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Vocal Warm Ups

Vocal Warm Ups

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Published by: Dr Daniel K. Robinson on Dec 02, 2010
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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Djarts Voice Coaching ~ www.djarts.com.au
© Daniel K. Robinson - 2010Page
By Daniel K. Robinson
In my last article “Bare Essentials” I discussed many issues that a singer can’tdo without; among the list was Vocal Warm-ups. Actually I’d put it at the top of the list! Why? Well a vocal warm-up has so many pay-offs for the singer that it’shard to ignore as a ‘must do’ discipline.Now before we tackle the ‘whys’ and the ‘hows’ let’s get something straight –Warm-ups are a professional discipline. Many singers feel intimidated by theirinstrumental peers when conducting a warm-up. I know that when I do mywarm-ups it draws snide remarks (often in jest) which can leave me feeling alittle bit nerdy. I have even had colleagues remark, “
Who do you think you are? Pavarotti.” 
This friendly banter can intimidate the less secure vocalist into a ‘whybother’ approach. Unfortunately, when a singer doesn’t warm-up everyonesuffers. The singer suffers because their voice will have reduced agility, staminaand health; and the band suffers because their singer will simply not perform attheir optimum. The fact remains that your audience orientates to the singer.Simply stated – if your singer gives a lack-lustre performance then youraudience might think the whole band is off its game.So what should a warm-up look like? Firstly, it doesn’t need to be fancy. Overthe years there have been many cool exercises ‘do the rounds’ but justremember that the more complex the scale/exercise the more challenging it is todo well. Always apply the KISS theory – Keep It Simple Stupid!A good warm-up will take approximately 15-20 minutes starting with an easyscale covering a perfect 5
. Choose a vowel such as Ah or Ee and work the voiceover an octave. As the voice starts to condition (you should actually sense awarmth in the neck area around your larynx) move beyond an octave. You canuse an arpeggio (root, 3
, 5
, 8ve
) to do this; and just to mix it up a bitalternate the vowels between Ah and Ee.After about 10 minutes of this kind of work (and there are countlessscales/exercises that fit the bill) introduce some sirens using an NG [
]. Try towork the siren through your complete vocal range travelling through yourregister transitions (for some singers these little passages might present as gapswhere the voice cuts out altogether).After about 15 minutes (and only after the voice has been stretched andconditioned for use) sing through one of your easier songs. Try to pick one thatdoes not have overly challenging or extreme notes. If you don’t have an easypiece in your rep list – sing the National anthem! All of this, including theNational anthem should have been done in a relatively quiet space.

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