Every week when planning our rehearsals and workshops we have to think of several warm ups to get our participants ready to sing at their best.
The tongue twister is an excellent way of activating our articulators - the part of our voice that produces sounds - such as the lips, teeth, tongue, and hard and soft palette. Tongue twisters also engage the brain in processing complex sounds together, making them a really useful tool for warming up the voice and making everyone alert and present in the room.
With an increasing amount of technology relying on dictation and voice recognition - e.g. Siri on the iPhone or Alexa on the Amazon Echo Dot - our articulation is more important than ever, proving that tongue twisters have a purpose not just for singers, but in every day life.
Over the years we’ve used stock favourites like ‘How much wood would a wood chuck chuck, if a wood chuck could chuck wood’, but prefer to use sayings that have tripped us up in every day conversation, or we’ve plucked out of our vocabulary bank of imagination.
Below are our favourites for every letter of the alphabet. Why not give them a try next time you’re warming up the voice for singing, speech, or Siri?! Whether saying them repeatedly, or singing them on one note and progressively getting faster as you move up the scale, they’re sure to get those articulators warmed up and ready to go!
For those times when choosing one alligator is just too hard
Just imagine it!
Fruit can get very chatty
Dennis Didn’t Dim the Light Switch
Oh, Dennis. How could you not?
Epiphany Tiffany's Tiffin
For a special, life affirming snack
Fish Finger Frittata
Sounds delicious, no?
A contradiction in terms, surely
Hate Hot Sauce
I mean, it’s hot!
Imagine Imagining Imogen’s Image
Just imagine it!
Simple when said once, but said over and over...
King Kong Sings Songs
Well, doesn’t he?
Live Love Laugh
One of life’s mantras is not the easiest to repeat, even though its message is strong
Miss It, Miss Out
It seems so easy until you have to say it repeatedly…
Not Now, Nancy
That Nancy, always pestering you
One of our singers heard his colleague say this in the office and it inspired us in the rehearsal room!
Pop Rock Hip Hop
Say these three genres together for a musically themed warm up!
Quell Katie Quickly
We’re not sure what she’s done, but…
Rabid Rabbit Tried to Grab It
But what did they try to grab?
Short Sharp Scratch
This might roll off the tongue of your phlebotomist when taking blood, but said over and over again it becomes the perfect tongue twister
Try Trevor's Truffles
They are delicious
What we look for in the perfect partner…
Very Steady, Ready Set Go
Think like old Tortoise, slow and steady wins the race
Who What Where When Why How
The fundamentals of problem solving can trip you up in more ways than one
Let’s not go there
Because even mercenaries get tired
Just try saying this word over and over. Go on. Not easy, huh?
What are your favourite tongue twisters? Share them in the comments below!