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Hard "laugh-like" vowels: what's it called/details of this technique

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Raze
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I often hear singers pronounce words like "curl" as "C'hurl," with almost a hard h sound that sounds like it's coming from the same muscles that we use when we belly laugh. I hear this quite a bit and I find it to be very pleasant sounding. An example of this:

The lyric (from Kings of Leon) is "soft lips are open, the knuckles are pale," the word in question is "pale," and the vowel has that belly laugh-like sound to it.

You can clearly hear how the "ale" part seems to have a hardness to it, like a sharp laugh.

Another example:

Bono from U2:

"Self" is the word in question, particularly the first one. It isn't as pronounced as the link above, but I can definitely here the "elf" part having that bubble-like quality right after the 's.'

To mix things up, here is a non-rock singer doing it, too:

Beyonce (she pretty much does this all the time, sometimes it's very subtle, sometimes very obvious).

She is constantly doing this, but the first one I really noticed, at the lyric "didn't even put up a fight," with the "ight" being the hard vowel (and of course, pretty much throughout the song, particularly on every h-word). A real good one is in the second verse, "this don't even feel like falling." The "all" part of falling sounds very rounded by solid and strong (about 1:40).

I could find many more if I was inclined. There are certainly better examples, no doubt.

What is this called?

I can sometimes sort of duplicate this after a consonant, but it's tricky. It seems like sometimes it requires LESS air than normal when I breath in before I try to do it (or at least it feels like that), and as a result if I try to do this in a line I'll find I'm out of air and go silent (I imagine more breath control exercises are in order). Or rather, usually I take a relatively shallow breath, and then expel it all almost when doing it. It works sometimes, doesn't work other times. Not nearly where I want it to be. "H" followed by vowels are a much easier to do it, but in general, how does one perfect this?

Any and all thoughts on this technique, what it's called and how to do it, are more than welcomed. Thanks again to all of you nice people!

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onset of the note with an aspirant. H, Y, L, for example. Though L is more of an uh with the tip of the tongu curled up.

Also, it depends on what singers you are listening to. Not every singer does that, just the ones you are listening to, Raze.

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Hiya,

I see what you're after, although I don't hear it as a laugh like quality. It's something I use a lot in my singing as I love the sound of it. It's that quick parp like sound that could sound like a laugh, or a cry.

Technically the onset is aspirate, where the air starts flowing first before the lyric is said. The examples you gave the are on the back of an airy consonant like ss, and a p (which isn't airy but is unvoiced an plosive creating the same effect). Doing it on the back of consonants like m and n sounds contrived because their onset is too balanced.. you'll end up sounding like a country singer parody!

Also the pitch begins for a split second higher than the intended pitch of the lyrics, giving it a quick downward yodel effect. The singer can manipulate that pitch, but i find the onset type can often blow you sharp for a moment giving you the same sound. Combine it with a slightly cried sound and it magnifies the style.

But as has already been pointed out you can mimic it and it is a great style tool. As mentioned, it's best used on the back of aspirate consonants, especially 'h'. Beyonce is a great example of it, and her airflow on the end of lines tends blow her in to that yodel too! Creating very emotive singing... I love it. 1+1 has it all over, especially the line 'that's all we have when the world is through".

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