There is a vocal exercise in which you sing a do-re-mi--fa-sol-fa-mi-re-do-do-sol-do. You do this in many keys as possible. Is it good to do this with hunming? What is the purpose of doing this exercice with humming?

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    Did you see something recommending doing the exercise while humming? I’ve been told humming is not good practice for singing, although certain kinds of humming can be used for warming up your voice. – Todd Wilcox Aug 13 '19 at 11:54
  • I would not consider this a "warm up" but a proper resonance exercise. Also, there are songs that require a "Hum" and that deserves special practice. Case in point, the ending of The Way You Look Tonight. That has a melodic hum that is supposed to be sung with a closed mouth. That is not the only example, just one I've performed. – ggcg Aug 13 '19 at 17:03

Not only are such exercises good for getting your voice in tune but for learning to get the correct resonance and support for all types of syllables. The specific do-re-mi- etc sequence you provided is just one of several (hundred or thousand) that one can come up with.

The same sequence can be practiced using the following:

Lip trill

Staccato (on "pa" for example)

Long syllables (Va, Fa, Ma, My, Moi, etc), with different vowel endings

On Ng (difficult to explain, but this is close to humming with the mouth open and tongue pulled back)

And humming

In general it is not desirable to close or cover the mouth when singing but one cannot avoid changes in mouth shape when singing. One point of these different exercises is to teach one to not lose the support or resonance when transitioning from one syllable to another. Also, the internal feeling of the resonance is different for each of these exercises and for vocalists it is important to be able to feel and identify the resonance in the sinus. Humming does support this effort.

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enter image description here"Warming ups" together with solfege (the relative doremi system) will help you to get used and find the root and tonic. There are many different vocals and consonants to train your voice, resonance rooms of head, nose, breast, to control your throat and tongue, your breathing etc.

It makes a lot of sence to practice these exercises together with the relative key of doremi. You can also start with so-fa-mi-re-do - somido (and always moving a half tone higher), singing uh, oh, ah, sümsüwü etc. or adding a consonant mia, mia, mia, mia, mia.... nia, nia, nia, etc. or ping,pong, etc.

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Before operating muscles, it's always a good thing to warm them up by exercising them. There are lots of muscles involved in singing, mostly little ones in the throat, etc, and a big one operating the diaphragm.

Humming uses far less air and air pressure than singing with open mouth, so as a starter, it is a more gentle warm up than 'proper' singing, albeit with single syllable words - lah, pah, bah - which always leaves me feeling sheepish.

So, there's nothing wrong with a good hum to start, obviously the solfege words won't be forthcoming, but pitch is still there, and with many, many different pitch exercises to be chosen from, why not start there?

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  • Sorry but there is quite a bit of misinformation in this answer. What do you mean by "sheepish"? – ggcg Aug 13 '19 at 17:00
  • What do ewe mean? – Brian THOMAS Aug 13 '19 at 17:06
  • @BrianTHOMAS - Do I really need to go into the ram-ifications of it? It's lam-entable! – Tim Aug 13 '19 at 17:56
  • @ggcg - you need to reveal what misinformation you believe is contained within this answer. 'Sheepish' is an English term meaning bashful or shy. The remark was flippant - brought on by singing 'bah bah ...' Parody springs to mind. But never mind. It's an English thing. – Tim Aug 13 '19 at 18:05
  • The use of air, and force in humming is not intrinsically less. One can control the volume just the same. Keeping lips closed, jaw open, and cheeks up to lift the palate produces quite a loud audible hum, and is used in singing. The support is still strong. They way you've presented your answer seems to imply that humming is always softer or gentler than singing and this simply isn't true. Also, not a warm up but a completely independent technique. I had never heard the term sheepish used before. – ggcg Aug 13 '19 at 18:15

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