If I Had Only One Scale on a Deserted Island

Joe NaabVocal Exercises

hand_playing_pianoMany different piano scales are used in the fields of vocal training and singing lessons. Some are simple and some are complex. Each one has its purpose, though that purpose might change from coach to coach.

A scale consists of a musical melody played on piano, the most common of which start low, ascend to higher notes, and then descends again, returning to the original note. Others may do the reverse. Within an exercise, the scale is repeated a number of times. With each repetition, the melody is transposed either up or down, usually by a half-step, and then repeated. This allows the exercise to cover a larger range of the voice.

Ideally, you’d want to work with an exercise that is suitable to your voice type, so neither the lowest notes nor the highest notes in the exercise aren’t outside of your range, thus optimizing the efficiency of the time you spend warming up or working out. You’d be surprised how hard it is to find suitable scales anywhere online.

In my own training, I prefer simplicity in my scales. I don’t want large jumps within the scale and I don’t want anything exotic or fancy. My focus is always on doing the exercise properly. Further, I can perform the same exercise a dozen different ways and I want my attention focused on the work I’m doing.

During my first 18 months of vocal training, I often worked out with a single exercise containing one scale, the scale I call a “standard 5th”, because it goes from the root note to the 5th interval and back down again,— think “do re mi fa so fa mi re do”. Today, I work with five different scales.

However, I still love the standard 5th scale and if I were stranded on a deserted island with only one mp3 file for vocal training, this would be it. I’ve created this scale for six voice types and you can download one or all of them in the table below. Then, simply load the file into your favorite mp3 player and set it to repeat over and over.

You’ll see the file labelled as “lip trill”, but you can do any exercise to it. You will also see in the file name to lowest and highest note that you’ll encounter in the exercise as well as the intended voice type.

Feel free to download any or all. Play it on “loop” at home or in your car or anywhere you find yourself needing to workout or warm up your voice.

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Voice Type Download Link
Bass

Download zip file

Baritone

Download zip file

Tenor

Download zip file

Countertenor

Download zip file

Mezzo-Soprano

Download zip file

Soprano

Download zip file

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