This warm-up exercise wakes up the resonance of your voice. It is also excellent for examining and developing the basic vowel sounds used in singing. Repeat this exercise until you notice adifference in the relaxation of the muscles and the resonance of your voice from within your mouth and throat. When completed, be sure to sing a song and experience the difference!
1) Open your mouth and take a breath. Using a basic speaking volume, sustain a comfortable mid-range pitch, through an “NG” tongue position. To help you find this tongue position, say the word “Sing” and maintain the tongue position of the “NG”. The back of your tongue will lightly close with your soft palate. Keep the tip of your tongue resting against the back of your bottom teeth. Feel the sound vibration shimmer along the roof of your mouth and under your nose.
2) Go back and forth between the “NG” and the vowel several times slowly on one breath. Try to maintain the same resonance from consonant to vowel, using the list below. Take a new breath and repeat several times. Then go on to the next “NG-vowel” in the sequence. Use a medium volume only.
The sequence goes as follows:
1. NG-AH (wand) – or (if you’re Australian, “mum”)
2. NG-EE (Seem)
3. NG-A (Same)
4. NG-AA (Apple)
5. NG-EH (When)
6. NG-UH (The)
7. NG-I (Him)
During the last two vowels (below), be sure you do not shape your lips for the sound. This can be achieved by thinking the vowel sound and letting it naturally resonate in your mouth.
• NG-OH (Home)
• NG-Ooo (Soon)
3) Now, sing a piece you’ve been working on… and experience the difference in muscle relaxation and resonance.