7 Vocal Warm Up Exercises For Your Singing Practice Sessions

Check out these vocal warm up exercises for your singing practice sessionsWhen you watch a top athlete preparing for an event you’ll notice they do a few stretching exercises before taking up their starting position. These have been specially designed to allow them to give their best performance without sustaining injuries.

Just as sportsmen and women need to warm up their bodies, so singers need to do vocal warm up exercises before singing at rehearsals, auditions or performances.

Why Are Vocal Warm Up Exercises Important?

  • They encourage a good flow of air to support your voice
  • They help your muscles relax

Your vocal cords are controlled by muscles and giving them a warm up before you sing means they move more easily and are less likely to be injured. Singing is strenuous and, without warming up, you risk straining your vocal chords.

Here are some exercises to help you stretch and relax before moving on to the vocal warm up exercises.

Rag Doll

Stand upright, feet hip width apart. Bend from your hips, arms and head dangling down. You should feel your body is floppy like a rag doll. Gently shake your arms and head and allow them to hang down again before coming gently back into an upright position.

Posture Stretch

This exercise will make sure your body is in the correct alignment before you start your singing exercises.

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  • Stand upright with your feet hip distance apart and body weight spread evenly between them
  • Have your arms by your sides
  • Moving quickly, circle your arms across your body, then above your head
  • Now go onto the tips of your toes, inhaling deeply as your arms rise
  • When you breathe out, return your arms and feet to their starting positions.
  • Make sure that your chest is raised and that you don’t allow your shoulders to come forwards. (Hold them as they were when your arms were at their highest point.)

Now you’re ready to get started on your vocal warm up exercises.

  1. Buzz and Buzz Slide (or lip roll/trill or bubble lips)

Remember to warm up your vocals before practicingBreathe out with lips puckered. You’ll feel a vibration and will produce a ‘raspberry’ sound. For the buzz slide,

  • Use the same technique
  • Slide between three tones: your base tone followed by moving up one fourth, then returning to the base tone. (do-fah-doh). In notes it would be C, F, C in C major.
  • Repeat, moving up the scale half a step each time, i.e. C# followed by F# then back to C#; D, G and back to D and then Eb, Ab and back to Eb and so on. To vary this, use syllables “oo” or “ee”.

You’ll find – using the buzz and buzz slide – that you’ll breathe in the best way to support your voice.

  1. The Fifth-SlideStart using a “wee” syllable – slide down to your base tone. (This would be G, C in C Major.)

  • Repeat using “zoo”.
  • Repeat both sounds moving up half a step each time.
  1. 5-Tone Descending Scale

Descend from the fifth tone (so, fah, mi, re, do) the first time using “na” and following this with “nay”, “noh” and finally “noo”. Keep repeating this scale starting half a step higher each time.

  1. Descending 8-Tone Scale

Similar to the five-tone, this is a bit like singing scales. Move in half steps from “do” to “do” on vowel sounds as above, or try using “m” as the consonant instead of “n”.

You should feel some upper resonance during this scale. Then try an arpeggio using “nah” “nee” then “noh” and finally “noo” on “do”, “so”, “me” and “do”. Finally, move up the scale doing the same.

  1. Octave Slide

Perform the “buzz” (described earlier) sliding up from your base for one octave, then back down. Now repeat starting half a step higher, first the buzz then “oo”.

These vocal warm up exercises for singing might seem complicated but if you keep practicing you’ll soon see the benefit and you’ll be singing at your best without the risk of damaging your voice.

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