Like other parts of the body, one’s singing voice needs its own workout to stay healthy and strong. To keep the singing voice protected from damage and sounding its best, these five vocal exercises will help aspiring singers to warm up, extend, and cool down their voices when performing:
- Exhaling with a Hiss
Hissing breaths work well as warm up exercises prior to singing. In addition to improving a singer’s breath control, it forces singing with the diaphragm, which is a healthier and more appropriate choice.
First, the singer should stand up completely straight and relax his or her body, which, in turn, relaxes the diaphragm. He or she should relax enough to release any tension that may affect the singing voice.
Now, the vocalist should breathe in through the mouth and deeply into the lungs for a count of five. He or she should not raise the shoulders or puff out the chest. Instead, he or she should just expand the belly outward.
As the singer exhales, he or she will count to nine and do so while making hissing sounds like a snake. Once the ninth second approaches, all the air should be gone from the lungs. After awhile, novice singers will be able to do this exercise like pros. They will gain enough lung capacity to breathe in on a count of seven and exhale after counting to twelve!
- Humming with a Straw
Vocalists can take a common drinking straw and hum through it starting at the lowest end if their ranges. Then, they can hum higher until they hit the tops of your ranges, but they must do so evenly and gradually.
Afterwards, humming some favorite tunes through the straw can help. Singers can even try this exercise while placing the straw in a glass of water while blowing controlled bubbles.
General Vocal Exercises
- Trilling the Tongue
While this can be a bit difficult, it works well to get the voice where it needs to be to be able to hit the high notes.
The vocalist simply rolls his or her “r”s as one would when speaking Spanish. That means curling the tongue and singing the syllable “rah” up and down within the proper vocal range.
- Sliding Vocals and Vocal Sirens
To slide the vocals, vocalists basically choose a syllable, such as “la,” and sing from one note to another within their ranges, within hitting any of notes between them.
A vocal siren glides up and down from the lowest note in one’s register to the highest. The difference is that the singer hits each note in order and uses the “ooo” sound to do it.
- Humming Softly
Humming is a great exercise for cooling down the vocal cords after singing. This is because it doesn’t really strain the voice.
Simply place the tongue behind the teeth and hum a scale up and a scale down. Just remember not to open the mouth, and use the “hmmm” sound since it is much less taxing on the voice.
In conclusion, there are many vocal exercises singers can do each day, or at least every time they sing, to improve and take care of their singing voices. Doing these exercises should keep anyone’s singing voice in tip-top shape.