Welcome to Bohemian Vocal Studio’s Consonant Bootcamp. Learning how to sing consonant sounds and articulate your words in the right way is an important part of building a great voice. Many vocal methods focus solely on vowels and sustained resonant sounds and quickly brush over consonants as an afterthought – this bootcamp warmup will help you form a healthy approach to each consonant sound while learning to transition between each consonant group and each of the vowel sounds.
This consonant guide is the “general” how-to of consonant grouping and should be treated as such – if you’re not struggling with a “W” consonant, then don’t mangle your words by trying to impart an “OO” character when it’s really not required with your unique voice build. With so many varied accents, voice types and languages – it’s important to identify the specific consonant groups that you might be struggling with, so try not to overthink the warmup and focus more on which sounds work for you, and which ones don’t. This way you can refer back to the grouping guides below to form a healthier approach and improve your approach to consonants with time and practice. Let’s get started!
Glottal consonants (and glottal vowel production) is something that I personally struggled with as a fledgeling singer, in part due to my low voice type but also due to my Australian accent which is known for the glottal-stop nature of our speech. A glottal onset in singing, along with a glottal consonant, occurs when the vocal folds are closed hard before vibration occurs, leading to a ‘pressed’ sound and a hard attack – basically when you ‘yell’ with force, this is a glottal stop or onset – a risky sound for your vocal health.
If you’re experiencing an issue with a consonant sound, let me know in the comments below and I’ll guide you.
Kegan DeBoheme is Bohemian Vocal Studio’s resident vocal coach and voice expert. He teaches professional singing and voice technique to students all around the world and enjoys providing tutorials like this one on how to improve your voice.