How to Hum: 3 Immense Variations, Sing With A Great Sounding Voice

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I had a new student start the other day…

So as always as we were going through what he had done in the past so I could get a better picture of how to help him…

I ask him, how he warmed up his voice before he sang.

He looked at me, you could see he was starting to look all stressed…

As he had tried for years to get the lip trill working so that you could warm up his voice properly…

And had never achieved it, as a result, he didn’t really warm up his voice!

I said to the dude, have you ever just thought of doing a hum instead of the lip trill?

No, he said as they are not the same thing…

I said they are both great warm up sounds…

Both help to create a balance between the vocal folds and the breathing…

I would say the lip trill is better for a student that sings with a lack of energy in their voice,

But the hum is far better at getting a forward tone with a fuller more resonate sound.

So for you lets use the m hum, after all, they are just the warm up we should once we are warmed up move onto…

Vowels and consonants as that is what we sing on…

So did I manage to teach him how to lip trill? (I will tell you in a minute but more importantly)…

So I taught him in about a minute how to do the second hum on your list below (also covered in the video).

 

So in the video “How to Hum”, I go over my 3 favourite types of hum.

 

#1 The Everyday Hum

The first one is what I would call my everyday hum, although I do like to mix it up regularly so as to keep my voice flexible. Doing the same vocalize day in and day out is not a cool thing, as it will lead to a ridged voice.

The tip of the tongue is placed on top of the bottom teeth and is touching the bottom lip, the tongue is relaxed, not forced there just placed. The teeth are not touching and the jaw is free to hang open a little. From here, a small amount of air is let out of the nose, as if you were about to blow your nose. The resonance (the buzzy feeling) should then be felt to strike the top lip and under the nose cleanly. Check out my video on onsets here as this will show you how to get the resonance striking correctly, the correct term for this is onset or the attack.

#2 The Tongue Hum

The second hum is the same as above, except with an added twist that the tongue is now sticking out a little this will help those of you that have tongue tension. This will really tickle the tongue when done correctly, sorry about that!

 

#3 The Tongue Hug Hum

Onto the last hum, to feel the correct placement of the tongue simply swallow (this can also be noticed first thing in the morning as it’s the normal resting place of the tongue when you sleep). The tongue hugs the roof of the mouth (some of the hard palate) and the tip is touching the front top teeth. Again allow a little air out of the nose to start with to get a good clean onset (remember to refer to the video on this here) and feel the resonance (buzzing feeling) hit the cheekbones.

So did I manage to teach my new student how to do the lip trill…

Sure I did…

But some people find it really hard and we had to go through several steps to get him there!

So there you have it, three great variations of the humble hum! Go and have fine with them, master them and they will be your best friends on your vocal journey to becoming the best singer that you can be.

This is vocal coach Dylan signing out Yo!
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