pitch. There are two vocal techniques for this: one is the easy way and the other the hard way.

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The easy way is lip buzzing, which is used to exercise the lips. The hard way involves a lot of concentration. For now, let's focus on the easy one. Lip buzzing is a great exercise for beginners and can be used by anyone who wants to learn how to sing better or get some practice in. A person will notice that their voice becomes clearer if they follow the proper technique while doing this exercise. Your mouth muscle should be flexible enough to grab and form various words, and continuous exercises can help you achieve this.

These methods might sound like a simple course of action for some while it might become challenging for others without proper training. Don’t worry! FrontRow’s detailed singing courses from India's top singers like Neha Kakkar will help you pave a way through the crowd.