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A RUSTY WRECK OF A BIKE is reappearing from out the bog! It must be the 23nd century!




Out of Existence – 3. TIM – prestoHarry Josephine Giles & Vivien Holmes
00:00 / 02:52

Repeating words or phrases quickly can be useful for conveying lots of text, for emphasising a point, or for building tension toward/within an important part of a song. Fast repetition relies on muscle memory, so starting exercises slowly and gradually building up speed as you repeat ensures that your muscles can keep up.



Here’s how to prepare for fast repetition;


  1. Using your fingers or knuckles, gently massage your cheeks and jaw. If this isn’t possible for you, or if you’d prefer not to touch your face, imagine that you are chewing a particularly sticky toffee. Roll the imaginary sweet around in your mouth, using your tongue, cheeks, lips, and teeth to explore all the imaginary surfaces.

  2. Pick a plosive consonant, such as ‘b’ or ‘p’ (b-uh, p-uh, not b-ee or p-ee), and speak this, repeating it over and over. Feel which parts of your mouth you use to create this sound - is it mostly your lips? How much air do you need to keep repeating this sound?

  3. Sing the repeated consonant on a comfortable middle pitch. Explore the extent of your range, repeating the phrase in different parts of your register.


Developing fast repetition


  1. Choose a two or three syllable word that you’d typically stress the first syllable of. Some examples you might want to try are ‘driver’, ‘table’, ‘listening’, and ‘bicycle’.

  2. Say this word slowly, noticing again which parts of your mouth are being used to create the word. Experiment with slowing this down/speeding it up to extremes, and which consonants or vowels you have to emphasise to keep the word sounding like a real word!

  3. Add a comfortable middle pitch, singing the word all on the same note. You can explore creating a little melody, using the notes next to and around the starting note, if you like. Take the word on a journey up and down your register, noticing how it feels at different pitches. 


Fast repetition in Out of Existence


Viv repeats ‘tim’ in TIM rapidly throughout — and different tracks of these repetitions are layered over each other to create a thick texture of many ‘tim’s. Deep, audible breaths are used to prepare for these long phrases, and to add tension.


Singing along


  1. Take a deep breath with Viv, and speak the word ‘tim’ in your own time, breathing when necessary.

  2. Pause as the ‘tim's stop, then join back in after the lip trills for the second round of ‘tim's. There’s a slight descent in pitch, where Viv starts a little higher, then gradually moves lower, that you might want to try too.

  3. Take your second pause, then join back in again. This third round, Viv starts to explore even higher pitches — where do these notes sit in your voice? Are there other notes or patterns that you think would fit here?

  4. If you’re comfortable doing so, you can join in with the lip trills also. These are sometimes called ‘blowing raspberries’ — they’re good for keeping resonance focused forward in the mouth.

Lip Trill example from TIMVivien Holmes
00:00 / 00:15
TIM fast repetitions exampleVivien Holmes
00:00 / 00:15
Black and white ink drawing of a road bike
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