Magic Choral Trick #283 Lip Roll Warm Up

Lip Rolls get the breath moving, improve legato and help place the sound further forward in the mouth – and so are a great addition to any warm up.

Here’s my original post about them:

As I mention in the blog post – you can Brrrrrrr a few lines of a song to help with placement, but here’s an entertaining Lip Roll warm up exercise.

Everyone starts on the 5th. I’ll write it out here using scale degree numbers. The long underscores show that the note is sustained.

(Sory folks – haven’t yet figured out how to copy and paste Finale files onto this blog)

Barbershop version – everyone starts on exactly the same pitch – not an octave apart

Tenor 5 5 6 7 8 2 3 (2, 3 = 9, 10)
Lead 5 5 6 7 8____
Bari 5____________
Bass 5 4 3 2 1____

SATB choir version

Sop 5 5 6 7 8 2 3
Alto 5 5 6 7 8____
Tenor 5____________
Bass 5 4 3 2 1____

This exercise can be done in several different keys during the warm up – keys either ascending, or descending by half tone. For example – do it first in the key of C, then sing it in D flat, D, E flat etc.

Just a heads up though – there are always several people in every group who will quit early because they say it makes their lips too buzzy or itchy. I try to cut them some slack. Everyone else will probably be having fun, because of the slight craziness of the exercise.

About janetkidd

I've been waving my arms in front of choirs now for more than 35 years - and these are descriptions of all the very best things I've learned. I direct a Women's Competitive Barbershop Chorus, a Men's Competitive Barbershop Chorus, a Med School choir, and for a few weeks each year - Big Choir (about 100 voices) - which performs at an annual fundraising concert. Hope at least some of these Choral Magic Tricks will be useful to you - and thanks for reading. Janet

Posted on October 7, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Gordon Johnston

    Your blog posts are really helpful and thought-provoking. If you’d like a hand posting Finale clips to your blog posts, feel free to e-mail me.

  2. This is a great post. The lip roll is so powerful as an exercise. One can think of about almost all of the vocal exercises included in one. And its nice to see that some good Choral directors are using this technique to warm up their singer’s voices, thanks for the post Janetkidd!

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