The goal of vocal exercises is to prepare the vocal cords before a recital or singing, and to establish good vocal technique. These exercises help in the proper enunciation of words, in controlling the pitch and throw of words, and in better intonation and vowel clarity. As we all know, for an actor pursuing dramatics, there is nothing worse than garbled and unintelligible pronunciation during a performance. They should enunciate carefully, with the right volume, so that the audience is able to listen to the performance.
Vocal Exercises for Singers
You do not need any equipment for these exercises, just a quiet and calm place will do. If you are an aspiring singer, one very important thing that you have to remember is that to produce a balanced tone particularly when you hit a high note, you must avoid tensing the muscles of the larynx. These muscles are normally used while chewing and swallowing food, and are used in singing by forcing the larynx up or down. This causes the voice to sound trembled or labored.
The vocal exercise that you can start with is to first relax your throat, and then say the words 'wooooo' or 'weeeee' making sure that the sound comes right from your throat. Now, pull your head back and relax your throat muscles again and repeat the sounds 'wooooo' or 'weeeee' three to four times. Pay close attention to how your voice sounds and whether it is clear or has a wobbling effect.
One of the most effective exercises is to first start yawning and then say the word 'dumb'. Place your index finger on your throat so that you can feel your larynx and start singing the words, 'dumb...dumb...dumb...dumb...' from a lower octave to a higher octave. Make sure that you keep your finger on the larynx so that the larynx does not pull up. At first you might find your voice breaking or cracking as you sing, but with practice you will be able to control your voice and sing smoothly without any trembling.
Vocal Exercises for Actors
To be a good actor you not only need to emote well, but should also learn how to pitch your voice. Warm-up vocal exercises are a very good option for aspiring actors who want to improve their voice skills, and thereby improve their dialog delivery. The first vocal exercise is to stand tall with your shoulders pushed back and your feet shoulder length apart. Now open your mouth and sing the following words 'Maaaaa...Mayyyyy...Meeeeee...Mowwww...Meeeeee' together in a single breath. While you are practicing this vocal exercise, place your hand on your abdomen to make sure that the muscles of your abdomen are constricting with each note. This vocal exercise helps you in controlling the trow of your voice and opens your vocal cords. This is one of the best vocal exercises as well as a great relaxation technique for actors who suffer from anxiety just before a stage performance.
One very good vocal exercise is to stand tall and relax your throat muscles and say the words 'ha..ha...ha...' in a single breath. This exercise opens up the lungs and encourages the person to speak from deep within.
These were some vocal exercises that you can easily do at home. Remember that regular practice and patience is required to get the benefits out of these exercises.