Have you ever done an intense workout without warming up your body first? How sore did you feel afterwards? This is because when you skip the warm-up, your body is more prone to cramps, sprained muscles and other injuries. And your vocal cords are no different! It takes a lot of endurance to sing. That’s why singing, like any other physical activity, should include vocal warm-ups, as well as vocal cool-downs (more on this in a future blog post).
How do vocal warm-ups help?
Vocal warm-ups prepare you for the intense vibrations that come with singing. Controlled, continuous vocal exercises increase acid in the muscles surrounding your vocal folds, which helps those muscles do their jobs more effectively. (Soundfly, 2017)
Even more, warming up your voice can help with the following:
- Singing with more consistency
- Expanding your vocal range
- Reducing your chances of having voice problems overall
- Bringing your songs to life
So, what are Brionn’s favorite warm-ups?
Anything that connects your breath to your voice is going to take you far. A simple diaphragm-based, breathing exercise can help your body release tension and prepare itself to sing (with your breathing actively supporting you, not working against you).
Solfège vocal warm-ups
Solfège Scale warm-ups are an easy way to work on several technical scales. You may have heard of the Solfège Scale: do, re, me, fa, so, la, ti, do. Start at C, sing up the scale, and then back down the scale, holding on each note. This exercise helps train the ear and prepare you for resonance transitions in your vocal range. Pay special attention to your “chest voice” vs. your “head voice” (more on this later, as well).
Vocal stamina exercises
Vocal stamina exercises are useful and fun! Imagine these as the “cardio” of vocal warm-ups. Brionn, specifically, likes to challenge herself with several exercises that test her breath control and her vocal range at the same time. This exercise is meant to be done quickly so that you can improve your vocal agility. The result: finish more of your song, stay focused on breathing and reduce your possibility of getting vocally tired.
Warming up your vocals before you start working on a song is very healthy for your voice and can help make your practice time more efficient. (If you take the time to warm up, you won’t lose time during your practice hour by clearing and/or hydrating your throat multiple times.) Brionn Warner Music helps her students build confidence while singing, and this includes proper training on warming up and maintaining their vocals. Visit https://brionnwarnermusic.com/services/ to learn more.