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Singing warm-ups... Some singers feel that it is not important to warm up the body and voice before singing. Singing warm ups? Not required. They feel that the act of singing songs prepares the voice.
To some degree and in some cases, I agree with them. Sometimes, you will find that your body and mind are so ¨in tune,¨ and you feel so fresh and co-ordinated that you know your voice will simply work. You can just sing easily without any singing warm ups.
But there are precious few days like that. On most days, we singers need to do at least a little, if not a lot of preparation in order to sing really well.
See below, Part One of my own singing warm up these days...
Singing warm ups, done well, set an emotional and mental tone for your singing practice. So it is wise to develop a warm up ritual that suits your particular daily needs.
I suggest that you always begin with a breathing exercise. You may have your own favorite breathing regimen. If not, here is an exercise that I find very powerful when I am not fully in the mood to practice.
You can stand while you do this exercise, but to get the most from it, I suggest you lie on the floor or on a firm bed. Put a pillow under your head, if you feel more comfortable that way.
For those of you who like to listen while doing this kind of an exercise, here is a short MP3 sound file (singing warm ups - the deep breath) that guides you through the breathing segment:
A Guided Exercise In Breathing If you are more comfortable reading and then trying it on your own - here is what you do:
Before you lie on the bed, find a medium-sized book. (You are going to place this book on your stomach while you breathe.)
Lie down in a comfortable position. Your arms will be at your sides. Your shoulders will feel as though they are gently stretched down and away from your head. (You don´t want to be in a shrugging position that scrunches your neck.)
Now breathe fully and low into your lungs. (If you need a reminder about how your lungs fill up - look here: Singing Warm Ups - How we breathe...) You will see the book that you have put on your abdomen rise and fall as you breathe. Your diaphragm is descending as your lungs fill up. And this action makes your abdomen gently rise and fall under that book.
Don´t force any movement. Don´t push your abdomen out. Just concentrate on allowing the air to move deeply into your lungs and watch what happens.
Breathe in. Breathe out. Enjoy the deep pleasure of deep breathing as you take this action in a relaxed and thoughtful way.
Continue this exercise for several minutes - but not for a long time. (This is not the time to fall asleep!) You are re-learning how to breathe deeply, while letting go of the wrong kinds of tension.
As you prepare to stand again, be aware of how your mental attitude has also shifted. You likely feel calmer, and yet energized and more centered. At least, this is the desired result.
Take this renewed spirit into the next element of your singing warm ups; practicing scales and other technical studies, and then onto your songs...
For more information about breathing (How do I breathe?) look here -
I wish you great singing!
¨Yesterday was my first voice lesson with you, Barbara, and it was so inspiring! I left filled with song and a freedom deep inside of me.¨ Carylle