Warming up for at least fifteen minutes every day is important for those who sing, to aid diction, projection, and breath control. The quick and easy warm up exercises, that this article suggests, can also be done by those who do not consider themselves to be singers but want to improve vocal quality, breath control, diction, and projection for the speaking of lines, however the article focuses on singers mostly. The vocal warm ups below, are just a few ways to help a singing performer and they can fit into a succinct fifteen-minute daily routine. This will have your voice shining and sweet!
Relaxation: Vocal Warm Ups
Relaxation exercises help the vocalist to rid themselves of tension in the muscles. Also, tension can affect the vocal quality, so the following exercises are designed to help the vocalist combat tension and be relaxed. Vocal warm ups help eliminate tension.
- The Flop Over: Inhale a breath of air through the nose and allow hold it in the diaphragm for approximately five seconds. Whilst doing this, raise the arms slowly towards the ceiling. Next flop over towards the floor, exhale and release on an “aahhh” sound. Bend the knees slightly and “swish” from side to side keeping the whole body loose and the neck floppy. After about fifteen seconds, slowly start to come back up starting from the knees and finishing with the head.
- Shoulder rolls: Roll the shoulders backwards and forwards to release tension in the shoulders and neck and to keep the spine relaxed. Repeat this routine about 10 times.
- Massage A favourite with lots of people! With a partner, massage the muscles in the shoulders. If willing, a whole body massage can be done occasionally if time permitting. The individual can also massage his or her own body including the face. The massage relieves tension and also aids blood circulation.
Breathing Exercises: Vocal Warm Ups
Breath control can be worked on in this section of the warm up. It is important for the vocalist to breathe properly and the following exercises help with this. When practicing it is vital that the performer does not raise the shoulders because raised shoulders carry tension. Inhale through the nose, hold your breath in the diaphragm and exhale through the mouth. If inhaling through the mouth is more comfortable and exhaling through the nose is easier, then so be it.
- Empty the lungs of excess air and then inhale for five seconds, hold for five seconds and exhale for five seconds. Gradually exhale for 10 seconds, then 15 seconds then 20 seconds if possible. The individual should only attempt to exhale for an amount of time that is personally achievable and the exercise is only done right if the diaphragm starts to feel slightly uncomfortable. Do not carry on exhaling the breath past 20 seconds.
- Semi-supine position:The semi-supine position is also a great relaxation method. Lie with the back on the floor and close eyes. Put hands on the diaphragm and breath in and out. The great thing about this exercise is that the performer needn’t worry about the shoulders being raised because the shoulders cannot be raised whilst lying down. Stay in the position whilst breathing in and out for about 2 minutes. Slowly role onto one side and stay there for about 30 seconds then slowly sit up and stay sitting for about 10 seconds then finally stand up. The reason for this exercise involving slowly getting up is to prevent blood rush to the head.
Vocal Exercises: Vocal Warm Ups
Vocal exercises include some singing. These help warm up the vocal cords and prepare them for what is to come whilst allowing the vocalist to use some of the breathing techniques used in the previous section of the warm up.
- Humming: Breathe in for five seconds, hold for five seconds and breathe out for five seconds gradually bring the exhalation into a humming”maaaaaaaaaa…….” sound. Other humming sounds such as “meeeeeeee” and “maaaaaaaayyyyyy” can be used. Stop the exhalation depending on individual comfort or at 20 seconds. Repeat the exercise about 3 times.
Articulation Exercises: Vocal Warm Ups
Diction (also known as articulation) involves the proper pronunciation of words and sounds. Often people will miss out on important letters and sounds in their everyday vocabulary, this can affect the clarity of their singing. It is important to do exercises to improve diction regularly.
Tongue twisters such as “she sells sea shells…” are a great way of practicing pronouncing those powerful letters, in this case, the “S”. Other powerful letters include “D”, “B”, “T and “P” and so on. Sometimes a person’s accent can be responsible for the removal of certain sounds and letters. In most cases, they do not notice that they are dropping letters and sounds off sentences until somebody brings this to light.
It is possible for a performer to be clear and have excellent diction whilst putting on an accent, in which the dropping of letters and sounds is considered normal. Dick Van Dyke, when he put on his famous cockney accent in the movie musical Mary Poppins, remained clear, whilst conforming to the unwritten rules of dropping letters and sounds of the accent. “Ow it’s a jolly ‘oliday wiv Mayry”, (written phonetically) shows how the line in the song, would be pronounced; however with a daily vocal warm up the potential for the line to be understood by the audience is increased because the diction is still there.
Conclusion On Vocal Warm Ups
I hope I helped you with your Voice! Warming up is super important for your voice and I’ve laid out 4 different easy techniques for vocal warm ups. To get the best use out of your voice, warming up is a great thing! One of the bets things you can do, share. itwith your friends it’s a great help!