Do Vocal Warm Up Exercises really help?

Seasoned singers and beginners alike realize the importance of including vocal warm up exercises in their daily singing sessions. Warm up exercises help to improve voice quality and strength and to alleviate muscle tension, so its no wonder that most instructors and singers recommend them. You should set aside at least 20 minutes for the warm up session. In order to avoid dehydration of the vocal chords you should begin the warm up session by drinking lots of water to lubricate the vocal tract.

Vocal warm up exercises help to condition the voice producing organs by augmenting the blood flow to them. It is important to relax yourself mentally and physically before starting the warm up exercises. Follow the relaxation exercises with techniques that increase breath control, improve pitch range and help in increasing vocal strength. It is not unusual to start enjoying certain warm up exercises and form a routine incorporating them.

As a beginner you may want to seek help from your instructor who will be in a better position to recommend the appropriate warm up exercises for you. It’s normal to enjoy and benefit from certain exercises more than the others and you should incorporate these in your daily regimen instead of following set guidelines. You have to make sure that you start the warm up exercises at the mid-range which is usually the comfort zone for most singers and then proceed to the higher and lower ranges. If you are looking for information related to warm up exercises you can visit a local library or surf online. Seeking the help of a voice professional is another option and even though it may be expensive it will help you to develop a set of vocal warm up exercises that will be customized to your needs.

Some of the common exercises include:

Sighing Yawning: This is a very simple exercise where you yawn normally inhaling deeply with your shoulders, jaw and tongue relaxed and then exhale with an audible sound.

Using the hmmm: Use the hmmm sound at a comfortable pitch and then change the sound halfway through the exhaled breath.

Straw Breathing: The exercise involves deep inhalation as you yawn while the air is expelled through a straw.

Vocal Exhalation: Start by inhaling deeply once your lungs are full expel the air with a sudden sharp contraction of the abdominal muscles, the result will be exhalation with a distinct ‘huh’ sound.

Vowel Sounds: A good exercise to relax the jaw and to improve pitch range is to sing various combinations of consonant and vowel sounds at different scales ranging from low to high and vice versa.

Tongue Twisters: Another way is to use common tongue twisters like ‘she sells sea shells on the sea shore’. The aim while performing this exercise should be to avoid tension in the articulators ( tongue, palate, lip and throat). You can then try to experiment with different pitch levels.

The benefits of a warm up routine are:

* Increase in Stamina * Increase in Vocal Range * Mental and Physical conditioning * Better voice control * Promotes correct breathing * Avoid damage to the articulators * Increases vocal strength

This list is far from being conclusive and most singers will tell you that vocal warm up exercises are necessary to keep your singing career running smoothly.

For more information on all aspect of learning to sing visit Vocal Warm Up Exercises


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