Here are some video demonstrations of the most important vocal warm up techniques used by professional singers today. The humble ‘Humm’, the mighty ‘Lip roll’ and the dynamic ‘Tongue trill’. These techniques play absolutely vital rolls in any successful singers daily practice routine.
This may sound daft, but humming is one of the best ways to start your vocal warm up.
Humming is one of the easiest most stress free ways of singing and is an ideal first exercise to practice with your scales.
How to Hum
Place the tip of your tongue at the back of your bottom row of teeth. Do this as though you were at the dentist and were asked to open your mouth and say ‘Ahh’. Alternatively you could use the sound ‘Hee’.
Now relax and close your mouth, jaw and tongue.
Make the sound ‘NNNNnnnnnnn’ or ‘MMMmmmmmmm’ which ever feels best and achieves a fuller, deep warm tone to your voice.
You should find you feel a slight vibration or tingly feeling passing through your tongue, teeth and nose. If you feel this, then you’re doing it right.
The Lip Roll/Trill
This first vid explains how to do the lip roll or lip trill as it is also known. This one of the most important techniques in a singers warm up routine. The tutor in this vid uses it in her own unique way, but the actual trill or roll and the way she explains how to create the sound using her fingers on the side of her cheeks is really good. If you can master the roll, especially without the use of your fingers, then you can use this in many of your warm up routines as all the experts do.
Here is a sound vid from Seth Rigs giving more instruction on how to achieve the lip roll/trill.
This next vid is a tutorial from vocal coach Dylan giving more examples of how master the lip trill.
..and here’s part two.
Check out his other vids for more tips and techniques.
If you have trouble with lip rolls/trills, then tongue trills are another brilliant way of achieving the same results.
Here’s is an excerpt from Bret Manning’s brilliant Singing Success vocal tutorial cd, explaining the tongue trill technique.
and below is a sound byte vid from Seth Riggs speech level singing tutorials running through a tongue trill scale. From 1.58 onwards is a piano scale run through for you to try the tongue trill or lip roll your self.
Take a look at the Complete Vocal Workout page on this site for in depth tuition from Seth Riggs.
If you’re a guitarist and don’t happen to have a piano hanging around, I’ve posted a couple of rough vids especially designed for guitarists and vocalists which to enable you to warm up your fingers and vocals at the same time.
These are really useful and effectively kill two birds with one stone. I’ll update them and post better quality ones once I get round to it. Just take the ideas and expand on them with your own patterns and scales.
You don’t need to be a guitarist to do these exercises, just warm up your vocals and sing along with the scales as usual.
Now we take a look at breathing exercises. Really we should have looked at this vid first as breathing is one of the most important aspects of singing, but as a singer who wants to get on and sing and forget the boring stuff, I thought I’d put it last.
Here’s a great video explaining the finer points involved in breathing technique.
It doesn’t matter how good your vocal range is, if you’re breathing technique is flawed, your singing will be sub standard.
Check out our vocal warm up lessons for our very own tutorials for guitarists and singers.
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