Dr. Titze's Favorite Five vocal warmups for singers

1.
Lip trill, tongue trill, humming,
or phonation into narrow tubes
(all partial occlusions of vocal
tract) on glides, scales, or
arpeggios
  • Gets respiratory muscles into full action rapidly
  • Minimizes upward force on vocal folds because of positive oral pressure
  • Spreads the vocal folds to vibrate their edges only
  • Lowers phonation threshold pressure by providing an inertive acoustic load
2
Two-octave pitch glides, up
and down, high vowels /i/ or /u/
  • Low chest to high pure falsetto
  • mixed voice
  • Gives maximal stretch to vocal folds (first ligament, then muscle)
  • Maximum dichotomy between TA and CT muscles; then unity between them
  • Avoids the difficult passaggi
  • Gets Fo above F1 for varying acoustic loads
3.
Forward tongue roll and
extension, vowel sequence
/a/-/i/, scales
  • Creates independence between the phonatory and articulatory structures
  • Loosens tongue and jaw
  • Helps keep vertical larynx position stable during articulation
4.
Messa di voce, proceeding
from a partially occluded tract,
to high vowels, to low vowels
  • Engages the layers of vocal fold tissue gradually in vibration, medial to lateral
  • Help singer match tension in muscle to tension in ligament
  • Tests symmetry of crescendo versus decrescendo control under changing respiratory conditions
  • Makes all intrinsic muscles of the larynx work in coordination with changing lung pressure
5.
Staccato on arpeggios
  • Elicits clean and rapid voice onset, establishing a dominant mode of vibration
  • Trains adductor/abductor muscles simultaneously with tensor muscles during pitch change

Back to Vocal Health page