Singing Vocal Exercises
Your vocal training should vary in order to meet the specific requirements of the songs you will be singing or practicing. You should pick singing vocal exercises that focus on flexibility if you are going to perform material that calls for many vocal runs or melismas, just like you should pick exercises that work on your vocal range if you intend to take your voice near to its range limits. Carefully analyze your repertoire at the beginning of each practice session to decide which techniques you need to work on and which ones you can set aside for other occasions.
Voice Exercises to Sing Lower Better
These exercises are very useful for altos or basses, but they can also benefit higher voices that need to expand or control their lower range to sing an unusually low part.
Octave slides downwards
From a comfortable pitch in the center of your vocal range, slide down one octave in a lip roll, going gradually lower until the bottom of your range. As alternatives to the lip roll, you have vowels and syllables, with “oo” or “vee” serving as examples.
Slides in fifth intervals
Use a lip roll or a syllable to slide down a fifth below a comfortable pitch and then go back to the starting note (so-do-so), descending by half steps. When you reach your lowest notes, go back up in the reverse pattern (do-so-do).
Singing Exercises to Improve the Higher Range
These exercises work best for sopranos and tenors, but lower voices can also use them to improve their higher range.
Ascending and descending arpeggios
In a do-mi-so-do-so-mi-do pattern, ascend one-half step at a time on a lip roll or any suitable vowel sound or syllable.
Ascending arpeggios and descending octave scales with turn
This exercise is similar to the one before, but a little more complex, since you are going to sing in a do-mi-so-do pattern and then make a ti-do-return. Only then, you are going to descend, using an octave scale from doing to the do right below it. Use different vowel sounds to make yourself comfortable with each one of them, like “ee”, “oo” or “uh”, and go a half step higher with every new arpeggio you do. You can also sing the upward arpeggio and follow it with a five or six-time staccato repetition of the high note.
Exercises to Increase Vocal Flexibility
Triplet scales upwards
This exercise consists of singing eighth-note triplets, as fast as possible, up to the scale, doing it downwards after reaching the top of the scale. Use the syllables do, re, mi and so on, as this pattern shows: do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do, ti, la, so, fa, mi, re, do.
Up and down third intervals
From the starting pitch, climb a third, descend a full step and go up another third until you get to the note that is one fifth above the base note. From them on, you will do the opposite pattern and descend a third, sing a half step above it and go down another third until you go back to the beginning pitch.
Fast repeated five-note scales
All you need to do for this one is to sing a five-note scale up and down, in one breath, and then inhaling and repeating the scale. It goes like this: do-re-mi-fa-so-fa-mi-re-do-re-mi…
Exercises to Improve Breathing Technique
Slide on a lip roll to a fifth below any comfortable starting pitch you choose (so-do). Descend one half-step with each repetition, and then change the pattern from a simple fifth to a triad by adding one note in the middle of the scale (so-mi-do). After several repetitions, switch again, this time to a five-tone scale down to the bottom of your range (so-fa-mi-re-do).
Messa di Voce
Choose any comfortable pitch in the middle of your range and sustain it on “ah”. Start very gently and increase the volume gradually until you are very loud, but without any tension in the voice. At that point, get softer again. You can repeat it as many times as you would like, in different pitches, as long as it’s comfortable.
These singing vocal exercises are very helpful when done correctly and repeatedly. Be careful not to overwork your voice, though.