Vocal exercises and warm-ups are very important for singers. Warming up your voice before and after singing helps protect your throat from damage, keep your voice healthy and in pitch always. As a singer the most important part of your body becomes your throat and voice, maintaining and taking care of it on a day-to-day basis is crucial.
Taking five to ten minutes out of your daily routine to do these exercises will keep your voice healthy and will allow you to extend your range more comfortably.
Best Vocal Exercises for Singers
Here are five vocal exercises that you can practice every day:
1. Making a Siren Sound
Let’s start off with something simple and effective. Imitate your voice to that of a fire engine. Start with the lowest note and move upwards. If you are able to move from the low notes to the high notes with ease, then it shows that you are not having vocal fatigue. You can practice this gradually and build it up at your own pace. You can also try this warm up in a reverse format, meaning from high to low.
This exercise helps warm up the range and stretch of your vocal cords. It also allows you to transition from a high to low pitch and vice versa smoothly. You need to move from your chest voice to your head voice while going to the higher pitch. Repeat this several times and remember if you notice any fatigue, take a break to relax.
2. Solfege Exercise
The solfege system has seven basic syllables that are very known if you have watched “The Sound of Music” – Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti, Do.
In this system, each syllable is associated with the sound of a musical pitch. It helps identify relationships between different notes in music. It is also a very easy system to remember as compared to the traditional letters and numbers of the musical scale. Practicing the solfege system helps you recognize notes by ear. It is also a great warm-up to increase and lower pitch. You can use the help of a piano while practicing the solfege.
3. The Tongue Trill Exercise
This exercise is considered a little difficult for some singers. The exercise requires you to curl your tongue and roll ‘Rs’ as you go from a low to high range. To practice this exercise you start off by relaxing the tongue and place it behind your upper front teeth. Inhale through your nose and exhale from your mouth. While you are exhaling, make your tongue vibrate and roll an ‘R’ syllable. This helps warm up your tongue as well as improve your breathing techniques.
This exercise helps smoothen your bridges between upper and lower vocal ranges and also ensures consistency in note production.
4. Practice Tongue Twisters
Sometimes while singing on stage or even offstage you might get tongue-tied. This can happen if you are nervous or sometimes even occurs when certain phrases in the songs are difficult to say. To avoid such circumstances, tongue twister exercises are helpful. Tongue twisters train your mouth and brain to handle difficult syllables and transitions. You can practice common tongue twisters like :
- She sells seashells on the seashore
- Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers
- Red Lorry, Yellow Lorry
- A synonym for cinnamon is a cinnamon synonym
Tongue twisters improve your pronunciation, stretches out your muscles and jaw, reduces tension, and improves the overall quality of your voice. It is important to pronounce the words clearly while singing.
5. Relax Your Facial Muscles
Believe it or not, Yawning helps relax your throat, jaw, tongue, and facial muscles. It also releases tension and helps with controlling your breathing. Open your jaw wide and inhale as though you are yawning. Keep your tongue and jaw relaxed at this point. Exhale slowly and close your mouth. If you feel comfortable, you can also hum while exhaling.
Another way to relax muscles is to exercise and release tension. Massaging the jaw releases tension around the mouth and jaw. It helps improve your pronunciation while singing and makes you more confident as you won’t be rigid while singing.
Use your fingers to massage the muscles in a circular motion below the cheekbone. This helps stimulate and increase blood flow. The jaw plays an important role in controlling the voice. Its movement and position makes singing easier if done properly.
Maintaining vocal health is one of the most valuable assets for your voice. Each exercise focuses on different parts of the mouth, jaw, throat thereby reduces damage and increasing the longevity of your voice. It is absolutely necessary to always warm-up before you practice singing.
To know more about the types of exercises you need to do to improve your voice and develop your vocal skills, check out our singing course: Online Western Vocals Class