Back to Blog

Great Vocal Exercises for Beginners

May 3, 2024

By Shawn Leonhardt

As a beginning singer you don’t want to just jump into a full blown practice or performance without warming up first.

There are many vocal exercises to try when learning how to sing.

The main point is to remember to ease into the activity and don’t strain your vocal cords.

Most warmups can also be used as singing practice to enhance your breathing and techniques down the road.

Here are some fun and useful vocal exercises for anyone taking beginner singing lessons.

Lip Trills, Buzzes, and Poots

Lip trills should be a key component in anyone's vocal exercises.

Blow air through your lips, buzz them, and put your lips together and say “poot” by emphasizing the “p” and “t”.

When you blow air and trill the lips make sure the air is coming from a deeper space in your chest, that way you work out the lips and lungs.

It also helps to do these lip trills with specific note interval exercises, start at the root, go to the fifth, and back again. 

Check out additional free singing lessons at 30 Day Singer.

Hum and Yawn Sigh 

Yawning can help open up your jaw, chest, and abdomen so you can better sing from your diaphragm.

At the start of your vocal exercises, try yawning and raising your soft palate and notice how it opens your airway.

Next, let out a sigh and feel it rise from a deeper part of your body, or your diaphram.

This will loosen your face muscles and help engage all aspects of your breath support.

Humming is great for this as well.

Try humming the melody of your favorite song.

Not as easy as it might seem, right?

Humming is great for waking up your ears in that it really makes you focus on the pitch.

Pro Tip: take a straw and hum through it to help hone your breathing.

Anything that allows you to focus these muscles is a great vocal warm up.

Tongue Twister

Whether you are a singer, speaker, or actor in the theater, tongue twisters are a great vocal exercise that can be used to loosen up your mouth and your mind.

These phrases aren’t just alliterative and funny sounding, they are also made from specific note intervals and often chromatic.

Try this classic: "Six slippery snails slid silently."

This vocal exercise will help you "chew the lyrics" or enunciate the phrase.

Mastering a twister like this one will make any standard lyrics seem too easy!

There are tons out there; any classic will do.

Head Voice vs Chest Voice

As we do vocal exercises, it can be helpful to work on finding our voice in different areas of our bodies and targeting these aspects.

Sing a high pitched note and notice how it feels as if it comes from your upper throat, nasal passage, and head area.

This is your whistle register, or falsetto.

Now go lower in pitch and feel the voice drop in your throat and chest.

Pretend you are an opera singer and move from this low body sound to the higher head register.

As someone taking beginner singing lessons, this vocal exercise might sound a bit ruff.

But it will help you determine where your vocal registers are.

Plus, your all-important tessitura (where your voice naturally transitions from chest to head). 

Silly Sounds

Another vocal exercise to get the voice warmed up for singing is to make silly sounds like a human siren.

Copy sounds that are warnings, alerts, and maybe even ones that are animal like.

Weee, Waaaa, Whooo, and Waughhh, your way around while focusing on breath control.

Become a human sound effects creator and put your vocal cords through a range of extremes.

Don’t go too far to injury but vary your range, use grit, intense vocals, and workout by mimicking the world you hear.

Check out even more free singing lessons at 30 Day Singer.

Sing Notes In Your Range

One of the most important aspects of singing is to find notes that fit your vocal range.

If you're wondering "how to find my vocal range," here's a quick answer:

First, you'll need a piano.

Sing your lowest comfortible note, find it on the piano, write it down.

Then, sing your highest comfortible note, find it on the piano, write it down.

There you have it, your vocal range!

Memorize these notes and use them as a warmup practice.

Learn the chords and keys in the middle of this range so you can understand what songs will make you sound your best.

Knowing this will take you far in your singing lessons.

Music Theory Focus

One final great addition to your vocal exercises will be to work on your intervals, scales, and chords.

You can easily get started and learn how to play guitar quickly.

Strum a chord then sing back the individual notes in the chord.

Play a pentatonic or blues scale and sing each note as you go.

The great thing about the guitar is you can easily move a chord or scale up the neck and play in all 12 keys.

Understanding scale and chord note relationships will help you improve singing quickly.

Work on singing these tones clearly and keep track of major problems that need to be worked on.

Where to go from here?

Depending on the time you have to warm up there are numerous exercises above that may suit your situation.

The one factor to remember is that singing is a physical exercise so you need to prepare the lungs, chest, throat, mouth, tongue, and lips.

Your breathing abilities and pitch control will be essential for proper singing so do warmups that enhance these parts.

At the end of the day the best way to warmup and get better at singing is to practice every day.

If you really like to learn how to sing, try 30 Day Singer free for 14 days.


How can I improve my vocal voice?

Practice is key! Regular singing exercises, proper breathing techniques, and staying hydrated can help improve your vocal quality over time.

What exercises increase vocal range?

Exercises like lip trills, sirens, and scales can help expand your vocal range by gradually stretching your vocal cords and building flexibility.

How can I improve my voice muscles?

Regular vocal exercises, such as scales, arpeggios, and vocal sirens, can strengthen your voice muscles and improve overall vocal control and stamina.

Do singers do vocal exercises?

Absolutely! Just like athletes warm up before a game, singers do vocal exercises to warm up their voices, improve technique, and maintain vocal health.

Do vocal warm ups actually work?

Definitely! Vocal warm-ups help relax and prepare the vocal cords, improve blood flow to the muscles, and reduce the risk of strain or injury during singing.

Do singers sing from throat?

Nah, singing from the throat can strain your vocal cords. Singers should focus on singing from their diaphragm, using proper breath support and resonance for a smoother, healthier sound.

Why is throat singing so good?

Throat singing, or overtone singing, produces multiple pitches simultaneously, creating a mesmerizing and harmonically rich sound that's unique and captivating.

How to open up vocal cords?

Gentle vocal warm-ups, proper hydration, and avoiding excessive strain can help open up your vocal cords and improve vocal clarity and range.

How to not sing flat?

Focus on proper breath support, pitch accuracy, and listening to yourself while singing. Regular practice and ear training can also help you stay on pitch more consistently.

Why am I pitchy when I sing?

Pitchiness can be caused by various factors, such as improper breath support, lack of vocal control, or tension in the vocal cords. Practicing scales and exercises can help improve pitch accuracy over time.

Back to Blog

© 2024, All Rights reserved