Sometimes, you can stretch the number of syllable in a lyrics when sung by repeating some syllables or sounds like in this example:

The color of the ski-i-i-i-ies

Is blue like your eye-e-e-e-es

I am wondering which words are the best for extending the number of syllables, because some words doesn't seem to work well, and I am not sure if I am imagining it and I would like to know how you determine if they're good or not.

For example, this sounds terrible.

Lush and green are the plai-ai-ai-ains.

1 Answer 1


Absolutely. That's a clip from a classic old black-and-white movie.

You pick the sound you stretch out for the effect you want to achieve. You get there by using rising, maintaining, or falling tone and volume.

So stretched vowel sounds tend to be a bit operatic. Ooo-ooo-ooooooo-ooo-oh. And there's lots of room for rhyming. It can be a challenge for the singer if you get ambitious about it. Stretched vowels are also pretty natural for group singing because it lets the singers get on the note and hold it together.

Vowel sounds can be happy and upbeat. Ooooh! Or sad and despondent Awwwww. Or surprised. AwaaaaaAAA? AhhhHAAAAA!

You can stretch the humming-sounds quite a bit also. Mmmmmmmm! Nnnnnnn! These can have various emotions also. From happy and satisfied to denial.

It's a little hard to stretch guttural and clicking sounds. Kick. Hack. Gulp. These tend to turn into stuttering. k-k-k-k If you want emphasis on a guttural, you usually just make it louder. Stretched out sibilants can sound very aggressive or angry. Or they can sound triumphant.

Such as in the Piltdown Man part of Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells." This combines all of these in a quite energetic sequence.

shhhooooGHaaaa DOCK DonnnnawAAA shhhhhUNGaaaaaa

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