Have you ever wished your voice would sound as melodic as a nightingale? Or at the very least, not break when you're attempting to reach those high notes during a karaoke night? We've all been there! Just as athletes do stretches before a big game, singers, public speakers, and that annoying friend who insists on sending you voice notes on a daily basis, all need to exercise their vocal cords before any performance. Get ready to learn the effectiveness of the 5 minute vocal warm up, you will be amazed at the results!!
Why 5 Minutes?
Let's face it, who has hours to spare to warm up? Not to mention that impatient audience waiting for you to start your epic karaoke rendition of "Bohemian Rhapsody". Believe it or not a well-structured 5 minute vocal warm up can do wonders and get you ready to bring the house down with an amazing vocal performance. Whether it's a world tour, a shower warble or a hairbrush singalong in your bedroom, 5 minutes is all it takes!! Yes, you read it right 5 minutes!!
Basic Principles of Vocal Warm-Ups
To get the show on the road, let's discuss some basic principles of our rapid-fire 5-minute vocal warm up.
Good posture is vitally important if you want to get the best from your voice. Standing or sitting up straight allows your lungs to fully expand, giving your voice its' best shot. Remember,if you want to reach those high notes, then slouching is a definite No! No!
Good breath control is essential for any singer. Always ensure that you breathe from your diaphragm and not your chest. Your stomach should expand as you inhale and contract as you exhale. Practice gently pulling your abdominal muscles in towards your spine, rest your hands on your stomach, one above the other as you do this to monitor the movement (make sure you do not pull with your hands though). Feel that you can contract and relax your abdominal muscles at will. Ensure your chest and shoulders remain relaxed and lowered throughout.
The Role of Relaxation
Stressed about hitting the right notes? Don’t be! Remain calm and relaxed and remember, do not strain to reach those notes as ultimately you will cause more harm than good to your vocal cords. By practicing the 5 minute vocal warm up regularly, you will soon be giving ’Mariah’ a run for her money.!
The 5 Minute Vocal Warm Up Routine
You’ve waited, you’ve practiced breathing correctly, now let’s delve into that miraculous 5 minute vocal warm up routine. You will be impressed with the outcome for sure.
Deep Breathing (1 minute)
Inhale through the nose and exhale slowly through the mouth. Repeat. Remember, deep diaphragmatic breaths! None of those shallow chest breaths!!
Humming (1 minute)
Start simple. With a relaxed mouth, hum up and down your range. Feel the vibrations? Sounding Good???
Lip Trills/Bubbles (1 minute)
Lip thrills are part and parcel of any singers warm up routine. Remember blowing raspberries as a baby? You can relive the experience again when doing the 5 minute vocal warm up! Breathe in deeply, and as you exhale,blow out with your lips flapping, producing a brrrrr sound while moving up and down your vocal scale.
Sirens (1 minute)
The siren exercise takes an “oooo” sound and gradually goes from the lowest note of your range to the highest and back down, like a siren on an emergency vehicle. The sound is continuous and covers the tones between the notes.
Open Vowel Scales (1 minute)
It is important to do an exercise that targets the open vowel sounds. An open vowel sound is a vowel that is pronounced with the mouth open, as the a in cat or the o in boat.
During this 5 minute vocal warm up exercise, you will use an open vowel sound and sing it ascending and descending. Continue doing this as it will greatly help your articulation, pronunciation and diction. Look in the mirror whilst doing this as you need to keep an eye on your mouth shapes as you alternate all five vowels.
Before you grab that mic and step into the spotlight to show off your rendition of Adele's 'Easy On Me' here are a few important points to remember.
Water is your vocal cords' best friend. So remember to stay hydrated! Regularly drinking water keeps your vocal cords in tip-top condition. Water helps your body produce mucus, which lubricates your vocal cords and keeps them in perfect working order.
Recognizing when to Stop
If your voice sounds like you’ve swallowed a frog( which I'm sure many of us have experienced) you might be straining too much. Croaking your way through a song will not only damage your vocal cords, your audience will not thank you for it either. Always remember, it's quality over quantity."
Consistency is the key. Practice the 5 minute vocal warm up regularly for the best results. It’s like going to the gym, the more you do it, the fitter you become.
5 minute vocal warm up! Yes, that is all the time needed to prepare your vocal cords for the stage, the boardroom, or your bathroom's fantastic acoustics. Remember, every great performer, from Beyoncé to Pavarotti know the importance of warming up before going on stage.
Now are you ready to put your 5 minute vocal warm up into effect, step out into the spotlight and let your audience hear what a real singer sounds like? Go for it!!