How To Start Singing Runs Right Now: The Complete Roadmap

Picture this:

You sing along the lines from Celine Dion’s I Surrender All. There you go and, suddenly at the bridge, you are out of breath.

After a few trials:

You record your singing and play it back. It sounds all too flat or just plain. 

So you ask:

How do Celine Dion and other Runs singers make this look so easy?


In this article, you’ll discover exactly how to sing runs, how to implement them in any song, and level up on your vocals.

Shall we?

First Few Things To Know Before Proceeding To Singing Runs

Now, get this:

You cannot exactly sing runs without basic knowledge. But don’t fret cause I’ve got you covered. Let’s get started.

What Are Runs?

A vocal run is a melodic line that moves rather swiftly, alternating in-between tones and semitones. This vocal technique requires a great deal of skill to ensure each line is in tune and enunciated clearly.

You see:

The human voice is very much like a musical instrument, and it requires a great deal of effort to play. 

But this is different:

With the vocals, you know the key, you have it in your head. However, your vocal cords in their raw state could produce the wrong thing. Either too sharp or too flat. 

This is where the problem lies with runs and riffs: 

What Do You Need To Kickstart Your Journey As A Run Singer?

Think about Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, Madonna, Charlie Path, and Teddy Pendergrass among other run singers.


Before delving into runs, you need to be familiar with basic music theory. Likewise, you must have an excellent understanding of your voice.

Here’s why:

Having the above enables you to set realistic music goals. Imagine having a voice like Dua Lipa and your goals happen to be singing the whistle notes in Mariah Carey’s Emotions

How will that ever work out?

To be fair:

Both Lipa and Carey are amazing singers, but their vocal ranges differ greatly.


After a complete understanding of your vocal range and vocal goals, you may need an instrument to go further. It could be anything, a flute, a guitar, ukulele, piano et cetera.

Here’s why:

Instruments have the precision to the intended notes and ordinarily, the human voice does not. 

But wait:

What if an instrument is not available to you at the moment? Well, you could always get makeshift applications from Google play store, Apple play store, Microsoft store et cetera.

Practical Steps To Take To Start Voicing Runs

So, here:

The first thing you should do is pick out the song you would love to use for your practice.

Say Mariah Carey’s Emotions:

Listen to the song. Pay attention to the riffs and runs. Learn every lyric. And practice singing at the same speed. 

Don’t worry if you are mixing them all up:

The goal is just to have the song in your head. Also, you could record yourself voicing along with the song. And at the end of the day, you can play it back to know just where you have to work right on.

Done with that? Well, the real work begins now.

  • Transcribe the song with your instrument.
  • Take things slow; AI
  • Practice non-stop

Transcribe The Song With Your Instrument

As previously mentioned:

Instruments have the precision that human vocals do not ordinarily have. As a result, if you try voicing the runs, you could find yourself going flat multiple times.

To fix this:

  • Take the runs in the line of the song byline.
  • Play out the melody with your instrument. 
  • Once you have your sheet music, hum the runs as you play out the melody on your instrument.

Psst: For a demo, see how to write a melody on the piano in this video tutorial by Pianote.


This serves as a guide to your vocals. Continue in this fashion until you can cover the entire run done in whatever song you choose

Sooner or later:

You’ll come to a stage where you can cover the runs in your chosen song without going flat or off-key. And when you get there, switch from just humming to actually singing to the melody.

Now, here’s the tricky part;

While some beginners find it relatively easy to ace the singing after this, others might not. This is because runs are usually fast, so attempting to put those dynamics in actual words is more difficult than humming.

And that brings you to the next point:

Take Things Slow; AI

Science is your friend:

The problem with vocalizing runs would, more often than not, be with the tempo. Luckily, there are a plethora of programs and apps you can use to fix this.

Get one of the apps and do this:

  • Put the song in the app or program.
  • This is to slow down the song without changing the key of the song. 
  • You can then sing the runs at the slowed tempo and continue to increase the tempo as you progress.

Psst: See this video for professional guidance from Chick Corea on how to improve rhythm and timing.

And that’s just it. 

Simple? Not really. But it is not impossible.

Well, here’s my final tip:

Practice Non-Stop

This is the thing with singing runs: 

You cannot expect to learn it in a single song and quit. No, it does not work that way.

Here is the thing:

This vocal technique is very dynamic. If you are going to gain a mastery of singing runs, you need to practice as many running techniques as you can find. Practice till you drop.


Always remember to set out realistic goals that your vocal range can handle, however, do not limit your vocals.

Pss: In the next video by Jacob Vocal Academy, discover powerful riffs and run exercises you should do every day.



A lot of musicians have their forte and that vocal technique that makes them stand out. If your singing isn’t spiced up by out-of-the-ordinary vocal techniques, you may not really progress as a musician. 


In this article, I have explained the essentials of a major vocal technique and now, you know just how to sing runs.


If you need more guidance or have further questions, I am right there in the comments below just for you.

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