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[For Beginners] Basic Narration Course

2021-09-07

Theme:PA, Tips & Useful Info

Pardon me for suddenly posting this video, but please watch!

The product in this video has nothing to do with the theme of this article, but I would like you to listen to the narration.
In fact, it’s my narration. I’m not sure if you can tell I could read it well, but I chose it because it is my personal favorite video.

It’s been eight years since I first started narrating and reading aloud.
It’s just a hobby, so I’m not that skilled at reading well yet, but I personally think that speaking skills are worth learning!

So, this time around, I would like to share with you some tips to watch out for when narrating!
These tips are for those who are thinking of starting at-home recording, students aiming to compete in a narrating/reading contest, those who want to speak clearly while streaming, as well as those who want to be voice actors… This content is for beginners, but I would be happy if you could take the time to read it!

1. Smooth/Clear Phonation

The first thing that I think is necessary is“you should be able to enunciate clearly so that the listener can understand every word.” Once the listeners have to ask themselves, “what did you say?”, then they won’t be able to keep up with what the speaker is talking about.

In order to solve this problem, it’s important to train your tongue first! (I’m not good at it…)
The recommended practice method is to read aloud Uiro Uri (The Medicine Peddler), from the Eighteen Master Plays of Kabuki! Have you ever heard of it?
It usually takes about 5 minutes to read it in full. This short story is ideal for practicing because it includes a lot of tongue twisters.
When I was a student in college, I spent a lot of hours memorizing it and practicing it a lot.

The good thing about Uiro Uri is that you don’t need to understand the meaning. You can focus on how you can make the enunciation more understandable to the listener even if you don’t understand what the words mean! The important point is to read aloud while concentrating on it. In that respect, you can also train your expressiveness, so it’s killing two birds with one stone.
Apparently, most professional narrators memorize Uiro Uri!

Please try to memorize it and improve your tongue expressions!

2. Microphone Distance

Next, the microphone distance is important.
You can use a microphone in the contest, and of course you will need it for home recording.
(I will introduce some recommended microphones at the end of this article!)

When talking on a mic, if the mic is too far from your mouth, there will be more space between you and the mic, and the ambient noise will be more likely to get in. However, if you bring it too close, it will cause popping and blowing noises...
When your mouth is right on the mic, you will instantly hear your voice in comfort.
This may not be an important point, but I personally believe I should focus on it.

So, this is how to easily determine the distance between your mouth and the microphone!

All you need is your hand!

Place your thumb on your mouth and your pinky on the mic.
This will give you the distance of about 15 to 20 cm.
Generally, it seems that this distance is just right.

When I participated in one narration contest, many finalists were doing this before they started speaking to make the distance.
Of course, techniques are also important. However, it’s also important to make sure your mic picks up your voice clearly, right?

3. Posture When Reading

You can generally choose to sit or stand when narrating and reading at competitions.
I guess many readers of my blog posts record at home, so most of you may sit down for recording.

I think that you can switch between standing or sitting down depending on what kind of reading performance you want to do.

Stand up “when you want to include acting” and sit down “when you want to focus on being persuasive”.

The former is a reading aloud and dubbing that includes acting. Many voice actors stand up when dubbing. After all, standing up will improve your expressions in that you can freely use your body, so you will be able to perform well.

The latter is narrating. Rather than convince the listener with actions, you need to be able to convince the listeners with words. It must naturally float into the ears of the listeners.
In this situation, it is recommended that you sit down to first relax and then speak.

However, the most important thing should be how easy it is for you to do it.
I think that when you try to do narration, you’ll start to feel the pressure which will then cause you to slouch inward and then your voice won’t be able to resonate well when sitting down. If that is so, then I think you should not hesitate to stand up.

4. Record and Listen

I recommend practicing by not only reading passages aloud to yourself, you should also practice by listening and recording yourself.
You can use the built-in microphone from your smartphone, but I personally recommend using a separate microphone! A microphone can capture the detailed nuances of your voice, so you can hear your speaking habits and how you make speaking sounds.

I recommend practicing by not only reading passages aloud to yourself, you should also practice by listening and recording yourself.

AKG  / LYRA USBMicrophone

This is your standard mic called the LYRA from AKG.
The volume knob is easily accessible at your fingertips. AKG is a reliable brand so the sound quality is also perfect!

BOYA / BY-PM700SP USB Microphone for PC/iPhone/Android Smartphone

This is BOYA, which you might have heard of if you’re a fan of my blog! This microphone also has a convenient volume knob at hand at all times. It comes with a Lightning cable, so it’s nice to be able to easily record even on your smartphone.

Saramonic / S SR-MV2000 USB Microphone

This is a USB microphone that I personally recommend. The LED indicator is so cool and I like the design.

Please take the time to listen to your own voice over and over again. I believe that you can improve as long as you record and listen to your reading so you can find the good and bad points in your work.

What do you think?
If you learn some speaking skills when narrating and reading aloud, it will be useful for public speaking.
And in fact, it works even for laughs...! Just read aloud random words like a professional narrator when hanging out over beer so you can make people laugh. Lol.
Create your own studio to learn the techniques!! At Sound House, we have a big lineup of cost effective USB microphones with high sound quality. Why don’t you consider purchasing one of them?
You can practice your narrating, reading, and enunciation all while building your ideal recording studio!

nana kobayashi

高校からアナウンス・ナレーションを始め、大学では朗読・ラジオ制作を専攻しました。自分がマイクを通してしゃべるためにPAを組んでいたはずが、気づけば機材が好きになっていました。八の字巻きの早さと丁寧さには自信があります!

AKG / LYRA

AKG

LYRA

¥11,480(incl. tax)

USBマイク

Rating00001

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BOYA / BY-PM700SP USB microphone for PC/iPhone/Android smartphones

BOYA

BY-PM700SP USB microphone for PC/iPhone/Android smartphones

¥18,000(incl. tax)

USB microphone, PC/smartphone, USB Type-C/USB-A/Lightning adapter cable included

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Saramonic / SR-MV2000 USBマイク

Saramonic

SR-MV2000 USBマイク

¥8,980(incl. tax)

With USB microphone, multi-color LED indicator, desktop stand

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