7 Tips To Warm Up Your Voice For A Performance
There’s nothing worse for a vocalist than having to sing in the morning. Your range is limited, breathing is tricky, and you’re mouth feels stiff. Thankfully, there’s plenty of tried and true methods to get your voice back to its best. Think of vocal warm-ups as a morning cup of coffee. Once it’s done, you’ll be ready to face the day and raring to go.
These are 7 sure-fire tips to warm up your voice for performance.
The Yawn Sigh
The Yawn-Sigh is a low-effort technique that will relax your voice and make hitting those high notes a lot easier later on when you’re performing. First, keep your mouth closed and breathe in air. Then, slowly let the air out through your nose. It should sound like you’re sighing. Repeat until your breathing is routine and you feel comfortable.
The Lip Trill
The lip trill or lip buzz is a widespread technique for vocalists. It sounds a bit weird, but don’t worry, it’s well worth the strange glance you’ll cop from your housemate. Begin by vibrating your lips together and making a buzzing sound. If you sound like a motorboat, you’re doing it right.
Stay on the same pitch and keep buzzing. You’ll begin to hear your tone strengthening and gaining control. Be sure to keep your breathing consistent. Once your vocals are feeling warm, feel free to begin sliding your pitch around. See how high and low you can get. It’s worth warming up your falsetto range as well.
Here’s the most important one. Starting slowly, begin humming from your lowest note, and move up note by note until your reach your peak. Then, move into your falsetto range. Then, climb back down again. A trick to stay focused is to count a basic rhythm in your head and move up the notes with it. It’s crucial that you deescalate from the scale as well so that your vocals runs are warmed up, regardless of whether moving into your low or high register.
When you feel warmed up, continue practising your scale but gradually increase its tempo. See how quickly you can hum every note in your range. What you’re listening for are smooth note transitions. Be sure to smooth out any rough-sounding spots.
Hit those vowels
Now, it’s time to start singing. Sort-of. Continue the scale technique, but instead of humming, sing a vowel. Take your ‘a’ ‘e’ ‘I’ ‘o’ and ‘u’ tones all the way up and down the scale. Falsetto too! Be sure to warm up all 5 of the vowels so that your voice stays consistently flexible no matter what lyrics you’re singing. You don’t want someone to Youtube to mp3 any of your weird-sounding pronunciations.
Now practice singing some of your lines, but pay close attention to your breathing pattern. Make sure you’re aware of your lengths and when you need to take a breath. Singing some rapid-fire verses is a good idea so that your voice is agile and ready to rock. Ideally, a listener shouldn’t hear you taking in big breaths in between singing. If you’re performing for more than an hour, your diaphragm will really get a good workout. Time your breaths.
Sing from your diaphragm
This is one of the most valuable singing tips out there. Every time you sing or warm up, make sure you are singing from your chest. It’s the best breathing technique to avoid straining your voice and will improve vocal endurance. The last thing you want happening is losing your voice halfway through the performance.
Start with a comfortable song.
Naturally, you’re always going to be a little (or very) nervous about your first song. This is totally normal. However, you can make things easier on yourself. Start with a song that you know back to front and one that doesn’t utilize the extremities of your range.
This way, remembering lyrics won’t be an issue, and you’ll be able to focus on your tone, volume, and stage presence, instead of fretting about belting that high note. You’ll have time later on in your set when you’re fired up to show off the rest of your ability.
All the best for your performance!
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