Vocal warm up exercises are essential when it comes to getting the best from you voice. Here, we look at several great warm up routines to go through which will teach you how to sing better.
Table of Contents
The “SHHH” Exercise
The first exercise that you will learn is directly related to breathing. It is a great addition to the breathing techniques that we have taught you previously.
In this video, from YouTube shows us the “SHHH” exercise. Yes, this is the sound that you make when you are telling your annoying little brother to shut up (except on lighter terms…).
The actual exercise begins at 2:17, so the video will start at that point. However, feel free to watch the whole thing.
“Lip Roll” Exercises
Here’s another video that shows you how to do lip rolls – possibly the best singing exercise that you can do.
Once you are done with regular lip rolls you can click onto the next tab to start the next exercise.
Don’t be surprised if your lips become numb while doing this exercise!
RECAP: Be sure to make the “SHHH” sound as loud and as strong as you can without straining your vocal chords. If it hurts, then do not do the exercise as loud.
You shouldn’t be tightened up in the neck or jaw. Make sure to take some normal breaths after each “SHHH.” Repeat this 5-10 times.
Congratulations, you’ve completed your first vocal warm-up exercise! Now let’s move on to lip rolls.
RECAP: The first type of lip rolls are plain and simple. Just take in a deep breath and let it out by rolling your lips (yes, that obnoxious noise that you used to make as a baby).
The lip roll should come out gently; you don’t want to wake up the neighbors! Start with a higher pitched roll and trill down to the lower pitched roll.
Once you have done at least 10 lip rolls and you feel comfortable with them, move on to lip rolls with scales.
“Lips Rolls” With Scales
After you’ve gotten used to doing lip rolls, the next step is to implement them with scales.
RECAP: All you have to do is mimic the notes played on the scale. Sometimes it may be difficult for you to maintain a constant lip roll. It is something that you must get used to, so if your voice cuts out, just keep at it.
Do not push too hard to hit the higher notes because it can damage your vocal chords if you are not used to it. Just stay in your comfort zone with this warm-up.
Do the lip rolls until you have done a full scale 1 or 2 times. Performing this exercise with a piano or another form of note guidance is not necessary, but it can help keep you on track.
These exercises can be of great help when singing with asthma.
Now it’s time to move onto section 2 to do some syllable and vowel combination warm-ups!
Section 2 : Syllable/Vowel Combinations
These next exercises are very helpful with bringing out your voice. They help to allow pressure in your throat to be released.
If your throat is not trained to be relaxed while you sing, you will have trouble with your higher and lower vocal registers (along with multiple other voice issues).
All of these exercises are done with scales, so you can use a piano or the the scale videos in section 3 to practice at your own pace.
If you are on this site however, you are probably looking to improve your own vocals. So follow along even when it is not your gender’s turn.
But be sure to stay in your comfort zone! This video introduces the first of our seven two-syllable combos: “LAGA.” The combo starts at 0:44.
RECAP: Do the exercises with scales while trying to prevent your jaw from moving too much. It helps with the production of your sound and articulation.
If you are unsure of whether or not your jaw is moving, put your fingers on your chin just like in the video. As always, stay in your comfort zone.
Section 3 : Warm-Up Routine & Scales
Daily Warm-Up Routine
So we’ve told you about some of the best singing warm-ups, but now you need to implement them into a daily routine. Yes, you read that right: daily. It is very important to do this routine (or at least parts of it) every day to help train your voice.
You can read about daily vocal training here: Importance Of Vocal Warm-Ups.
Note that when the word “rep” is used, it denotes one run-through of the exercise. When the phrase “scale rep” is used, it means one run-through of the exercise with the slow warm-up scale in this section. When the phrase “custom scale rep” is used, it denotes one run-through of the exercise with its particular scale.
You do not have to use the entire scale for any of these exercises; go through the scale until it is too high or uncomfortable to continue on. The last thing you want is to damage your vocal chords!
- The “SHHH” exercise (5-10 reps)
- Regular “Lip Rolls” (5 reps)
- “Lip Rolls” with scales (2 custom scale reps)
You can always make some adjustments to this routine, but you don’t want to stray too far away from it unless you are taking online singing lessons.
The next two tabs contain scales that match up with most of the singing exercises on this page.
Classic Vocal Warm-Up Scale
This is a video you can use to practice your scales with. It is a classic vocal warm-up scale that fits with most of the techniques found on this page.
This is a very basic major scale that just plays the first 5 notes and goes back down, slowly getting higher.
This second video is the same as the other except slightly faster.
So What Now?
Now that you know some of the best vocal warm-ups it’s time to put them to good use! Follow the routine we gave you every day and you will definitely see improvement in your singing abilities.
It should only take 5 to 15 minutes of your time and the benefits far outweigh the time and effort put in. The easier the routine becomes for you, the more your vocals will improve.
Your vocal warm-up routine should be done before you sing. Whether you are performing in front of an audience or you are just taking your daily dose of singing, it’s important to warm up your voice first.