Singers and public speakers all over the world use lips trills to warm up their voices and with good reason. The lip trill is one of the most beneficial vocal exercises you can do for your voice.
Below I will explain what the lip trill is, why the lip trill is so beneficial for your voice, and how to properly do the lip trill.
What is the Lip Trill?
The lip trill, aka lip bubbles, lip roll, blowing raspberries, or the horse sound, is the action of closing your lips together and letting air escape through them in rapid puffs to create a “brrr” sound.
Singers add notes to their lip trill to warm up their voice throughout their range.
3 Reasons why the Lip Trill is so Great at Warming up Your Voice
The lip trill connects your air support to your voice:
Your voice needs a steady stream of air to work freely and so does the lip trill. It is impossible to produce a continuous lip trill without consistent air support and therefore the exercise is perfect in warming up the steady vibration of your vocal folds.
The lip trill warms up your voice healthily:
The creation of vowels and consonants require your articulators (tongue, lips, teeth, and jaw) to move around a lot which increases the risk of vocal strain especially in your high range.
Since the lip trill does not include vowel or consonant shapes it makes it one of the best voice warm up exercises to do in the beginning of your sessions. Think of it as conditioning your voice before you dig into some of the harder vocal exercises.
The lip trill is a great tool when practicing specific vocal techniques:
Because of it’s healthy nature the lip trill is a great training tool when learning to master new vocal techniques like breathing, larynx positioning, and register management.
How To Do The Lip Trill
Watch the video or follow the steps below to learn how to trill your lips.
- Stand in front of the mirror so that you can see your face.
- Relax your cheeks and your lips. This step is important because if the lips are tight they can not trill.
- Now place your fingers on the sides of your cheeks so that your ring fingers are at the corners of your mouth.
- Push your cheeks against your teeth and slightly lift your cheeks upwards.
- Then inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth so that the air rapidly opens and closes your lips. Congratulations you trilled your lips!
- Add sound to your lip trill by first produce one long note that is comfortably in the middle of your vocal range. Then experiment with glides and melodies.
Lip Trill Troubleshooting
- cheeks filling with air: close your teeth and try pressing your cheeks more firmly agains them so that the air can only escape through the mouth.
- Lips pucker Up: If the lips are scrunched together in a puckered fashion it becomes hard for them to trill. Fix it by slightly pulling the corners of your mouth outward so that your lips stretch out.
- Tight lips: When your lips are tight your air can not push them apart to create the trill. Try massaging your your face muscles to relax them.
Lip Trilling Without Using Your Hands
You can do the lip trill without your hands by tightening your cheeks but I do not recommend it. The muscles in your cheeks are connected to the muscles in your throat and can therefore create strain in your voice. It is better to push in your cheeks with muscles that are far away like you hands 🙂
I hope this was helpful and that you can now reap the full benefits of the lip trill. Let me know how it works out in the comments below.