5 of the Best Daily Vocal Exercises for Singers
Vocal warm ups and exercises are key when you’re learning how to sing. Just like athletes stretch out their bodies 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 voice warm ups to maintain a healthy voice. When you warm up properly, you can sing for longer periods of time with less effort. These singing exercises will work for both beginning and advanced vocalists, so don’t hesitate to give them a try no matter where you are on your singing journey. Add these vocal warm ups 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 have trouble making the buzzing sound, you can place your index fingers on the center of your cheeks to give your lips more “slack.”
If a lip buzz isn’t happening, you can achieve the same effect by rolling your tongue. This is called a tongue trill and occurs frequently in languages such as Spanish and Italian. Most singers find lip buzzes easier than tongue trills, but if you prefer to trill during these singing warm ups, go right ahead!
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We all should be familiar with “Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti Do” from The Sound of Music. Starting on middle C, sing through the solfege up and down the scale, taking your time to really listen to each pitch.
See if you can try this vocal warm up without a piano (acapella), as this will help with your ear training. Practicing solfege is not only a great tool for your ears, but it will also improve your sight reading and singing accuracy. By giving a name to the note intervals, you’ll have no question about what note to hit when it comes time to sing.
This is another one of our favorite voice 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 vocal warm up should be nice and relaxed.
4. “I Love to Sing”
This is one of the singing 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. Remember don’t be shy with this one — let loose and proudly pronounce your love for singing!
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!
Here’s a video that goes over sirens and other helpful singing warm ups:
Sirens are 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. Start with as little volume and effort as possible, and gradually build up the dynamics as you get more warmed up. 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. For singers, these vocal warm ups should be a fundamental part of your day, like brushing your teeth or combing your hair! Once you get in the habit, you’ll love the freedom and flexibility of a warmed-up voice.
If you’re ready to take your singing to the next level, there’s no better way than with private singing lessons. Your teacher can give you the hands-on feedback necessary to build proper technique and expand your singing repertoire. With every lesson, you’ll be one step closer to achieving your singing goals!
Do you have a favorite vocal warm up? Share it with us in the comments below!
About the Author: Liz T. teaches singing in Brooklyn, NY, as well as online. She is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music with a BM in Vocal Performance and currently teaches all styles of music. Learn more about Liz here!
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