Singing Better

Diphthongs, Triphthongs, Quadthongs


An even more crucial aspect of vowels is when two or more vowels are  combined together.  We call them diphthongs, triphthongs and even quadthongs.  The goal is to sound every vowel sound - otherwise we can be accused of having “lazy mouth”. We need to sort of chew every word to get every sound in clearly.  This is a particular challenge when the “-thongs”  are on short notes as each sound needs to be done quickly.  There should always be a “target vowel sound” which is the sound that the note is held the longest, with the rest being performed quickly either at the beginning or and the end of the “-thong” word.  Also be careful not to be accused of “vowel migration” where we move GRADUALLY rather than quickly between vowel sounds in these ”-thongs”.  Sing or say the following words giving particular attention to the part of the word the category is about, as the categories point out what is often done incorrectly.

1. The End "ee"

ay-ee: day  say  play  may  pray  pay  pain  sleigh  gay  hay  Ray  tame

ah-ee: I (eye)  my  cry  mine  time  bye (buy)  dry

oh-ee:  boy  joy  coin  point  voice  toy  Roy

oo-ay-ee: way (weigh)

oo-ah-ee: wise  wine

                wh-oo-ah-ee: why (See 6. below)

2. The Middle Triphthong Sounds "oo" &"ee"

ee-oo-er: your

ah-oo-er: our (hour)  flower  tower  power  sour  bower

ah-ee-er: fire  liar  hire  wire  tire

aw-ee-er: lawyer

3. The End "oo"

ah-oo: out  how  now  loud  crowd  cloud  sound  down  town  frown

oh-oo: go  so (sow)  hoe  toe  fro  low

4. The Beginning "ee"

ee-oo:  you  use  cute  few  view  cue  beautiful

ee-oo-er: your  fewer  cure

5. The Beginning "oo"

oo-ee: we

oo-uh:  one  once

oo-ih: will  women  witch  twitch

oo-eh: well  wed  wet

oo-aw: wall

      6. The Beginning Aspirant, “wh” NOT "oo"

  1.                   (The aspirant “wh” is whispered but “oo” uses the vocal cords.)

wh-uh   wh-eh   wh-ih   wh-oo-ah-ee   wh-oo   wh-eh-er

what      when     which   why                 who     where

7. The Quadthrongs - "ee"

oo-ah-ee-er:   choir

er-ah-ee-ehn:   Ryan

Practice singing the Triphthongs and Quadthrongs (Section 2 & 7 above) very quickly as they then take special attention.

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