vocal effects training
VOCAL TWANG – the extreme singers secret weapon
Beginner to Pro
FOR SINGERS, SPEAKERS & ACTORS
VOCAL twang for more power, volume, resonance and brightness
Twang can mean a number of things depending on the context in which it is used…
- You can TWANG a guitar string
- You can have a Twang in your dialect (Southern Twang) or a Country Twang as a stylistic choice
- You can twang an elastic band, or a plastic ruler on the edge of a desk
- Twang according to Wikipedia is an onomatopoeia (sounds like it sounds) to describe the sound of a vibrating bow string after an arrow is released (or any instrument that can be plucked!)
…so it’s totally understandable that the term twang might confuse.
In this context, we are talking about Vocal Twang
WHAT IS VOCAL TWANG?
In singing terms – twang is used to describe the ability to consciously narrow the aryepiglottic sphincter in order to help control brightness and volume
Many methods use the term twang, so it has become a staple of voice teaching the world over.
Twang can sound sharp and bright and like a siren – you can add more and more twang to create SUPER TWANG – the most extreme kind and often used to make head voice sound bigger and brighter and to make things like fry scream sound super loud and immense!
HOW DOES IT WORK?
In simple terms, consider the human to be akin to an organic brass or wind instrument – the tubular element being the vocal tract with a built in horn (mouth) to amplify the sound. (See the Estill model for Power Source Filter)
The human voice is essentially a fretless instrument so unlike just seeing notes on a piano we must find the notes, pitch the notes and play the notes – yes we are amazing!
If you look at a trumpet player playing the highest notes or the loudest notes – they are not blowing harder and harder, they are using their muscles and lips to affect the production of the sound (embouchre for all you brass and wind instrument nerds out there) – they also use their tongue to shape and color the notes (timbre)
HOW to find twang?
Remember all that talk about character voices for finding different monster noises? It’s exactly the same for twang!
Check out our Video for some character inspiration or try your own – once you know the sound, you will be twanging all over town!
Popular characters include:
- Quack like a Duck
- Cackle like the wicked witch from the Wizard of Oz
- Make Like an Air Raid Siren Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
- Pretend to be a seriously upset crying baby Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
- Pretend you’re a gangster’s Moll from Noo Joisey
- Cartman Crying
- Bleat like a loud lamb
- Do a really loud MEEEEEOWWWWW like a cat
- Make a noise like a really annoying bird Kaaaa Kaaaa Kaaaa
- Check out Tom Burkes Twang Farm for more crazy animal examples
Or you can imitate real live musicians that use a lot of twang and supertwang – Great for SCREAMS!
- Imitate TINA TURNER – Na Na Na Na Naaaaaaaaa
- Be like Patti Labelle – Twang Queen of New Orleans
- Do the high bit from child in time – Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
- Get all Led Zep and ‘Come from the land of ice and snow’
- Pretend to be Willy Nelson
- Ylvis – What the Fox Say – Wa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pow! Jacha-chacha-chacha-chow! Fraka-kaka-kaka-kaka-kow!
- Any High Scream from Dani Filth – AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA