In my mind, my voice is a cross between Joe Cocker and Robert Plant. Sadly, when I step on stage, the reality is that if I can keep most of the audience vaguely entertained, it’s a win! And frankly, even to get to this level takes work. How the top vocalists are just so good never ceases to amaze me!
Although, even the best singers still put in the work and do regular vocal exercise and training. It’s no secret, and it’s something we should all strive to do. It makes a huge difference.
The best daily vocal exercises for singers center around a few core options. Although there are hundreds of vocal exercises, depending on your singing aims, these are universally used as the basis for most vocal training programs. So, let’s take a closer look at the most popular singing exercises.
Even Celine Dion uses these as part of her regular warm-up routine for either performing or rehearsing. Love or hate her voice; there’s no doubting her exceptional vocal talent. If it’s good enough for Celine, it should be good enough for all of us.
So, what exactly do they entail?
You get the sound by vibrating your lips together. Imagine blowing bubbles underwater and making a “brbrbrbrbr” kind of a sound. Alternatively, imagine the kind of noise to indicate to your friends that you’re cold.
The trick to this is to make sure that you don’t pass a large amount of air through your mouth. You need to control your diaphragm and limit the passage of air. This is very important.
If you find it difficult to make the sound, you can pinch the corners of your mouth with your finger and thumb. This will make it much easier. As you get used to making the sound, you can withdraw your finger and thumb. Perform the scales as you do the trills but do not go for volume.
A great option for singing warm up technique as it put very little strain on the voice. If you are a beginner, or your voice has been over-extended, this is perfect. It can be done before you start lip trills.
Humming is performed as you’d expect. Simply hum with your mouth closed. Your tongue should be positioned with the tip behind your front teeth. Go up and down the scales and make sure you sound the “h” part of the hmmm. The volume can be kept down nice and low.
This is one of the oldest vocal exercise for singers; in fact, it’s as old as the hills. Nevertheless, it is highly effective.
Do you remember the cute little song from “The Sound of Music”? I bet you do! It goes, “do re mi fa so la ti do.” Remember now? Well, this forms the basis of the exercise.
You start at middle C and then go up and down the scale. You must engage your diaphragm and pay attention to the pitch and sound. This will help to get your mouth moving as well as training your ear and training your voice.
Now, who wouldn’t want that?
The only negative is that it might feel a little old-fashioned for some. I get that. For a more up-to-date alternative, along with a stack of other Best Daily Vocal Exercises for Singers, check out the Vocal Workouts for the Contemporary Singer from Berklee Press. It’s available on Kindle or paperback.
A E I O U
This is another great exercise for getting your mouth moving and helping you relax. It’s one I prefer to use either right at the end or towards the end of my vocal warm-up.
The vowels are sung in an ever-increasing ascending scale. It’s important to fully enunciate the vowels, and you should do so in an exaggerated way. This is also called the yawning exercise. You should therefore imagine you are yawning whilst singing.
And the cool thing?
This exercise helps to warm up your voice and reduce the chance of vocal cord straining. This is because the yawning action helps to relax your neck and throat muscles. Plus, you get the added benefit of it helping to give you a richer and more rounded vocal sound.
Sirens are a great way to properly stretch out the vocal cords and folds. I’ve left this exercise till last, but if you only have time to do a single exercise, this is the one I’d recommend.
That’s because it’s quick and effective and also puts little strain on the voice. It has the additional benefit of helping to quickly identify exactly where your vocal range is at any particular point in time.
So, how do you perform them?
You simply make a noise like a fire engine. Start from the lowest note in your register and slide up as far as you go. Begin with a low volume and stop as soon as you hit the breaking point. Don’t push your voice or use excessive volume.
But there’s more…
This is also a very soothing exercise and is equally effective as a warm down as well as a warm-up. Additionally, it can help you to transition more smoothly between the chest and head voice. Plus, it’s great practice for sliding up to those more difficult to reach higher notes. It’s a highly versatile and easy vocal exercise for singers.
Looking for a Great Vocal Mic for all that Practice?
Put those pipes of yours to work and check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Live Vocal Mics, the Best Karaoke Microphones, the Best Microphones For Recording Vocals, the Best Choir Microphones, the Best Microphones For Recording Rap Vocals, the Best Karaoke Machines, the Best Sheet Music Stands, and the Best Microphone Stands you can buy in 2021.
Best Daily Vocal Exercises for Singers – Final Thoughts
There are so many different vocal exercises, so I’ve limited the selection to a few of my personal favorites. If you’re just getting into singing, I’d recommend taking a look at Singing Exercises For Dummies. There is a lot of great tips, tricks, and singing exercise to set you down the right path.
More experienced singers might benefit from The Musicademy Advanced Vocals Warm-up and Work-Out range of exercises. It’s available through streaming, MP3, or CD.
My final few tips are to make sure your body is always relaxed whenever you’re doing vocal exercises or performing on stage. It’s also important to keep your mouth, jaw, and neck relaxed too. Adopting a slightly open smile can help to facilitate this. Don’t drink, don’t smoke, stay healthy, stay hydrated and get a good night’s sleep!