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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.

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  1. I have recently raised an important issue with one of our choral trainers. This is in a fairly respectable choral society. My own experience is that of a school music teacher and choral singer / choir leader and organist/choirmaster. My training always treated warm ups as a priority to begin all rehearsals and concert prep.. It is second nature, and common sense. The vocal chords are, in essence, muscles.
    What polite words of advice and resources of medical advice (i.e. vocal therapy) can I give to someone who has a habit of leaving out the warm up? I have raised the issue quietly and would like to be able to give some credence to the necessity of the warm up. I have suffered voice problems myself, due to poor atmospheric conditions whilst teaching and not drinking enough water. But how do you convince someone who should know better? Something pithy and “hits you in the face” sort of advice would be really helpful. Cheers. Gerald Hird

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