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Singing Exercises

Stephen Rampur May 13, 2019
Singing exercises, warm ups, and practice are the most important factors for a good and smooth voice. Read on to know more about these techniques.
Have you heard professional singers sing? How clear their voice is. How can they sing at such high pitches? The only answer to all these questions is singing exercises to improve range and maintain the quality of voice.
A majority of people have a misconception that it is very easy to sing on stage, if you have a good melodic voice. The fact is that you need to train the vocal cords and maintain the quality of voice. Almost all professional singers, musicians will agree with the fact that singing exercises are the secret to a well-toned, clear, and smooth voice.

Exercises for Clear Individual Sounds

For a good and clear voice, it is very important that you connect with the audience with your words, as well as your tune. One of the best singing exercises for children and teenagers is to learn to pronounce every word in a song clearly.
Typically, many singers find pronouncing the alphabets 't', 'b', 'd', and 's' difficult. To make these letters sound clear, you can hold a pencil in your teeth and try singing these in a note that you are comfortable with.

Breathing Exercises

How you breathe while singing has an impact on your voice quality, and also your performance. Many a time, singers have to hold a high note for a long time, say for eight beats. In such a case, it is very important that they use a proper breathing technique.
One good exercise is to inhale and hold for eight beats, and then exhale slowly. You can also do some breathing exercises like Pranayama, but only after proper training from a qualified trainer.

Exercises for Vocal Sounds

A good singer is one who can touch the lowest note as well as the highest one. And for doing this, you have to most importantly train your vocal cords to function in the expected manner.
This can also be considered as a warm-up exercise before your daily singing practice or before a live show. Vocalize on an 'Ahh' sound from the lowest note that you are comfortable with, and hold it for a while. Now, change to a higher note, and keep it that way.
Likewise, keep practicing with all the notes till you reach the topmost one. Then again, starting from the highest note, come to the lowest one.

Vibrato Exercises

Vibrato is the pulsating effect caused by the change of pitch while singing. For practicing and including this technique in your singing, you can do theĀ further exercise. Inhale, pick a comfortable note, and sing a clear 'Ah'.
Let your voice waver a little above and below the note. Take it very slow at the beginning, as rushing with things will actually impede your progress. When you are comfortable with this exercise, try singing a shorter note and try making the same wavering sounds in your voice.
Vibrato is a difficult technique to learn, and you may take even years to master it. So do not lose heart if you fail at it at the beginning; keep practicing diligently.

Yawn and Hum

Yawn a few times before starting to sing. This will open up your vocal cords, and your voice will become more clear. After this, hum any note for more than 10 seconds till you get a tingling sensation around your lips and in your nose. Repeat this for a few times.

Loosen Up

Make some silly noises while jumping up and down and flailing your hands. You can also make a 'brr' sound with your lips while doing so. This will help loosen up your vocal cords, and also your body. You can do this exercise before a live performance to control your stage anxiety.

Guttural Sounds

It is generally harder to reach the lower notes as compared to the higher ones. To train your voice for singing the lower notes, you can repeatedly make the 'Ahh' sound in the lowest note that you can reach.
After a while, you can also practice singing songs that are set in a very low note. Keep at this exercise diligently, and you will find that with time, it has become easier for you to reach the lower notes.

Speech Level Singing

This is a technique where the singer is instructed to use less vocal energy when singing. This approach will help you develop a method where you will use less vocal cord mass.
This way, you will be able to mix more head voice in your singing, which will lessen the wear and tear of your voice and strengthen your vocal cords. Although you will find many videos about how this technique works, it is advisable that you take formal training from a certified trainer. Trying this on your own may harm your vocal cords.

Singing With or Without Songs

You need to sing to the tune of professional vocalists. Simply play a song of your favorite artist and sing along using the lyrics. Make sure that the pitch of the singer matches yours. Try to attain higher notes as well as lower ones, just as the singer does.
You can also play a track, and sing a karaoke. This will help you in judging yourself in the quality of singing and performance. It should be understood that each singer has a particular range and a pitch he/she is most comfortable in. Do not strain your voice to reach the pitch of the singer you are listening to.

Train the Ears

To sing well, you need to know what good music really is. For this purpose, listen to different types of music and try to understand the nuances of each type.
Do not stick to the genres that you like; listen to everything from rock to classical, and from rap to jazz. Listening to different types of music and styles of singing, will train your ears to understand music better. This will in turn help you master the art.

Overall Health

One important thing to remember while working on your singing is that if you are a smoker or if you drink excessively, no matter what you do to improve your singing voice, it will not be clear, and will not have a good range.
If you want to become a good singer, you will need to quit smoking and drinking. A proper diet and regular physical exercise will help improve overall health. Foods such as milk, ice cream, and citrus and spicy foods are known to induce phlegm production.
Their intake should be reduced. Foods with high sugar content and caffeinated drinks should be avoided a few hours before a performance. Warm water, herbal tea, and honey are known to have a soothing effect on the throat. Their intake can help maintain a good voice.
These were some singing exercises and tips for those aspiring to become good singers. It is always recommended to take singing lessons from a reputed trainer or music teacher.