I've said it before, but something this important bears repeating.
They are what 'carry the tune', the actual notes that we sing. Focusing on them makes it possible for us to sculpt our phrases in the many ways that we hear them sung.
Part of focusing on the vowels is also understanding what can get in the way. Diphthongs figure highly on that list in my opinion. These are combinations of vowels or vowels and consonants that when combined create a different sound than the two individual parts. Think about the 'ay' in 'way', for example. Staying out of the 'y' sound at the end of that word keeps the vowel 'a' phonating, as opposed to partially closing that off without finishing the word, were we to sing into the 'y' sound.
Plosives are another matter entirely, that greatly disrupt the flow of air. This is bad enough, but combined with singing above the secondo passaggio, can potentially disrupt your voice enough to have it lose the pitch.
Outside of the classical realm there are various of ways of using consonants. Your method can vary depending on the style that you're singing in or the requirements that you have before you artistically. The bigger point, however, is to be able to see the consonants as parts of a whole, and deal with them separately, should the need arise. In that way, we truly have a choice in how we sculpt the lines of our songs; being legato, as is necessary, or breaking a phrase for dramatic effect when needed.
If you have questions, please leave them below or in the RVC! RVC Members check your podcast feed for the vowel alignment mini series!!!
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