When it comes to vocal exercises, none quite compare to the trill. The lip trill takes the place of hundreds of different exercises, used by maestros over the years, which warm up the voice, and extend the range, while keeping the weight and stress off of the vocal cords. The buzzing in the lips is sympathetic to the vibrating of the cords, but the cords don’t take the pressure, the lips do. So you can work to extend your range in the most relaxing vocal place possible.
So, how do you do lip trills work? Lip trills are basically a rapid series of /b/. It’s the sound that you make when it is cold outside, “Bbbrrrr, it’s cold!” The best way to do this exercise is to put two fingers, on each cheek (about ½ inch from your mouth) and push in, to take the weight of the skin off the face. Then, make sure your lips are as relaxed as possible, even pouty. Now, blow and let the lips flap.
If you’re still having trouble, try sticking out your tongue and blowing, as if you were a kid and didn’t like the person in front of you, “Pppfftt!” Then stick your tongue back in your mouth, and, with closed lips, try again. This should help.
Hopefully this is helpful so far. I’ll give you further instruction on how to do this and what sound you should make under this in the next post, as well as give you a scale to complete it.