28 Mar 2014

Singing Lessons: Focus Your Sound with Vocal Warm-up “zzzz-uuuu-iiii”

Click the video above to watch my “zzzzz-uuuu-iiii” vocal warm-up demo


Welcome to my complete warm-up series…


Over the last few weeks, I have shared with you two body warm-ups, a mind warm-up, and 2 vocal warm-ups…

Today, let’s keep singing with another great vocal warm-up.


Vocal Warm-up: Zzzz-uuuu-iiii


In the video above, I give a very basic demonstration of this warm-up,


but before you begin, here are….


6 Important Points to Remember              


1. Why a Z?  – Technical Verbiage Alert…the z is a voiced consonant, more specifically a fricative consonant, which is made when air flow is partially interrupted as it passes the vocal tract. Whew!


What this means for you is that starting a vocal warm-up with a zzzzz will ensure that your air is moving as you transition to the following vowel sounds… uuuuu as is Flute and Glue – iiiii as is Need and Speed. 


And because a zzzz sound is made at the alveolar ridge… a.k.a. your gum line, it gives a nice forward placement.




2. Relax Your Jaw – allow your jaw to gently fall in the down and back position. You will move from the “z” consonant to the uuuu vowel and then the iiii vowel, but the jaw is NOT involved in the movement. You will see in the above video that my jaw remains relaxed and neutral through the entire exercise.


3. Relax Your Lips – when you watch my demo video, you will see my lips creating the zzz , uuuuu, and iiii sound. Engage the lips, but keep them relaxed as well.


4. Relaxed, Resting Tongue – the tip of the tongue should be resting behind the bottom front teeth. Don’t let the tongue slip back into the mouth. The sides of the tongue are supple. You will feel the sides of your tongue move very slightly as you transition from the uuuuu to the iiiii vowel.  


5. Allow for an Open Throat – inhale a quiet breath as a yawn; sense how open your throat is. Keep this space as you sing the warm-up. This sensation works in conjunction with reminder #6.




6. Allow for High Soft Palate – when you take in a “yawn” breath, your soft palate will also lift. Keep a domed soft palate when singing this warm-up.



Bonus Suggestion:


Have Fun With the Note Patterns


You may use all sorts of different note patterns when singing this warm-up.


In the video, I demonstrate a four note pattern ascending and descending, but you may use a full octave, three or five note pattern, chromatic formation, or a triad. Have fun experimenting with different patterns.


 Look to your music for ideas.


 – Does your voice sound or feel breathy? Use the Zzzuuuuiii warm-up.


 – Do you feel you placement is too far back? Try the Zzzzzuuuuiii warm-up.


 – Do you want to get your air moving while gently waking-up your voice? Use the Zzzzzzuuuuiiiii warm-up.


Have fun warming-up with the Zzzzzz-uuuuu-iiiiiii!


Let me knows how it goes in the comment section below and share this post with a singer friend!

Happy singing!



P.S. What some feedback on your singing?

Email me today for your free 30-minute singing lesson and voice assessment in studio or via skype – my email: triciapine@rejoiceinyourvoice.com

I look forward to hearing from you! 


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