VOCAL EXERCISES FOR SINGERS
Ways to develop better vocal control using 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Check out our other tips for singers below and check out our Open Mic UK 2015 singing audition dates by clicking here.
To keep up-to-date with other advice for singers, keep an eye on the Open Mic UK Facebook and Twitter pages:
Click the above buttons so you don't miss out on some helpful articles.
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 …
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 …
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. …
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 …
Using YouTube and uploading videos
Using YouTube: YouTube is the most popular video platform for singers as we go to print, so using YouTube can be a great platform, although Facebook are keen to take a piece of this market, so …
Using the right Facebook tools for promotion
Facebook Tools: Facebook is still one of the best marketing platforms for singers, musicians and songwriters to promote their music and events on, therefore utilising Facebook tools can …
Facebook posts and content rules
Facebook Posts: Getting your Facebook posts right is important. Post too little and you are in danger of getting lost in people's news feeds and forgotten. Post too much and you will irritate …
Facebook help to get you started
Facebook help: One of the first steps with your Facebook help is to make sure your bio, picture and information are as clear as possible. Also, make sure your profile picture on Facebook is …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
OPEN MIC UK SINGING COMPETITION WINNER – JUDGES’ TOP SCORES!
The Open Mic UK singing competition winner 2015 Grand Final judges’ top scores have been revealed! The Open Mic UK singing competition winner’s Grand Final took …
OPEN MIC UK WINNER BIRDY SET FOR MORE CHART SUCCESS
Previous Open Mic UK Winner Birdy Releases New Single ‘Let It All Go’.
Open Mic UK Winner Birdy: Previous Open Mic UK winner Birdy is set for more chart success this …
HIGHWAY TO V FESTIVAL: WANT TO PLAY AT V FESTIVAL?
Win a slot at V Festival this summer!
Highway to V Festival: Do you want to perform at V Festival this summer? The line-up for V Festival this year includes; Kasabian, Calvin Harris, …
UK MUSIC CHART - FUTURE MUSIC ACTS GAIN UK MUSIC CHART SUCCESS
2015 sees previous Future Music contestants gaining UK music chart success.
UK Music Chart: 2015 has already been a fantastic year for music and in particular for former Future Music …
Music Industry Feedback
Open Mic UK 2016 Grand Finalists received music industry feedback
Music Industry Feedback: The Open Mic UK Grand Final took place this weekend at The NEC in Birmingham and saw the best singers, singer-songwriters, …
NORTH WEST ENGLAND SINGING COMPETITION
Feedback was written for the Area Finalists at the North West England Singing Competition
North West England Singing Competition: Music industry judges gave the Open Mic UK Area finalists feedback at …
SOUTH WEST AND MIDLANDS SINGING COMPETITION
Singers were given feedback at the South West and Midlands Showcase Final
South West and Midlands Singing Competition: Music industry judges gave singers feedback at the South …
LONDON ENGLAND SINGING COMPETITION
Singers were given feedback at the London England Showcase Final
London England Singing Competition: Music industry judges gave singers feedback at the London England Singing …
NORTH EAST ENGLAND SINGING COMPETITION
Singers were given feedback at the North East England Showcase Final
North East England Singing Competition: Music industry judges gave singers feedback at the North East England …
SOUTHERN ENGLAND SINGING COMPETITION
Singers were given feedback at the Southern England Showcase Final
Southern England Singing Competition: Music industry judges gave singers feedback at the Southern England Singing …
GLASGOW SINGING COMPETITION
Singers were given feedback at the Glasgow Regional Final Showcase
Glasgow Singing Competition: Music industry judges gave singers feedback at the Glasgow singing competition at Airdrie Town …
NEWCASTLE SINGING CONTEST
Singers were given feedback at the Newscastle Regional Final Showcase
Newcastle Singing Contest: Music industry judges gave singers feedback at the Newcastle singing contest at The Tyne Theatre & …
BELFAST RECORDING STUDIOS
Prizes such as time in recording studios were up for grabs at the Open Mic UK Belfast Regional Finals!
Belfast Recording Studios Prizes: The Open Mic UK Belfast Regional Finals took place this weekend at Kings Hall in …
EXETER RECORDING STUDIOS
Prizes such as time in recording studios were up for grabs at the Open Mic UK Exeter Regional Finals!
Exeter Recording Studios Prizes: The Open Mic UK Exeter Regional Finals took place this weekend at Exeter Corn …
ESSEX RECORDING STUDIOS
Prizes such as time in recording studios were up for grabs at the Open Mic UK Essex Regional Finals!
Essex Recording Studios Prizes: The Open Mic UK Essex Regional Finals took place this weekend at Marconi Social Club in …
CAMDEN RECORDING STUDIOS
Prizes such as time in recording studios were up for grabs at the Open Mic UK Camden Regional Finals!
Camden Recording Studios Prizes: The Open Mic UK Camden Regional Finals took place this weekend at Dingwalls in …
READING RECORDING STUDIOS
Prizes such as time in recording studios were up for grabs at the Open Mic UK Reading Regional Finals!
Reading Recording Studios Prizes: The Open Mic UK Reading Regional Finals took place this weekend at Sub89 in …
NOTTINGHAM RECORDING STUDIOS
Prizes such as time in recording studios were up for grabs at the Open Mic UK Nottingham Regional Finals!
Nottingham Recording Studios Prizes: The Open Mic UK Nottingham Regional Finals took place this weekend …
MILTON KEYNES RECORDING STUDIOS
Prizes such as time in recording studios were up for grabs at the Open Mic UK Milton Keynes Regional Finals!
Milton Keynes Recording Studios Prizes: The Open Mic UK Milton Keynes Regional Finals took place …
NEWCASTLE RECORDING STUDIOS
Prizes such as time in recording studios were up for grabs at the Open Mic UK Newcastle Regional Finals!
Newcastle Recording Studios Prizes: The Open Mic UK Newcastle Regional Finals took place this weekend at …