Vocal warm ups and exercises are key when you’re learning how to sing! Just like athletes stretch out their body and muscles before a big game, vocalists must warm up their singing voice before a performance or rehearsal.
All it takes is 10 minutes with these five simple vocal warm ups to maintain a healthy voice. These vocal exercises will work for both beginning and advanced vocalists. Add them to your daily routine and you’ll be a pro at singing your favorite songs in no time!
5 Vocal Warm Ups for Singers
1. Lip Buzz
To do this vocal warm up, simply vibrate your lips together without pitch, at first. This will help build up your breath support and stamina while singing.
Next, try adding a pitch to your lip buzz, and hold it anywhere from 3-5 seconds. Pitch can go up, down, or stay on one note. There should be a funny, tickling sensation in your nose and other resonators (the forehead, cheeks, etc.). If you do not feel this, try harder!
We all should be familiar with “Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti Do” from the The Sound of Music. Starting on middle C, sing through the solfege up and down the scale, taking your time and really listening to each pitch.
See if you can try this vocal warm up without a piano (acapella), as this will help with ear training! Practicing solfege is not only a great tool for your ears, but it will also help you with sight reading.
This is another one of our favorite vocal warm ups that will help you sing better. Remaining on one note (monotone), sing “mah-may-me-mo-moo” nice and slow, really pronouncing the Ms. It should sound like the first exercise in the video below.
Start low, perhaps at A3, and sing up the scale to an octave above. Take your time and see if you can sing this exercise all in one breath. While you don’t have to sing the warm up well, focus on your intonation to create the best vocal sound. Don’t push – this exercise should be nice and relaxed.
4. “I Love to Sing”
This is one of the vocal exercises you can use to help with your range, as it includes an arpeggio. Starting low at around Bb3, you are literally going to sing “I love to sing” with a smile on your face! You will start at the root, then hit the octave, and come back down on the 5th, 3rd, and root of the chord again.
This is a great way to test your range through big jumps. It can be done fast and should be done all in one breath. Smiling while you sing will help you develop a more clear and bright sound. Give it a try!
5. The Siren
This is the easiest vocal exercise of all the vocal warm ups on this list. Think of the sound of a fire engine passing by, and imitate it with your voice. Start at the lowest note in your range, and slide through every note to the top of your range. If you can sing the low notes and high notes, then you know you are in good vocal shape!
This is a good way to tell if you are vocally fatigued. If you’re unable to hit the low or high notes, then it’s best not to push too hard. You can try this warm up in reverse too, by starting with your mouth open wide, going from high to low.
These vocal exercises take as little as 10 minutes a day, and they will help you sing better tremendously. If you need more guidance and are ready to take your singing to the next level, book singing lessons with an expert instructor today!
Liz T. teaches singing, acting, and music lessons in Brooklyn, NY, as well as online. She is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music with a B.M in Vocal performance and currently performs/teaches all styles of music including Musical Theater, Classical, Jazz, Rock, Pop, R&B, and Country. Learn more about Liz here!
Photo by Sombilon Art, Media, and Photography