5 Easy And Effective Vocal Warm Ups To Do Before Every Singing Session
Just like an athlete warms up before running a race or starting a game, a singer also needs to warm up his or her voice before singing actual songs. That way it’s easier to sing in pitch and reach all the notes you’re supposed to. It’s also a lot more fun to sing when you feel that your voice is working well!
In order not to strain and potentially damage your voice, it’s important that you start your exercises lightly, and as you feel the muscles and the voice become more relaxed and flexible, add more power.
Before you start warming up your voice, it’s a good idea to first warm up your body and to make sure you release any kind of extra tension you may have in your body.
Start by standing up on your toes and stretching your arms up toward the ceiling as if you’re actually trying to reach the ceiling with your finger tips. Then, bend your knees and let your upper body fall down toward the floor. Let your head and cheeks hang down. Then slowly, start raising your upper body to a normal, upright position. Lower back first, neck and head last. Good!
To release tension in your shoulders and neck, roll your shoulders around, first in one direction and then in the other. Remember to breathe while doing this. Then gently stretch your neck by letting your head hang down to one side. Then the other side.
Now let’s get started with the actual vocal warm ups!
1. The Lip Roll
This is many singer’s favorite exercise! Put your lips against each other and start singing a brrr. Keep your throat relaxed, don’t let too much air out and slide freely from low notes to high notes and back down. Start with smaller slides and gradually move to bigger ones.
2. The Go Go
The second exercise is for warming up the upper range of your voice. Start in your head register and sing go go, using a three or five tone major scale. Be sure to emphasize the g – it helps the vocal cords to connect and produce the sound. You can also try this exercise on a gi.
3. The Hey!
After this, it’s time for the lower range of your voice. The easiest way is to start with a hey!, like you’re talking. Do this on different pitches. Gradually, add more strength. Then slide, both up and down on different notes. Only sing as high as you can comfortably without straining.
4. The Cry
To be able to move smoothly from low notes to high notes and to sing with power, you need to warm up the pharyngeal resonators as well. Try crying like a baby, using a really narrow sound. Sing woaah and try to get it to sound as babylike as you can. You can also try it with vocal fry. Slide up and down from low to high notes and the other way around. Use your whole vocal range. This is not supposed to sound pretty!
5. The Muh Muh
The last exercise is to sing in mixed voice, where you blend chest and head voice together, creating a powerful but non-straining sound. Do this on a muh muh or meh meh. Use a little bit of the baby-like narrow resonance you tried earlier. When you sing lower notes, add the chest resonance from the hey exercise and when you sing higher notes, add the head resonance from the go go exercise. Try singing this on a major triad scale and gradually move higher and higher and then back down.
Now you’re ready to start singing actual songs! It’s much more enjoyable now that you’ve warmed up your voice and you can sing with ease. Enjoy your singing!
About the author:
Besides being a performing artist and songwriter, Linda Lampinen is also a voice teacher and the owner of Laulutunnit Tampere, a singing school in Tampere, Finland. If you live in the area and you want long lasting results in the fastest and most fun way possible, be sure to visit www.laulutunnittampere.fi