The trill is honestly one of the simplest and most beneficial vocal techniques that you can have in your vocal munitions. For everyday vocal exercises, it helps to ‘improve…voice quality, resonance, ease of phonation as well as breathing support’. For vocal treatment, it’s recommended and used for ‘dysphonia, vocal fatigue, recurrent laryngeal nerve paresis,’ and the dread of all singers, NODULES.
A ‘trill’ is vibrating your lips something similar to a raspberry but with vocalisation. It comes under a broader category of programs called SOVTE or Semi Occluded Vocal Tract Exercises. It also includes tongue trills and blowing through a straw or tube which is sometimes performed into water.
When you use a trill, you move the effort from your throat to your lips. You’re creating an artificial vocal fold vibration further along the vocal tract. It will help better balance subglottic air pressure when vocalising, thus better vocal economy.
These excellent researchers found that after lip trill exercises the subjects had a higher speaking/singing frequency which would mean a more efficient and optimised voice for singing and speaking. From an easy and quick warm-up technique research has shown that using lip trill will immediately relax and align your voice for singing.
I’ve used this technique throughout the day for a vocal refresher or my other preference is a siren. A Siren is more complex and needs more care to perform but for a vocal warm-up technique, it packs a punch. More about that later.
Do you use a Lip Trill? What’s your favourite vocal warm-up?
Immediate Lip Trill Effects on the Standard Diagnostic Measures Voice Range Profile, Jitter, Maximum Phonation Time, and Dysphonia Severity Index. M. Brockmann-Bauser, B. Balandat, and J.E. Bohlender, Zurick Switzerland. Journal of Voice 2019.