Vocal Exercises for Beginner Singers

Written by
Published on  |  Last Updated on August 11, 2023

The human voice is one of the most versatile and expressive instruments that exist. It is capable of producing a wide range of sounds and emotions, from soft whispers to powerful shouts, from melodious singing to percussive beatboxing.

The voice is also unique in that it is an instrument that is always with us. Unlike other instruments, such as guitars or pianos, which require physical objects to produce sound, the voice is always available to us, making it a powerful tool for communication and expression.

Importance of vocal exercises to improve singing

One of the most important aspects of the voice as an instrument is its ability to convey meaning and emotion through language. Whether speaking or singing, the human voice can convey a wide range of emotions, from joy and love to sadness and despair. Singing melody lines to providing harmonies and backing vocals.

Singers can also use a range of techniques, such as vibrato, falsetto, and vocal runs, to add depth and complexity to their performances. The human voice is a rich and expressive instrument. Voice conveys meaning through any language creating beautiful melodies and harmonies.

Vocal warmups are important for singers and speakers to prepare their voice for use, prevent injury, and improve their performance. Here are some common vocal warmup exercises to enhance singing and perform to the best of ones capabilities:

1. Tongue twisters:

The tongue is a muscle, working it up through tongue twisters help us a great deal. Say tongue twisters slowly and clearly to loosen up your tongue and mouth muscles. These tongue exercises are excellent for diction and word articulation. Many a times help us in saying a stream of words with ease and without stammering. For example, have a try at the exercises below:

Eg.1 : Tongue Twister
Eg.2 : Tongue Twister 2
Eg.3 : Tongue Twister 3

2. Humming:

Humming is an effective and easy vocal warm up technique. This method of humming helps improve singing and pitch memory. Humming helps with pitch matching and the feeling of internal voice resonance for singers. When we hum a simple melody or a musical scale starting at the bottom of your vocal range and gradually moving up to the top it helps to warm up our vocal cords and improve natural resonance of the voice.

Humming Exercise – Male

Exercise Instruction:

To begin this exercise relax your lips, jaw, tongue, face, neck & shoulders. Gently close the lips and hum on an ‘Mmmm’. While we attempt this technique there are a few things to be mindful of. We should maintain some space between our back molars and feel the resonance or buzzing at the lips. In case we feel tense – pretend to chew while humming. This create a tall space in the back of throat as pitch rises allowing vibrations to shift as pitch gets higher. These vibrations may be felt in the face, cheeks or head. Hereby this technique increases internal resonance allowing us to hear ourselves better. It makes it easier to match pitch, i.e. hum in tune. Descending to A3. Also try doing on an N or NG as in SING. Men sing down the octave. 5 note scale humming exercise – 123454321 or do re mi fa so fa mi re do. 0:00 Start note A3 0:45 Start note F4 1:06 Start note A4 1:12 Descending to A3. Vocal range A3-E5-A3 Bpm 88.

3. Lip trills and slides:

Lip trills or rolls are sets of vocal techniques whereby we blow air through our lips while keeping them gently closed. Then we alternate between humming and blowing to create a trilling sound. This exercise helps to relax and warm up your lips and facial muscles. Lip rolls or tongue rolls, or humming through a straw or a straw in water is also great as a warm up or a cool down. These exercises are commonly called SOVT phonation, which mean Semi-Occluded Vocal Tract.

This technique is often used as a warm up before teaching or speaking all day or as a cool down exercise at the end of the day to stretch and decompress the vocal) folds. Usually we are able to sing higher and lower pitches (compared to normal pitch capabilities) carrying out this vocal technique. Lip rolls help increase our vocal range, flexibility and make it easier to change voice registers.

Exercise Instruction:

Daily SOVT exercise to improve your singing and speaking voice. Exercise included Major 3rd, Perfect 5th, Octave Slides, and Arpeggios. Practicing this technique several times a day to help us improve our voice remarkably by utilizing the full extents of our muscles. If you’re in an occupation that entails you to speak a lot and you’re voice is tired by the end of the day, these lip rolls will help. Simply doing one or two of these exercise before going to work will help you voice feel better and last longer during the day. TIMESTAMPS 0:00 Intro 0:05 Major 3rd Slides 1:24 Fifth Slides 2:14 Octave Slides 3:05 Arpeggio.

4. Sirens:

Glide up and down your vocal range on a sustained “siren” sound, starting from your lowest note and gradually moving up to your highest note, and then back down again. This exercise helps to stretch and strengthen your vocal cords. Sirens or glides are a great way to stretch notes over bars of a song or extend a phrase at the end of a composition. Sometimes this voice technique is used in exercises to enhance the effect of vibrato, a slur or a tie in voice culture.

Exercise Instruction:

In this technique we take the beginning of the phrase and utilize the air pressure from the diaphragm to push the pitch onto the next set of beats but done very tastefully so that it sounds fitting with the ongoing melody.

5. Resonance Exercise:

Resonance is a very important phenomenon in voice culture. MUM MUM – In this technique we utilize the natural acoustics of the voice using a five note scale. This exercise is perfect to begin with our daily vocal warm up routine before moving onto more complex exercises. We’ll also discuss why vocal warm ups are important for maintaining vocal health. This warm up exercise is suitable for everyone, including kids, beginners, men, and women.

Men should sing down the octave to match their vocal range. Remember to only sing in a comfortable range for a warm up exercise to avoid straining your voice. Just like a physical warm up before an activity. A warm up decreases the chance of injury and increases readiness for the activity and allows time to mentally prepare for the activity.

Exercise Instruction:

Resonance. Mum Mum. Range A3 to E5. Five note scale ascending and descending. A nice gentle vocal warm up. Try and do some physical movement and a breathing exercise before a vocal warm up. Why warm up the voice? To prepare the voice physically and mentally for singing. A vocal warm up should be simple and within a comfortable range to start with.

6. Vowel Sounds:

Vowels are the most useful ways to extend phrases and utilize long notes in singing. Every vocalist or singer should be aware of the usage of vowels and their mouth formations to enhance their singing and to stay on any note longer than usual. The vowel formations are Ah Ai Ee Oh & Ou.

Vowel Exercise

Exercise Instruction:

In this technique we will learn to sing these vowels and their mouth formations as we move up on the scale following a pattern of 1 2 3 4 5 4 3 2 1 or do re mi fa sol fa mi re do.

7. Interval of Thirds:

Intervals and their usage in singing and music composition is extremely crucial. An interval is defined as the distance between two notes. The Interval of thirds (Do to Mi) is also one of the most widely used intervals in voice culture. In this technique we simply aim to remember the sound or sometimes even remember the same in melodies or in the form of a song. This exercise aims to enhance the vocal capabilities of the singer to reference the same whenever needed.

Exercise Instruction:

We achieve this technique by simply moving up and down the scales. Here we do the jumps all in intervals of thirds. These exercises a vocalist or singers capabilities of voice improvisations and also in scale transposition and often enhance an individuals capabilities of singing on any key.

8. Singing the scale up to 6th degree and then back to 1:

Singing scales major/minor as exercises enhances singer’s capabilities to stay on ‘key’ and often in improvisational passages. Often exercises based on scale degrees are achieved by ascending and descending on the scale till the degree decided upon as shown. Doing this helps us understand the depth and the range of our individual voices.

Scale degree Exercise

Exercise Instruction:

This in return helps us ascertain where we are in our individual voices in any song and thus help us sing on any key or scale. This technique also helps us utilize the full scale over our individual voice registers and at times also in transposing any musical piece and singing comfortably anywhere on the octaves.

9. Arpeggio warm up:

Arpeggio warm ups are great for singers to decide their individual registers which help us sing easily. Many a times these arpeggios are based on simple melodies applied to a short rhythmic poem or a two line phrase. This method is often used in primary schools or to teach kids short musical pieces.

More than often arpeggio exercises help us analyze our individual voices and how to better apply it on any performance piece. Many a times we use these bits as parts of theatrical performances to impose an idea as a whole or the gist of a story to the audience in the format of phrases woven in a particular manner of melody.

Exercise Instruction:

This exercise goes as ‘I can sing high and sing low’. In which if noticed carefully, the notes are assigned as per the meaning of the words in the rhyme. ‘High’- word is on a high note and ‘low’-word is on a low note. This application involuntarily enhances our perception of high and low sounds/pitches. It helps us access these notes and transition into each other very easily unlike if the notes were done separately or in a different format of the exercise.

Book a Free 30 Minutes
Western Vocals Trial Class Now

10. Breath control exercises:

Take deep breaths and exhale slowly and steadily on a “shh” sound. This helps to improve your breath control and support. Breath control exercises enhances a singer’s singing capabilities remarkably by helping with diaphragm breathing and lung support. It helps to control voice dynamics in vocal performance other than helping with note release and attack pressure levels,. Breathe in for 3 counts, hold for 3 and breathe out for 3counts. Repeat this cycle for 6 rounds.

Breathing exercise

Exercise Instruction:

Remember to warm up slowly and gradually, and to never push your voice beyond its limits. Vocal warmups should be done regularly before singing or speaking. It can also be used to maintain vocal health and prevent injury. For this exercise breathe in for 3 counts, hold for 3 and breathe out for 3counts. Repeat this cycle for 6 rounds.

To sum it up these few exercises should be enough for a beginner level singer to understand the depth of voice studies through implementation of fundamentally effective vocal exercises.

Overall with the correct knowledge of maintaining a good vocal health through effective voice exercises and routine practice & training one is capable of achieving higher vocal strength. In return one is able to perform at the highest optimal efficient level of an individuals vocal strength and thus do justice to their vocal performance. If you also want to learn more about vocal exercises, voice health & voice culture join our vocal lessons today at musicmaster.in.

Want to explore online western vocals? You can check Live one to one Western Vocal classes on our platform.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
× Book a FREE Demo