Whether you’re a professional singer or an occasional karaoke star, please bear in mind that every voice is absolutely unique and deserves to be heard. There is no right or wrong in the vocal approach; as long as it feels good to you, everything makes perfect sense. Therefore, to showcase your best vocals, warming up your voice is demanded.
Why Do You Need To Warm Up Your Voice?
We warm up our voices to keep them healthy, showcase our best sound and protect against damage. Warming up your voice allows you to sing well and comfortably extend your vocal range. Professional singers would understand how physically demanding singing can be. It demands a lot of stamina and energy to sing on stage. No different from any other physical activities, you should include a warm-up before you sing.
Vocal warm-ups and exercises could help benefit your breathing, vocal production, and your range! Your agility, pitch and overall control of your voice can therefore be more agile. These quick singing warm-ups can be done in just 5 to 10 minutes, and they should become a compulsory practice routine. Try this vocal warm-up in the morning or before starting your singing session!
8 Best Vocal Warm-Ups For Singers
There are oceans of vocal exercises options you can apply to warm up your voice. Luckily, ISEE Karaoke has helped you narrow them down. Here are nine of the best vocal warm-ups suggested by our professional users.
1. Yawn-Sigh Technique
Yawning actually helps provide a gentle stretch to the soft palate and jaw, and relaxes your larynx and abdominal muscles. After you’ve naturally yawned a few times, then exhale through your nose as if you are sighing. You can do it together with a sustained tone, for instance, an “aaahhh” at the peak of the yawn, and let it descend naturally. Make sure the tip of the tongue is placed behind the lower back teeth while doing it. This will help relax your voice and improve its range.
2. Lip Buzz / Lip Trills Vocal Warm-Up
This exercise aims to make a motorboat sound by making your lips vibrate as you blow air through your mouth and nose. First, you need to close your lips in a natural relaxed position by saying the “m" sound, then part the centre of your lips, blow a gentle stream of air and grip the corners of your mouth to get a buzz. This would help further warm up the diaphragm and muscles used for breathing when singing. They naturally activate your breath control and support and release some pressure off the vocal folds. For better outcomes, you can incorporate pitch slides as well.
Humming is one of the best vocal warm-ups because it doesn’t put a lot of strain on your vocal cords. Moreover, it’s relatively quieter and encourages your face, jaw and tongue to relax. It also helps activate your forward resonance sensation and is an easy way to determine how your voice feels that day. All you need to do is place the tip of your tongue and slide on a major second interval in your mid-range while keeping your mouth closed. Pick a note that feels easy, somewhere close to your normal speaking voice, and descend chromatically. You can also do greater slides eventually, say and try to make the hum as effortless as you can.
4. Small Runs Warm-Up with Vowels
This warm-up exercise warms up your vocal agility and articulation. So you might have to keep the tempo clean, clear and fast. Starting with some small runs or scales. You may create some runs for yourselves and use the same few runs to warm up every time. Or you may try a simple 5-4-3-2-1 (so-fa-mi-re-do) descending major or minor scale on “aa”/”ee”/”uh”/”oo” vowels. Pay attention to having sufficient space in the mouth and the tongue staying flat, wide and relaxed. If you have some time, you could repeat the same little scale a few times with consonant-vowel combos. For example, “mee”, “may'', “moo” or “nee”, ”nay”, “noo”. “m” would help to find a forward tone, and “n” resonates more in your nasal passages and “mask” area.
5. Staccato Notes Warm-Up
Staccato playing can also be described as short, perky, jaunty, or jumpy notes. It is great for agility, breath control and relaxes your vocal cords. You may begin with “hey, hey, hey, hey, hah, hah, hah”. Make sure you’re singing these notes lightly and letting out only a bit of air at a time.
6. Vocal Sirens Exercise
For this exercise, you will need to gradually go from the lowest note of your range to the highest and then go back down again with an “ooo” sound, just like a siren for an emergency vehicle. You may try it with different vowel sounds as well. This warm-up approach is to stretch your vocal cords to widen your comfortable vocal range effectively.
7. Vocal Slides
This technique is also known as a portamento, which refers to “the act of carrying” in Italian. Much like the siren exercise, you slide from one note to another in your range, but you don’t sing the in-between notes. You might want to keep widening the sliding range in every descent/slide as you are warming up until you reach your limit. This can effectively relax and warm up your vocal cords.
8. Two-Octave Pitch Glide Warm-Up
For this easy vocal warm-up, you need to glide up with an “eeee” or “ohhhh” sound, from your chest voice to head voice and then back down to chest voice. Just like yodelling, but more slowly and clearly, that you can feel your voice flipping between the two registers. You can feel and hear your transition becoming smoother as you’re doing it. This exercise trains up your vocal consistency between different registers and prevents breaking or cracking your voice.