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Vocal Riffing Exercises

April 8, 2024


Hi, I’m Abram from 30 Day Singer and here are some vocal exercises to help you improve your riffs and runs.


One of the most common riffs in music is the 3-note riff. Runs are super common in contemporary music, but many beginning singers avoid them, because they can sound awkward if they aren't done correctly. I often use this exercise to practice a few necessary components to a successful 3-note riff.


3-Note Riff Exercise Staccato/Scooping 

Try singing the exercise short and detached to make sure you know where each note is and how much support pressure you need to accurately hit them all.


We also need to make sure each note sounds separate and clear. The notes in a run can often blur together too much if we sing too forcefully. We want to rearticulate and emphasize each note as our voice passes through. A great way to practice this is with scoops. It sounds silly when it's slow like this, but with some repetition and speed it will prime our muscles to do this. Let’s put this to practice. Start slow with me and we'll gradually get faster and faster as we go. 


5-Note Riff Exercise All Together 

Alright now let's try something harder with a 5-note riff. Try it slow, short and detached. Now add some scooping. Great work and I’ll see you next time!

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