Why do I need to warm up if I sing every day?


Good morning all you beautiful singers/teachers of singing! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Once again, the weather up here in Northern New Jersey was just stunning. It's almost too good to be true. Mother Nature, keep it coming!!

So this weekend I had a gig with the band I am singing in, The Savoy Stompers. By the way, they are just amazing. I hadn't sung with a band for about two years prior to joining this talented group of singers and players, and I am so happy they hired me. The band leader is one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. And the entire band is supportive and fun to work with.

A couple of the other singers and I were waiting to have our sound check. As I was sitting there, I didn't want to let my voice get cold so I began doing some basic humming and lip trills. I love doing lips trills, and humming keeps the resonators opened up.

One of the singers commented that "You probably don't need to warm up if you are singing everyday right? I immediately went into "vocal coach" mode and explained why it is so important to warm up your voice everyday, even if you are singing everyday.

First off, yes your voice may be in a better place if you are singing everyday, and may not need as extensive of a vocal workout as you would need if you weren't singing daily. But, the voice needs to be gently coaxed into action before hitting a long set of songs, such as what we do in my band.

My vocal warm up consist of getting the breath moving first. This can be done with lip trills or what we call "raspberries" which I love even more than lip trills. Then I move on to descending exercises in head voice. The exercise called the "Vocé Cuperto" on my my instructional DVD/CD "Let Your Voice Soar" is a perfect example of an exercise that is gentle but very effective in accessing head voice right off the bat.

Once I feel the head voice start to open up, then I'll move onto more full voiced exercises such as the "Alleluia" or Bella "Signora"
arpeggio scale on the instructional CD. Then I will finalize my warmup with something like the "Meow" exercise built on a 5, 8, 5, 3, 1 scale.

After I've warmed up, I find it is really beneficial to run through a couple songs at half voice, later opening up to full voice for just a brief period. Obviously we don't want to spend our voice before a performance. But by doing a nice warmup and then a few passes of a song or two, you will be in much better shape for a performance than if you went in with a cold voice.

Singing on cold vocal folds is really asking for trouble. It's like asking your body to run a 5K run without stretching. No athlete in their right mind would run a long distance without a good warm up and stretch. So why would a singing athlete ask their voice to perform for a long period without a good vocal warm up?

If you have any questions about this topic, please feel free to write me at jeff@voicesaoring.com.

Or leave a comment in the comment section below. Keep singing and "Let Your Voice Soar"...............but warm up first!!!

Jeffrey Stanfill