A singer should follow the same two-stage process. The first step of your warm-up should be to address your body, because that’s your instrument. Stretch out. Lie on your back with your feet flat and your arms extended out from your sides. Swing both legs to the right and both arms to the left. Breathe and then switch sides.Another good stretch is to simply hang from a bar or the threshold of a door. The point is to loosen the muscles in your torso so they don’t shallow your breath. It’s also important to release tension in the shoulders, neck and jaw. To get all three loose at once, roll your shoulders while sticking out your tongue and rotating your head. If you’re afraid this will make you look like an idiot, think for a moment how you’ll look standing on stage straining for every note. Be smart and release those body tensions before they cause you to push too hard. It’s worth an extra ten minutes or so to stretch out. The second step of your warm-up is to create a slippery, effortless feeling inside your throat while producing various pitches and vowels at different volume levels.

The rule here is simple
Vocalizing should never hurt, tickle, strain, make you cough or dry out your throat. If any of these symptoms show up it means you are rushing the process.What you sing to warm-up is not as important as how. I recommend the simplest sounds. Your attention should be on physical freedoms rather than quality of sound. Release your breath with several long, low volume hisses. Then, loosen your face and neck while humming with a wandering, siren-like, motion. Don’t allow your face to change when reaching for pitches. Alternate the hums with an extended "zzz" sound and gradually change this to an "ee" vowel. Once the "ee" sound feels slippery, change to an "ah." Keep your melodies sweeping. I don’t recommend singing songs quietly because there are usually tensions programmed into them. As you loosen up, gradually turn up your volume. As you get louder, stay with an "ee" or "ah." The point is to wait until the body gives you permission to increase the load. It’s a very good idea to develop many different warm-up exercises. Here’s where lessons with a reputable teacher or working with home courses comes in. Mixing up the ways in which you loosen up lets you stay one step ahead of stubborn tensions while keeping you from getting bored!

Daily Commute
It’s important to warm up your voice every day, no matter if you are performing or not. These trial runs create a reference. Taking the time helps you become very familiar with your instrument and its abilities. You’ll learn what exercises get you in shape fast before you’re under pressure to perform. Think of vocal control as your destination, a place you want to arrive. Think of the warm-up as your commute. Each exercise, then, can be viewed as a vehicle to get you where you want to go. If one isn’t working, try another vehicle. In the same way, a warm-up routine can be altered just like most people know of several ways to get to work (except Roger). The more you explore, the more pathways you’ll discover to your destination.

Originally posted 2009-07-19 22:55:42.