Whether you are a professional singer or a beginner, voice warm up exercises should form a part of your daily singing regimen. There are numerous benefits associated with voice warm up exercises, and most singers and instructors will vouch for the efficacy of a warm up session to alleviate muscle tension and improve voice strength and quality. Ideally, a warm up session should last for 20 minutes. It should be started after drinking lots of fluids to lubricate and moisturize the vocal chords.
A major benefit of vocal warm up exercises is the increase of the blood flow to the organs of articulation. A good start to a warm-up session would be relaxation exercises that prepare you mentally and physically. The other procedures should include breathing exercises, pitch exercises and exercises that improve vocal strength. Over time, you will be able to develop a regimen that suits you the best.
But if you are just starting out your instructor may be able to advise you on warm up exercises specific to your level of expertise. Even though there isn’t a rule to picking warm up exercises, you will be more comfortable with certain exercises over the others. Voice warm up exercises should start at the mid-range to minimize the possibility of damage and then gradually move towards the extremes. There is certainly no shortage of online sources and books that will give you all the information that you are looking for. But if you want to develop your personalized set of voice warm up exercises you may want to get the services of a voice professional.
Some of the Common Exercises include:
Sighing Yawning: This is one of the simple voice warm up exercises where you yawn normally inhaling deeply with your shoulders, jaw, and tongue relaxed and then exhale with an audible sound.
The Hmmm Sound: This exercise involves starting the hmmm sound at a comfortable pitch but changing it to aah as you proceed.
The Straw Technique: You should start by inhaling as you yawn but purse your lips together to breathe out through the straw.
Vocal Exhalation: Start by inhaling deeply once your lungs are full expel the air with a sudden sharp contraction of the abdominal muscles, the result will be exhalation with a distinct ‘huh’ sound.
Vowel Sounds: A good exercise to relax the jaw and to improve pitch range is to sing various combinations of consonant and vowel sounds at different scales ranging from low to high and vice versa.
Tongue Twisters: Another way is to use common tongue twisters like ‘she sells sea shells on the sea shore.’ The aim while performing this exercise should be to avoid tension in the articulators ( tongue, palate, lip and throat). You can then try to experiment with different pitch levels.
Benefits of Voice Warm Up Exercises
Singing is the same as exercising. An effective warm up routine is required to be able to perform well. For this reason, it is essential for a singer to warm up the vocal cords before any performance, to endure the strains that singing can, at times, deliver. Listed below are more valid reasons as to why it is important for a singer to undertake warm up exercises before any performance:
1. To Get In Touch With Oneself
It is important that a singer is both psychologically and physically conditioned to the task of singing. In doing so, the singer will be able to deliver better notes and feel the song. A beautiful rendition of a song is not only because the singer sang it well, but also because they sang it with the right emotions overflowing.
2. To Energize Oneself
Doing voice warm up exercises gives the singer the required strength in their voice to execute high notes. The singer will certainly fall short of breath without this energy and lack the ability to sing song after song.
3. To Loosen Up The Muscles
It is usual for a singer to articulate before giving a performance, to loosen their jaws, lips, and tongues so that they can correctly pronounce the words of the song. This also assists their expiratory airflow system.
4. To Eliminate Vocal Injuries
Many people are not aware of the fact that injury can be caused to the vocal cords when they are not correctly warmed up. If a series of songs are sung that require high notes, then severe injury can be a result of not warming up correctly. Of course, no singer wishes to attain injuries, as it would mean that they cannot sing again until the vocal cords are healed.
5. To Obtain a Nice Vocal Timbre
A singer is not only prepared when they have undertaken warm ups, but they can also serve as a training method for the achievement of an even more melodious voice. The pharynx can also be shaped and formed in the correct way when the warm up exercises are undertaken frequently.