Vocal Warm-Up: 3 Must Haves
Updated: Aug 4
Whether to warm-up or not is an eternal dilemma for many singers. Over the last 20 years coaching beginners, semi-professional singers and touring artists, I have come to the conclusion that warming-up the voice is often neglected as part of the vocal routine.
Singers have different opinions about the necessity and efficasy of warming-up. Those who enjoy doing it will tell you that it helps to open up their voice. And they warm-up religiously! Those who skip it have all kinds of excuses including claims that it's too time consuming or that there's no use for it. Some even say that it takes away from their performance by fatiguing their voice prematurely.
It's not that warming-up is damaging for your voice; on the contrary, warming-up is essential to increase blood flow to your vocal cords and prepare you for singing. Just like athletes stretch before a run instead of diving right into it, gentle vocalizes prepare muscles involved in singing. With a well-planned warm-up routine, not only are you establishing positive muscle memory in preparation for singing, you are also working on correcting bad habits. Omitting this from the process is like doing the split without stretching your muscles first. If you're lucky (and already super flexible) it might work! As for your voice, it might turn out okay too. But if not, your voice is gonna be all over the place. You are making yourself vulnerable to mistakes or worse, vocal injuries.
When this happens, the opportunity to work on specific aspects of your singing is lost.
Managing your breathing, balancing your tone, hitting high notes and singing louder is a challenge unless mastered during simple exercises first.
How is the ability to transfer basic vocal technique to songs even possible with the addition of words, complicated melodies and intricate rhythms?
When you go straight to your performance without warming-up, your muscles are stiff. That makes you tense and limits your skills.
You begin making mistakes and start feeling self-conscious about singing in tune and hitting high notes.
Your confidence takes a hit.
You can't connect to the emotional content of your song and loosen up to enjoy yourself during a live performance because your mind is focused on vocal technique.
You struggle to engage and interact with the crowd and make new fans because your voice is holding you back.
The good news is that a simple warm- up routine can turn this situation around. If you believe that warming-up the voice hurts your vocal cords, you couldn't be more wrong unless you are not using the right exercises or you don't know how to do them properly. I'm worried that your singing would be at an even greater risk of vocal injury. Make a change!
Here are 3 essentials to include in your warm-up:
1) Breathing exercises
2) Working on placement and tone
3) Connecting registers
What most singing teachers won't tell you is that it's not so much the exercises you use that will benefit your singing but how you do them. I have a 10-minute process that I use every day to warm-up with my clients during in-person or online singing lessons. It's so short that it's not even worth skipping. It effectively relaxes laryngeal muscles, opens up the voice and prepares for scale exercises before actually singing songs.
I share the foundation behind this warm-up in my FREE masterclass "The 5 Step-Strategy My Clients Use To Sing Higher, Louder and Effortlessly".
Do you want to sing better fast? Warming-up correctly is a positive step in the right direction. Fast track your success and live the life of your dreams:
Warm-up to warming up,