Here you find audio snippets of the exercises that you can practice to and written instructions of the purpose and a description of the correct vocal technique for each exercise. Go back here and practice whenever you feel that you are unsure about how to perform an exercise correctly.
Listen w 0.42
Form your mouth as if you are saying “why”, but stop at ”w” and do not pronounce the rest of the word. Sing with the same volume as you would sing a regular melody with lyrics, and, as usual, with an active support.
This exercise is done most efficiently with The Zangger VoicePipe, but is also possible to execute with lips only. If you do the exercise through the VoicePipe, the higher keys will feel heavier and you should not sing so high that you are unable to keep the note stable.
Listen B 0.29
The sound of this exercise is formed with vibration in both the vocal folds and your lips. Push the lower jaw forward so that your top and bottom teeth are aligned. Some people have difficulty making the lips vibrate; if this is the case for you, you can make it easier by putting a finger just above the lips on each side. This can help the damper inside surfaces of the lips come together, making the vibration easier to produce and maintain. Some people are not able to make this sound in a proper way for those The Zangger VoicePipe, is a great substitute to do this exercise in.
Listen ng 0.24
Here the sound is formed with the back part of the tongue and palate, as if you are saying the word ‘song’, where the sound comes out through the nose. Relax your jaw and sing with a compact, clear sound. Sometimes the feeling of being a little bit rheumy, or “dropping your chin”, can help. Sing every note clearly and accurately.
To “sing in” is about getting to know the daily form of your voice, calibrate its technique and remind yourself how to balance its different parts. During the singing in, you assure yourself that your range is there and that you have the right intonation and sound. Singing in is not necessary for all singers every day. If you are very accustomed to a material – for example, on a tour, or if you are a singer in a musical and sing the same material every day – you are always “sung in”. If you sing less frequently, or if you are working with new material, it can be necessary to sing in.
Listen eh 0.17
Now we are going to “tune” the voice, just as we tune a guitar. The tempered system – the intervals of notes that you can find on a piano, for example – is ar- ranged with specific steps between the notes, but the voice doesn’t have these. This means that we might have to tune the voice to this system before singing, increasing our ability to sing in tune.
Sing in the key where you perceive the tone, then slide under it so that you can hear your voice “shaking” between the voice and the piano tone, and then back up again to the right key so that the “shakes” disappear.
It is important that you do not hold each tone longer than you can keep it steady, otherwise there is a risk that your breathing will makes your voice “shake”; this disturbs the tuning process.
This exercise should be done in at least four different keys.
Listen she-ou 0.16
Here we sing an exercise that blends the falsetto register and the chest register in two parts. Look out for the attack in the second part (the chest register part) – it should be done lightly and directly to avoid straining the voice.
The exercise is transposed downwards – it starts in the higher
Listen wou 0.31
This exercise has multiple moments embedded. Listen carefully to the example file so that you understand the little details in every syllable.
Support means breathing control. By letting the large chest muscles and rib muscles handle the
air pressure through the lungs, we support the much smaller muscles in the larynx. There are
two separate systems of ex- and inhalation muscles: the diaphragm and the chest. Even if they
could work autonomously in theory, in practice they work together. However, you can use
individual strategies to find the best technique, focusing on one system or the other.
We need to practice filling our lungs with air, breathing in different amounts of air, and breathing through the nose and mouth, quickly and silently. We also need to practice increasing our vital capacity (the amount of willingly used air in your lungs) as well learn as how to produce successively stronger notes (crescendo) and successively weaker notes (diminuendo).
The basic technique for this is to remain relaxed in your trapezius (the upper part of the shoulders) and to engage different stomach muscles, just enough to produce the required note. The higher and/or stronger the note, the higher the lung pressure needed, and vice versa. As mentioned in the beginning, the vocal fold muscles move extremely quickly, so they easily take over from the stomach muscles if we do not focus on maintaining a good support technique.
Listen sh 0.31
In this exercise, use only the breathing muscles, not the vocal folds. The purpose of this is to train and develop flexibility in the stomach muscles and thus become quicker and more efficient when creating and releasing air pressure between notes and phrases.
Listen ea 0.32
This exercise helps you to hold a stable pressure during long phrases/notes.
Listen va-va 0.25
Now we are going to train the breathing musculature – to find the right tension and air pressure for each note, and to quickly release the pressure between every note.
Phonate a “v” so that the pressure is successively built up before opening for a short “va”, where you immediately open the airways (separating the vocal folds). With this technique, the change in pressure causes the lungs to take in the amount of air needed, and you avoid drying out the vocal folds and pressuring the note. Control your muscles by placing your hands right below the diaphragm, or on your waist.
Listen yu-dou-nou 0.29
The object of this exercise is to dynamically steer the strength of the note with help from the air pressure in the lungs. We sing crescendo-diminuendo (successively stronger-successively weaker). Control the muscles by placing your hands right below the diaphragm or on your waist. Try to establish the first syncopated note – a fun musical and technical difficulty.
Listen houl-me 0.50
This exercise is designed to practice vital capacity – in other words, we are going to sing long phrases repeatedly without breathing. I have put an extra difficulty into this exercise by starting the phrases with aspirated consonants such as ‘h’ and ‘t’.
It is important not to let too much air disappear with the consonants at the start of phrases. The exercise is supposed to be sung using the chest register. Be careful not to strain your throat at the ends of the phrases – it is the stomach that is sup- posed to be working at this point.
The question of register is often debated, perhaps due to the innate difficulty of hearing and
identifying what is happening on a vocal fold level (patterns of register vibration) and what is
the result of the resonance (above the vocal folds). There are more than a hundred different
terms used when talking about register, but I want to keep it simple and limit the terminology to
that acknowledged and used by voice professionals such as ENTs, speech therapists and singers
– that is the fry register, the chest register, the falsetto register and the whistle register.
With a proper understanding of your register and of healthy technique, you can sing notes with varying vocal fold mass, vocal fold closure and strength of note. Falsetto could be airy or dense and the chest register can be sung with more or less vocal fold mass (fine or heavy). The fry register is barely used in this exercise training program but can also be hypo or hyper and the whistle register is not used at all.
Listen she 0.15
Now you are going to practice an airy falsetto. When doing this exercise, it is best to hold the tongue low and flat inside the mouth. The exercise is transposed downwards, which can feel a little unusual. The idea is to stay in the falsetto register at every key, singing with less and less strength as you go.
Listen meybe 0.29
Here we practice compact falsetto. When doing this exercise, it is important to keep the back of the tongue up high, and to dare to sound a little twangy. This may sound “ugly” until you master the technique.
Listen nau-nau 0.32
In this exercise, we are going to sing with the chest register. Relax the jaw and sing straight on the pitch – do not slide up on each note.
Listen wi-woud-weyd 0.55
In this exercise, we are going to sing with thin chest register but you might sing with compact falsetto in the higher keys. Start to sing the note with a brief creaking attack, and be careful not to sing too forcefully. To find the balance between support and loudness you can try this exercise in The Zangger VoicePipe, as this gives you an almost perfect setup for this.
Listen we-you 0.42
Here we practice thin chest register, and you might sing with compact falsetto in the higher keys. It is important that you do not open your jaw too much. To find the balance between support and loudness you can try this exercise in The Zangger VoicePipe, as this gives you an almost perfect setup for this.
Listen yea-ya 0.30
This exercise consists of singing with chest register. Take in a smaller amount of air in between the phrases – do this completely silently through the mouth, so that you hold up the larynx height.
Listen o-o-o-o 0.23
Here we use a heavy chest register. Remember to keep your support stable.
Listen o 0.17
Here we use a heavy chest register. You might need to take in a large amount of air between the phrases, and keep a stable support.
Listen wo-ea 0.35
Here we use the chest register. You need to open the jaw more and more the higher you sing, as if you are taking bigger and bigger bites from an apple or a hamburger.
Listen mimi 0.28
The idea with this exercise is that the tone is supposed to start a little bit twangy, then be sung with heavy chest register. Sometimes the feeling of holding your breath can help in keeping the first notes short and twangy. Keep a stable support when singing the long note, but do not breathe in too much air before the phrases.
Listen woy 0.21
Here we use a heavy chest register. It is important to keep a good support and, despite the effort involved in the exercise, try to keep your shoulders and voice relaxed.
Listen na-u 0.39
Here we try to make the splice between falsetto and chest register clear and noticeable. The difficulty comes from reaching the right pitch directly after the trans- it, both up- and downwards. When going up, it helps to keep a strong support during the chest register part, letting the support go immediately in the transition, and the reverse when transiting downwards.
Listen ney 0.48
Here we try to make the splice between falsetto and chest register clear and noticeable. The difficulty comes from reaching the right pitch directly after the transition, both upwards and downwards. When going up, it helps to keep a strong support during the chest register part, and to let the support go immediately in the transition – and the reverse when transiting downwards.
Articulation practice focuses on how consonants are supposed to be performed. The consonants create a temporary obstacle for the sound/vocal and form the foundation for clear pronunciation of lyrics. During the formation of a consonant, the pitch drops massively, but we need to quickly return to the right pitch for the following consonant. The consonants can also be used as a rhythmical spice. The difficulty comes from singing consonants explosively and lightly at the same time.
Listen bpm 0.14
Here we practice labial consonants, formed with the lips. The most difficult in this group is m, so it is extra important to relax your jaw so that you do not get tired. The consonant p easily turns into b, so make sure that you hear the little air puff that signifies the start of p in each key.
Listen nltd 0.20
These consonants are executed with the tongue on the area right behind your upper front teeth (alveolar ridge). The most difficult in this group of consonants is usually l. It is important to be explosive and to look out for tensions in the jaw.
Listen ngk 0.20
You create these consonants with the tongue and the soft palate, keeping the jaw relaxed.
Listen vivi-vava 0.19
Here we practice relaxing the jaw while keeping it active. Decrease the strength of the note on the way up, but without reaching falsetto register.
Listen wowo 0.32
This practice is a bit tricky and it is extra important to open the jaw on the highest notes. Keep the jaw active but relaxed.
Listen vavava 0.22
This practice is intense for the jaw and is therefore a good opportunity to focus on not straining it, as this leads to a tired jaw muscles and voice.
Start & End
How you start a note (attack) and how you end it (conclusion) can play a big part in how the
note is carried out. Attack and conclusion are also good dynamic parameters to add to our
You can attack and conclude a note in several ways:
– at the same time
Listen hey-ya 1.11
Listen carefully to the example so that you are completely sure which variations are to be executed, and in which order. It is important to be as accurate with the conclusion as with the attack, and that you try to make the attacks lightly, especially the direct attacks that could otherwise strain the voice.
Listen a-dou-no 0.38
Here we practice ghost notes that, in this case, are like small glottis bounces (separated direct attacks). They are executed as percussive rhythmic ingredients bet- ween the main notes. It is vital that you do not force the voice, instead keeping the ghost notes more silent and light.
Listen a-dou-no(triplets) 0.38
Here we practice ghost notes in triplets – in this case, small glottis bounces (separated direct attacks). They are executed as percussive rhythmic ingredients in between the main notes. It is vital that you do not force the voice, instead keeping the ghost notes more silent and light.
Listen nea-nea 0.22
Vibrato can be a difficult moment for many, and might be good to practice separately. Sing completely without vibrato until the last note “yoo”, where you try to relax the larynx so that it can start swinging and create a natural vibrato.
Listen yea 0.25
This is an easy riffing exercise. It is important that you make the change of pitch distinct. You can aggravate the moment by singing the second part as sixteenths (double the speed).
Listen wo-yea 0.43
It is important to conclude the notes abruptly to make the change of pitch distinct.
Listen yea-yea 0.20
This is a quite long vocal riff exercise. It is important that you are distinct in each note in every key.
Listen wo-yea-wo 0.40
This vocal riff practice is advanced, requiring extremely quick changes in pitch throughout the exercise.
Listen nie-nie 0.17
Twang is a term that refers to a sound like a country voice, a wah-wah pedal or an exaggerated version of the Texan accent. Twang is created when contracting the muscles in the epiglottis muscle, the throat, or both. A good way to understand how it is supposed to sound is to imitate a classic evil witch’s laugh. It is important that you do not squeeze or press the vocal folds too hard. The whining, cheeky sound is supposed to be accomplished by the structures above the vocal folds, and the voice should not feel strained or pressured.
Listen o-ou 0.30
Belting is an American expression for exclamation. The typical example is a news vendor loudly trumpeting their message. There are many theories about how bel- ting is supposed to be executed in the best way for the voice. In vocal science, belting is described as high, strong notes and long ending phases, sung in chest register. In this belting exercise, the timing of the breathing is important. Observe exactly where it is supposed to be executed – listen to the example if you are unsure. You need to use short inhalations through the mouth, strong support and the feeling of an open throat. Keep in mind that it is like shouting, not screaming.
Listen seyen-ney 0.31
Distortion and growl are best achieved with the structures above the vocal folds. If you use the vocal fold for this exercise, you will get worn out quickly, and there is a risk of vocal fold damage. It is therefore important that you stop singing as soon as you feel any discomfort. Here we are going to distort on the top notes. Take in just a small amount of air – it can be helpful to have the feeling of holding your breath.
When cooling down the voice we try to get the musculature of the vocal folds to let go of its contraction (tension), as well as get rid of any lactic acid that might have been produced in the larynx muscles. Cooling down the voice speeds its recovery and prepares you to be able to sing again.
Listen w 0.48
Shape the mouth as if you were about to say “why” but stop at “w” – do not pronounce the “y”. Sing with the same volume as you would sing a regular melody with lyrics, and, as usual, with active support. This exercise is executed most efficiently with The Zangger VoicePipe, but can also be done using only your lips.
Listen m 0.39
Here you sing on the nasal “m”. Sing using slides (glissando). Try to find a clear, sharp note without forcing the voice. Sometimes it can help to have the feeling of nasal congestion. The exercise is not supposed to be executed in an airy way.
Listen n 0.18
Relax the jaw but do not open the mouth more than feels natural. Sometimes it can help to have the feeling of having nasal congestion. Sing with glissando between the notes. This exercise can also be executed in The Zangger VoicePipe