The lip roll takes the place of so many traditional exercises to warmup and exercise the voice, by taking pressure and strain off the vocal cords, coordinating and strengthening the vocal cords, expanding our range, and helping to erase the break between chest and head voice. Tips to make this exercise most effective:
- It should feel relaxed and free, never forced.
- Your lips should feel very relaxed, almost pouty. Try placing your fingers lightly on your cheeks and pressing in towards your mouth to get your lips to buzz most efficiently (I find it helps the majority of singers to gain the most efficiency in doing the lip roll exercises).
- Sigh into each scale by catching the lip roll on your breath as you’re exhaling.
- The tone should be slightly dopey (imagine a dopey-sounding “BUH”), not a squeezed, whiny, high larynx sound.
- Make sure the sound is clear, not breathy.
- As you move up in the scales, you should feel the resonance sitting low in your mouth at first, and then moving up higher in your face and head as the scales get higher.
- If you’re consistently having trouble with the lip roll, you can substitute the tongue trill, as it is an exercise that does very similar things for the voice.