What are Vocal Warmups, and how should we do them?


Every singer and singing student knows that we need to warm up our voice before we sing. However, do we really know how to do a vocal warmup? Also, do we really know what are we warming up?

“…the majority of singers are not actually fully aware of what we are warming up exactly when we do our vocal warmups.”

Many singers warm up their voice in one or more of the following ways:
1) Lip Trill and Vocal Scales
2) Singing Vocal Drills with Consonants and Vowels
3) Singing their Performance Song a few times before the actual performance

Which of the above ways do you apply in your own singing practice? And how do they actually help you to warm up your voice?

The main purpose for singers to do vocal warm ups before singing is to warm up the muscles of the ‘voice’. This is because when we sing, we usually use our vocal muscles in a much higher level of intensity as compared to when we are speaking on a day to day basis. If we sang with the same level of effort as when we speak normally, we probably would not be able to reach the high notes in a song with the required loudness and emotional intensity.

Especially for voice qualities like Opera and Belting, we want to really warm up our vocal folds and also the various other structures in our vocal anatomy, so that we are able to sing these high notes in our song, or express our emotion in our song appropriately without our voice cracking under the lack of preparation.

However, the majority of singers are not actually fully aware of what we are warming up exactly when we do our vocal warmups. For example, many singers would just repeat drills and warmup sequences that have been passed down to them by colleagues or vocal coaches, but do these drills and warm ups actually apply to our voice, and what do these warm ups target specifically?

I believe that, as Smarter Singers, we need to examine our vocal warmup exercises and drills, and notice for ourselves what each of these exercises target in our voice, and what they are warming up.

For example, when we do drills with the syllable ‘Nyeh’, we are actually warming up the muscles that allow us to twang better, and hence, for singers who are already very twangy and bright-toned, you may not need to do too many of these drills.

A lot of singers also tend to do complicated breathing exercise routines, and some even warm up their voices for 30 minutes or even an hour before a show! In my humble opinion, this might tire out your voice before you even go on the stage to perform, and this is why we need to be very aware of what we need to warm up in our voice, and design our vocal warm up routine to be customized to our specific vocal needs.

In order to be specific in our vocal warm ups, we then will need to know our voice well, and this is where it pays off to know more about our vocal anatomy, as well as how our voice works to produce the many different tones and variations in our singing and speaking voice.

The Smarter Singer beginner singer programme was designed to provide singers with a more in-depth understanding of the human voice, and also how we can use our voice in different ways, and be smarter about our voice training and how we approach singing as an art form.

Watch: Warm Up The Smarter Way! – Online Vocal Training System by Aaron Lim

Find out more today at www.smartersinger.com!

Thank you for your kind attention, and have a great day ahead!

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