I have a favorite vocal warm up exercise.
I´m not sure when it became my daily vocal warm up - but for several months now, for my first warm up of the day - after taking a few deep, full relaxing breaths, I begin to sing an exercise that I learned about from a speech therapist in Montreal, Glenna Waters.
She advised this exercise for people who are recovering from vocal nodules (swellings on the vocal cords) or for those who are coming back to singing after a lengthy sore throat or laryngitis.
However, I find that it helps ME to get focused, yet stay calm in both mind and throat. As my first exercise of the day, it is a gem. You can sing it on any note that is easy in your lower range. Here it is: Neeeeee (or Noooooo) exercise
I repeat this steady note in my easy lower range about 5 or 6 times on different notes. In doing this vocal warm up, I know quickly if my vocal cords are in good shape. And I begin to get my breath calm and steady as I hold each note.
Then I do a variation on this exercise - again in a range that is easy.
Using Noooooo (rhymes with "do"), I sing from an easy low note up a fifth and back down. This may seem like such simple stuff! But it is in doing these easy-start exercises that I can ease my voice and breath co-ordination into a new day. Here is a quick example of
(If you would appreciate having access to the 4 exercises without much explanation...) So, that´s it. That is how I start my singing day. But....
From this two-part beginning, I move on to a vocal warm up called, the E-Stretch. A smooth way to start exercising more of your range.
If you try it, remember, you should not be forcing yourself to reach low notes or high notes. You need to start where it is easy. But stay connected. This exercise takes a little more energy and volume. Only go as high or as low as is comfortable. Repeat it a few times. Each time, you may find it easier to move up higher and down lower in your range.
At its best, this should be a playful approach to feeling the stable co-ordination of breath and vocal cords. If this musical language leaves you perplexed, don´t worry. Just listen to the exercise and try it yourself. For those who do not know it, here, again, is the
From there I move on to any other exercise that is not too difficult. I often use this one: EE AY AH OH OO. After this slow, smooth beginning, I usually feel ready for some more uptempo exercises and/or for an exercise that asks for more power.
NOTE - On some days, I can tell pretty quickly that my voice is cranky. I may not have slept well. I may have talked too loudly or too much the night before. Sometimes, it´s just "one of those days."
When I feel like that, I sing through a song that I know I can sing easily and well. It puts me in a better mood. (Very important for good singing.) And both the song and the mood usually get me feeling coordinated again. Then I can go back to continue with my vocal warm-up... or move on with other songs.
P.S. If you would like to surf around this Web site for more technique suggestions or for info about auditions, sore throat, laryngitis...etc. look here: Singing Tips SITEMAP.
I wish you GREAT Singing!
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