Articulation Exercises
Articulation

Articulation Exercises

Written by on | Resources Voice

This is a few of the best articulation exercises. As an actor or singer it is important to develop your articulation. If you are ever performing a classical text, especially Shakespeare, you really need to have clear diction. There is a mixture of tongue-twisters and exercises listed below. Pick and choose which articulation exercises work best for you. It is good to have a few tongue-twisters and also a few warm up exercises under your belt.

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Tongue-twisters

Unique New York
New York Unique


To sit in solemn silence in a dull dark dock
In a pestilential prison with a life long lock
Awaiting the sensation of a short sharp shock
From a cheap and chippy chopper on a big black block


Red Leather, Yellow Leather


She says she shall sew a sheet


What a to do to die today,
at a minute or two to two,
a thing distinctly hard to say,
but a harder thing to do.
For they’ll beat a tattoo at two today
a rat a tat at two,
and the dragon will come when he hears the drum
at a minute or two to two today
at a minute or two today.


She stood on the balcony,
inexplicably mimicking him hiccupping,
and amicably welcoming him home.


A big black bug bit a big black bear and the big black bear bleed blue black blood.


Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers; a peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked.


IN TOOTING TWO TUTORS ASTUTE
TRIED TO TUTE A DUKE ON A FLUTE
BUT DUETS SO GRUELLING
END ONLY IN DUELLING
WHEN TUTORS ASTUTE TOOT THE FLUTE


Lesser leather never weathered lesser wetter weather.


I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice-cream.


Amidst the mists and fiercest frosts,
With barest wrists and stoutest boasts,
He thrusts his fists against the post,
And still insists he sees the ghosts.


Vocal Exercises

Unvoiced
Pa Ta Ka Pa Ta Ka Pa Ta Ka Pah
Pa Ta Ka Pa Ta Ka Pa Ta Ka Paw
Pa Ta Ka Pa Ta Ka Pa Ta Ka Poo
Pa Ta Ka Pa Ta Ka Pa Ta Ka Pee
Pa Ta Ka Pa Ta Ka Pa Ta Ka Pay

Voiced
Ba Da Ga Ba Da Ga Ba Da Ga Bah
Ba Da Ga Ba Da Ga Ba Da Ga Baw
Ba Da Ga Ba Da Ga Ba Da Ga Boo
Ba Da Ga Ba Da Ga Ba Da Ga Bee
Ba Da Ga Ba Da Ga Ba Da Ga Bay

Any combination of the above exercises will be beneficial.


Get your hands involved. Massage the cheek muscles, the masseter, the lips and everywhere you dare to go. Holding and stretching the tongue can also be a great way to warm it up. Underneath the tongue is also another tension spot.


la la la la
lala lala lala
lalala lalala lalala
Then change the initial sound L, T, D, K, G etc.


Using a bone prop (a small piece of plastic that goes between the teeth) can be great and any of the above exercises are beneficial when done with a bone prop.
If you would like to purchase a bone prop click here.


Draw circles in each cheek with the tip of the tongue. Aim to make the circles as perfect as possible. Once you have completed 10 in one direction draw 10 more circles in the opposite direction. Do the same for the other cheek. You can vary the amount of circles in each cheek, however, try to match the amount on each side.


About the Author

Andrew Hearle

is Stage Milk's founder and site co-ordinator. He studied Acting at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), and is now based in Sydney. He vaguely calls himself an actor, and unwittingly runs one of the biggest acting websites in the world.

10 responses to “Articulation Exercises”

  1. Thomas Armstrong says:

    For your vocal exercises the headings of “Unvoiced” and “Voiced” are a little ambiguous for me. The dictionary tells me:
    Unvoiced: made without vibrating your vocal cords
    and
    Voiced: made by moving your vocal cords
    I end up whispering the unvoiced and making noise for the voiced. Is this correct?
    Suggestion:
    Having a short description on your expectations for unvoiced and voiced along with a vocal example would be exceptional.
    v/r
    Thomas Armstrong

    • Luke McMahon Luke McMahon says:

      Hi Thomas!

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      The difference between voiced and unvoiced is most easily observed in the difference between ‘S’ and ‘Z’.

      To make an elongated ‘S’ sound doesn’t require the vocal cords to engage. When elongating a ‘Z’ sound, your vocal cords will engage, and therefore the sound will be “voiced”. ‘F’ and ‘Th” can also be unvoiced.

      Hope that helps.

  2. Laura Sebastian says:

    Please send me a newsletter

  3. Chaya Bijani says:

    Thanks

  4. Patty says:

    Thanks

  5. Nick Ratnayake says:

    very helpful thanks

  6. Freddy Robinson says:

    Thanks! This is all very useful and much appreciated!
    Freddy

  7. Codex says:

    Also there is this one if i’m correct:
    “the sheet is slit,
    The slitted sheet is lit
    the slitted sheet lit, she split and sit”
    I use those for voice acting 🙂

  8. Aanchal Jain says:

    Some very helpful stuff

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