5 Gentle Vocalizes To Warm-Up Your Voice

Updated: Mar 30

Vocal cords are attached to muscles in the larynx. To better control how to use our delicate instrument, and just like athletes, warming-up our voice before singing is of prime importance.

Start to warm-up your voice with gentle vocalizes

1) Lip Trills


Also frequently referred to as "Lip Bubbles"; this exercise is probably the most popular one. Lip trills are great for several reasons. Firstly, one needs relaxation in order to allow lips to vibrate. Secondly, the resistance created by the quasi close lips forces the diaphragm to engage for support and to propel the sound through. Finally, the natural position of the jaw during lip bubbles encourages the larynx to move properly when pulling vocal cords to pitch. The steps for this exercise are as follow:


a) Take a deep breath

b) Start with lips together

c) Choose a pitch that is comfortable in your range

d) Blow the air through your lips to create a crisp and vibrant sound; sing "Brrr" (as if shivering from he cold)

e) Slide your pitch down and up your range until you run out of breath


Take any extra breath out of the vocal mix. We want to hear lots of voicing resonance and little breath. Use your natural volume or increase it as you ease into the exercise.



2) "R" Trills


By this I mean rolling an Italian "R". I'm French-Canadian so we roll our "R" with the back of the tongue. This exercise works best by rolling "R" the Italian or Spanish way. The tip of the tongue rolls against the very front of the palace right behind the upper teeth. It took me two years to finally roll my "R" correctly for multi-language classical repertoire. The steps are almost the same as earlier:


a) Take a deep breath

b) Start with lips slightly open

c) Choose a pitch that is comfortable in your range

d) Roll an "R" to sing

e) Slide your pitch down and up your range until you run out of breath



3) Mosquito


Can't do lip bubbles or roll an "R"? No problem! Try sliding on "ZZZZ" instead by imitating the sound of a mosquito. Follow these steps:


a) Take a deep breath

b) Start with lips slightly open

c) Choose a pitch that is comfortable in your range

d) Sing "ZZZZ"

e) Slide your pitch down and up your range until you run out of breath



4) Car


Alternatively, go back to your childhood and pretend driving a car. We will use the sound "Vvvv" as in "vroom" this time which works equally well. It's nice to change it up sometimes between lip and "R" trills, mosquito and car sounds.


a) Take a deep breath

b) Start with lips slightly open

c) Choose a pitch that is comfortable in your range

d) Sing "VVVV"

e) Slide your pitch down and up your range until you run out of breath



5) Humming


We can start softly producing sound by humming to awake our voice. Think of your voice moving vertically along your neck, jaw and into your head following your pitch as it rises or descends. Avoid sending pressure at the front of your larynx; this could hurt your voice.


a) Take a deep breath

b) Start with lips close

c) Choose a pitch that is comfortable in your range

d) Sing "Mmmm"

e) Slide your pitch up and down your range until you run out of breath


Always seek relaxation and flow with these exercises. Get your inner child out and proceed playfully without over analyzing each task. Enjoy the benefits of blood flowing through your singing apparatus to loosen up your instrument before attempting more difficult scales and actually singing songs. Enjoy!

© 2020 by Voice Yourself Singing Inc. |  Toronto. On  |  All rights reserved.