Category: Warm-Ups

5 Good Reasons to Warm-Up Your Voice Before Your Sing

Singers Who Warm Up Their Voices

  1. Sing with more freedom and consistency.
  2. Have fewer voice problems overall.
  3. Have a wider vocal range.
  4. Have more options for being expressive.
  5. Communicate their songs better overall.

Any singer knows the feeling of being less than 100% sure of what’s going to come out when you open your mouth to sing. That’s one of the main reasons for anxiety in performers. One of the common causes of this uncertainty is not knowing how to do an easy, systematic and effective warm-up.

What is a Vocal Warm-Up?

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. Vocal warm-ups are fun, too. You can actually do many things during your normal day to stay voice-aware and help your instrument say in good shape.

 

Dallas Mavericks Warmup
Singers are vocal athletes. They need to warm up the same as basketball player do.
photo credit: David Herrera

Singing A Song Isn’t a Warm-Up

Professional baseball, basketball and football players don’t come running out of the locker room and start playing a game. They stretch, limber up and take the time and effort to prepare the mind and physical body before the game. When it’s game time—or performance time for singers, the mind and mechanics are already prepared which means more relaxed and meaningful singing.

A Good Warm-Up Includes

Warming Up
Increasing temperature and blood flow in larynx, breathing system and articulators (lips, tongue, teeth) while checking for reasonable posture.
Making Sounds
Humming and lip trills so you can physically feel the resonance in the face and head as well as the throat and chest.
Diction Exercises
To get the articulators, brain and ear on the same page.

Powerful Tools from Vocal Coach

No matter what your style good vocal warm-ups are necessary, but most singers really don’t know what to do. We’ve made that part easier by putting together easy-to-use CD’s that apply to any style.

We have three categories for you to choose from:

  • Complete Warm-Up answers the question, “Why and how do I warm up my voice?” After a few principles and explanations you interact with a series of fun, and very effective exercise with great orchestrated accompaniment in a number of styles.
  • Daily Workouts (High Voice and Medium/Low Voice available) are just exercises; no teaching. They will warm you up, work you out and challenge in a number of fun and creative ways.
  • Ultimate Choir Warm-Ups are 1, 2, 3 & 4 part exercises that let you harmonize with the Vocal Coach Singers as well as those you sing with. It’s great for warming up the voice and fine-tuning the ear for singing with any size group. Available in 2 volumes for lots of variety.

All Vocal Coach CD’s can be downloaded in a matter of minutes from the vocalcoach.com store or ordered as physical product.

The Bottom Line

Don’t risk unpredictable or anxiety-filled performances. Practice Makes Permanent, and if you practice regular warm-ups before you sing as well as on off days you will be a better singer in every way.

What are your favorite warm-ups? Tell me in the comments.

Is it safe to Sing and Drive?

It’s not unusual to see someone singing while driving. Sometimes you even see full on performances in the car ahead of you with everything but lighting and props.

A few years ago I bought, a bumper sticker that read “Caution: Driver Singing.” The real warning is, “Look out! This person isn’t focusing on driving. They’re performing a song.”

So, while the sticker is primarily intended as humor there is a good side of this: The car is a great place to practice. For many, it’s the ONLY place to practice without being interrupted. “But,” you might say, “wouldn’t it be better to be standing while singing?” The truth is you should be able to sing while sitting, standing, running across the stage or . . . driving.

You should also be equally comfortable singing wearing everything from wedding attire to a swimming suit and T-shirt. After all, the song is coming out of you, not the clothing. So, think through the correct technique get in a good warm-up and SING anywhere you can do it safely. (No texting while singing and driving, please.)

Is Singing In The Car Ok For The Voice?

WANT TO HEAR THE AUDIO VERSION OF THIS BLOG? Click here:  Blog-WarmingUpInCar_011612

Great Email Question

I got a great email question that asked this: “Chris, I bought the Vocal Coach series from you at a workshop you gave. You mention warming up while driving to rehearsal/gig. I thought I had heard not to do that. Is it ok to do that so long as posture is correct?”  This is a super question because it deals with real life for a singer.

Ideal vs Reality

Let’s start with this: The “ideal” warm-up/practice scenario would have you peaceful and quiet, undisturbed. You are rested, have eaten well and have just read something relaxing.  Maybe even had a string quartet playing during your meal. I’m not being sarcastic. Superstars like Luciano Pavarotti and Michael Jackson traveled with their own chef’s, food supply and, in the case of Pavarotti, entertainment.

Muscle Memory

Most singers who wait, and only warm-up and practice in perfect, ideal situations often just don’t do it. The result is that they don’t develop the muscle memory necessary for good singing.

Is Warming Up in the Car Ok?

I have sung all over the world and sometimes the only place I knew I could really “get away” to think and warm-up was in a rental car. Pavarotti and Jackson I am not, but I do know what my voice and mind and emotions feel like when I’m fully ready to perform and I’ll do about anything to make that happen. If you’re a choir or worship team member and the car is your only time to focus, put in a Vocal Coach Warm-Up or Daily Workout CD and go for it. The goal is to be ready.

If you do end up warming up in a car:

  1. Make sure the rear-view mirror is positioned comfortably high requiring you to sit tall to see out the back window.
  2. Keep your hands at the One and Three O’clock positions on the steerting wheel.  It will stabilize your chest and ribs in a comfortably expanded position.
  3. Have a goal of physically feeling a free, rich tone since road noise, air conditioning etc. may make accurate hearing challenging.
  4. Don’t try to out-sing the car noise. Instead, sing smart.  If you begin to strain, back off and recheck posture, breathing and tone. If you aren’t solid in those foundations make a plan, get some materials personal training and learn to do it right.

Ten Minutes Is Much Better Than Nothing

What it your schedule or situation doesn’t allow for a good warm-up?  That’s where muscle memory and experience kick in and get you through, but it’s not something to get comfortable with.  Those who do ultimately pay the price of sloppy, unpredictable performances. There is always some time to do humming and lip-trill exercises even if it’s while you’re in the shower and getting ready.

Summary

Do all you can to assure regular warm-up and practice times in ideal surrounding.  When that can’t happen, make sure to still prepare your voice and heart even if you need to hide in the janitor’s closet or a car to do it.

Got a Question You Would Like Answered?

Just email me at chris@vocalcoach.com and put “Question” in the subject.

What Is The Lip-Trill or Bubble Exercise? & Dallas area, here we come.

THE LIP-TRILL MYSTERY SOLVED (with Audio Demonstration)! 

Recently, I’ve been getting a lot of questions regarding one of the most powerful vocal exercises any singer or speaker can do: THE LIP-TRILL, BUBBLE or MOTOR exercise.

Before you listen to the audio link below prepare your mind with these thoughts:

1. The lip-trill is done naturally by all babies and toddlers. Yes, YOU did it when you were younger!

2. It brings an awareness of the many parts of the face and head that are involved when you speak and sing.

3. It is the safest way to venture into your highest notes without straining or pushing.

4. It helps the body produce the right lubrication for the leading edges of the vocal folds.

5. It serves as a natural decongestant since it helps vibrate loose any thick mucus in the sinuses and nasal passages.

6. This exercise is so freeing you may literally open up entire new areas of your voice.

How important is the Lip-Trill? I have all my students sing their songs on the lip-trill sound to discover how the song SHOULD FEEL when they sing it.

CLICK HERE: Lip Trill Demo by Vocal Coach Chris Beatty

 

 

DO YOU LIVE ANYWHERE NEAR DALLAS/PLANO?

Has Your Voice Had A Tune-Up Lately?

Join us Saturday, November 12 from 9:00-Noon for a live, interactive Vocal Coach Workshop.

  • LIMITED TO 15 STUDENTS.
  • LIVE VIDEO FEED BETWEEN CHRIS BEATTY IN THE VOCAL COACH STUDIO IN TN & YOU IN THE VOICE KITCHEN STUDIO IN PLANO.
  • A WONDERFUL AND INEXPENSIVE WAY TO GET THE PERSONAL ATTENTION YOU NEED TO BE YOUR BEST.

Please click here for more details and to sign up: Vocal Coach Workshop at the Voice Kitchen, Dallas.

The voice Kitchen is located at:   7005 Chase Oaks Blvd., Suite 250, Plano, TX 75025

Have Questions?  Just call Jill at 469-383-8885