The Musical Definition of Diction: Diction is the style and manner in which you pronounce and enunciate the words you use when singing.
Now, this definition is for singers, as that’s the most common use of the word diction. Dict- is the latin root for “to say”. So it makes sense why this word is used when talking about the voice. Diction is also sometimes used to describe the style and tone that an instrument plays a piece of music. For some genres of music the diction is much crisper, for example, Classical and Musical Theatre. In other genres (mumble rap, pop) you can get away with less crisp and pronounced diction. So next time you wont have to worry about the question “What Does Diction Mean in Music?”
In this guide, we will cover the definition of diction for singers, the rules for diction when singing, and some techniques which you can use today to improve your singing diction.
When singing, you tell a story to your audience through your lyrics. So, it’s important that the lyrics can be distinguished so your listener understands the meaning of the song. As well, it is important to convey emotional and contextual feelings through your voice. In order to do that you need to dictate the words appropriately. As a beginner, this may feel difficult at first. But with practice, you’ll be surprised how quickly the new techniques improve your diction!
Diction is situational so there is no one correct way to use your voice. But the next few practice tips will help you have a varied toolset that can help you change your diction when you need to!
Practice Diction (For Singers)
Yawning helps open up the throat and relax the muscles in your neck. You want to release all of the built-up tension you have in your throat, and neck and shoulders, and torso. That way when you start to sing you can add the tension where you need to and never get stuck or chock on a single note.
So I want you to yawn 10 times, and don’t stifle or cut off the yawn. Just do 10 full yawns as a good warm-up.
Practice Enuciation and Over Enunciate Words
To get all the sounds of your vowels and consonants sounding through while you sing you’re going to want to practice saying them. If you practice over-enunciating you will find it easier to say the words normally, and sometimes your singing might sound better with the over-enunciated word!
While doing this word practice, make sure to record yourself so you better understand whats going on, for the best results use a condenser microphone!
Rolling your lips is going to allow you to control your breathing, and master the placement of your tongue while you warm up. This is going to help you dictate more clearly and forcefully, as a steady amount of air pressure will be applied to all of your words, and your enunciation will be clear!
Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and any strenuous screaming. Not only just to better your singing but your health in general. With a healthier mind, you will be able to think clearer and convey emotions with better understanding, and a clearer voice!
I Hope you found an answer as to “what does diction mean in music” and I hope to see you again on Hedrich and George!