Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Vocal Exercise

Vocal exercise is an essential part of a choir's training routine. It is at this point that the vocal chords and all parts that make up your voice are prepared for the actual singing performance. Just like any form of physical exercise, your voice should be warmed-up before engaging in the actual activity.

Vocalizations should follow after the breathing exercises and lip drills and right before the proper rehearsal of the song of choice.

When we vocalize, we aim to reach different portions of voice training.

First, we aim to create a seamless transition of the vocal registers by passing through a series of these exercises that will guide us in resonating the right sound corresponding to the played tune. Bridging two vocal registers is something that is difficult to achieve without vocal training and takes a long time to get over with. The voice will break apart when an immediate transfer between registers are called upon that puts so much stress on our chords. This is what we called in tagalog term "piyok."

Second, we vie to train our ears to coordinate with the vocal production by keeping our sound "in-tune" with what we hear through another instrument and harmonize with other people in the choral group. Hitting the right notes can be achieved by means of vocal exercises. Vocal exercise will lessen the chances of being "sintunado."

Third, to help our voice muscles gain power in producing sound with less effort and with full control. The mastery of the proper sound resonance will be greatly achieved. Voice dynamics can be effectively utilized and creatively implement a "flow" within the rendition of a song. The mood and expressive quality of the song piece is efficiently channeled to the listeners.

Fourth, through vocal exercise we can broaden our vocal range. After a series of repetitive exposure to various vocal routines, the sopranos has increased their reach up to two additional notes in the higher octave while the baritones has gained a few notches down the scales.

It is important that we vocalize with different variations so that our voices can adapt to specific conditions. There are a various number of these exercises that we can utilize to answer specific problem areas. A good vocal coach should be able to find a good exercise for the singer to enable the latter in resolving issues and make up for an excellent performance.

My regular routine is to initially make them use the standard five note progression (do-re-mi-fa-sol and back) to make a smooth transition in the production of voice before engaging them in more challenging exercises. Followed by the same five note progression using a different word (like "ney") to loosen up the tongue and jaw muscles. Some vocal exercise that can get to their chest and head voice is a good way to make out on the sudden tone drops and change in pitch on songs that they are going to perform.

Always have them run up and down the scales with a piano or even a pre-recorded audio of the scales if a musical instrument is not available. Start with the lowest that they can get up to the highest scale that they can reach.


My regular schedule is to originally create them use the standard five note development to create a sleek conversion in the of speech before interesting them in more complicated workouts. 

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