For those keen to get started on their journey of singing and aren’t sure what exercises to start with, this blog is for you!
Vocal exercises or ‘warmups’ are sometimes overlooked as something that are not necessary for singers. Some vocalists skip warmups & exercises altogether and others find picking the right ones a bit overwhelming.
Let’s shift this perspective. Vocal exercises should be used like a workout. Yes, before you sing it is important to warm up your voice with a range of drills to get the muscles warm and ready to belt out a powerful song; but, vocal exercises are also necessary for increasing your agility, utilising your full vocal range & developing vocal control.
In this blog, I will list 5 vocal exercises that you can start on to help you move forward in your singing journey.
But first, I want to let you know why I have chosen these exercises. Although the reasoning is simple, It can be encouraging and helpful for you to know why you are using these exercises as a part of your practice routine. (Quick side note: If you are keen to learn about how to create an effective practice routine, you can check out my blog on that here.)
Vocal Exercises Breakdown:
Exercise 1 – Lip Trills or Gentle Zzz: This light sliding exercise is great for loosening up your voice. It helps you to reach your full range of sound without putting too much pressure on your voice to start with. Lip trills tend to work best if you can do them as they are good for making sure everything is nice and loose. However, if you can’t manage to blow a raspberry with sound, then the Zzz is a good alternative.
Exercise 2 – ‘Mah Meh Mee Moh Moo’ on one pitch.: This exercise is a simple one to get your mouth moving & your ears synced to start your vocal workout. Being on one pitch for the 4 vowels, It gives students who are still working on improving their pitch control an opportunity to slowly move into the workout.
Exercises 3, 4 & 5 – Scales & Arpeggio’s – These exercises are all about control, agility & ear training. The 5-note scale gives you an opportunity to move gently into your vocal workout. The arpeggios focus more on supporting your notes well (paying attention to control on the note jumps). The major scale (or 9 note major scale) is a great ear training workout & focuses on improving control & agility.
Additionally: learning scales are beneficial for your ear training moving forward as a musician.
Show Me The Exercises!
Below are some short demo recordings of each exercise so you can hear how they are supposed to go. Normally, you would continue up and sometimes back down again to a number of reps appropriate to your vocal range.
At the bottom of this blog post there is a link to a free PDF download of these exercises as well for your convenience.
Additionally, I will link to these exercises in full length for high and low voice on YouTube for you to sing along with in your practice. Check out the link at the bottom of this page. :)
Exercise 1 - Lip Trill or Zzz Slide on a 5th.
Exercise 2 - 'Mah Meh Mi Moh Moo'
Exercise 3 - 5 note scale on 'Ooh' with leap.
Exercise 4 - Major Arpeggio on 'Ooh' or 'Ah'
Exercise 5 - 9 Note Major Scale on 'Ooh', 'Ee' or 'Aah'
You can try out the vocal workouts for yourself on our YouTube channel!
Click the link below to go there:
Additionally, you can receive your own free download of the Vocal Workout PDF straight to your inbox by subscribing below:
If you have any additional questions regarding your singing practice or comments to add about this post, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All the best with your practice!
Vocal Coach & Director at Melody Suite