I'm an engineer by trade and I like to sing as a hobby. But I'm unsatisfied with my voice and would like to make some foundational improvements. However, I am not a committed enough to pursue private lessons.

My drive to work is about 20min, which I usually waste listening to the radio. It doesn't take any commitment to convert one of those drives to a vocal exercise session. I thought it would be a good idea to come up with a exercise routine.

I did some research and compiled a list of exercises I could do:

1.lip roll up/down scale 2min

2.vocal fry up/down scale 10 min

3.also this pair of exercise from Eric Arceneaux :


These vocal exercises are fairly straightforward and Eric explains them very well. Are there anything else I can add to my exercises(or things to be changed)? Am I at least somewhat effectively using my time? I realize that gains can be made more quickly with a private teacher, but I am not losing anything doing this.

  • I do exercises on my bicycle in to work (folk at junctions must think I'm mad). Even just the breathing exercises (e.g. imagine you are a pint of beer, filling from the bottom) are useful. And simple scale work: 1 ... 1,2,1 ... 1,2,3,2,1 ... 1,2,3,4,3,2,1 .. etc. – dumbledad Dec 2 '15 at 10:50

I'm not sure exactly how you do these exercises but perhaps you should add an explicit warm-up first before doing exercises which are designed to stretch you?

5-7 minutes of humming and scales at a low intensity perhaps? I started using "Quick Vocal Warm Up" from this page: http://www.aussievocalcoach.com/2009/08/16/downloadable-mp3-exercises/

I'm not sure that 10 whole minutes - half your time - on vocal fry isn't a bit much, but then you haven't said specifically what you want to improve at.

  • thanks for that page. Very helpful. I don't have a specific thing to improve at. I'm a beginner and I just want to improve my voice's foundations overall. – mugetsu Dec 2 '15 at 19:19

It's a great idea. I know several vocalists who learn new songs this way. So far none has crashed. Backing tracks are readily available, and keys can be specified/changed. Make the second half of your commute into time for this, after you've warmed up. Any exercises will do, from scales and arpeggios to making strange noises which will develop your vocal muscles.. For improving your timing, sing along with a track, and turn the volume down for, say, 10 secs or so, see if you're still with the track. While you're at it, you might as well record what you're doing, for analysis later.


Keep in mind that changing your technique takes a great deal of concentration, careful attention to a number of body parts, and intense listening.

So sure, do a couple of breathing exercises and maybe warm up a little bit, but then just sing things you enjoy, reveling in your favorite sounds.

You'll get the most technical benefit from your practicing if you sing standing up, without multitasking.

I say that because you mentioned, "I'm unsatisfied with my voice and would like to make some foundational improvements."

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