Many singers think it’s unnecessary to warm up their vocal cords before singing. Others might think that singing a song will warm up the voice – on the go. This strategy is bad technique. You might find that your voice becomes tired quickly, or raspy and hoarse after singing without proper warm-ups. If you don’t warm-ups or you experience vocal fatigue or raspiness, consider the following:
Any athlete would warm up their muscles before they compete in their respected sports. Imagine a runner having to run a marathon without warming up or exercising for it. They will not achieve the results they expected. This routine is just as crucial for singers. Vocalists also use their bodies and muscles to sing notes. Therefore warm-ups and vocal exercises are just as important for singers.
Now that we know the importance of vocal warm-ups, you may ask: “but what does it help”? Warming up your vocal cords will help prepare and awaken your muscles in your throat, mouth, face and lower abdomen. By activating these muscles, we have more flexibility when we need to move between vocal registers or sing demanding notes.
You can imagine vocal warm-ups as getting your voice ready to sing. It will physically help to warm up muscles, activate the proper breathing technique and awaken the articulators and resonators. With proper warm-ups, you will be able to switch between vocal registers with less effort. In the long run, good warm-up habits will develop a voice that can sing for long-duration performances without getting tired.
Vocal warm-ups are however different from vocal exercises. Once again, like any athlete, they warm-up and then they exercise for months before the actual sporting event. Remember, vocal warm-ups will prepare and warm-up the vocal cords, whereas vocal exercises will help stretch and develop vocal control and tone. Vocal warm-ups and vocal exercises offer different objectives.
The take-home message:
Take good care of your vocal cords and become the best singer that you can be. Don’t slip into a lazy habit of just singing songs without proper warm-ups. Remember, hard work always pays off. Nothing worth having in life comes easy. At ProVocals Vocal Academy, my focus is on developing healthy singing habits with all my students.
For our registered students: To download your vocal warm-ups, please visit your ProVocals Vocal Academy student portal.
Like the ProVocals Vocal Academy Facebook Page to stay tuned for a forthcoming article about vocal exercises.