The Absolute Best Vocal Exercises for Every Singing Goal
- For the complete post with video tutorials referenced in this article, please follow this link.
What are your musical goals? As a total beginner, you might not have a specific goal yet. You might be thinking, “I just want to improve my singing voice!”
But you’ll soon discover there’s a LOT that goes into that goal. To begin, you’ll need to learn about proper singing posture and how to care for your instrument (i.e. your voice). You might even find out you’re not breathing properly!
With time, these things will become second nature, and you can move onto the bigger goals. For example, do you want to expand your range? Learn how to riff?
To help you work toward your goals, we’ve rounded up the best video tutorials and vocal exercises to try, for beginners and beyond. Ready to explore? Let’s go!
Goal: Learn How to Care For Your Voice
As a singer, your entire body is your instrument. So if you want to be a great vocalist, your overall health is incredibly important!
Outside of eating well, getting enough sleep, and exercising to stay in shape, vocal care should be incorporated into your routine every day. Start with our Ultimate Guide to Vocal Warm-Ups, read the additional resources below, and watch the video to the right for some cool-down exercises to try.
Goal: Improve Your Breath & Breath Control
Proper breathing supports your voice so you can sing strong and beautifully! As a beginner, you may have trouble singing through longer passages, simply because you haven’t worked on your breath control and support. In fact, you may even find the way you’re breathing is holding you back! (Who knew?!)
Check out the video to the right for important tips to keep in mind as you sing — you may notice an instant improvement!
- Infographic: Check These 8 Things to Become a Better Singer
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Goal: Improve Your Vocal Tone & Sing Smoothly
Vocal “tone” is what most people refer to when they want to improve the sound of their singing voice. Maybe you find yourself struggling to produce a strong sound without feeling like you’re yelling. Or, maybe you don’t sound as smooth as you’d like as you practice scales.
Often, this comes down to not fully understanding how your vocal registers work. Isolating the chest and head registers is a great way to learn, since you can physically feel the different vibrations and sensations.
For a great introduction to this, check out the video to the right.
Goal: Improve Your Pitch & Musical Ear
Ear training exercises can do wonders for your pitch if you’re struggling with singing flat or sharp — or if you can’t even recognize that you’re off to begin with!
With practice, you’ll become a better sight singer, and a more valuable choir member or bandmate.
Check out the video to the right for some ear training exercises to start with, and then read the additional resources below:
Goal: Improve Your Diction
Don’t let your mouth go to mush! Some singers are so focused on the melody of the song, or moving around the stage to put on a show, that they forget the importance of diction.
To ensure your audience can understand what you’re singing, focus on enunciating each of your words. This is an important skill to master from the very beginning, which is why we’ve included it in this first section of vocal exercises. Check out the video to the right for six vocal exercises to try, perfect for working on your diction. Here’s the article about diction the video accompanies.
Goal: Increase Your Vocal Range
Let’s face it: most singers aren’t born with the amazing vocal range of Steven Tyler, Mariah Carey, or Prince.
If improving your range is your goal, there are a few vocal exercises you can do to work on it. Just remember that it won’t happen overnight. Or it may not happen at all; everyone’s limitations are different.
We recommend working with a voice teacher, who can help you safely and comfortably improve. Check out the video to the right to learn a few vocal exercises to start with. See also: 9 Must-Read Tips for Singing High Notes
Goal: Improve Your Stage Presence
You’ve practiced your repertoire and found your go-to songs… now it’s time to show off your skills! If you haven’t already reframed your stage fright, let’s start there.
Once you’ve mastered that, you can focus your energy on your stage presence. Note that this doesn’t require a “loud” personality. Many singers take a more humble approach! The key, instead, is to connect with your audience.
Check out the video to the right for some pre-show exercises to try. See also: Singers, Don’t Forget the Most Important Part of Performing!
Goal: Explore New Genres
Once you get into your groove as a singer, you’ll likely have a handful of go-to songs that make your voice sound great. But why stop there? Exploring new genres and styles is an excellent way to further your skills and challenge yourself.
At their core, all genres rely on the same techniques — proper breathing, support, and so on. But you’ll find a few tweaks can change you from a twangy country singer to a gritty rockstar.
The video to the right explores the rock genre, but don’t stop there. Check out our Ultimate Guide to Singing Styles and Genres to learn about singing R&B, country, pop, and more.
Goal: Learn How to Sing Runs and Riffs
Ready to spice up your singing? Adding riffs and runs to your songs is an excellent way to add emphasis, grab your audience’s attention, and show off your artistic style.
If you’re feeling intimidated by adding them in, don’t be! Artists well-known for their riffs (think Christina Aguilera and Ariana Grande) got there with practice. For many, it’s a skill that needs to be perfected over time.
To get started, we like the video to the right. Then, get to practicing on your own or with your voice teacher. Have some fun with it!
Goal: Learn How to Belt Properly
We’ve all heard the powerhouses like Adele and Beyoncé — those ladies can belt! Learning how to belt properly can take some time, and is best learned with a professional voice teacher. The reason behind this is that belting improperly can be damaging to your voice — sometimes even causing irreversible damage.
Belting requires endurance, impeccable technique, and of course, practice. Learn a few of the basics in the video to the right, but make sure you’re working with a singing teacher to perfect your skills.