Previous Winners

VOCAL EXERCISES FOR SINGERS

Ways to develop better vocal control using vocal exercises for singers

vocal exercises for singers

Vocal Exercises for Singers: There are a huge variety of vocal exercises for singers that can help develop & improve all round vocal performance. Although you will achieve the best results by attending voice lessons with a qualified teacher, here are some simple vocal exercises for singers that can be done daily or just before a performance plus some key dos and don’ts!

Vocal Exercises for Singers

Please DO:

  • Stay hydrated, drink plenty of water. 
  • Avoid stress & stay relaxed especially as you’re leading up to a performance. 
  • Eat a well balance & healthy diet 
  • Get plenty of sleep & rest 
  • Train with a qualified teacher regularly. 
  • Speak at a normal volume & comfortable pitch 
  • Practice in the “right way” daily. 
  • Seek medical advice if you have prolonged hoarseness.
  • Gently “walk” through new songs when you are first learning them. 
  • Keep your voice at a comfortable “Speech Level” at all times when singing 
  • Warm up properly before trying to sing with a lot of power or volume.

Please DON’T:

  • Belt or shout songs or force your voice in any way. 
  • Practice the same mistakes over & over, you’ll only get better at them!
  • Cough excessively & clear your throat continually.
  • Consume dairy products, citrus fruits/juice, fizzy drinks, coffee or alcohol on or before the day of a performance. 
  • Smoke. 
  • Talk a lot on the day of a performance. 
  • Try to sing with a bad cold/flu or laryngitis. 
  • Try to sing if it hurts or feels difficult in any way. 
  • Try to talk or shout over loud noise
  • Whisper loudly or sing in a "breathy" voice. 
  • Scream. 
  • Try to change your natural speaking or singing voice 

Vocal Exercises for Singers

Vocal Exercises for Singers – Breath Control

Many singers fall into the trap that they must do endless breathing exercises to in order to sing well but this shouldn’t be the case. Many of the breathing issues that singers encounter such as running out of breath before the end of phrases are far more often down to the internal muscles (the vocal cords & larynx) being made to function incorrectly & also how the air flow is distributed rather than the actual function of breathing being incorrect.  It is however really important to get the basics right.

Make sure your shoulders are not rising when you breath. If they are this indicates shallow breathing & will result in too much air pressure onto your vocal cords. You’ll likely get an initial blast of volume followed by very little else as your breath & therefore your voice quickly runs out. The cycle will then continue & become very hard work.

Your breathing should start much lower down with your stomach & diaphragm muscles expanding like bellows. If your stomach goes in when you breathe in you’re doing it the wrong way round!

Lie on the floor, relax & breathe normally. You should notice as you breathe in your stomach & rib cage rise (inflate) & as you breathe out they get smaller again (deflate)

Practice doing short mini laughs with a breath in between – “Ha” breath “Ha” breath – “Ha” On every “Ha” makes sure the stomach is going in & on the breath going back out. Also practice this in slow motion to help develop control with your air pressure & flow. Think of squeezing a tube of toothpaste from the bottom up to keep that steady flow.

Vocal Exercises for Singers - Preparing Your Voice To Sing

You should never sing at full volume without fully warming up first. Failing to warm up your voice can result in damage and will only hinder your progress in the long run.

Vocal Exercises for Singers - The Lip Bubble

This should sound like you’re mimicking the sound of a car engine. Support your face around your jawline with your fingers, squish your lips together into a loose pucker & gently blow a “buh” sound into your lips so they vibrate. Once you’ve mastered this, use scales, slides up & down as high & low as you can & even use them on the melody of a song you’re learning.  

Vocal Exercises for Singers - Humming

Make a “mmm” sound in your own spoken voice like you’re agreeing with something or have just had something tasty to eat. You should feel a gentle vibration in your throat & on your lips. Once you’ve mastered it & it feels really comfortable hum through various scales. Do this with broken up notes, 1 per note “mm mm mm” & also in 1 long “mmmmmmm” smoothly across the notes.  Avoid starting on an “H” as this indicates you’re over using breath & make sure your tongue stays down & doesn’t start pulling to the back of your throat.

Vocal Exercises for Singers

Vocal Exercises for Singers - ING

Say “sing” & sustain the ING part. This may feel a little nasal but that’s fine. Slide through scales, from low to high & vice versa & also around the melody of songs you’re working on. As with the humming exercise don’t overuse breath & keep your tongue relaxed & as flat as is comfortable.

Vocal Exercises for Singers - Perfect Your Vowels

Vowels have major impact on anything you sing as they are the sounds that are sustained & showcase the unique tone of your voice so they need to be controlled effectively. Many singers find themselves modifying the sound & shape of a vowel dramatically to make it easier to reach certain notes or in some cases to copy the style of another singer. Practice the most common vowels found in the words you sing & work on maintaining a more consistent mouth shape to produce them naturally rather than manipulating your mouth, tongue & jaw to try to create them. A good starting point is a nice narrow O shape then work individually & in turn across the following:

EE as in See, OO as in Soon, EH as in Stare, Oh as in Snow, I as in Sky & AH as in Star

 Use 1 sustained note & 4 or 5 note scales up & down. Again, careful you don’t add any “Hs” to lever the sound out & keep that tongue relaxed. 

Vocal Exercises for Singers - Diction

It’s vital an audience can understand what you are singing so make sure you don’t get lazy with annunciation. Add consonants into your vowel exercises to crisp up your diction, they also help with breath control as they will create stops in the air flow at different points within your mouth & throat. There are many variations to choose from but B, C, D, F, G, M, N are very effective.  

Vocal Exercises for Singers - “Speak” Singing

Your voice is at its most relaxed when you’re speaking in your own natural voice so try bringing it together with your singing voice. Work on tricky parts of songs in shorter more spoken way whilst maintaining the melody. It will sound & feel rather soulless & formal but gradually you can start sustaining notes & adding more of your own singing style back in. You’ll be amazed how much easier it feels!

VOCAL EXERCISES FOR SINGERS

Take a look at some other similar articles; 

How to Write Songs

Importance of Song Choice

Diction for Singers

Singing Dynamics

And don't forget you can enter Open Mic UK now! 

Click here for more music industry advice

Music Industry Advice

  • DORSET OPEN MIC NIGHTS THE TOP 10


    DORSET OPEN MIC NIGHTS THE TOP 10

    The top 10 of Dorset's open mic nights. We take a look at the best open mic nights that the county of Dorset has to offer singers and musicians.

    There’s a ton of opportunities to enjoy some fantastic live …

    Read More...
  • BOURNEMOUTH OPEN MIC NIGHTS THE TOP 10


    BOURNEMOUTH OPEN MIC NIGHTS THE TOP 10

    With new bars and music venues popping up all over, there’s definitely a buzz about Bournemouth. 

    Open Mic Finder in Bournemouth

    Bournemouth not only possesses a gorgeous coastline and vibrant …

    Read More...
  • TOP 10 OPEN MIC NIGHTS SOUTHAMPTON 2018


    TOP 10 OPEN MIC NIGHTS SOUTHAMPTON 2018  

    Open Mic Finder in Southampton

    Southampton may be best known for its connection to the Titanic, but the city has also made a name for itself through its thriving music scene. This bustling …

    Read More...
  • HOW TO RAP


    HOW TO RAP

    Rapping with confidence, control, and emotion.

    How to Rap - Five Key Areas of Focus

    How to Rap: In this article we have focused on five key areas to help you improve your rapping techinique.Lyrics are the fundamental part of any rap …

    Read More...
  • MUSIC ARTIST MANAGEMENT


    MUSIC ARTIST MANAGEMENT

    What does Music Artist Management do?

     

    Music Artist Management: All music mangers vary and can do an array of different jobs to help artists develop every aspect of their music careers. What a manager does for you …

    Read More...
  • LOOKING FOR A MUSIC MANAGER?


    LOOKING FOR A MUSIC MANAGER?

    Should you be looking for a music manager?

    Looking for a music manager?: Certainly what we’d advise especially when starting out is just concentrate on your own affairs to begin with before you start looking …

    Read More...
  • WRITING A PRESS RELEASE


    WRITING A PRESS RELEASE 

    Putting together and writing a press release

    Writing a press release: You need something to back up your words explaining your story for your newspaper article, that’s where writing a press release, comes in. …

    Read More...
  • MUSIC PRODUCTION


    MUSIC PRODUCTION

    Choosing a recording studio for your music production 

    Music Production: You’ve spent time and effort writing your own material, so when it comes to music production – laying down your tracks, choosing a …

    Read More...

News

  • JAMES NEILSON CROWNED OPEN MIC UK 2017 CHAMPION!


    JAMES NEILSON CROWNED OPEN MIC UK 2017 CHAMPION!

    Future Music have crowned James Neilson Open Mic UK's 2017 overall winner

    Open Mic UK 2017 Champion: The national music competition Open Mic UK has found its latest winner! Joining a long line of …

    Read More...
  • OPEN MIC UK 2017 PRIZE WINNERS


    OPEN MIC UK 2017 PRIZE WINNERS

    Judges’ Top Scores and Prize Winners Announced

    Open Mic UK 2017 Prize Winners: The Open Mic UK 2017 Grand Final judges’ top scores and prize winners have been revealed! The national music competition …

    Read More...
  • TEENSTAR 2018 AUDITION DATES NOW RELEASED!


    TeenStar 2018 Audition Dates Now Released!

    TeenStar 2018 audition dates are now released! TeenStar, the UK’s only singing and dance competition exclusively for 19 year olds and younger, have now released their 2018 audition dates! …

    Read More...
  • SAM CLINES CROWNED OPEN MIC UK 2016 CHAMPION!


    SAM CLINES CROWNED OPEN MIC UK 2016 CHAMPION!

    Future Music have crowned Sam Clines Open Mic UK's 2016 overall winner

    Open Mic UK winner: The national singing competition Open Mic UK has found its latest winner! Joining a long line of prestigious …

    Read More...
  • OPEN MIC UK MUSIC COMPETITION WINNER


    OPEN MIC UK MUSIC COMPETITION WINNER – JUDGES’ TOP SCORES!

    The Open Mic UK music competition winner 2016 Grand Final judges’ top scores have been revealed! The Open Mic UK music competition Grand Final took place at The NEC in …

    Read More...
  • TEENSTAR 2017 AUDITION DATES NOW RELEASED!


    TeenStar audition dates now released!

    TeenStar audition dates are now released! TeenStar, the UK’s only competition exclusively for pre-teens and teenagers, have now released their audition dates! And new for this year it’s also open …

    Read More...
  • AUDITION DATES RELEASED


    AUDITION DATES RELEASED

    Music competition auditions for Open Mic UK 2016 are announced today! 

    Open Mic UK have announced their music competition auditions dates for Open Mic UK 2016! The Open Mic UK music competition auditions will be …

    Read More...

Act Feedback

  • A&R MUSIC – ADVICE FROM THE MUSIC INDUSTRY


    A&R MUSIC – ADVICE FROM THE MUSIC INDUSTRY

    A&R music industry professionals provide advice from the Grand Final. 

    A&R Music: The Open Mic UK music competition grand final hosted the best unsigned singers from across the …

    Read More...
  • NORTH EAST MUSIC CONTEST


    NORTH EAST MUSIC CONTEST

    Singers and songwriters came to impress at a show for the North East Music Contest at Dewsbury Town Hall

        

    North East Music Contest: Open Mic UK is more than a competition and if you’d like …

    Read More...
  • SOUTH ENGLAND MUSIC CONTEST


    SOUTH ENDLAND MUSIC CONTEST

    Singers and songwriters came to impress at a show for South England Music Contest at The Engine Rooms

         

    South England Music Contest: Open Mic UK is more than a competition and if you’d …

    Read More...
  • NORTH WEST AND SCOTLAND MUSIC CONTEST


    NORTH WEST AND SCOTLAND MUSIC CONTEST

    Singers and songwriters came to impress at a show for North West and Scotland Music Contest at The Forum Theatre

        

    North West and Scotland Music Contest: Open Mic UK is more than a …

    Read More...
  • MIDLANDS MUSIC CONTEST


    MIDLANDS MUSIC CONTEST

    Singers and songwriters came to impress at a show for Midlands Music Contest at The NEC

       

    Midlands Music Contest: Open Mic UK is more than a competition and if you’d like advice on how to develop as …

    Read More...
  • LONDON MUSIC OPPORTUNITIES - 12th November


    LONDON MUSIC OPPORTUNITIES

    Singers and songwriters came to impress at a show for London music opportunities at the Beck Theatre

     

    London Music Opportunities: Open Mic UK is more than a competition and if you’d like advice on how …

    Read More...
  • READING MUSIC OPPORTUNITIES


    READING MUSIC OPPORTUNITIES

    Singers and songwriters came to impress at a show for Reading music opportunities at Sub89

       

    Reading Music Opportunities: Open Mic UK gave budding singers Reading music opportunities at the weekend. The …

    Read More...
  • SHEFFIELD MUSIC OPPORTUNITIES


    SHEFFIELD MUSIC OPPORTUNITIES

    Singers and songwriters came to impress at a show for Sheffield music opportunities at The Sheffield City Hall

       

    Sheffield Music Opportunities: Open Mic UK gave budding singers Sheffield music …

    Read More...

Join us on

   Facebook Twitter YouTube Pinterest