When learning an instrument humans use their muscles. It sounds crazy but your muscles actually remember things, its called muscle memory. For example when learning to play a chord on the guitar, your fingers would not go where you want them to and it would seem really hard. After practicing, your fingers will shoot straight to the correct positioning because your brain has created a synapse and your muscles can sort of remember where to go.
Now if you were to learn a guitar solo, you would not be able to just play it super fast straight away would you? You would break it down, start slow and learn it bit by bit.
When doing these vocal exercises the slower you go the faster you will get to the high notes. The quote ‘Slow and steady wins the race’ should come to mind. Here are some pointers...
• You should go through these vocal exercises around 5-6 times a week. Always have a rest day. The vocal cords are muscles and need rest.
• Like every other muscle in your body, being warm allows the vocal cords to move and stretch more freely.
• You are better off doing the vocal exercises in the evening, because you have spoken throughout the day.
The importance of using your diaphragm
Your diaphragm is SO important in these exercises as well as your breathing technique. Do these three steps when you sing exercises and songs. The notes will come out clearer, smoother, with more control and ease. You might find using your diaphragm is quite tiring at first but you will get used to it.
1. First take a deep breath in. Your lungs will fill up. If you breathe in correctly your belly should grow outwards. You should not suck your belly in because that’s where the air is going. Your shoulders should not come up and you should feel relaxed.
2. Once your lungs are full and your belly is out, you need to compress the air. To do this you have to tense your stomach, just like you would if you were doing a number two…
3. As you sing, keep that stomach tensed. The higher you sing the more you have to tense your stomach. (You do not want to over tense. That will be bad for you.) Try to get the balance right with how much you are tensing.
So many singers are too eager and lazy to take it slow and they will skip exercises or move up a note too fast. They then wonder why they are not improving. Here are 3 important pointers:
• If you are not TOTALLY relaxed when you sing up to a note, or it does not feel controlled then DO NOT go any further than that.
• You must not move on to the next note until you are 100% comfortable with the one you are working on.
• You must be able to sing different vowels and change the sound of your voice about when practicing before moving on a note.
Vowels are very important when doing these exercises. Typically the ‘Ay’ sound should be the easiest. You must practice singing different vowels. In the exercise descriptions you will be told which vowels to work on.
If any exercise should seem hard then go back to the previous one and simply repeat it for a while before moving on.
The main problem with these exercises is you do not have a singing teacher in front of you to help you and guide you. If you have any problems and need help go to the contact page and email me. I should be able to help you in most cases.
Here is a helpful video on vocal exercises and vocal range.
The exercises are listed in order of which you should sing them. These exercises are primarily for your chest voice; the voice which you speak with and generally sing with too.
If you have a good enough understanding of the voices, you can also use different exercises to train vocal fry, head and whistle voice. YouTube these voices to gain an understanding of them and then you might be able to apply them to the exercises.
These exercises work for both women and men. However the women sing an octave higher and the exercises get harder faster. Men might find it quite low for the first few exercises. Men DO NOT sing an octave higher (12 notes), just start low. The notes get higher as the exercises go on.