How to Sing Closed Vowels / Free Singing Lessons / Quick Vocal Tips

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In this direct to YouTube video I explain and demonstrate how to sing the difficult vowel sounds of “O” (no) and “U” (you).

34 thoughts on “How to Sing Closed Vowels / Free Singing Lessons / Quick Vocal Tips

  1. Blake Shaw says:

    this helped sooo much, thank you!!

  2. Noyumi Ao says:

    Thanks! How about the consonant 'n'at high notes, it’s either that I can’t
    reach the note or I can’t hild it there…

  3. Kevin Richards Rock the Stage NYC says:

    “N” is a compressed consonant so it too can be swallowed or made too heavy.
    All consonants are sung short so the vowels can be long.

  4. Noyumi Ao says:

    Oh, I see. Well, in my case, I sing more Japanese songs, and they have a
    syllable that is only ‘n’, so they have notes which require the singers to
    hold the ‘n’ syllable and sometimes I end up messing up the note XD

  5. MrSlamdung says:

    I wonder if this will help me to sing “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen
    properly. You know that part, the “Ooh’s” before mamaaa… they are so
    hard! I always flip into pure head… Great video thank you master! 

  6. Kevin Richards Rock the Stage NYC says:

    OK, even if you have to hold the “n” you still need to watch that you don’t
    overcompress or swallow that consonant.

  7. Kevin Richards Rock the Stage NYC says:

    vibrato ONLY comes about if your voice is relaxed. If you’re having trouble
    doing vibrato, you have a problem with tension somewhere in voice wither at
    the vocal cords, tongue or diaphragm

  8. Kevin Richards Rock the Stage NYC says:

    Yes it should. Look for my “How to sing Bohemian Rhapsody” video coming
    up real soon.

  9. triedgex24 says:

    @RocktheStageNYC thank you very much for the reply

  10. MrSlamdung says:

    Can’t wait to see it, thanks for the response!

  11. aaronjanke says:

    I’m singing high musical theatre stuff these days and slowly buiding up my
    belt. Does this apply for belting between G4 and Bb4? Thanks

  12. Kevin Richards Rock the Stage NYC says:

    Yup, this applies to any note sung on an “Oh” or “U” sound outside of your
    comfortable range. Where most people start to over compress or swallow
    these vowels is as they start to sing outside their modal or natural
    ranges. Using this technique eases higher notes like A4-D5.

  13. Justin Vargas says:

    Awesome tip! Thank you! I’ve discovered that I kinda do the same thing with
    the “eeeeee” sound. Instead of going directly for the “eeeee” sound (it
    tends to get jammed in my throat if I do), I start with the more open “eh”,
    and then shape the lips into more of a smile to achieve the “eeee”.
    Anxiously waiting for the Zen of Breathing course. : )

  14. Your videos are very helpful, thank you! I’ve got one question about the
    tongue position. I know the Ng position is the healthy one, which I mostly
    sing with. But when singing non-classical songs, like rock or pop, I feel
    the ng position isn’t right placement for this type of music. Especially
    the A and O vowels. Many pop singers have this rill in the tongue. Is it
    possible to learn it? And then switch from rill to the Ng tongue positions
    when needed?

  15. Kevin Richards Rock the Stage NYC says:

    The “NG” position is nice to vocalize with but impractical for singing
    purposes. It arches the back of the tongue too much. Close your mouth and
    let your tongue relax. Now open it. That’s the best position for singing.
    Relaxed and forward, resting right behind your bottom teeth. This puts it
    in a position to articulate properly and leaves the back of the mouth open
    and unrestricted.

  16. Kevin Richards Rock the Stage NYC says:

    actually it best to NOT spread the mouth for the “ee” sound coming from an
    “eh” or “ih” sound. Leave the mouth in an “eh” shape and form the “ee” with
    the tongue – slowly – until you hear the “ee” form. Stop. That’s as far as
    you need to go to make an “ee”. Its unrestricted, unpulled and has no
    tension like a spread “ee”. Spreading your lips is just involving unneeded
    facial muscles to create a sound that doesn’t need it.

  17. As far as I know the Ng position is inevitable for singing classical
    pieces, the higher the tone the more the back of tongue shall rise. Another
    exercise which I found to be helpful to bring the tongue out of the throat
    (I tend to pull it back, doesn’t really help me to let it lay down relaxed)
    is the Yey one with every vocal, yay, yiy etc… 

  18. Kevin Richards Rock the Stage NYC says:

    Look at my video on “mixed voice” here: /watch?v=uDpQXNXKu-0 – I
    demonstrate an “tongue out” exercise. The back of the tongue does not need
    to rise with higher frequencies. Classical modes do this to create a darker
    tone by keeping the resonance farther back in the mouth resonator. You
    don’t have to do that.

  19. Kevin Richards Rock the Stage NYC says:

    here is my video on singing the vowel “ee” – watch?v=kVeUVww-V2k

  20. Justin Vargas says:

    VERY helpful vid. Thank you very much!

  21. ravi48819 says:

    For comfortable notes in the chest voice, is it acceptable to use this same
    “Ah” modification?

  22. Kevin Richards Rock the Stage NYC says:

    I would say only if those notes bother you and you feel they are too tight.
    But I would also say that if the notes are “comfortable” you should need to
    shape them any different than how you speak them.

  23. ravi48819 says:

    “U” = “Ah” + “Oh” + “Ooh”… What is the general breakdown of the three
    sounds? i,e., Is it like 90% open “Ah” and then closing the lips at the
    very end to add the closed “Oh” and “Ooh”?

  24. Kevin Richards Rock the Stage NYC says:

    Don’t really know if I could break it down into percentages but the general
    idea is to sing “Ah” then slowly close the lips forward leaving what’s
    behind the lips open just like the “Ah”. As you close the lips forward into
    a pouty position the sound of “ah” changes – first to “oh” and then to
    “oo”. There should be no change to what’s happening behind the lips as you
    are just moving them forward and keeping everything else (tongue, throat)
    as you did with the “ah”..

  25. Ravi San Jose says:

    In this video, it seems like the “Oh” vowel is produced from the “Ah” vowel.

    But I hear Ken Tamplin repeatedly point out that all vowels stem from the
    “Ah” vowel except “Oo” and “Ee”, so I am a bit confused on this concept.

  26. Kevin Richards Rock the Stage NYC says:

    Somebody asked me about Ken Tamplin saying all vowels are off the “Ah”
    vowel except “Oo” and “Ee” and why that differs from my explanation. Ken is
    partly correct.

    “Ee” is formed off of “ih” as in the word “hit”. “Oo” is formed from “Ah” –
    IF done the proper Bel Canto way. What I show here is how Enrico Caruso and
    Pavarotti formed their “Oo” vowel.

    The formula is: AH – OH – OO – done by closing the lips forward into a kiss
    or a fish face. The leaves the mouth/throat behind the lips open like the
    “Ah” vowel.

  27. Uberlaser says:

    Superb – Thank you – Just the advice I need for singing my current song
    (with a high-pitched closed vowel at the end)

  28. Bek Coddington says:

    this is so true!! Endless problems with held EE notes, afterward your voice
    get’s fried from bad technique, which can effect your confidence, general
    throat health also

  29. Blake Abbott says:

    On a moonlit evening, along with your favourite e-book in a single hand and a glass of your favourite purple wine in one other, play these songs to set the proper temper for the night time!

  30. You can also buy many books that come with audio CDs to practice with at Berklee Press; many start right at the beginning with the basics of riffing and vocal improvisation.

  31. Correct posture and good concentration are also vital when learning to sing.

  32. Collin Mcneil says:

    Singing lessons in Pop, Rock, Musical Theatre and Classical including Choral work.

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