Strengthen My Singing Voice

Many young singers, eager to build a singing career want to know, “How can I strengthen my singing voice?”  Too many of these young people fall for the wares of vocal charlatans and ruin their career before it starts.  A friend of mine related one such incident.  

A young lady in his church showed great potential in contemporary religious singing.  My friend recommended that she study with a college voice teacher in their church. The teacher recommended a course of training which would take a minimum of three years.  This would give her voice time to mature and build the strength necessary for a career in concert singing. The parents opted for a “quick fix” with a popular teacher in Los Angeles, California.  

In two years the young singer returned home.  Her voice was all but ruined. The “teacher” had tried to manipulate the young voice with popular tricks taught to secular singers.  Just as people trying to do things physically which are beyond their ability can injure themselves, so can singers.

If the vocal muscle is not strong enough to accomplish a certain level, it must be strengthened.  That strengthening must be done with wisdom and knowledge. The vocal mechanism and its muscles must be built gradually and nurtured each step of the way.


Human beings by nature are singers.  Babies in the mother’s womb react to the mother’s singing voice.  Infants begin to sing before they can verbalize words. Singing is almost second nature to human beings.  I am convinced that this is because our Creator loves singing and there will be endless singing in heaven.  That is my opinion.

Many people think that birds, or other animals, sing.  They do not, in the real sense of the definition of singing.  Singing is basically “intonation of words or phrases to add emotion and emphasis to its meaning”.  Animals have no sense of wording or thoughts to their melodies. Their “music” however does carry forms of communication.  We shall not address that in this blog.


To develop a good and strong singing voice one must first lay a good foundation.  One important thing I learned in the building business was the need of a solid foundation.  If you mess up on the foundation, nothing else you do will correct that error. No amount of tricks or cover-ups can produce a good product if the foundation is faulty.

Another truth I learned was that there is a necessary time that a foundation should set up.  In other words, it takes a while before the structure should be built on the foundation. Rushing any development structure will lessen the value of the foundation.  Build the foundation with patience. Then the structure will be strong and come naturally.


Foundational vocalise

It is always wise to begin warming up with light vocalise exercises.  By beginning your warmup in a predetermined structure, you alert your body and voice to get ready to sing.  One of the simplest exercises is that of humming. It is a simple way of activating the breathing muscles and the vocal mechanisms.  Along with those you can feel the sensations of the vibrations associated with singing.

The humming should always be light and unforced.  This is just the beginning and should promote freedom of production, not forceful production.  A good “humm” will also give a good tingle to the lips and nose.

Below is a good humming exercise you can use to begin your warmup.  It will move up by half-steps to stretch the vocal mechanism. But, you should never get to a point of forcing the production.  Keep it light. If it gets above your comfortable range, just drop out and wait till it comes back. Over time you will gradually increase the range of your warmup.


Strengthen my singing voice
Humming warmup
      Warmup 1 - Thomas Harvey


Continue to strengthen your singing voice with these exercises

The next exercise is a slightly different approach.  We shall use the “Ooh” vowel. The structure of the mouth to form the “Ooh” should be the same as that of the “Ah” vowel.  The difference is in how the lips are shaped. The lips should be formed as if you were going to whistle. Make sure the jaw is still open for the “Ah”.

How to form “Ooh” with a dropped jaw.

Now, sing through the exercise a few times.  Always keep the “Ooh” light and floating. This is just a warmup.  Below you will see the notation of the beginning exercise. The recorded accompaniment will progress up by semitones and then back down.  Repeat a couple of times.

Notation for warm-up 2
Here is the notation for Warm-up exercise 2
      Warmup 1.2 - Thomas Harvey


Next warmup

Our next exercise in our warm-up regimen is a simple octave leap up and then down.  We shall use three different vowels. Go through the exercise completely using one vowel and then the other until using all three.

The vowels are: “e” as in “eager”; “a” as in “way”; and “ah” as in “father”.  Use them in this order. The exercise will move by half steps up, then back down.  Keep the voice light and unforced.

Warm-up 3


      Warmup 1.3 - Thomas Harvey


Bring focus to warmup

This exercise will conclude this warmup regime.  We use a simple major scale in eighth notes to conclude this session.  Use the same vowel for the whole exercise. Then repeat the exercise with the next vowel.


The vowels in order are: “ee” as in “see”; “a” as in “say”; “oh” as in “old”; “ah” as in “father”.  The tone should always be light. For men, if you need to go into falsetto, that is OK.

notation for warm-up 4
Warm-up number 4
      Warmup 1.4 - Thomas Harvey



This warm-up should take you about 15 or 20 minutes, depending on the rest between each exercise.  When completed, relax for a few minutes and then work on learning your songs.

By using these warm-up techniques regularly you will strengthen your singing voice.  You will also improve your singing voice as you grow proficient in your warm-up techniques.

Look through our site and find helpful practices to grow an even more artistic voice.


Do you need a recorded accompaniment for your singing?  We can produce a general accompaniment for your practice needs.  If we do not have a particular composition, we can get it.

We shall give you the first three accompaniments free to see if they help you.  If you like what you get, we can produce more for around $3 to $6 per song, depending on the length.

Let us help you be all that you can be!


Strengthen Your Singing Voice-Vocal Warm Up

Strengthen Your Singing Voice with good vocal warmups

Vocal Warm Up

If you enjoy singing you have experienced times that your voice just quit working.  Or at least it did not perform the way it should. If you were not ill or just fatigued, it was probably that you overextended the ability of your voice.  With a little patience and the right direction, you can strengthen your singing voice. With a stronger and more controlled voice, you can sing longer and better.

Vocal warm up exercises for singing

If you plan to be singing for more than just a few minutes you should do some vocal warm up exercises.  Warm up exercises for singing can vary from simple to medium.  Good warm up exercises will help strengthen your singing voice.

To begin any vocal warm up you need to establish a good breathing technique.  You can start by working up a good “yawn”. Do several good “yawns” and feel what your abdomen feels like.

Vocal singing warmup
Practice warm up yawn

Here are a few more “yawns” to help you get it going.

Vocal Warm up
Another yawn
Vocal warm up
Are you feeling the urge, yet?
Warm up yawn
You should be yawning, now.

 This will show you how your abdomen should feel like as you inhale in preparation to sing. It will also give you some idea of the openness that your throat should feel when singing correctly. Once you have established the feeling of breathing deeply and having an open throat you can move on to phonation, making a sound.

Continuing warm up exercises

A simple “hmm”(that stands for humming) would be a good beginning to wake the singing instrument.  After taking a good “yawning” breath, bring your lips together but keep your teeth apart.  The tongue should lie relaxed on the floor of the mouth the tip touching the back of the bottom teeth.  

Now, “hmm” on any pitch.  Hold the pitch for three or four counts.  Relax, and do the exercise to or three more times.  Then extend the amount of time that you hold the pitch.  You may also wish to move the pitch up an interval or two as you continue.

Vocal warm up
Feel the tingle in the lips

If you are humming correctly you will feel a little tingle around the lips and nose.  If you do not, concentrate on relaxing the facial muscles as you hum.


 Add flexibility exercises

After performing the initial exercise for two or three minutes, you can move on to some flexibility exercises.

The first of these exercises is a diatonic exercise which moves stepwise.  Depending on your vocal ability it can be done as eighth note rhythms or sixteenth note rhythms.  See the example below. You can click on the player and use the embedded recording as your accompaniment.

Stepwise eighth note exercise
      Stepwise eighths - Thomas Harvey


Strengthen your singing voice
Stepwise sixteenth note warmup exercise
      Stepwise-Sixteenths - Thomas Harvey

The exercise will move up by half-steps for four exercises and then back down.  You may choose the eighth-note version or the sixteenth note version. Begin with the eighth note version and the advance to the sixteenth as you are able.(thirds)

Continuing voice warm up exercises that strengthen your singing voice

As we continue to warm up our voice we shall extend our range slightly. This is not to add range to the voice but to wake up the range we have.

This next exercise can be done as eighth notes or sixteenth notes as the previous.  It is a diatonic stepwise moving up four steps and then back down and repeat. You can choose whichever is best for your warm up ability.  You may wish to do both. The exercise will then move up in pitch by five half steps and then back down.(fifths)

Strengthen your singing foice
Five note run up and down
      Stepwise a fifth-Eighth notes - Thomas Harvey


Strengthening your singing voice
Five steps up and five steps
      Stepwise fifth-Sixteenth notes(2) - Copy - Thomas Harvey


Leaping steps warm up exercises

The first leaping warm up exercise is the arpeggio.  In this exercise, we trace a major chord. Beginning with  “tonic” to “third” to “fifth” back to “third” and then repeat the exercise three more times.  Once again you may use the eighth note version or the sixteenth note version. Each is embedded below.

We will move up by half steps five times and then back down to the original.  Each section should be done with one breath.

Strengthen your singing voice
Arpeggio-Eighth notes
      Arpeggio-Eighth notes - Thomas Harvey


Voice strengthening
Arpeggio sixteenth notes
      Arpeggio-Sixteenth notes - Thomas Harvey

Strengthening your singing voice

The exercises that we have been doing to warm up our singing voice is also strengthening our voice.  Flexibility exercises help by programming our vocal muscles to react more quickly. This exercises the full range of the muscle in a way that normal speaking or singing does not.  What we desire is a muscle that performs in any situation or range.

As we continue to use these warm up exercises and add to them, we shall hear the voice blossom.  Flexibility exercises build strength without the pressure or damages that come with pushing for range.  These exercises build durability and control without bringing fatigue to the vocal mechanism.

Flexibility exercises do not need to be practiced to the point of tiredness.  But they should be practiced regularly. Strength and control will come in due time.  We shall continue to add exercises as we develop this program.

The next step

Our next flexibility warm up exercise is a leap/step configuration. Beginning with the tonic we leap a third up and then a step down.  This is repeated three times. Then it reverses and does a third down then a step up four times. See the notated version below. You can modulate the exercise up four half steps and then back down to the original.  You can play the embedded mp3 to accompany your practice.

Strengthen your singing voice
Leap up – Step down
      Leap-step eighth notes - Thomas Harvey


Leap-Step Sixteenth notes
Leap-Step Sixteenth notes
      Leap-step sixteenth notes - Thomas Harvey


To conclude your warm up

To conclude your warm up just do some sighing.  By sighing, I mean to lightly “sigh” an “ooh” as high as you can.  Then let your pitch slide to the lowest pitch you can. Hear the demonstration embedded here.

      Sigh - Thomas Harvey

After “sighing” several times just relax.  Breathe comfortably but seek to keep good posture.


If you do these simple exercises each time you practice you will begin to see improvement in your singing voice.  The voice is a result of many muscles working together. Just like any muscle, the muscles of the voice must be worked to build strength.

I am of the persuasion that a flexible muscle is a strong muscle.  So, if we strengthen our singing voice by exercising flexibility we will produce beautiful singing also.  It will take time. But anything of beauty is worth any amount of time that is invested in it. With patience and perseverance, you can develop a strong and beautiful singing voice.

We shall be here to help you along your journey. You can email us at 

 May God bless you.

To learn more about finding a good vocal teacher go to the NATS website to find a teacher in your area.

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