Warming up your own way

15250-a-young-woman-stretching-outdoors-before-exercising-pvEveryone has their own way of warming up to sing. Because I’m an analytical teacher with a tendency to overthink,  I need to direct myself toward more primal, spontaneous sounds to get my singing self going. Orderly sequences of scales and arpeggios are great for the heart of a practice session, but not for the first vocalizing of the day. Very often as I start to improvise on pitch patterns, I end up with pentatonic scales and riffs. After I’ve played a bit all over my range, mostly with my favorite vowels (/a/ and /o/), I’ll sing lines with words. Then I am ready to practice, if it is that time of day. However, oftentimes the warmup is all that happens, since I am in a car or walking down a street and have to move on to something else.

I am not a fan of the very popular “semi-occluded” exercises for myself, but they are helpful and comforting to many other people. Some people will do a lot of these or other specific exercises every time they warm up. Others will sing certain songs or solfeggio patterns. There is no one right warm-up for everyone. Just make sure that it’s easy, fun, and more experimental than judgemental.


2 Replies to “Warming up your own way”

    1. Hi Stuart,

      Thanks for writing. I have found that they tend to be most enjoyed by higher voices. There is one I like for myself, which is a “V” treated similarly to the “knoll” in the Stemple vocal function exercises. Generally, I prefer to do something like singing to prepare for singing. Vocalizing with an occlusion is so radically different that I only use it if I’m totally overblowing at my folds or need to warm up in a quiet place. Excessive subglottal pressure is rarely my issue, so exercises to minimize it don’t get me anywhere.


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