David Willis’ MP3 singing exercises are designed to help the singer use his/her breath correctly and negotiate their range with ease.
I’ve said before that I’m not a fan of singing exercises for their own sake but rather as part of a comprehensive and immersive musical education. David Willis’ MP3 Singing Exercises only provide the exercises portion but it states on the website that singers should practice these with a good vocal coach.
There are 3 tiers of singing exercises: beginners, intermediate and advanced. They each cover increasing your vocal range with progressively more difficult exercises.
I reached out to David Willis and asked him if he’d be willing to provide a copy of his MP3 singing exercises for me to review for my readers. He kindly obliged and I downloaded his full singing exercises package. This includes the beginners, intermediate and advanced singing exercises and a PDF file of the singing exercise descriptions.
In each exercise, David Willis starts in the same key and sings the exercise himself first, then you must follow along as the exercises ascend in pitch. There are 25 singing exercises in total and 2 bonus exercises covering major and minor scales and runs and arpeggios. These singing exercises are also done with various articulations such as staccato, legato, etc.
While these MP3 singing exercises are OK, and I use a few similar ones in my vocal studio, it’s important to understand that vocal exercises by themselves don’t accomplish anything. As singers, we don’t just do random exercises because they’re supposedly good for us, we practice specific vocal exercises in order to fix certain vocal problems or help steer us towards healthier vocalism depending upon our current vocal habits. A good vocal coach will assign vocal exercises on the basis of your individual vocal idiosyncrasies, being careful not to damage the voice or entrain bodily tensions.
For instance, using a hard attack or “glottal” onset helps singers who experience incomplete vocal fold closure and a breathy tone to discover the sensations associated with bringing together the vocal cords. Thus, depending on your particular stage of development as a singer, these vocal exercises may or may not help you and may even be completely counterproductive.