Singers Who Warm Up Their Voices
- Sing with more freedom and consistency.
- Have fewer voice problems overall.
- Have a wider vocal range.
- Have more options for being expressive.
- Communicate their songs better overall.
What is a Vocal Warm-Up?
A warm up is a few fun, systematic exercises that get your physical voice, mind and ear all on the same page. An effective warm-up also helps you get comfortable throughout your full range before you sing the extreme notes in a song. A warm up can include:
Increasing temperature and blood flow in larynx, breathing system and articulators (lips, tongue, teeth) while checking for reasonable posture.
Humming and lip trills so you can physically feel the resonance in the face and head as well as the throat and chest.
To get the articulators, brain and ear on the same page.
Think of yourself as an athlete
Would you run a marathon without doing a few stretches? Your voice also needs a good warm up in order to run effectively. Professional athletes stretch, limber up and take the time and effort to prepare the mind and physical body before a game or match. Just like athletes, you need to prepare your muscles for the workout they’ll get during your practice, performance or general singing. Warming up will allow the muscles to work to their fullest potential during the time you are singing. When it’s performance time, the mind and mechanics will be already prepared which means more relaxed and meaningful singing. Warm ups also help to prolong the time you can spend singing without incurring damage to the voice. If you don’t warm up your voice before you sing, chances are you’ll burn out before you’ve reached your goal.
You can help yourself to avoid injuries
Not warming up your voice can also lead to other problems. Again, think like an athlete. They wouldn’t risk getting injuries from running without having fully warmed up and stretched out their bodies, so why would you risk vocal injuries that are preventable? Singing with a “cold” voice (meaning not warmed up) can lead to things like pushing for the high notes, or a breathy tone in the bottom. This, in turn, may lead to other problems with the voice, such as the development of polyps or nodules, which are much harder to get rid of than you think. If this goes on for a long period of time, you may even require surgery on your voice to enable you to sing again.
It will help you to get into ‘The Zone’
Warming up your voice will also give you essential time before a rehearsal or concert to prepare yourself physically and mentally. Singing scale patterns and exercises will relax your mind and help to take away any stress or anxiety you might feel beforehand. Since it helps you to relax, then when you do sing, you are free to convey the performance of the songs without worrying about why you can’t hit that high note so easily or that it feels a bit forced. So, really it’s not JUST about getting the voice ready to sing, it’s also about getting YOU ready to sing at your fullest potential.
For more warm up ideas, look at the attached idea sheets.