4 Easy Singing Warm-Ups For Beginners
Singing requires high stamina and energy, making it physically demanding. So, as with any other physical activity, you should warm up your vocal cords before singing. A quick warm-up routine for 10-20 minutes not only protects your vocal cords but helps you sing better.
There are many great singing warm-ups to get your voice, vocal cords, and muscles ready for singing. You can start with these four warm-ups before performing or practicing to improve, develop, and protect your voice.
Easy Singing Warm-ups for Beginners
Breath control is the most vital voice exercise for singing. While we talk, we almost always use our chest for breathing. But, for singing, we need to use our diaphragm, so we need to get our diaphragms and abdominal muscles ready for physical activity.
Getting the diaphragm ready for singing, and singing from your diaphragm will provide more power and control your singing while making your tone much more expressive. There are many great warm-ups to get the diaphragm ready.
The most fundamental one is slowly inhaling and exhaling from your diaphragm for a few minutes. So, stand up straight in a proper posture, and relax your body. Your shoulders and chest should always stay relaxed during the exercise.
Start inhaling slowly through your mouth to your diaphragm for around five seconds. While inhaling from your diaphragm, you should notice your belly expanding outwards. Then start exhaling slowly for five seconds, making a hissing sound. Remember to relax your chest and shoulder all the time.
This is the most basic diaphragm warm-up, which should come as the first warm-up in your ritual. Repeat the exercise at least 10 times before moving on to different warm-ups.
Warm-ups like tongue twisters, hissing sounds, and abdominal strengtheners are great to get your diaphragm ready. You will feel your abdominals bouncing, have more control over your breath, and have a greater sense of body awareness after these warm-ups.
Humming is a great vocal warm-up as it slowly gets your voice ready without putting much strain on your vocal cords. It relaxes the facial muscles, stretches the vocal cords, and develops vocal resonance and tone quality.
To do the warm-up, place the tip of your tongue behind the bottom of your front teeth. Remember to keep your facial muscles and body relaxed all the time. Keep your mouth closed and hum a scale up and down. The sound you make should be the “hmm” sound with the jaw forward and lips closed.
While repeating the exercise at least several times, try to increase the vibration of the humming at each repetition. This way, you will relax your facial muscles even more, which releases the tension that can badly affect your vocal performance.
After completing the warm-up, you can move on to the next step. This time, do the warm-up with your mouth open while producing an “ahh” sound instead of the “hmm” sound. If you feel good, you can also hold the notes a little longer.
Of course, knowing your vocal range and choosing the right scale to warm up is also important. Men’s vocal range is often around F2 – G4 range, while women’s are in the F3 – G#5 range. However, this might vary, and it is important to know your own vocal range to get the right scales for your routine.
3. The Bubble Exercise
Lip bubbles or lip trills are some of the most common warm-ups and exercises for singers. They reduce the tension significantly, warm up the diaphragm and vocal cords, and improve breath control. The warm-up is essentially vibrating your lips rapidly while humming a scale up and down.
First, start with relaxing your lips and cheeks to make the lips trill better. With tight lips and cheeks, you won’t get a good trill. Also, lick your lips to keep them wet whenever they are dry. This way, they won’t stick and will buzz better.
Place your index fingers on the corners of your mouth to lift your cheeks upwards. This way, you will get a better buzz from your lips. But, this is not necessary if you are already experienced with the exercise; it is better if you do not use the fingers, as the warm-up will be more effective.
Then start inhaling through your nose and exhale quickly through your mouth, making your lips vibrate rapidly. The end result should be a “brr” sound. Try to use your breath wisely, only exhaling the amount necessary to buzz for longer periods.
When you get the technique right, start adding the notes to your buzz. Just like the humming exercise, buzz scales up and down. Repeat the exercise several times to relax the vocal cords, reduce the tension, and warm up your diaphragm and vocal cords.
4. Vowel Arpeggios
The vowel arpeggios exercise is a great warm-up to develop control of the mouth’s shape as well as your tone when singing. Vowels increase voice clarity, while the exercise enhances the quality of the vowel shapes, tone, and pitch while improving your breath control.
For higher vowel clarity, you have to have the right position with your tongue, lips, and jaw for each vowel. By adding this warm-up and exercise to your routine, you will improve vowel clarity, which will significantly affect your singing quality.
Start by singing the “Ah, Eh, Ee, Oh, Ooh” vowels on the same note. While holding a note, try to maintain the same tongue, lip, and jaw position for a more natural and clearer sound. Do not force any sound by changing the position.
Then try to repeat the exercise by moving the vowels a half or a full-note higher. When you feel comfortable with the positions, you can start singing the vowels on a full scale, as shown in the reference video.
Vowel clarity and control are pretty important for singing as they help with tuning, as well as increase and decrease the airflow and enhance the resonance, which makes you sound better. They also help you to have more control over your sound by allowing you to place the sound in the front, middle, or back of the mouth. So, practicing vowels is crucial for a singer.
Should I warm up my voice every time before singing?
You should always warm up before singing to protect your vocal cords and muscles, get them ready for singing, and enhance your overall singing performance. Warming up stretches your vocal cords and clears your throat while reducing the tension, which can badly affect your performance.
Why are vocal warm-ups so important?
Singing is a demanding physical activity. As with any psychically demanding activity, you need a warm-up to protect your vocal cords and muscles and get them ready for the performance by stretching your vocal cords, clearing your throat, reducing the tension, and relaxing the muscles.
Do vocal warm-ups improve your singing ability?
Vocal warm-ups significantly improve the singing ability, as they stretch the vocal cords and related muscles, help them to relax, prevent any injury, and reduce tension. They train your vocal cords and muscles to sing better and improve your vocal range and breath control.
Vocal warm-ups are a must for any singer, either beginner or experienced. They not only reduce the risk of injury, damage, or vocal loss, but they help you become a better singer by training your vocal cords and muscles, improving your range, and breath control by getting your vocal and muscles ready for the action.
By adding these four essential exercises to your warm-up routine and practicing them each time before singing, you can start to notice a big difference in your singing capability.